LONDON – Richard Hannon has mopped up juvenile Group races for fun in recent seasons and can land the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Cherry Hinton Stakes with City Image.
The champion trainer last took this Group 2 race in 2010 with precocious Memory, and City Image has shown a likeable attitude in her two starts to date.
She made her debut over 1000m on soft ground at Windsor at the beginning of June and despite a slow start finished strongly to win going away from a stablemate.
Stepped up in class for a Listed race on the July course nearly two weeks ago, the daughter of Elusive City looked far more professional and was always going to win.
This looks a natural progression and with soft ground proving no hindrance on her debut, she should not be perturbed by the conditions. She looks a solid proposition.
At first glance, Golden Lilac looks a worthy favourite for the Etihad Airways Falmouth Stakes but she may be worth taking on back at 1600m.
Having won over 2000m last year and an extended 1800m on her return to action, when beating Cirrus Des Aigles, there is a small chance she could be caught for speed.
There is no doubt she is the classiest horse in the race, but she is priced up accordingly, whereas John Oxx’s charge Alanza appears to have gone under the radar.
She won three on the bounce last season, including a defeat of Chachamaidee at Doncaster, and was supplemented for the Sun Chariot. Held up off a slow pace, she could never get on terms but was only beaten four lengths.
That the Aga Khan left her in training suggests Oxx believes he can get a big win out of her and after a pipe-opener behind Emulous, she was a comfortable winner of a Group 3 race last time out.
The one doubt would be the ground, as Oxx believes she is suited by a decent surface.
Perfect Step looks nicely treated in the Piper-Heidsieck EBF Fillies4 Handicap for Roger Varian.
Winner of a Newmarket maiden, she was then beaten into second by Sovereign Debt at Ascot. Sovereign Debt was in turn only beaten three lengths in the Jersey Stakes.
Andrew Balding’s Halling’s Comet could make a mockery of his opening handicap mark of 82 in the Newmarket Historic Home of Racing Handicap.
Boastful showed she can handle soft ground at Newcastle and as long as she has recovered from those exertions she might take all the beating in the tyregiant.com Summer Stakes at York.
The most competitive race on the card, however, is the Racing Plus £1.20 On Saturday Handicap where Ancient Cross could be the answer. Mick Easterby loves nothing more than winning sprint handicaps on the Knavesmire and this eight-year-old has dropped to a tempting mark.
The Giving Tree can be given another chance in the Shares In Ishi Amy @ chrisbeekracing.com Fillies’ Handicap at Newbury, having never settled at Epsom.
Alan Brown’s Lady Ibrox outran her odds in a decent race at Chester last month and returns for the Tetley’s Bitter Conditions Stakes. She should go one better.
An ability to handle bad ground will be a prerequisite at Chepstow and Balding’s Rocky Reef showed that he has what it takes on his last visit, so stick with him in the Discount Tyres Handicap. – Press Association.