6.50 Kempton – PETERPORT (nap)
The selection, trained by John Gosden, is a well-bred son of Nathaniel who made his debut outing in a 10f maiden at Newbury 12 days ago (11/4 market leader), slowly into stride and in rear until moving closer from the halfway point, shaken up and making good progress over two furlongs out to move within striking distance, fading inside the final furlong to eventually finish sixth of 18 behind wide-margin winner Dubai Thunder (beaten 17¼ lengths). This colt shaped significantly better than the eventual margin of defeat implies, putting himself on the back foot with a slow start, forced to make up a vast amount of ground down the straight in testing conditions and that inevitably taking its toll inside the final furlong. He has always been highly regarded, as evidenced by his market position on debut in what appealed as a good maiden with plenty of depth, and the switch to a sounder surface allied with a step up in distance is sure to see him in a better light; his stable took a division of this race 12 months ago with Muntahaa and it wouldn’t at all surprise to see this colt replicate his stablemate in winning this en route to the King Edward at Royal Ascot.
7.10 Ayr – ZAPPER CASS (nb)
The selection, trained by Tony Coyle, often promised more than he delivered in France for Christophe Ferland, his sole career victory to date coming in a 7.5f contest at Pau last January. He more often than not shaped well in defeat, however, and it was much the same story on his first two starts in this country for Roger Fell in sprint handicaps at Chelmsford (6f) and Newcastle (5f) towards the end of 2016. He made his return to action in a 7f handicap at Chester three weeks ago (20/1 chance), waited with in midfield and travelling nicely, making good progress two furlongs out and looking to challenge when running out of room at the furlong marker, losing his position and coming home in ninth behind Russian Soul (beaten 5¾ lengths). This son of Elusive City travels well enough in his races to suggest the step back to six furlongs will be fine, and that his current mark of 82 is a winnable one; undoubtedly comes with risks attached, the type for whom excuses come easy, but he has enough basic talent to land a race of this nature should it all fall into place.