The horses continue to run well and it was nice to saddle a double at Newmarket yesterday so we go into this weekend's action with some good chances and, hopefully, they will all continue our good run of form.
2:55 CONTRAST (London Gold Cup)
He's a smart horse who's still quite unexposed and I'm hoping the step up in trip will bring out the best in him. I thought he ran well at Sandown last time where he did all his best work late on so this distance should be right up his street. My only concern is that he probably doesn't want it too soft, certainly not for his first time at this trip. He's in great form at home though, and if getting some luck, I can see him being right there. Ryan Moore is an obvious plus too!
4:05 DENAAR & ROGUE (Conditions Stakes)
I really like DENAAR and in a funny way he reminds me of Mehmas who did very well for us last season; in fact, he actually won this corresponding race last year for the same connections and this horse is precocious, like him. He's quite sharp and has a lot of talent and he couldn't have done it any easier when winning on his debut at Chelmsford earlier this month. None of the other runners from that race have been out since so we didn't know how strong the form is but I know that our horse is decent and he's certainly improved mentally and physically since Chelmsford so there are plenty of positives.
ROGUE has been working well and is an animal we like but he's bred for further and will improve for this outing. Keep an eye on him in the future.
2:40 LARCHMONT LAD (King Charles II Stakes)
A lovely horse (pictured, left) who was perhaps a little outclassed in the Guineas and may not have been suited by the going there as well. The step back to 7f will suit him much better and I have no worries about the ground as he won his debut on good to soft at Sandown. I've been very happy with him over the last week or so and this looks a very good opportunity for him to regain the winning thread.
3:15 EQTIRAAN (Sprint Trophy)
I fancied his chances at Newmarket last time and while he didn't manage to win, he still ran a great race to finish second but has gone up another 5lbs for the effort which is never ideal and he's got to give weight all round. That said, hopefully, there is still some improvement in him though and he would have to be bang there on his latest run. He's entered in the Commonwealth Cup and it would be nice to think he's up to that sort of level.
3:50 TAJAANUS (Novice Stakes)
She's a lovely filly from the family of Natagora and it would be nice to think this one can be as good as her! I've been pleased with her work and this is a good starting point. She'll definitely come on for it but is a horse we think a fair bit of.
4:25 ELTEZAM & WAR GLORY (Handicap)
I think 7 furlongs is War Glory's optimum trip and he was very unlucky not to win on AWC Finals day at Lingfield when things just didn't go right for him and it was a similar story at Haydock last time. He's quite possibly in the Handicappers grip off his current mark but Holly Doyle's 3lb claim is very valuable in what looks a very trappy race. He is very consistent though and you'll get another good run for your money, that is for sure! We've had lots of problems with Eltezam and he had to miss all of last year but he's gradually coming back to himself and has been given a chance by the handicapper. On his two-year-old form, he would have every chance but my only concern is how much ability he still retains. I'm happy with him though and he arrives here in good heart.
A lovely colt by Maxios who ran with credit on his debut at Ascot and I expect him to improve quite a lot for it. This doesn't look the strongest of races and I can see him in with a massive chance here.
I don't think he stays 10f so we're going back down to a mile here which will suit much better. It looks a decent little race but our horse has been given a pound back by the handicapper and he actually did a very good piece of work on Wednesday. You can never be confident in a contest like this but he's fit, happy and on his homework, he should not be discounted.