With the big Ayr Gold meeting having been beaten by the weather, Newbury and Newmarket take centre stage and I fancy the best value wager of the day could come from Shrewd at the latter venue in the 3.10.
Third in this race last year off a much higher mark, the nap hasn’t really run to his best form this term, but showed a bit more spark at Doncaster last time out in the Mallard Handicap when third of seven, beaten a shade over five lengths.
The slight give in the ground will certainly suit the seven-year-old and a fast pace will also be right up his street.
I do fear the likes of Sternrubin and Oceane, both of whom are also using this as a stepping stone to the big race next month.
The latter was a huge eye-catcher at York last time out with the visor on for the first time and if it works again he could emerge as a bigger danger to the nap than likely favourite Time To Study.
The rest of the card at headquarters looks quite difficult, but I think that there could be some value in supporting Moonraker in the six-furlong handicap due off at 4.35.
Rated as high as 101 this time last year, his mark has plummeted to 82, but there was a bit more to like about his effort last time out when fourth of seven behind Baron Bolt beaten a shade over two lengths.
As long as there is not too much rain before racing, I can see the son of Starspangledbanner outrunning his double-figure price and taking care of the likes of Mount Kiara, Ancient Astronaut and Glenamoy Lad.
The card at Newbury looks an absolute crackerjack and I have long been of the opinion that Fabricate is better than a handicapper and he can prove that point when he lines up in the Group Three Dubai Duty Free Stakes at 2.15.
Formerly thought to want soft ground, his recent form has come on a much quicker surface, but more than that it is probably the fact that he has matured and strengthened up that has seen a huge upturn in his form.
The likes of old rivals Second Step and Desert Encounter along with Dylan Mouth won’t make things easy for the selection, but I fancy he could be up to this much more difficult task.
The big handicap of the day is over 10f at 3.25 with a quality field engaged many of which will be hoping to contest the Cambridgeshire and First Flight may be able to cause a minor shock.
Likely to go off at 33/1 or even bigger, the six-year-old is very much at home on a sound surface so the soft ground wouldn’t have played to his strengths last time out at the Curragh.
However, a repeat of his best runs this season, at York when third to Mahsoob and second to Kapstadt at Newmarket, puts him in with more than just an each-way squeak here.
Finally at Wolverhampton on their evening card, have a look out for the old boy Roy’s Legacy in the opener at 5.40 along with hugely progressive young stayer Noble Behest (nb) in the two-mile contest due off at 8.10.
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