3.40 Newbury, Friday, July 15

NewburyRichard Hannon makes life difficult for punters by saddling two in the Rose Bowl Stakes (3.40) at Newbury on Friday, but Legendary Lunch looks the pick of the pair after finishing sixth of 11, beaten 4 lengths, behind Prince Lir in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot last month. The Dragon Pulse colt carries a 3lb penalty for winning the Woodcote Stakes, over 6 furlongs, at Epsom by a nose, but the Ascot form has worked out well and the way he finished that day suggested a step back up in distance would be in his favour.

He’s yet to tackle ground faster than good so, with the going at Newbury currently good to firm and fine, dry weather forecast for South East England between now and Friday afternoon, his ability to act on a sound surface must be taken on trust. It’s also notable that regular partner Pat Dobbs deserts him in favour of Richard Hannon’s other entry Sterling Silva, who has winning form on good to firm going, albeit at a much lower level. Under the circumstances, a saver on Sterling Silva or, if the odds allow, dutching the Hannon pair, may be in order.

Selection: Newbury 3.40 Legendary Lunch to win

Ward firms up sprinting plans

railway stakes

American trainer Wesley Ward has confirmed his intentions for two of his leading sprinters, with British racegoers set to enjoy a second glimpse of the outstanding filly Lady Aurelia at Newmarket in the autumn.

Lady Aurelia lit up Royal Ascot last month with the manner of her blistering Queen Mary Stakes win.

The daughter of Scat Daddy was making just her second racecourse appearance as she delivered a breathtaking turn of foot to score over five-furlongs underneath Frankie Dettori.

That victory was enough to earn Lady Aurelia early quotes for York’s Nunthorpe Stakes but her trainer suggested she would be unlikely to contest that race against her elders, given that his Acapulco had been turned over by Mecca’s Angel when attempting to do just that last August.

Renowned for his prowess in training prodigious sprinters, Ward has now confirmed that Acapulco will get a second bite at the cherry in the Nunthorpe at York, a race for which he is already prominent in the horse racing betting as he bids to go one better than last year.

While Acapulco heads to the Knavesmire, Lady Aurelia is destined for France before returning to British shores in September for a run at Newmarket.

The Prix Morny at Deauville on 21st August will see the filly stepping up in trip to 6f, with Lady Aurelia then bound for Flat HQ and the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes over the same trip the following month.

There can be no doubt about it: this filly is perhaps the most exciting horse to emerge on the Flat since the great Frankel.

The official rating of 123 that was awarded by the Racing Post for her sublime effort at Royal Ascot is the highest ever awarded to a two-year-old of either sex over five furlongs.

On paper, that was a stunning performance and it is perhaps only eclipsed by how impressive it looked to the naked eye as Lady Aurelia increased the tempo at the 2f pole having set a keen pace in front.

The sense of excitement to see this filly in action again is already palpable as the racing world ponders whether, quite simply, she is as good as she looked at Ascot.

Just before she pitches up in France, however, Acapulco will return to York.

Also out of Scat Daddy, Acapulco was forced to sit out Royal Ascot with the soft ground going against him. Soft ground too may have been at play when he was collared by Mecca’s Angel at York last August.

Ward will be keeping his fingers crossed for clear skies overhead in Yorkshire in the weeks between now and 19th August.

The noises emanating from the camp pre-Ascot suggested that Acapulco is now a stronger and more imposing individual than he was last term, his trainer seemingly convinced the horse has trained on well since his winter break.

Both are now at home in Keeneland, where Ward confirmed them to be in great order ahead of their upcoming missions to Europe.

The trainer stated that ‘the flights are booked’ for both Lady Aurelia and Acapulco and so the countdown is on for these two jet-like speedsters to make their next European appearances.

3.45 Newmarket, Thursday, July 7

newmarket racesThe 3.45 at Newmarket on Thursday is undeniably competitive but, even so, it’s difficult to get away from the chance of Rae Guest’s filly, Show Stealer, who made a successful return to action over 6 furlongs on the Rowley Mile Course at Newmarket in May. The daughter of Showcasing has been raised 7lb for that success, but the form has worked out well and, with the benefit of that run, she should be competitive once again. She reportedly doesn’t take much getting ready, so an absence of 54 days is no great worry and she looks excellent value at around the 9/1 mark in the early price lists to win again. Any rain would be against her, but dry weather is forecast for the East of England between now and Thursday afternoon so, hopefully, she should be in her element.

Selection: Newmarket 3.45 Show Stealer (9/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral) to win

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