A plethora of stars will be on show at Newmarket’s highly-prestigious three-day Cambridgeshire meeting on the Rowley Mile, which starts today.
American superstar Lady Aurelia, trained by Wesley Ward, and Charlie Appleby’s Blue Point head a leading cast during a mouth-watering day’s racing on Saturday, while Fair Eva – the daughter of the great Frankel – lines up in the Group 2 Shadwell Rockfel Stakes tomorrow.
But the biggest race from a betting perspective will be Saturday’s Cambridgeshire Handicap, which has a bumper field of 35 runners.
The entry includes the last four winners of the race - Bronze Angel, who landed it in both 2014 and 2012, the 2013 hero Educate and last year’s winner Third Time Lucky.
The ante-post betting market is headed by John Gosden’s Sacred Act, but Newmarket trainer Chris Wall is hopeful of a good showing from his entry, First Sitting.
First Sitting proved himself a strong contender for this year’s renewal when winning the mile-and-a-quarter Buy, Breed And Training In Germany Handicap at the Adnams July Course last month.
Wall said: “He won on the July Course last month and, though the Rowley Mile is a slightly different kettle of fish, I believe that victory shows he should be able to cope with the demands of the Cambridgeshire.”
“He should get an end-to-end gallop in the race and the fact that he stays further than nine furlongs will be in his favour.”
Hugo Palmer will be looking to get his meeting off in flying fashion with Escobar in today’s Tattersalls Stakes.
Escobar has not put a foot wrong in two appearances at Newbury, when beating a big field of maidens and then when landing the Listed Washington Singer Stakes by a length-and-a-quarter.
The Kremlin Cottage Stables handler, who has already enjoyed a stellar season, said: “I think and hope that Escobar is improving all the time.
“We have been very pleased with his work and what he shows us at home makes me hopeful of a very big run in the Tattersalls Stakes.
“He is very much a horse for next year and has lots of speed, like most good horses do.
“The dream is that he will make up into a Guineas horse for next season and he is entered in the Derby too — I would love to find ourselves in the position at some point in the future where we need to find out if he stays a mile-and-a-half.”
Lady Aurelia will put her unbeaten record on the line in the Cheveley Park Stakes on Saturday while Blue Point, the son of Shamardal, bids for glory in the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes.
Appleby is bullish on the hopes of his brilliant Gimcrack Stakes winner, saying: “Everything has been pointing towards the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes since his win in the Gimcrack and he has come out of that race very well.
“He is getting stronger all the time and should have come forward again for the race.
“We couldn’t have been any more pleased with the way that he won the Gimcrack, although it was just repeating what we had already seen from him at home.”
n James Doyle has lost his position as the first rider to Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor.
The news came to light following Bin Suroor’s decision to book William Buick for some of his big runners.