Away from the razzmatazz of Saturday’s Shergar Cup, there is some decent racing on offer at both Newmarket and Haydock.
The feature race at the former is the Sweet Solera Stakes (3.15pm) for two-year-old fillies and the Group Three prize can go the way of the Richard Hannon-trained NATIONS ALEXANDER.
My selection was beaten under a length in the Cherry Hinton at the July meeting and looked that day like the step up to seven furlongs would help.
The daughter of Dark Angel had previously won the Listed Empress Stakes having chased home the talented Fair Eva at Haydock before that.
That form makes her the pick of these fillies and she should be a hard nut to crack.
It is strange to be tipping a horse than hasn’t won for nearly three years, but I have a feeling things are about to change for Mark Usher’s MIRACLE OF MEDINAH in the Silver Salver Stakes (4.25pm).
The five-year-old, winner of a Group Three here at Newmarket as a two-year-old, has somewhat lost his way in recent seasons.
However, his handicap mark has collapsed as a result meaning he lines-up tomorrow off an all-time career low mark of just 92.
He has been relatively strong in the market on both of his last two starts suggesting that connections feel that his turn is not far away.
Last time at Newmarket he was woefully slow into stride meaning that his sixth place finish to last week’s Betfred Mile winner Franklin D can be slightly upgraded.
If he breaks on terms on Saturday, he can go well at hopefully a decent price back down to a more suitable seven furlongs.
The pick of the action up at Haydock is the Rose Of Lancaster Stakes (3.45pm) where Godolphin’s SCOTTISH looks hard to oppose.
Charlie Appleby’s five-year-old won a tad cosier at Newbury than his eventual winning margin suggests and he looks a colt on the upgrade.
John Gosden’s Foundation is the biggest danger on paper and can be forgiven his no-show on bottomless ground in France last time.
He is better judged on his good run in the Dante Stakes at York, but will need to step up again to beat Scottish.
There’s a fiercely competitive 10-furlong handicap half-an-hour later (4.15pm), where I’m prepared to give Sir Michael Stoute’s ABDON a chance to bounce back.
The three-year-old can be forgiven the one bad run behind Hawkbill at Royal Ascot and could be in a different class to these if on a going day.
Stoute has his team firing and a return to the form that saw him get close to Hawkbill at Newmarket in April will make him very hard to beat.
Finally, I rarely put one up for a race on Sunday but look out for the Hugo Palmer-trained STAR ARCHER who may well take his chance in the one-mile maiden (2.40pm).
The penny dropped too late for the son of Champs Elysees at Haydock on his debut last month and he shaped like he already needs a mile.
With conditions in his favour, and a good run under his belt, he will surely break his maiden tag.
Nations Alexander 3.15pm Newmarket (Sat)
Scottish 3.45pm Haydock (Sat)
Abdon 4.15pm Haydock (Sat)
Miracle Of Medinah e/w 4.25pm Newmarket (Sat)
Star Archer 2.40pm Windsor (Sun)