A cracking start to the festival action and result wise, some big cracking wins and places going in all round with Enable (2/1), El Astronaute (4/1) both collecting victory and two big each way players in Yorkidding (14/1) just missing out in second and Who Dares Wins (10/1) finishing in the frame in fourth.
The first race of Day Two’s action is the 1.50 1 mile 2 furlong Class 2 contest and it’s headed by Khairaat for Sir Michael Stoute and champion jokey Jim Crowley at short odds. He did well last season and won well on his final start at the St Leger meeting at Doncaster and is certainly the one to beat here. However one i’d be willing to take the market principal on with is Berkshire (7/1), he’s the top weight here by some way as he’s the top rated by some way but I feel he has the class to put in a strong bid to get into the frame here as he’s got a win in the Royal Lodge to his name as well as a Group 3 and a listed event. Jamie Spencer is on board.
Next the 2.25 is the Group 3 Huxley Stakes headed by AP O’Brien’s Deauville at short odds, he ran very well on his return to action this season when second in a Group 3 at Sandown last month and has very strong form in races in the US last term. That form is certainly going to make him difficult to beat here. Poet’s Word has been performing well in handicap company winning three of his last five starts for Sir Michael Stoute. I’ve always been a fan of Royal Artillery since seeing him win on his debut at Doncaster a while back, he’s only won once since then but isn’t completely exposed and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him there or thereabouts again here. But the one I will be taking a chance on here is Folkswood (5/1). He has form of 2122 since having cheekpieces fitted was a clear second last time out in the Earl of Sefton, I certainly think he’s at a backable price here and may well get into the frame again in a very competitive affair.
The 3.35 is the Chester Vase and it’s headed by Venice Beach for AP O’Brien on the back of an impressive win at Tipperary last time out, he’s another well bred sort for these powerful connection and looks certain to be involved in the business end of things here. AP also has The Anvil, Wings Of Eagles and Finn McCool here so looks certain make a bold bid to win this race for the fifth consecutive year. Tamleek for Godolphin and Saeed Bin Suroor had four subsequent winners behind him when taking victory at the Craven meeting at Newmarket last week, champion jockey Jim Crowley takes the ride. One I do like here is Cunco (5/1) for John Gosden and Frankie Dettori, the Frankel offspring won the Group 3 classic trial at Sandown on his seasonal return last month when getting up in the final strides. He shaped as if he’d appreciate the step up in trip here and should certainly put in a bold bid to get in the frame again today.
The 4.05 is a five furlong Maiden contest and is headed by a horse that is looking very strong to take this in Dahik (10/11) for the big gun connections. He made a good start to his racing career when second on debut at Doncaster despite appearing green and looks certain to come on for that run. He’s drawn in stall three and champion jockey Jim Crowley takes the ride and he certainly looks hard to beat here. An each way alternative might be Dragons Tail (5/1) for Richard Kingscote and Tom Dascombe. Dascombe has got five in this and won it in 2012 & 2013. This one finished third despite a questionable start on debut and will certainly come on for that in a decent draw, certain each way claims.