1:15 – Burradon Stakes – an intriguing contest to open the card with several unexposed runners and some of these are bound to be plying their trade in Pattern company before the end of the season. Six of these hold entries in Group 1 races, including all three of the impressive last time out novice winners. Arabian Storm is extremely well bred being out of a Group 1 winning dam and chucked in some extremely quick closing sectionals when cruising home on the bridle here a few weeks ago.
He could be very good, as too could the other lightly-raced, last time out all-weather winners in the field, Obelix and Flight Plan. The former should improve a lot for a winter on his back and represents a top yard. Well bred, he was impressive when winning over course and distance on his most recent start. Although the form of that is weak, it was hard not to be impressed with the way he quickened clear on the bridle.
Flight Plan disappointed when well supported on debut but put that right next time out when cruising to victory at this track – he is clearly held in high regard.
It’s hard to work out which of the trio is going to come out on top, the market will be informative, so an each-way chance is taken on TENJIN, who continues to improve and made the biggest move in a decent race last time out. It’s hard to have him less than a 100 horse on that form and he should improve again, so will set a pretty fair standard, particularly as he should be ridden to maximum advantage.
1:50 – All-Weather 3 Year Old Championships – a tight sprint but few that can be fancied on ratings with most of the field just handicappers. Desert Cop looked fast last time out and represents a very good yard, while Hello Queen could be anything still having carried a penalty to victory last time over a subsequent winner. The safe play is Shouldvebeenaring. He caught the eye here three back and didn’t really have things pan out last time out when upped in distance at Lingfield, where he didn’t seem at all happy on the track. He will be happier back here, but may have to give best to SHAQUILLE. He looked a potential Group class sprinter when beating two good yardsticks under a penalty last time out having travelled strongly and his speed figures are the best in the field.
2:25 – All-Weather Marathon Championships – a tight staying event. Earlofthecotswolds is always dangerous if allowed an easy lead, as he showed last time, but could get some pressure here, which should suit Barenboim who continues to improve and would have claims if he can stretch his stamina out over this far.
However, the confident selection is BERKSHIRE ROCCO. This son of Sir Percy was a good horse back in the day and finished second in a St Leger. He lost his way subsequently, but a gelding operation and a wind op seems to have worked the oracle and he looked good when beating Rainbow Dreamer at Southwell two back. He ran into what is probably a very good horse last time, but made a big move off a slow pace and should find things panning out much more to his liking here.
Crisford’s Improver To Hit The High Note
3:00 – All-Weather Easter Classic Middle Distance Championships – a small and underwhelming field for the feature and most of these exposed runners make little appeal at the prices. A tentative chance is taken on BASE NOTE dropping back in trip. A horse with plenty of speed, he was visually very impressive when scoring at Lingfield three back and bounced back to form last time having disappointed on his penultimate start. He travelled best there, made the best move, but got no run at key stages and finished with running left. Having only beaten one home, his form figures conceal what was actually a solid run and he might go well at big odds.
3:35 – All-Weather Mile Championships Conditions Stakes – several last time out winner are in opposition here, but the confident vote goes to BERKSHIRE SHADOW. Andrew Balding’s charge was gelded prior to a successful return to action at Wolverhampton last time out, where he was gambled on and won with plenty of authority. 5th in the Guineas last year, this classy sort looks a level about these opponents and should land the odds.
4:10 – All-Weather Fillies’ And Mares’ Championships Conditions Stakes – this looks between the three 100+ rated horses in the line-up. Hodd’s Girl shaped pretty well last time out off a slow pace, while Manaafith looks a worthy favourite having improved all winter, but the selection is QUEEN AMINATU. Willie Haggas’s filly has improved significantly since winning a handicap off an opening mark of 75 and very much appeals as the type to be better again with another winter on her back. She has been very impressive in landing two Listed races on synthetic surfaces, the most recent of which came under a penalty when showing a blistering turn of foot. She is confidently expected to make up into at least a Group 2 performer this season and can land his on the way to better things.
4:45 – All-Weather Sprint Championships Conditions Stakes – a trappy sprint to end the card. Annaf has looked the best sprinter on the all-weather this winter but will be priced accordingly, while Diligent Harry would have a chance on his win here off 106 two starts back. Harry’s Bar is right there on form but had disappointed several times at this track, so a chance is taken on MUM’S TIPPLE. He is unbeaten on two starts on tapeta and gives the impression that he will excel on this stiff, straight six furlongs. He was a comfortable winner of a handicap off 102 last time out and doesn’t have much to find with the best of these.