LOOKING back at the roll of honour for the Jockey Club Stakes (2.55pm) at Newmarket, the one obvious name missing from the list of successful trainers is Aidan O’Brien.
In fact, not only has the master of Ballydoyle never won the Group Two prize, he has yet to even saddle a runner.
I’m confident he will rectify both those stats tomorrow when SEVENTH HEAVEN takes her chance, with fast conditions ideal for the daughter of Galileo.
She disappointed at Epsom after winning last season’s Lingfield Oaks trial, before going on to land a Group One double, securing both the Irish and Yorkshire Oaks.
The cards didn’t drop in her favour when fifth at Ascot on Champions Day, but she rounded off her season with a close-up fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
She has already been out this campaign, running a gallant second to Jack Hobbs in the Dubai Sheema Classic back in March on ground plenty soft enough.
Back on a firmer surface, and with a run under her belt, she can see off the challenge of Sir Michael Stoute’s Across The Stars at a best-priced 11/8.
Anything Stoute runs in this race has to be respected as he bids for an historic eighth win.
Last season’s King Edward VII Stakes winner will pick up the pieces if Seventh Heaven should fluff her lines, but hopefully that won’t happen.
With plenty of small fields at Newmarket, it is nice to see 16 runners stand their ground for the Palace House Stakes (2.20pm) over a blistering five furlongs.
The race is going to be run at a scorching tempo with the likes of last year’s winner Profitable and recent Bath scorer Muthmir both likely to attract support.
O’Brien’s Washington DC is another likely to show up well, although his profile is a little hit and miss for one so prominent in the betting.
I’m prepared to take a chance on two at bigger prices in a race that looks tailor made for a turn-up.
Firstly, I have to throw a few quid each-way at the speedy ORNATE at 11/1 with 188BET in the hands of Frankie Dettori.
The four-year-old has been gelded since switching from William Haggas to Robert Cowell and was only just collared in the shadows of the post by Brando at this venue last month.
That was over six furlongs, so the drop back to five looks ideal and he looks overpriced at 11/1.
I’m also going to throw a few quid each-way on GRACIOUS JOHN and there is every chance you will get bigger than the 25/1 currently on offer come race time tomorrow.
Trained by David Evans and ridden by John Egan, he has been performing consistently well of late and is another crying out for the drop to five furlongs.
Bits and pieces of his best form tie in pretty closely with the best of these and I don’t think he will be far away.
Finally, SON OF THE STARS looks worth the wait in the lucky last (5.20pm) for Richard Hannon and Sean Levey.
He is unbeaten in two starts on the all-weather and the horse he beat at Chelmsford last time won a valuable prize at Ascot on Wednesday.
A debut handicap mark of 89 could look to be a ludicrous underestimation of his talents in time.
Ornate e/w 2:20pm Newmarket
Gracious John e/w 2:20pm Newmarket
Seventh Heaven 2:55pm Newmarket
Son Of The Stars 5:20pm Newmarket