War Artist has what it takes to give trainer James Eustace a deserved day in the spotlight by winning the Darley July Cup at Newmarket.
The current crop of home-trained sprinters look much of a muchness and tend to beat each other each time they race.
However, the selection has put two cracking performances together and gets a narrow vote by virtue of that consistency.
This South African import has quickly made a name for himself on these shores, going agonisingly close when burdened with a steadying penalty at York two starts ago.
Having finished second to Assertive on the Knavesmire, he went to Royal Ascot and had to settle for second again behind Kingsgate Native in the Golden Jubilee.
John Best’s star will be in opposition again but War Artist’s jockey Kerrin McEvoy admitted he was still learning about his partner last time and the Australian pilot expects further improvement.
Given War Artist’s excellent recent performances, he is fancied to bag this top prize if McEvoy can eke out a mere smidgen of that hoped-for progression.
King’s Apostle ran a belter when third in the Wokingham last time and he has every chance of going a couple of places better in the Ladbrokes Bunbury Cup.
Trained by William Haggas, this progressive King’s Best colt has already won over seven furlongs and should be suited by the greater test of stamina after his staying-on effort at Royal Ascot.
Sanvean is an interesting contender in the Weatherbys Superlative Stakes after showing up very well in a hot York maiden on her debut.
It would not surprise to see Mick Channon’s charge run a big race but the Mark Johnston-trained Shaweel is probably the one to beat.
He was no match for Art Connoisseur at Royal Ascot but none of his fellow Coventry hopefuls were either and he showed enough to suggest he is a leading player in an average-looking renewal.
York put on a decent card headlined by the Group Three Cuisine De France Summer Stakes, a six-furlong dash that can go to Spinning Lucy.
There is little to choose between many in a competitive heat but the selection is one of the least exposed in the line-up and could well improve for the switch to sprinting.
Timeteam has shown more than enough to suggest he can get off the mark in Chepstow’s EBF/digibet.co.uk Novice Stakes, while similar comments apply to Triple Cee, who goes for gold in the EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes at Newbury.
Walter Swinburn looks to have found a good opportunity for Carniolan in the Ascot Annual Badgeholders Handicap at the Berkshire track.
This Royal Applause gelding has bumped into some smart horses in maiden company but seems to have been handed a nice mark of 80 from which to begin his handicapping career.
My Aunt Fanny was backed as if defeat was out of the question last time and Andrew Balding’s charge duly delivered in maiden company at Chester.
The Shell Chemicals Handicap presents more of a test on her return to the unique track but course form counts for a lot and her previous performances make her a leading player anyway.