Improving juveniles are never the easiest to second guess as witnessed by not one solitary winning favourite in the last ten years and winners at odds up to 33/1 so punters beware! Trainer Bryan Smart has taken this valuable event twice in the last decade and he has entered the unbeaten Delectation (11/1) here who looks one of the more intriguing options. Sent off a completely unfancied 28/1 shot on her Thirsk debut over this six furlongs, she was covered up until the furlong pole where she hit the front to win going away by a couple of lengths under a fairly vigorous ride, but will have been learning all the time and can only improve for that debut effort. The form of that run looks acceptable with plenty of places since from those in behind, and with her trainer’s record in this race she deserves her place in any race preview.
On official ratings this is all about one horse and that is Ralph Beckett’s Bletchley (5/2), who followed her maiden win at Nottingham with a short head second to Brave Anna in the Group Three Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot. Her one race since saw her beaten three lengths in to sixth at Newmarket in the Group Two Cherry Hinton Stakes where a combination of pulling too hard too early and much quicker ground may well have been her undoing. Given the predicted softer ground she may well be a lot happier here and would arrive with a very good chance this afternoon.
Richard Hannon can never be sensibly ignored in any juveniles’ race and he has finally decided to rely on Stormy Clouds (11/1) who is at least topically named in this weather. She has won three races with a valuable Class Two Yearlong Stakes at York clearly the best of them but that form isn’t really up to this and she will need to improve considerably if she wants to get involved in the finish.
Away from the top form races Sir Michael Stoute has entered Partitia (5/1) here as the daughter of Bated Breath looks to land the hat trick. After an educational debut when only tenth of twelve over this course and distance she took her maiden by a neck back here and went on to take a Conditions Stakes at Chester with the minimum of fuss by a length and three quarters. This is obviously a big step up in class but she does seem to be improving race by race and with her top stable pretty astute and loathe to over face their charges, she could yet keep up her winning run.
Lastly, Simon Crisford is a trainer we really like and he has Shamsaya (12/1) entered here as the Shamardal filly looks for her third win on her sixth start. Last time out she beat Jumping Around by a very easy two and a quarter lengths in a Salisbury nursery, quickening up nicely when asked to win her race by jockey Jim Crowley, and although this is a big step up in class form that Class Three event, she caught the eye and deserves her place in the line up.