Alan King enjoyed an exceptional Royal Ascot and can keep the bandwagon rolling with another big-race success in the Betfair Northumberland Plate at Newcastle on Saturday.
The Barbury Castle trainer sent out three winners in Berkshire last week and has booked one of his Ascot-winning pilots in Hollie Doyle to team up with Rainbow Dreamer in the feature event on Saturday.
Doyle was also on board for the seven-year-old’s return at Gosforth Park earlier this month, when he ran a very respectable fourth behind Nayef Road in the Group 3 Sagaro Stakes.
The winner went on to prove best of the rest behind the exceptional Stradivarius in the Gold Cup, giving a very solid feel to Rainbow Dreamer’s five-length defeat over the same extended 3200m he faces here.
He was very much up against it at the weights that day, so his effort is all the more meritorious, and the fact he had been cutting a swathe through the all-weather staying ranks previously adds further confidence to the selection for a yard which won this tough handicap last year.
This is theoretically an easier task than Rainbow Dreamer faced last time – and while he has a fair bit of weight to contend with, he could still prove a cut above.
Virgin Snow is bred to be something special as a daughter of Gleneagles out of the fantastic racemare Snow Fairy – and she can start to really come of age in the Betfair Exchange Hoppings Fillies’ Stakes.
She was thereabouts in two outings last year without winning, but soon righted that statistic with a convincing success on her return this term -admittedly only in handicap company.
However, the manner of her victory on stepping up to 10 furlongs was quite taking, and the conditions of this Group 3 give her every chance of gaining that all-important black type.
Judicial found just the now-retired Far Above too sharp on his seasonal bow, and should feel the benefit in the Betfair Backs Racing Welfare Chipchase Stakes.
Racing over 1000m in the Palace House Stakes, Judicial just could not quite match Far Above for toe, but lost little in being beaten 0.75 lengths and should surely appreciate switching back to 1200m now.
Limato returns to the fray at Newmarket and he can defend his crown in the Betway Criterion Stakes.
Now an eight-year-old, Limato is not totally straightforward. But when things fall his way, he can be hard to beat, particularly if conditions are on the quicker side.
Henry Candy’s charge was a game neck winner of this seven-furlong heat last year. He then failed to make his mark in three subsequent runs, but his second to Mustashry at the end of the campaign was no disgrace.
It could be he really needs a run to get going, but he has a little pull in the weights here that he could exploit.
Volkan Star already has an outing under his belt and is one for the short-list in the Betway Fairway Stakes.
He was no match for winner Mishriff over this 10 furlongs earlier in the month, but he should have progressed for the run and was certainly not stopping at the finish.
Born A King is interesting stepping up to 2000m in Redcar’s Lazenby Handicap, while Tabaahy can make a reasonably quick return pay off in the Heed Your Hunch At Betway Handicap at Lingfield.
The Curragh hosts Classic action on Saturday evening – and with Aidan O’Brien fielding nearly half of the field, you would expect the Ballydoyle handler to be featuring in the finish.
Arthur’s Kingdom could prove best of his six contenders after a fair effort to finish second to Pyledriver in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot last week.
He should have taken a step forward for that run and is one who looks likely to improve with time given his pedigree. – Press Association