BUILDMEUPBUTTERCUP (4.10) is sure to prove popular in the Emirates Cesarewitch as Frankie Dettori bids to land the second leg of the autumn double at Newmarket.
Bookmakers are still reeling from a massive plunge on Dettori’s Cambridgeshire winner Lord North a fortnight ago and Willie Mullins wasted no time snapping up Frankie when regular rider Ryan Moore was committed to partner Aidan O’Brien’s Cypress Creek.
Ideally, Buildmeupbuttercup could have done without the rain and stall 21 isn’t helpful, either, but she has an awful lot else in her favour. The 2m 2f trip should be no trouble as she came from a long way back to chase home The Grand Visier over 2m 4f at Royal Ascot in June. She was beaten a neck by Kastada over 1m 4f at Leopardstown attempting to concede 15lb to that useful winner and thumped Run For Mary (very easy winner at Thurles on Thursday) by more than four lengths at the Galway festival. Buildmeupbuttercup won an Ascot bumper on soft ground last February when trained by Mick Channon, so she isn’t entirely ground dependent.
Strong cases can be made for many of her rivals and at big odds Darksideoftarnside could outrun his price for Ian Williams (also saddles better fancied Time To Study). Darksideoftarnside isn’t well positioned in stall 25 but went down by a head to Landa Beach on soft at Ascot only eight days ago, so comes here at the top of his game. Gabriele Malune takes off 3lb. At shorter odds, Ranch Hand is an improving three-year-old for Andrew Balding and this soft ground performer should give Oisin Murphy a good spin, especially in light of Trueshan's fine victory yesterday. William Hill are going six places for ew purposes.
ASCENSION (1.45) has looked a stout stayer in scoring at Salisbury and Newcastle and the merit of his latest success received a huge boost at York yesterday when third horse Art Power hosed up by five lengths.
Charlie Appleby and stable jockey William Buick team up with Al Suhail in the Group 3 Dubai Autumn Stakes. Like several in the line-up he has run only on quick ground, most recently when third to Positive in the Solario Stakes at Sandown. MOLATHAM (2.55) is also untested on a yielding surface but impressed with his attitude when edging out both Celtic Art at York and useful Wichita in the Flying Scotsman Stakes at Doncaster’s St Leger meeting. Persia handled it soft when scoring by five lengths at Galway and that could become a factor if the rain arrives in abundance.
ARROWTOWN (5.00) has presumably had the staying handicap at York on the map for some time, having won the race last year after finishing second in 2017. Mick Easterby's mare goes well in the soft and is still well handicapped, with a 5lb apprentice on top. Arrowtown hasn't been in the same sort of form as last season but showed a bit of sparkle before fading at Ayr last month.
AYUTTHAYA (5.35) should go well in a fiercely competitive 1m 2f handicap. Kevin Ryan's four-year-old ploughed through the Haydock mud to beat Qarasu and the runner-up has since chased home smart Air Pilot at Goodwood. Ayutthaya edged out a bang-in-form Francis Xavier at Pontefract last time and will be hard to keep out of the frame. Godolphin's Chelmsford City scorer Dubai Icon remains unexposed, while Ladies First almost caught Eva Maria napping when poaching a lead at Ayr last month.
Jumps enthusiasts will be excited now that the National Hunt season is starting to swing along and the Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle has attracted 18 runners at Chepstow. With several firms offering five places, the each-way bet at decent odds is ZANZA (4.30). The five-year-old, trained by Philip Hobbs and ridden by champion Richard Johnson, was an easy novice hurdle winner (soft) here last November and the first-time hood had the desired effect on his final start at Newbury in March when beating Our Merlin and Nube Negra.