2.30 Lingfield – CORELLI
The selection, trained by John Gosden, is a well-bred son of Point Of Entry who built on a promising first effort to land a 9.5f novice event at Wolverhampton last November (4/1 chance), waited with in midfield and pushed along over two furlongs out, staying on well in the straight for hands-and-heels riding to lead close home and see off Craving by a neck. He made a winning return to action in a three-runner 11.5f novice event at Yarmouth 11 days ago (1/3 favourite), slowly away and last until allowed to stride on with half a mile left to run, shaken up to come clear approaching the final furlong before being eased off to run out a very easy 2½-length winner over Kittileo. He has achieved nothing out of the ordinary in form terms, merely proving his wellbeing last time (still looking rather rough around the edges), but it’s all about potential with this colt, his pedigree alone a strong recommendation of better to come (three-parts brother to St Leger winner Lucarno and high-class pair Flying Officer and Thought Worthy). This undoubtedly represents a much sterner test, but he is hardly lacking for potential or indeed paper credentials, while he’s a guaranteed stayer having won at this trip on his return; for all he may prove to be more of a King Edward/St Leger prospect, it wouldn’t at all surprise to see this colt enhance his reputation with victory here.
3.25 Ascot – TRIBUTE ACT (nap)
The selection, trained by James Fanshawe, is a daughter of Exceed And Excel who impressed when making a winning debut in a 7f fillies’ maiden at Kempton in October 2016 and, having blown the start and raced freely on her return at Newmarket, landed a fillies’ handicap over the same course and distance in decisive fashion last June. She followed up in a 1m handicap at Doncaster a month later (waited with and delivered late to score by a head from Shenanigans), but patently failed to handle the track when tailed off in a 1m fillies’ handicap at Glorious Goodwood the following month. Her final outing of the season came in a 7f handicap here a couple of months later, pulling her way into a prominent position and moving closer still from halfway, ridden to challenge inside the two furlong marker and responding well but losing out by a nose to Mukalal. For all it was slightly disappointing she couldn’t get the job done that day and returns off a 3lbs higher mark, this filly strongly appeals as the type to improve further still this season, keeping in mind the giant strides half sister Ribbons (who finished a close second in this race in 2014) made during her four-year-old campaign; it’d be somewhat disappointing if she wasn’t very much involved.
5.35 Nottingham – HOMBRE CASADO (nb)
The selection, trained by Ed Walker, is a son of Siyouni who shaped a bit better than the bare result on debut in a well-contested maiden over course and distance last November (33/1 chance), close up and travelling better than most, shaken up over two furlongs out and fading soon after to eventually come home 11th of 14 behind Kinaesthesia (beaten 8¾ lengths). He has caught the eye both starts this season in 7f events at Kempton, running on late into fifth behind the useful Qaysar on his return in March before once again putting in some good late work from a hopeless position when sixth to Il Primo Sole a little more than three weeks ago. It is clear that he has been brought along with handicaps in mind, quietly ridden over an inadequate trip the last twice and putting in pleasing late work under considerate handling. An opening mark of 74 allows him to start out at a realistic level in this sphere, while the return to this extended one-mile trip ought to see him in a much better light; also hailing from a stable among the winners, it wouldn’t at all surprise to see it all click into place for this son of Siyouni here.
7.15 Thirsk – COCKTAIL
The selection, trained Jedd O’Keeffe, is a nicely-bred son of Dream Ahead who was too green to show his true worth in 6f contests at Nottingham and Doncaster a month apart last autumn, with the rain-softened ground he encountered on both occasions likely also a factor to him proving uncompetitive each time. He offered a good deal more in a 6f novice event at Newcastle just a couple of weeks on from Doncaster (66/1 chance), waited with and making progress two furlongs out, ridden and keeping on inside the final furlong to take second close home behind Gowanbuster (beaten 1¾ lengths). He appeared to be better suited by the sounder surface he encountered that day, although cut a more professional figure anyway, travelling with a lot more fluency than had previously been the case and finishing off his race to good effect. An opening mark of 68 appeals as more than workable, it perhaps worth noting full sister Golden Stunner was rated 107 at the peak of her powers having also been a maiden after a clutch of outings at two. While it would be somewhat fanciful to suggest the same degree of improvement will be forthcoming from this son of Dream Ahead, he does appeal as the sort to do a lot better in this sphere/at three; returning on decent ground and with his stable among the winners, a winning return could well be in the offing.