THERE is just over a week to go until the end of the flat season and Henry Cecil can end a memorable campaign by landing the Zetland Stakes with the highly promising PICTURE EDITOR.
The immaculately bred son of Dansili landed a red hot Doncaster maiden on his debut and has since won a heavy ground three runner conditions race at Leicester by an astonishing 30 lengths. Admittedly, he meets far better opposition tomorrow, but it would be a major shock if he didn’t win this on his way to a possible crack at next season’s Investec Derby. He is currently a best-priced 12/1 with Paddy Power for that race behind stablemate Frankel, but those odds will shorten dramatically if he puts up an impressive display.
Godolphin are set to saddle three of the eight runners in the Ben Marshall Stakes, the feature race of the day, run at 2.35pm. In fact, the trio look likely to occupy the first three places in the betting with ALEXANDROS, Secrecy and Kingsfort all holding solid chances on paper.
It may be a surprise to many that Frankie Dettori has chosen to ride Alexandros, as the ultra consistent Secrecy looks to be in better heart at present. However, our selection has an unbelievable record at this level and is forgiven his disappointing run over course and distance last time. His form figures in races run at Group 3 level or worse coming into that run read 211142231311112 and connections have decided to apply a first time visor tomorrow.
Only three of the 12 fillies declared to run in the following race have run more than twice which makes finding the winner of the Montrose Stakes extremely difficult. All the top yards are represented and the market should prove the best guide. However, I was extremely taken by the way that Clive Brittain’s NABAH ran on in the closing stages to finish fourth in the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes last time. She was having only her second racecourse run that day and looks sure to relish the step up to a mile as a daughter of Motivator.
Timepeace took the Montrose Stakes 12 months ago and then went on to disappoint in the Oaks at Epsom. That said, she did bounce back with a win at Royal Ascot and looks likely to be sent off favourite for the penultimate race on the card. However, I’m not sure she’ll get the strong pace she needs and would far rather be a layer on Betdaq than a backer. Frankie Dettori can cap a good day by landing the spoils aboard international raider KIRKLEES, who will strip fitter than when a beaten favourite at York last time.
Finally, the jumps season roars back into action tomorrow with the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby. The final runners won’t be known until the declaration stage today, but I’m looking out for Irish raider CHINA ROCK if he stands his ground. Unlike many of the home contingent, he arrives match fit having scored at Punchestown a fortnight ago.
ALEXANDROS 2.35pm Newmarket (tomorrow)
NABAH e/w 3.10pm Newmarket (tomorrow)
CHINA ROCK 3.25pm Wetherby (tomorrow)
PICTURE EDITOR 3.45pm Newmarket (tomorrow)
KIRKLEES 4.20pm Newmarket (tomorrow)