KING OF COMEDY (3.35) can keep the John Gosden bandwagon rolling along by scooping the feature Diomed Stakes at Newbury.
He hasn’t always looked the most straight-forward character but took high rank last summer, chasing home Circus Maximus at Royal Ascot before a meritorious fourth to Japan in the Juddmonte International at York, possibly not quite getting home over the extended 1m 2f. Martin Harley takes the mount for the first time and this appears to be King Of Comedy’s optimum trip.
Zaaki is out to repeat last year’s success, when the race was run at its traditional Epsom base. Sir Michael Stoute’s five-year-old is evenly matched with King Of Comedy on their running behind Benbatl at Newmarket last September.
Mark Johnston has Marie’s Diamond out again quickly after he demolished his field with an eye-catching front-running victory at Newmarket eight days ago. Similar forcing tactics are sure to be employed and he comes here super-fit.
MISS CELESTIAL (2.25) makes plenty of each-way appeal for Sir Mark Prescott and Luke Morris in the Listed fillies’ race over seven furlongs. She is entitled to strip a bit sharper on the back of a run at Haydock six days ago when not disgraced in fifth behind very smart Liberty Beach. The extra furlong here should suit.
CABALETTA (3.00) gets the nod over Domino Darling in another Listed fillies’ contest, this time over 1m 2f.
Cabaletta was good enough to repel subsequent winner Frankly Darling on her sole run last year. That came at Yarmouth on heavy, so she has something to prove on this sounder surface. Ryan Moore is a good booking by Roger Varian. Domino Darling also scored in the mud on her sole outing at Doncaster and William Haggas seems happy enough to let her take her chance on this quicker terrain.
The five-furlong Scurry Stakes is the feature at Sandown and SUNDAY SOVEREIGN (2.40) looks capable of blitzing his rivals on his first start for the Varian yard.
He showed blistering speed in Ireland last year, beating Arizona three lengths at the Curragh before fairly rattling off the firm ground at Tipperary to score by seven lengths. Sunday Sovereign was sent off 13-8 favourite for the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot but the softer ground possibly blunted his effort, finishing a disappointing eighth to A’ali.
Charlie Appleby’s Lazuli had a wind operation after losing his unbeaten record at Newmarket last October but returned there last weekend to chase home Smokey Bear over six furlongs. He was quite keen that day so the drop to the minimum trip should be ideal.
SOLID STONE (3.15) heads the market for the mile handicap and the Stoute representative will be difficult to dislodge. The gelding won on debut at Newmarket last April and continued to run well in defeat, most notably when being just outpointed by Bless Me on firm ground at Yarmouth.