Robert Eddery’s DONNCHA could give his trainer and connections an afternoon to remember by defeating a top notch field of handicappers to land the £160,000 Betfred Cambridgeshire on our Rowley Mile on Saturday.
Given time to develop, the four-year-old has won three times this year, showing a good turn of foot in each instance.
He also ran credibly in defeat in his last two starts, finishing third to Heaven’s Guest at Ascot following up with a nearest finish seventh in So Beloved at Goodwood.
Everything about his pedigree and the way he works would indicate that the testing nine furlongs will suit him ideally and he has the season’s apprentice find, Tom Marquand, claiming a valuable 3lbs in the saddle.
John Gosden sent Gm Hopkins out to win the Silver Cambridgeshire 12 months ago and, along with Abseil and Halation, will give Donncha plenty to do.
That said, my selection may have most to fear from Jane Chapple-Hyam’s Brazilian bred Ascot winner, Energia Davos.
Whatever Gm Hopkins’s fate in the Cambridgeshire, John Gosden should see SHALAA underline his 2016 classic prospects with a win in the Group 1 Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes.
His first main win was in the Group 2 July Stakes at Newmarket and, after taken the Group 2 Richmond Stakes at Goodwood he landed a Group 1 knockout with a length win from Invincible Saint in the Prix Morny at Deauville.
Gosden could have started proceedings off on the right foot with the unbeaten FOUNDATION, who has the credentials to complete a hat-trick in the opening Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes.
James Fanshawe’s Pegasus Stables team is flying and we can get our Cambridgeshire meeting off to a bright start this afternoon by siding with GALE FORCE in the Jockey Club Rose Bowl.
She is a half-sister to the Group 1 winner Seal Of Approval and has already confirmed that she possesses her share of the family’s ability.
After winning a Kempton maiden in fine style, she was an unlucky third to Rhombus at Nottingham, where she was repeatedly denied an opening when trying to make her challenge.
She then dotted up in a Goodwood handicap and I share her trainer’s belief that she is quite capable of this step up into Listed Race class, although she would not want conditions too firm underfoot.
Fanshawe will also be looking for another winner on the card with UP IN LIGHTS in the Racing UK Handicap.
She has won two of her last three races and I am confident she will go in again to complete a rewarding Fanshawe double.
Peter Charalambous handles his small string with great skill and THEYDON GREY can pay tribute to his talents by making it two wins from his last two starts in the ebm-papst Nursery.
Roger Varian has his Kremlin House team firing on all cylinders and in DECORATED KNIGHT he has one of the most improved horses currently in action on the heath.
The Galileo colt followed up a maiden win at Haydock in July with a smooth first handicap success when beating Pyjama Party by three quarters of a length at Sandown.
Significantly, Varian has opted out of the handicap route to go straight for the Group 2 Shadwell Joel Stakes at Newmarket tomorrow.
The trainer is not known for tilting at windmills and this progressive three-year-old can beat Time Test and Richard Pankhurst on his way to greater heights.
David Elsworth will be looking to MELODIOUS to earn some valuable black type by winning the Listed Princess Royal EBF Nayef Stakes on the same card.
The canny Elsworth has always thought highly of this filly and she has justified his faith with some sound recent efforts.
After a nearest finish fifth to Martlet in the Galtres Stakes at York, she was second to Flying Officer at Salisbury before being cruelly mugged on the line by Gretchen in the Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster.
She has come out of the race really well and I hope to see her go one better, although she will have to put her best foot forward to beat Gosden’s selected Journey and Martlet.
If Elsworth lets the improving LA SUPERBA take her chance in the Rosemary Stakes today, take the hint and also side with Sir Michael Stoute’s CANNOCK CHASE in the Sakhee Godolphin Stakes.
We will get a better price about Stuart Williams’s fancied longshot EXAMINER in the Shadwell Farm Silver Cambridgeshire.
In-form Lady Jane Cecil could strike again with HAMELIN in the totepoolliveinfo.com Handicap at Chelmsford’s evening meeting on Saturday.
He has been nursed back from injury and showed he had retained his ability with a sound second to Newmarch at Wolverhampton.
He’s now ready to start making up for lost time in the familiar Lordship Stud colours.
Pin Money continued in top form, finding Lady Jane Cecil’s Ayr 16-1 winner Shaden, with David Simcock’s Ainslie (won 15-8) also making a journey across the border pay off last weekend.