Starman can fulfil his undoubted promise by landing his first Group One in the Darley July Cup at Newmarket on Saturday.
Ed Walker’s stable star has lost just once in his five-race career, when bogged down in desperate ground on Champions Day at Ascot last October.
He resumed winning ways on his reappearance at York at Group 2 level, which confirmed him as one of the best sprinters around.
He was due to be one of the favourites in the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot. But torrential rain late in the week scuppered those plans, and Walker made the tough decision to take him out.
The ground should be in his favour this weekend, with no substantial rain forecast, and Starman can go one better than his sire Dutch Art – who finished second in the race in 2007.
Andrew Balding’s two-year-olds look a good bunch this year – and while Masekela did not manage to win at Royal Ascot, it is too early to be giving up on him.
Having won on his debut at Goodwood, he was another he was paddling in the very bad ground at Ascot on the Saturday in the Chesham Stakes.
While he had won on debut with cut in the ground, it was getting to extreme levels by that stage of the Royal meeting.
He runs in the Bet365 Superlative Stakes, and the fact Balding is persevering at a high level suggests he knows what he has got on his hands.
Hughie Morrison’s Quickthorn is taking a step up in class for York’s John Smith’s Silver Cup Stakes – but he was a very taking winner of a handicap at Ascot and warrants the rise in grade.
Lightly raced, the four-year-old relished the cut in the ground and always looked likely to win the Duke of Edinburgh.
There has been plenty of rain in the north this week, so the ground will not be fast on the Knavesmire, and that might just level the playing field against some classier rivals.
The handicapper has raised Quickthorn 9kg for two wins this season, but his progress shows no signs of stopping.
Joe Tuite has been waiting to run Surrey Pride in the John Smith’s Cup since a course-and-distance win in May and can be rewarded with a win in the prestigious handicap.
The form of that success has worked out a treat – with the second, Roger Charlton’s Makram, finishing runner-up again in the Zetland Gold Cup and winning at Sandown since.
Surrey Pride went up 3kg – which he needed to make the cut here.
The John Smith’s City Walls Stakes can go to Moss Gill for the second successive year.
Ed Bethell has taken over training duties from his father James, and the yard is enjoying a great time of things – including Fearby’s Listed win at Sandown last week.
Moss Gill scraped home in a photo 12 months ago but went on to run a career best when third in the Nunthorpe next time out.
He has not quite matched that level of form since. But his most recent effort, when second to King’s Lynn at Haydock, received a boost with the exploits of that one at Ascot – running well in the King’s Stand and the Wokingham.
With Que Amoro and Winter Power likely to cut each other’s throats again, as they did at Ascot, it should be set up perfectly for Moss Gill.
Spanish Kiss looks the best bet at Ascot, in the Betfred.com Handicap.
William Knight’s improving stayer has bolted up at Newmarket and Goodwood the last twice but needs to win again to stand any chance of getting in the Ebor, which connections have stated is his aim.
Unbeaten on turf, he could still be well ahead of the handicapper.
Tilsit ran a big race last time out in France and can land the feature Betfred Summer Mile Stakes.
Charlie Hills has always thought plenty of the four-year-old – and having run well in Saudi Arabia in February, he pushed the very smart Skalleti to a head in the Prix d’Ispahan.
A repeat of that should suffice, and he arrives fresher than most.
David O’Meara’s Rhoscolyn has progressed at a rapid rate of knots, winning his last three, and can handle the step up to Listed level in the Homeserve Back On Track City Plate Stakes. – www.sportinglife.com
TAB is betting on 5 UK race meetings today. Here are the tips:
NEWMARKET: Race 1: 14.30 Ephrata, Race 2: 15.05 She Do, Race 3: 15.40 Royal Fleet, Race 4: 16.15 Masekela, Race 5: 16.50 Ametist, Race 6: 17.25 STARMAN (NAP), Race 7: 18.00 Parachute.
YORK: Race 1: 14.45 Eagleway, Race 2: 15.20 Quickthorn, Race 3: 15.55 Flint Hill, Race 4: 16.30 Red Power, Race 5: 17.05 Surrey Pride, Race 6: 17.40 Moss Gill, Race 7: 18.15 Raatea.
ASCOT: Race 1: 14.50 Khanjar, Race 2: 15.25 Spanish Kiss, Race 3: 16.00 Tilsit, Race 4: 16.35 Showalong, Race 5: 17.10 Achelois, Race 6: 17.45 Pleasant Man, Race 7: 18.20 Edgewood.
CHESTER: Race 1: 15.15 Jusumi, Race 2: 15.50 Zim Baby, Race 3: 16.25 Rhoscolyn, Race 4: 17.00 Act Of Wisdom, Race 5: 17.35 Firewater, Race 6: 18.10 Sir Benedict, Race 7: 18.40 Cuban Dancer.
HAMILTON: Race 1: 18.50 Doomsday, Race 2: 19.20 Stronsay, Race 3: 19.50 Strike Red, Race 4: 20.20 Golden Hind, Race 5: 20.50 Ayr Empress, Race 6: 21.20 Antagonize, Race 7: 21.50 Walkonby.
ALL TO COME: Surrey Pride (York, Race 5) and Starman (Newmarket, Race 6).
For fields, betting and more information go to www.tabonline.co.za