Fox poised for winning return
Man On the Spot previews the live Channel 4 action on Saturday from Doncaster, Newbury and Cheltenham.
Fox Norton can score at Cheltenham on Saturday
Keltus grabbed a narrow win at Fakenham when stepped up to 3m but this is a much stiffer course and he's now on a career-high mark. Cogry hasn't raced since fourth in the Midlands Grand National in March but he goes well fresh and was a close-up fourth over a longer trip here just under a year ago.Fear Glic is still improving but this longer trip may empty stamina reserves while this is on the short side for veteran Any Currency. Henryville kept on well at Chepstow two weeks ago and is a pound lower while Silver Man could make the frame again at decent odds. Seefood is well treated on his form in Ireland but Alternatif and Full Shift are hard to catch right. THEATRICAL STAR is 7lb lower than when fifth in this last year. He ran well at Chepstow earlier this month and first-time blinkers could help him get back in the winner's enclosure
Richard Hannon has a trio of entries. Khafoo Shememi looked a smart prospect when scoring over this trip at Newmarket but didn't appear to make the expected progress over an extra furlong at Sandown. Stable companion Tomily was attempting to concede today's rival Comedy School 13lb when beaten around three lengths in a York nursery and must have a fair chance of reversing the form on these terms while Grizzel has been competing at a high level without being disgraced and is no forlorn hope. NUCLEAR POWER looks on the upgrade as his easy victory at Bath was followed by an unlucky run in a Group 3 at Newmarket where he was staying on strongly over the minimum trip. He gets the nod as though Timeless Flight landed a York maiden he only scrambled home in a Kempton nursery over an extra furlong and will need to find more.
Kings Fete is penalised having won Group 3 events before finishing third in the Cumberland Lodge ahead of Western Hymn with Duretto, Sumbal andBlack Night behind. Koora is back for more having won last year's renewal and has been competing in Group 1 events recently. She's preferred to Lady Of Camelot and the Chester Listed winner Mountain Bell back at this level but MEMORIAL DAY (NAP) gets the vote. The latter romped home in a handicap at Pontefract by eight lengths on last month's seasonal debut and may well be up to winning in the grade on that evidence. He's preferred to the other Godolphin runner Frontiersman but Tashar could go well after finishing third in the Arc trial here last month.
County Tipperary-based Denis Hogan won't be well known to UK racegoers though he's had a couple of all-weather winners here. His yard has been in excellent form this summer headed by the exploits of Tithonus, who has won six times in the past year on all kinds of surfaces. His last two runs have been his best to date but he's on easily his highest mark as a consequence. Mirza ended a long losing run, mainly at pattern race level, when landing a tough Leicester handicap and looks certain to go well despite a big weight as does Humidor, who is 4lb better off for two lengths in that latter event.DUTCH MASTERPIECE, a Listed winner at Ascot a year ago, ran easily his best race since on the same track three weeks ago where he would have won but for hanging in the closing stages. If Hector Crouch can hold on to him for a bit longer, he can get back on the winning trail. There are numerous threats including A Momentofmadness, who wasn't too far behind the selection in that latter race and has Josephine Gordon's claim as a bonus. Dungannon won this in 2013 and 2014 but is nowhere near as good these days. York winner Robot Boy and Shipyard look best of the rest.
Lord Ben Stack bids for a hat-trick off an 8lb higher mark having landed a double at Haydock last month. Imperial Aviator was third in the Dubai Duty Free Handicap over track and trip recently but less than a length ahead of What About Carlo and the latter pair both have claims. Storm Rock is upped 5lb for winning a Class 2 contest at Salisbury in soft ground while Not So Sleepy drops down in class but was well beaten in the Wolfreton at Ascot on the only previous occasion he's raced in a handicap. BLAIR HOUSE faces a tougher task having won a Class 3 handicap at Pontefract recently. But this longer trip is expected to suit the unexposed three-year-old so Charlie Appleby's colt gets the vote.
ADRIEN DU PONT faces no easy task giving 8lb to Gibralfaro in this but trainer Paul Nicholls should know where he stands with the latter as his Diego Du Charmil beat Alan King's charge at Chepstow two weeks ago. The selection was beaten by Sceau Royal here last December but Daryl Jacob's mount failed to build on that and is best watched today as he gives the impression he'll be suited by a step up in distance. Both Leoncavallo and Wolf Of Windlesham had decent form last season and can't be ignored, especially the former who has had a recent spin on the Flat, but Ceporine may struggle in this grade.
Argus won this last year and, though not showing much in three runs this term, shouldn't be written off just yet. Three-year-olds have won the last five and look to have the call again. Huge Future completed a double over 1m2f and looked as though this trip will suit when chasing home Saunter at Newmarket.To Be Wild made an eye-catching debut at Newmarket last month and went to Ffos Las for a maiden as an odds-on chance. He duly obliged and, with much more to come, will make a bold bid for a successful handicap debut. UAE PRINCE (NAP), a 670,000gns son of Sea The Stars, started odds-on for his racecourse debut at Leicester but bumped into some useful performers. That was in April and he returned to action over this trip on the same track last month and could hardly have been more impressive. This is much more difficult but he could be a pattern race performer lurking on a handicapper's mark.Wrangler is interesting as he looked decent in 2014 and was having his first start for over two years when getting no sort of run at Windsor earlier this month under Ryan Moore, who gets the ride again.
Boondooma bids to repeat his victory in this 12 months ago off a 5lb higher mark but only ran once after and was pulled up. Dunraven Storm and Owen Na View were behind last year, however, though the latter re-opposes on better terms. Casino Markets has won three of his last four but steps up in grade again here and finished last behind Always On The Run at Kempton in March. Tom George's seven-year-old definitely goes on the short-list and so does Ultragold, who won at Wincanton and Newbury last season and was second in a Listed handicap at Ayr when last seen. Mr Fiftyone finished ahead of Rock The World at Gowran but, along with the other Irish challenger Devils Bride, doesn't look particularly well treated. FOX NORTON (NAP) has his ground and won three times last season. He has his first run outside of novice company but should be capable of further improvement this season whereas the likes of Witness In Court and Savello look fully exposed.
There had been six successful favourites, three of them trained by Aidan O'Brien, before Marcel's shock victory last year. O'Brien has set his stall out to win it again with three entries, though YUCATAN looks comfortably the stable pick. A maiden winner at the Curragh from an odds-on stable companion, he gave supporters of another stablemate Capri a real fright in a Group 2 on the same track and with more to come looks the one to beat. Rivet won the 7f Group 2 Champagne Stakes here last month and though unable make the step up to the highest level in the Dewhurst ran well enough to get into the frame here. Salouen stepped out of novice company to finish runner-up in the Grand Criterium at Chantilly, although he was well beaten at the finish. Sir Dancealot overcame trouble in-running to land a York Listed contest, though that was over 6f.
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