THE ground will be a major factor on York's opening day and I'm hoping there is enough juice underfoot for SPARKLE ROLL (3.35) to strut her stuff in the Musidora Stakes.
This is a major Oaks trial but John Gosden feels Sparkle Roll's confirmation is not suited to the Epsom undulations and instead she will be going to Royal Ascot. The filly is undoubtedly at her best on a slightly yielding surface and she got the kid gloves treatment from Oisin Murphy when beating King Power on a slick surface at Sandown last month. She looks very good.
Gosden also saddles Entitle, a half-sister to Enable, but her Lingfield victory falls a good bit short of what is usually required to win a Musidora. A more potent threat is the William Haggas-trained Frankellina, a winner at Yarmouth last October (fourth horse Geizy Teizy won at Windsor on Monday). Sand Share is no back-number, either, judged on her third to Fleeting in the Group 2 May Hill Stakes at Doncaster last September.
SPACE BLUES (4.05) has proved a bit disappointing after ending last season on a high by beating Private Secretary and Technician in a hot maiden at Nottingham. He was turned over at 1-3 by Roger Varian's Fifth Position (pair clear) and got a bit bogged down in the soft at Newbury last month when fourth to useful mudlark King Ottokar. Space Blues steps into handicap company and an initial mark of 93 looks fair.
STARCASTER (5.05) ran in-form King's Advice to a neck at Thirsk on his first run for Jedd O'Keeffe since leaving Hughie Morrison and remains attractively treated.
New to horse racing? Check out our horse racing abbreviations guide as well as racebets for a fantastic welcome offer.