KHAADEM (3.35) is least exposed of the 22 runners going to post for the Qatar Stewards’ Cup and is fancied to turn over some battle-hardened sprinters.
Charlie Hills scooped the pot with another three-year-old, Magical Memory, in 2015 and he pitches Khaadem in at the deep end on his handicap debut following a closing second in a Group 3 contest at Newbury a fortnight ago.
Hamdan Al Maktoum’s colt has won three of his six career starts and is potentially well drawn in stall three on the far side where there should be plenty of early pace. Justanotherbottle showed blistering speed to lead the field last year until collared on the line by Gifted Master and comes out of stall nine.
Raucous would create a slice of history for rising apprentice Cieren Fallon. The big-betting cavalry charge was won twice by dad ‘King Kieren’ aboard Gift Horse (2005) and the popular Hoof It (2011), and Raucous has plenty of course form to recommend him. He won over course and distance last May and his recent fourth in the Wokingham Stakes at Royal ascot, followed by a more recent victory at Yarmouth, suggests trainer Robert Cowell has his gelding in peak form. A 6lb penalty for that latest success is unwelcome.
Roger Varian saddles ante-post favourite Flavius Titus, a dual Newmarket winner this season, but he has little in hand of stablemate Spanish City on their latest meeting at HQ. First-time blinkers are applied to Spanish City and it would be no surprise to see him turn the tables.
KING’S ADVICE (2.25) is enjoying a remarkable season for leading trainer Mark Johnston, racking up seven wins from eight starts, and the son of Frankel will take a deal of beating in the 1m 6f Qatar Summer Cup.
The handicapper has slapped another 4lb on to his official rating for his latest victory at Newmarket but the five-year-old had more than two lengths in hand of re-opposing Desert Skyline (third) and Outbox (sixth).
ENBIHAAR (3.00) had a neck to spare over Dramatic Queen when they clashed in the Lancashire Oaks at Haydock and is 3lb worse off as they renew rivalry in the Lillie Langtry Stakes.
John Gosden’s filly powered home here over 1m 4f in May proving her ability to act on the undulating track, and today’s extra two furlongs should suit.
Last year’s winner Pilaster is back for another crack, while best of the three-year-olds is likely to be Ralph Beckett’s Oaks fourth Manuela De Vega.
David O’Meara fields three runners in the Stewards’ Cup but stable jockey Danny Tudhope heads to Thirsk for a full book of seven rides.
Soft ground is forecast and BURIRAM (4.35) scored at Carlisle on heavy in late May.
His recent third to useful Calculation at Haydock came over 1m 6f and Ralph Beckett’s gelding will appreciate this shorter trip.
At Newmarket, BELLA VITA (2.05) can lift the 1m 4f Listed contest for fillies and mares. She has been a revelation this season, winning all four starts for Eve Johnson Houghton, and a 4lb rise for last month’s Ascot success may not prevent her completing a nap hand.
12:00 Pontefract - Race: 1
12:10 Windsor - Race: 1
12:20 Hexham - Race: 1