MAQSAD (4.30) has appeared a much-improved filly this year and is fancied to land the Investec Oaks on the opening day at Epsom.
She destroyed her rivals in the Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket, thumping a decent sort in Shambolic, and it is well worth taking the risk that her stamina lasts out over this exacting 1m 4f distance.
Maqsad made all to score on debut at HQ in April but Jim Crowley exercised much more restraint in the Pretty Polly. I reckon he’ll ride Maqsad for a turn of foot and William Haggas has won this Classic in the past with Dancing Rain.
Favourite Pink Dogwood has something to find on the formbook but she remains unexposed. Aidan O’Brien has plenty to choose from at Ballydoyle and this longer distance is expected to suit.
It is difficult to split John Gosden’s pair Mehdaayih and Anapurna, both impressive winners of their respective trials on soft ground. The former looked very good in the Cheshire Oaks at Chester.
The Coronation Cup sees KEW GARDENS (3.10) and Old Persian renew rivalry. The Godolphin horse had Kew Gardens back in third when edging out Cross Counter in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York last season and this could be quite a spectacle.
O’Brien is convinced St Leger winner Kew Gardens will performed much better on this good ground than at Chester when he was walloped in the mud by Morando. Defoe has to enter calculations at a huge price as he allowed gutsy Communique first run when beaten at Newmarket.
The 1m 2f handicap is a cracking betting heat and SETTING SAIL (3.45) could well bounce back to winning form now dropped in trip. The Godolphin runner faded into fourth behind Sextant at Ascot but had previously recorded victories at Goodwood and Wolverhampton.
Roger Varian’s Mountain Angel beat Aquarium over course and distance in April but a 5lb rise demands a bit more in this company. He still poses a threat along with Newmarket scorer Elector.
At Carlisle, PRINCESS POWER (2.50) should give a good account at a big price in the fillies' handicap. Nigel Tinkler has his string in fine fettle and Princess Power didn't get the clearest of runs when fifth to Archie Watson's Probability at Chester.
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