Sir Michael to claim Bragging rights in the Middleton

SIR MICHAEL Stoute's filly BRAGGING is one that I have been watching for some time now, and I suspect she will be too good for her rivals in York's Group Two Middleton Stakes (2.40pm).

With no sign of rain and her main market rival Ribbons’ trainer James Fanshawe yet to hit top gear, she should have too much class for the others as she continues on a steep upward curve.

Along with mudlark Madame Chiang, Ribbons is lumbered with 3lb more than her rivals today and doesn’t have a seasonal run under her belt.

Admittedly, Ribbons has shown us before that she can go well fresh, having recorded victories on both her 2012 and 2013 seasonal debuts. But she’ll have to be smart to beat Stoute's horse, who wasn’t fully wound up at Newmarket.

Stoute holds Bragging in very high regard and has drawn comparisons between her and Grade One Breeders' Cup heroine Dank.

She has also already proved that she can perform at York's flat, galloping track, winning impressively in a competitive Class Two Handicap last August.

Of her rivals, the 2013 German and Investec Oaks runner up Secret Gesture represents the in-form Ralph Beckett.

She has a good record fresh, admittedly, but she’s been a little disappointing of late and it remains likely that she will find a couple too good again here.

The final race on the card is the Investec Private Bank Stakes (5.20pm).

I like STEVE ROGERS, who has notched a quick fire hat-trick for trainer Roger Varian. The progressive four-year-old goes up in trip again with the extra two furlongs expected to bring about further improvement.

The son of Montjeu encounters the same quick ground that he handles so well, most recently at Nottingham, and can defy the handicapper again to make it four on the bounce.

Sir Mark Prescott’s proven stayer Moscato looks the chief threat after his decent comeback win at Ascot last week.

■ Pointers…
BRAGGING 2.40pm York
STEVE ROGERS 5.20pm York