Another weekend and we have yet another Group 1 to look forward to and for many, this will be one of the most exciting races of the season thus far as it sees the return of the wondermare Enable. John Gosden’s star will be looking to make history by winning a third Arc this season and takes her first step towards that in the Coral-Eclipse on Saturday where Magical will giver her a stern test.
There is quality action to look forward to on the undercard at Sandown and Lancashire Oaks looks like a smart contest at Haydock.
This Group 3 event has been won by such names as Battash, Brando and Judicial, with three-year-olds having a particularly good record in the race. Sergei Prokofiev was well fancied in the Kings’ Stand at the Royal meeting and was ultimately well beaten. Aidan O’Brien’s charge was a Group 3 winner last season and I think this is his level but there could be more progressive types in the field.
Garrus has won both starts this season and makes his stable debut for the Charlie Hill’s team having recently left Jeremy Noseda. This represents another step up in class for this improving three-year-old but he looks well up to it.
One of the classier runners in the field is Muthmir who has competed at the top level on numerous occasions and although he’s evidently not as good as he once was, he should prove to be a good barometer.
History Writer was a good winner of a course and distance handicap, off only a six-pounds higher last month. A reproduction of that run would suffice here. The formidable pairing of Sir Michael Stoute and Ryan Moore are represented by the ultra-consistent Qaroun. He’s been placed all on each of his four starts this season and although he’ll run his race I find it hard to see him winning.
We haven’t seen Mojito in over 600 days and he looked very progressive when last in action. William Haggas’ inmate was on the back of a hat-trick going into Ascot and unfortunately got injured during the race. If fully-wound up for his reappearance then a mark of 101 could prove very lenient.
Henry Candy’s Dreamside runs off just one-pound higher than when finishing behind History Writer most recently and another big run looks on the cards.
Of the others, Petrus runs off only two-pounds higher than his last winning mark and could sneak into the places under championship leader Oisin Murphy.
Selection: History Writer
We didn’t see Encapsulation as a two-year-old but she made up for any lost time by taking her maiden on just her second start and then finished runner-up behind the Oaks second Pink Dogwood on her most recent start. She has since joined Andrew Balding from the Noel Meade yard and if reproducing that listed second, she’ll be tough to beat.
Beyond Reason has yet to run this season but represents the red-hot pairing of Charlie Appleby and James Doyle. She was a dual Group 2 winner in France last season and with the race conditions to suit she should run well.
The lightly-raced Muchly looked to be a non-stayer most recently and with the drop back in trip looking sure to suit, she must enter calculations. She has won both starts over a mile so far and with the assistance with Frankie, she’ll go close.
It’s too early to write off Main Edition but she hasn’t progressed since winning the Albany last season and there seems to be more progressive types in here.
We come to the main spectacle and oh what a race looks in store for us. The dual Arc winner Enable makes her eagerly anticipated seasonal debut. John Gosden’s stable star has had a much smoother campaign even though we have yet to see her but all the reports have been positive and it’s hard to look past her.
The biggest opposition will undoubtedly come from the race fit Magical. She was all the rage to win the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot where she came up second best behind Crystal Ocean. I think she could give the favourite a scare but is unlikely to beat Enable.
Of the others, Regal Reality looks like the one to fill the frame having improved for the step up in trip when winning a course and distance Group 3 contest. He can get slightly upset in the preliminaries and a watching brief is advised before getting involved.
Six go to post for this Group 2 contest and a case can be made for most of the runners. John Gosden has won four of the last eight renewals of the race and is doubly represented this time around with Highgarden and Enbihaar. Only a pound separates the pair on ratings but Enbihaar is open to further progress than her stablemate, she was just outstayed by Dramatic Queen who re-opposes most recently but the drop back in trip should see her reverse the form with that rival. Highgarden was a Group 3 winner on her final start last season and ran well on reappearance but could be outclassed here.
Klassique has only finished out of the placings once in eight racecourse appearances and was an impressive winner of a Group 3 on her most recent start at Haydock. She seems to be progressing nicely but has ground to make up with Enbihaar from earlier in the season.
Nyaleti is not to be forgotten about as she is rated to be right there at the finish and has run some very big races. However, this is her first start over this far and may struggle to land a blow.
Old Newton Cup
Mark Johnston has a tremendous record in this race having taken three of the last six renewals. He has two rather unconsidered runners this time around with Aquarium and Charles Kingsley. The latter is a model of consistency but seemed to have no excuses for his latest defeat. Aquarium has already had 11 starts this season winning just one of them and although he ran well in the Duke of Edinburgh at the Royal meeting, a mark of 103 looks tough in this company.
First Eleven has to give weight away to all his rivals if he’s to take this competitive handicap. The form of his latest York win has worked out very well and on form, he’s the one to beat. Al Muffrih has only had five career starts to date and stayed on well to in a first-time hood at Redcar most recently. The extra distance looks like it should suit him and he’s my idea of the winner off just a six-pound higher mark.
Melting Dew has been a bitter disappointment this season but is back down to a workable mark and if recapturing his earlier form, a big run could be expected.
Selection: Al Muffrih