Charlie Appleby can dominate on a card packed with high-class action at Newmarket on Saturday, where it could be a huge afternoon in general for the royal blue of Godolphin.
A week on from disappointment for the Moulton Paddocks team in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, all eyes will be on Native Trail – with the 2000 Guineas favourite expected to deliver in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes.
The Oasis Dream colt brings a perfect three-from-three record into the juvenile championship, most recently oozing class in the National Stakes at the Curragh.
Once engaging top gear he readily put the odds-on Point Lonsdale away, with Group 1 winner Ebro River in third. Despite the betting speaking in favour of Aidan O’Brien’s runner, it was hardly a surprise, because Appleby had won the race twice before with top-notchers Quorto and Pinatubo.
His debut victory looks rock solid too, having beaten recent Royal Lodge winner Royal Patronage with ease. The further he went at the Curragh, the better he looked, and he will take some stopping once he meets the rising ground at this track.
The opening leg for Appleby comes with Goldspur, who hopefully puts his best foot forward in the Godolphin Flying Start Zetland Stakes.
He is undoubtedly talented, but equally he is also not quite straightforward – judged on his antics at Epsom, which ultimately led to him missing a race that would have given him automatic entry into the Derby.
A touch fractious entering the parade ring before calming down, he then got very upset in the stalls and was withdrawn, which will have been frustrating for all concerned.
In contrast, his debut could not have gone much better, with the Dubawi colt attracting plenty of attention in cantering home by 6.50 lengths over 1600m at Sandown on easy ground.
It looks like staying will be his game, so the 2000m of the Rowley Mile will be perfect and the 33-1 about Epsom will disappear if he again wins in style.
Stablemate Hafit is the choice of William Buick in this race, but Goldspur still gets the nod.
It is the turn of Coroebus, for Appleby and Buick, before Native Trail. The strapping son of Dubawi goes in the Emirates Autumn Stakes, making a reasonably swift return to action after what was a dramatic defeat over course and distance in the Royal Lodge.
A jet-propelled turn of foot looked to have sealed it that day – but Coroebus began to tread water in front, and Royal Patronage rallied to get up and win.
It is easy to say now that Buick might have gone too soon, but so well did he travel and so quickly did he pick up that circumstance dictated he did not have a lot of option. He knows now exactly what he has underneath him.
The Saeed bin Suroor-trained Live Your Dream can strike for Godolphin too in the Together For Racing International Cesarewitch Handicap.
He is fairly lightly raced for a four-year-old, having missed the whole of last year, but looks to have plenty of ability and was in fact ante-post favourite for the Ebor only to miss out on the final field.
There was not a lot wrong with his runner-up finish in the trial for this race, when trying to give lumps of weight to Irish raider Turnpike Trip, and red-hot apprentice Adam Farragher – who rode four winners at Chester last weekend – takes 2.5kg off.
To cap things off for Godolphin, there is every chance the Appleby-trained Barney Roy can do the honours as he returns in the Darley Stakes.
At York, the John Quinn-trained Mr Wagyu should run another good race in the Coral Sprint Trophy Handicap.
The six-year-old is terrific shape at the moment, beaten less than three lengths in the Ayr Gold Cup and not far away in fourth over this course and distance soon afterwards. He obviously remains competitive off his current mark, and the ground ought to be about ideal.
With a prize fund of £100,000 this would be ample reward for his efforts of late, which also include a solid run in the Portland at Doncaster.
Witch Hunter is due some luck and can get his head in front in the Coral Beaten-By-A-Length Free Bet Rockingham Stakes.
Held in high regard by Richard Hannon, he was just collared first time out before enduring a luckless passage in a conditions event at Salisbury. – www.sportinglife.com
TAB is betting on 5 UK race meetings today. Here are the tips:
HEXHAM: Race 1: 14.00 On The Wild Side, Race 2: 14.35 Thunder In Milan, Race 3: 15.10 For Jim, Race 4: 15.45 Mullaghmore Wave, Race 5: 16.20 Sounds Russian, Race 6: 16.55 First Revolution, Race 7: 17.30 Khadaash.
NEWMARKET: Race 1: 14.10 Altraif, Race 2: 14.45 Goldspur, Race 3: 15.20 Coroebus, Race 4: 15.55 NATIVE TRAIL (NAP), Race 5: 16.35 Live Your Dream, Race 6: 17.10 Gellhorn, Race 7: 17.45 Barney Roy.
CHEPSTOW: Race 1: 14.15 Magistrato, Race 2: 14.50 Scarlet Dragon, Race 3: 15.25 Brave Eagle, Race 4: 16.00 Tea Clipper, Race 5: 16.30 Champagne Well, Race 6: 17.05 Paint The Dream, Race 7: 17.40 Champagne Mesdames.
YORK: Race 1: 14.30 Spacer, Race 2: 15.02 Witch Hunter, Race 3: 15.37 Faisal, Race 4: 16.15 Mr Wagyu, Race 5: 16.50 Speranzoso, Race 6: 17.25 Gumball, Race 7: 18.00 Man Of The Night.
CHELMSFORD: Race 1: 17.55 Wiff Waff, Race 2: 18.30 Liangel Hope, Race 3: 19.00 Vanitas, Race 4: 19.30 Catch My Breath, Race 5: 20.00 Great News, Race 6: 20.30 Big Impact, Race 7: 21.00 Ocean Wilde, Race 8: 21.30 Brains.
DOUBLE: Native Trail and Live Your Dream (Newmarket, Races 4 and 5).
For fields, betting and more information go to www.tabonline.co.za