CERTIFY represents the Godolphin operation that has won this contest for the last three years running and Mickael Barzalona’s mount looks to have solid credentials. The daughter of Elusive Quality was the Godolphin second string on debut but ran out a most commanding winner over Pearl Sea, who was a three-length victor at Glorious Goodwood last week, and her more fancied stablemate Shruq. She posted a quicker time than the Group Two earlier on the card and should make a bold bid over this extra furlong.
Richard Hannon’s Sky Lantern won a Listed race over at Naas last time out but isn’t guaranteed on pedigree to appreciate the step up in trip. Redressthebalance looked a smart act when quickening clear at Ascot on her last start but that was just a handicap and Ralph Beckett’s charge loved the very quick ground. Forecast conditions and superior opponents than she faced in Berkshire may find her out.
Haydock’s feature race, the Rose of Lancaster Stakes (2.55pm), has been decimated by withdrawals and only five will go to post now for the Group Three prize. My big fancy, Jet Away, was available at around the 9/2 mark earlier in the week and I thought that was a cracking bet. However, small field Group races have a habit of becoming messy, tactical affairs and, while I hope Sir Henry Cecil’s horse wins, he won’t carry any of my money.
One horse that I will be backing is WHITE FROST (3.00pm) at Newmarket. The Charles Hills-trained colt has never finished outside the frame in six runs at racing’s headquarters and rattled off a hat-trick here last year. The son of Verglas hated the soft conditions earlier in the season and that can explain a series of below-par efforts. Back on firm ground at York a fortnight ago, White Frost was just headed by the exciting Dimension and the four-year-old must hold leading claims returned to his favourite track.
John Gosden’s maiden winners have done this column a favour recently and the trainer is set to unleash another beast in ASHDAN (6.45pm) this evening. The Dansili colt is related to a whole host of top-class winners and holds a Derby entry.
You can follow me on Twitter @BillEsdaile for all my views.
ASHDAN 6.45pm Newmarket (Today)
WHITE FROST 3.00pm (Newmarket)
CERTIFY 3.35pm Newmarket (Tomorrow)