Neil Morrice brings us his best bets and tips from York, Salisbury, Perth and Newmarket.
Race 1 No15 COPPER KNIGHT (Each Way)
Trainer: Tim Easterby – Jockey: James Sullivan
Veteran COPPER KNIGHT is often at his best in the Spring, and showed he’s running into form with a frame finish at his favoured Chester last week. From his midfield draw, he looks a sound wager to again get into the money at least.
Race 2 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Fillies’ Stakes (Group 2)
No5 QUEEN POWER (Nap)
Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute – Jockey: Silvestre De Sousa
Although an infrequent winner, QUEEN POWER sets the standard following her narrow defeat at this level at the Newmarket Guineas meeting. Her work has continued at a high standard, and she rates the best bet on a fascinating Day 2 of the meeting.
Race 4 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes (Group 2)
No4 GEAR UP
Trainer: Mark Johnston – Jockey: Ben Curtis
Aidan O’Brien launches a twin assault on this fascinating Derby trial with High Definition putting his unbeaten record on the line backed up by Roman Empire whose role may be to ensure there’s no hanging about. Uncle Bryn is out to restore his Classic claims after having his feathers ruffled in the Blue Riband Trial at Epsom, and the one that could have the locals cheering is GEAR UP. It’s not so much what this Teofilo colt achieved as a juvenile that allures me to him, but more the vibes emanating from Johnston’s Middleham base that he could be very special. He rounded off 2020 with a Group 1 triumph at Saint-Cloud, while his first two wins were gained here. Whatever happens, this looks on paper to be the best dress rehearsal for Epsom we’ve seen.
Race 7 No8 SASHENKA (Each Way)
Trainer: Michael Scudamore – Jockey: Hollie Doyle
After three near-misses SASHENKA can put it all together under Doyle. She was unlucky not to score over hurdles and ran a cracker back on the Flat at Doncaster, and has won or been placed in all but one of her last nine outings.
Race 4 No3 AMY BEACH (Nap)
Trainer: Mick Channon – Jockey: Charles Bishop
The lop-eared AMY BEACH put in an improved effort to chase home the hugely impressive Talbeyah at Chepstow and will surely not run into anything of that calibre here. The track and trip should suit, while her trainer’s horses are in great form and all running to their marks.
Race 6 No12 EVALUATION
Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute – Jockey: Richard Kingscote
Dubawi gelding EVALUATION isn’t an obvious choice for this as he’s yet to trouble the judge. However, he appears to have gone forward since obtaining a mark on Windsor reappearance and should improve now in a handicap.
Race 8 No3 GREEN ZONE (Each Way)
Trainer: Miss L Harrison – Jockey: Tom Midgley
GREEN ZONE reserves his best for this track and appeals as a value bet on a tricky card. He also tends to operate effectively when returning from a break, as he does this afternoon.
Race 3 No9 SUNRISE VALLEY (Nap)
Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute – Jockey: Pat Dobbs
SUNRISE VALLEY was far from being ready, yet exceeded expectations to finish second on her Yarmouth introduction. The daughter of Breeders’ Cup Mile hero Karakontie has come on mentally for that run and should prove a match for Riknnah who also shaped well on debut.
Race 5 No6 MOVIN TIME
Trainer: Roger Varian – Jockey: Jack Mitchell
MOVIN TIME found one to beat him in back-to-back visits to the Newcastle Tapeta track last autumn but could be more effective now switched to turf, based on the pleasing nature of his preparatory work at home.