Only Nafaayes gave us a return yesterday when he finished fourth at Newbury.
4.45 – Ascot – Gracious John. 1 pt e/w. Available at 11/1.
The majority of this sprint field come into the race on the back of a decent effort (or more). Gracious John has to give weight to most of his opposition but he is a seasoned campaigner who hasn’t been far short of his best on turf in two of his last three starts. He was only beaten just over two lengths by Muthmir trying to give his rival three pounds at Haydock last month and that’s form which is on a par with what the best of his rivals has produced recently. He was placed in a Group Three over six furlongs here back in April 2016 and although subsequently well beaten on his only previous visit here, that came in the Group One King’s Stand Stakes at Last season’s Royal meeting. His six wins on turf have come on good ground or softer, so rain will not inconvenience him, and he does handle faster conditions. The booking of Jim Crowley takes the eye, he has a very profitable 25% strike rate for the yard on their turf horses in recent seasons.
4.55 – Thirsk:
Santafiori. 1 pt e/w. Available at 12/1. (188Bet, Ladbrokes, Betfred, Boylesports, totesport.com – 1/5 odds first 4)
Kodicat. 0.5 pts e/w. Available at 25/1. (Skybet, Ladbrokes, Betfred, Boylesports, totesport.com – 1/5 odds first 4)
Bow Belles. 0.5 pts e/w. Available at 25/1. ( 188Bet, Ladbrokes, Betfred, Boylesports, totesport.com – 1/5 odds first 4)
Much may depend on how much the rain gets into the ground at Thirsk but it may be worth risking that enough does for the horses who like conditions slower than fast to be effective. Santafiori has an inconsistent profile but he ran his best race for current connections last time out over this C/D and that came on ground faster than ideal. He won’t mind conditions easing a bit and he is well handicapped on his back form with his previous yard. He runs from a career low mark and represents a Trainer with a profitable 13% strike rate at this track in recent seasons. Kodicat is well handicapped on the form he was showing on G/S ground last season and, although well beaten in his two starts on turf this season, he wasn’t disgraced on ground that was quicker than ideal. With those efforts behind him he could produce a form revival if the conditions ease sufficiently. Tome Eaves, who was on board for his only win to date, renews acquaintances. Bow Belles wasn’t beaten far in a better race from a five pound higher mark at Nottingham last October and his four races this season have all come on fast ground.
5.35 – Newmarket:
Topmeup. 1 pt e/w. Available at 14/1.
Luna Bear. 0.5 pts e/w. available at 22/1.
6.30 – York – Quick Look. 1 pt e/w. Available at 14/1. (Skybet, Betfred, Boylesports, totesport.com, 888Sport – 1/5 odds first 5)
8.00 – York:
King’s Gift. 2 pts win. Available at 7/1.
Destroyer. 0.5 pts e/w. Available at 25/1. (Paddy Power, Betfair, Betfred, totesport.com – 1/5 odds first 4)