LIMATO (3.15) has found Newmarket a happy hunting ground in the past and is fancied to defy top weight in the Criterian Stakes.
This Group 2 contest over seven furlongs is tailor-made for Henry Candy’s seven-year-old and he can concede 5lb to the likes of Glorious Journey, a fine second at Windsor last month over six furlongs when splitting Dream Of Dreams and The Tin Man. Limato has won back-to-back renewals of the Challenge Stakes over course and distance and is very much a specialist at this trip on decent ground.
In the concluding fillies’ handicap at HQ, the William Haggas-trained four-year-old UMMALNAR (5.35) may spike the good record of three-year-olds in this mile contest. She beat Rawdaa over course and distance last July (good to firm) and may have found the Ripon track riding a bit too soft for her liking when a beaten favourite behind Borodin earlier this month. That was her first run in 274 days, so she should be sharper for that outing.
Tony Bloom should have been doubly represented in the Betfair Exchange Northumberland Plate at Newcastle but last year’s easy winner Withhold was a late withdrawal due to a dirty scope. Bloom could still be in the winners’ circle courtesy of his sole representative STRATUM (3.35).
The Willie Mullins-trained gelding, an easy winner over hurdles last month, is sure to be highly-tuned for this big pot.
Gibbs Hill has been the notable gamble of the race but Roger Varian’s gelding has to overcome a long spell on the sidelines (724 days) and is 11lb higher than when hosing up at Kempton in first-time blinkers. On the plus side, Gibbs Hill has shown good all-weather form, which may account for the mountain of cash headed in his direction.
Proschema is sure to be ridden prominently as well. Tom Dascombe’s four-year-old stays 1m 6f quite strongly and is a resolute galloper, so there are reasons to be optimistic this two-mile test will be within his compass. Making Miracles, so impressive in the Chester Cup, is another likely pace angle so stamina will be at a premium.
INVINCIBLE ARMY (2.25) makes a quick reappearance in the Group 3 Chipchase Stakes over six furlongs. He found Blue Point and co much too good at Royal Ascot last Saturday but had destroyed lesser opponents on his two previous starts. This is his first experience of the Tapeta surface at Newcastle but he beat Corinthia Knight in a Group 3 at Kempton last September. Mr Lupton is a solid performer with a big following, while Above The Rest sprung a surprise in this race 12 months ago but lately has been off the boil.
CARNWENNAN (3.00) wasn't good enough to make the cut for the Northumberland Plate but has every chance of landing the consolation Vase. Charlie Fellowes has had him in great nick and form figures of 1-2-2-1-1 from his last five runs underline his consistency. He is up 4lb for his latest success at Chelmsford City, which is fair, but his hold-up style of racing means he'll need some luck in running.
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