Back to the Newmarket July course now and it makes sense to start with Mark Johnston’s Bathos (16/1), the only course and distance winner in the field and is down to be ridden by the excellent Joe Fanning. Only a three-year-old who have a one from five record in this race to date, the son of Pot’s Voice has won five of his fifteen starts for owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, all of them from 7.5 furlongs to nine furlongs, allowing us to easily forgive him his last two runs over a mile and a quarter which seems a trip too far. Sadly, the handicapper hasn’t put him down at all after his seventh of thirteen last time and must think the same way we do so he will need a career best effort, but that ids very much on the cards off a sensible racing weight.
James McDonald is making quite a name for himself in double quick time since arriving from Australia to ride for Godolphin while William Buick serves his ban. A New Zealander by birth, anyone in racing knew just how good he was and he will be on board Franklin D (9/2) here for Newmarket trainer Michael Bell. His second to Mutamakkin last time out at Sandown over a mile saw him put up an added three pounds but at least he has won over this ten furlong and although an unlikely winner, we doubt he will be disgraced.
Looking for an each way alternative and John Butler has snapped up the in demand Adam Kirby to ride Stomachion (40/1) who is returning after a 444 day lay off. Lightly raced of a six-year-old with just the thirteen starts for four wins a second and a third, he peaked off a rating of 99 after a Doncaster win over a mile and three quarters, but what he is dong over this trip when they will be way too fast for him is questionable and it will be the training performance of the century if he can win here this afternoon.
Football fans will be cheering or booing Grand Inquisitor (4/1) here as he is part owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, but ether way Sir Michael Stoute’s colt has a decent chance of success. A four-year-old son of the great Dansili, he won two of his first three races at Nottingham and Sandown but none of the next six races though there were certainly signs of a return to form last time out at Windsor when a neck second to Kingston Kurrajong who was receiving eighteen pounds on the day. That was a blanket finish with the third a head behind but the useful Birdman was two lengths further back and as he remains on the same rating today he must have a decent each way chance with Ted Durcan in the saddle.
To end our early racing preview for this race, David O’Meara will know where he stands via Birdman and has Firmament (8/1) engaged here for his third race of the 2016 season. A win at Newcastle on his return to action was when the stable were a little out of sorts, and he ran an even better race last time out at Chelmsford when a neck runner up to Strong Steps after being crowded at the start, though he has been put up another two pounds for that and won’t find life quite as easy today even if the stable are in much better heart of late.