2.00 Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (1m)
Deauville is a full-brother to The Corsican, and must be fancied on the basis of his defeat of Sanus Per Aquam in the Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown, and the runner-up landed the Somerville Tattersall Stakes here on the opening day of the meeting. That win came over 7f, but run style and pedigree both point to 1m being an even better fit, and he’s expected to have too much class for the similarly unbeaten Foundation. The latter needs to prove he can handle this track having raced only at Haydock to date, and he does display quite a pronounced action which makes you wonder whether the forecast quick ground, or indeed the downhill run into the dip, will inconvenience him. The others all appear to have a bit to prove, although Newcastle winner Beast Mode isn’t one to underestimate, and merits his place in a race of this nature.
Alternative: Beast Mode (e/w)
2.35 Connolly’s Red Mills Cheveley Park Stakes (6f)
Illuminate just shaded Besharah in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket in July, and may well do better, but the runner-up has definitely improved in winning both the Princess Margaret and Lowther Stakes since. William Haggas’s tough filly deserves to be considered the pick of the crop as a result, while Lumiere, who was runner-up at York is the only other one who can be considered seriously. It could well be that the trio fill the frame, and there are arguments in favour of all three, but Besharah has least to prove and can gain a first win at the highest level.
3.10 Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes (6f)
Shalaa was unplaced on debut, but has improved in leaps and bounds since, winning the July Stakes here, followed by the Richmond at Goodwood, and he looked out of the top drawer when landing the prestigious Prix Morny on his most recent start. The Morny has an excellent record of throwing up the winner of this contest, with no less than four horses doing the double in the last decade, and Frankie Dettori’s mount should have no trouble at all in making it five.
Ajaya posted a very smart time in winning the Gimcrack at York, having been second in the Prix Robert Papin, and he looks to have improved past Coventry Stakes winner Buratino, who may be paying the price for a very busy spring campaign. It’s doubtful whether he can get to grips with Shalaa, but appeals as the likeliest option for forecasts.
Alternative: Ajaya (forecast)
3.50 Betfred Cambridgeshire (1m1f)
Low draws have tended to have the best of things in handicaps over C&D in recent times, and the pair who make the most appeal on the far side, at least at the prices, are Fire Fighting and Brendan Brackan. The former is a class act, as he showed when third, conceding lumps of weight all round at Goodwood in July. On that occasion he was just behind Elhaame, who has won both starts since, and a repeat of that form would put him right in the picture. He wasn’t at his best in a muddling affair at Ayr last weekend, but will be better off back in a big-field handicap, and is eminently capable of making the frame at 40/1. Brendan Brackan is similar in that he has winning form at pattern level, and was successful from his current mark at Galway (1m½f) as a 4-y-o. He ran on well when fifth in the Irish Equivalent of this race late last month, and ought to find the extra furlong here helping him. Also a 40/1 shot generally, he’s got a much better chance than such a price implies.
Selection: Brendan Brackan (e/w)
Alternative: Fire Fighting (e/w)
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.