Neil Morrice brings us his best bets and tips for Friday’s racing from Epsom, Bath, Market Rasen, Goodwood and Doncaster.
Race 2 No6 STORTING (Nap)
Trainer: Mick Channon – Jockey: James Doyle
STORTING landed some good bets when returning to action in the Thirsk Hunt Cup. He was given a peach of a ride in that course’s richest race, tracking the leaders into the straight and being sent on at just the right time. As a horse that doesn’t want to hit the front too soon, Doyle will no doubt look to arrive late on the scene, and a follow-up is on the cards.
Race 3 CORAL CORONATION CUP (Group 1)
No1 AL AASY
Trainer: William Haggas – Jockey: Jim Crowley
In both 2021 outings, AL AASY has shown himself to be a greatly improved performer, and the four-year-old rates a worthy favourite for this historic contest. In both successes at Newbury, including a thundering effort to come home unchallenged in the John Porter Stakes, the Sea The Stars colt was never in danger and to all intents and purposes, he’s a horse that could figure in most of the top middle-distance races through the summer.
Race5 Cazoo Oaks (Group 1)
No13 WILLOW (Each Way)
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien – Jockey: Wayne Lordan
This is one of the most open fillies’ Classics of recent years, raising the possibility of a shock result. Aidan O’Brien saddles his customary posse of five runners headed in the market by 1,000 Guineas fourth Santa Barbara. She’s one to have in the mix, while others for your exotics include Snowfall and Saffron Beach, but the surprise packet could be WILLOW. By US triple crown winner American Pharoah out of Oaks placed Peeping Fawn, the selection might not have set any rivers on fire with her third in a Naas Group 3, but she is learning all the time, and will greatly appreciate running over a mile and a half for the first time.
Race 6 No5 RUN TO FREEDOM
Trainer: Henry Candy – Jockey: David Probert
Candy had a reverse when RUN TO FREEDOM’s galloping companion Twilight Calls was turned over at Leicester earlier in the week. That, however, shouldn’t deter you from backing this son of champion sprinter Muhaarer who is one of the nicest sprint prospects around and should be up to Listed class on seasonal return.
Race 4 No1 RAINS OF CASTERMERE
Trainer: Mick Channon – Jockey: Edward Greatrex
A 5lb penalty for his smooth Pontefract win anchored RAINS OF CASTERMERE at Nottingham where he couldn’t resist Cruyff Turn. He’s been given time to get over that and gave out the right signals in his winding-up gallop for this.
Race 5 No5 EYE OF HEAVEN
Trainer: Mark Johnston – Jockey: Royston Ffrench
Considering he was made 7-4 favourite for the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot a year ago, EYE OF HEAVEN has to be of interest in sprints this season. The son of Exceed And Excel didn’t live up to his early billing but is having only a fifth career start today, and has done well physically.
Race 3 No7 PAWPAW (Nap)
Trainer: Paul Webber – Jockey: Ciaran Gethings
PAWPAW has perhaps been unlucky not to have won his last two over jumps and makes considerable appeal at a track that should suit. He smoothly opened his account at Southwell before being inched out at Huntingdon and is clearly enjoying racing for his new connections.
Race 5 No5 DALLAS COWBOY
Trainer: Paula Smith – Jockey: Emma Smith-Chaston
Veteran DALLAS COWBOY has been in the wilderness since gaining back-to-back successes at Catterick and this course last winter. However, with today’s jockey back in the plate he raised his game to finish second over course and distance last month. If she hadn’t put up 3lb overweight it might have been a different result and proves that there is still life left in the old boy.
Race 5 No1 ZUBA
Trainer: Nick Gifford – Jockey: Hector Crouch
Dual-purpose horse ZUBA finished second on latest Flat start here and then showed an aptitude for hurdling by cosily taking out a maiden at Plumpton. He is a strong traveller that looks sure to get a decent pace to aim at.
Race 6 No6 MISS SCALETTA (Nap)
Trainer: Ed Walker – Jockey: Pat Cosgrave
In colours that are synonymous with fillies named ‘Miss’, MISS SCALETTA can endorse the promise of her first outing at Newbury in this interesting novice stakes. She’s up against a previous winner in Dawndiver, who needs respect, but granted normal progress can open her account.
Race 1 No1 DOLLAR BID
Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute – Jockey: Richard Kingscote
DOLLAR BID has been a work in progress for his trainer, a man who does so well with this type of individual. The Frankel gelding produced a nice change of gear to open his account on seasonal comeback at Lingfield, and can now prove he’s just as effective on turf.
Race 2 No2 BASHOSH (Nap)
Trainer: Roger Varian – Jockey: Jack Mitchell
Few maidens have impressed me as much as BASHOSH on debut at Leicester. The Dubawi colt made a hack out of Thaler, and though the latter let the form down when beaten on Wednesday, I expect the selection to remain unbeaten on the way to better things.
Race 4 No3 MILLTOWN STAR (Each Way)
Trainer: Mick Channon – Jockey: George Bass
MILLTOWN STAR’s appearances are few and far between, but this light-framed individual has an engine and could put in a big earning run at fancy odds. He ran well here on second start last season and though flattering to deceive on reappearance at Wolverhampton, found himself on the wrong part of the track in the closing stages.
Race 6 No4 EVALUATION
Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute – Jockey: Richard Kingscote
EVALUATION attracted market support on handicap debut at Salisbury, but was ultimately no match for Reverend Hubert. The Dubawi gelding should enjoy this course with its long straight, and open his account.
Race 7 No4 AMY BEACH
Trainer: Mick Channon – Jockey: Charles Bishop
Lop-eared filly AMY BEACH was in front a long time before hanging on by a dwindling head in a Salisbury novice last time. That was just a third career outing for the daughter of New Approach, who could be a filly to follow now embarking down the handicap route.