Nathra will have to be ready first up to beat a smart field, including the progressive Mittens, in the Valiant Stakes but I like her chances.
The ground will suit her more than others and she has some serious form to her name. Beaten six lengths in the Guineas, she chased home La Cressonniere in France before a slightly below par effort in the Coronation Stakes here. She won fresh last term and I’m hoping for more of the same this time around.
There's plenty of pace in the mile and a half handicap at Ascot on Friday. You would expect Galapiat to go forward, for all that wasn’t the case last time, and given the way he won at Epsom on his last start in handicap company it could be too soon to write him off back down in grade.
Whether he gets an easy lead remains to be seen, though, given the presence of Noble Gift, King Bolete (whose last two wins have come from the front) and Fidaawy.
A test at the trip will be no bad thing for Red Galileo, who may well be ridden with a little more restraint than last time at Royal Ascot. Eased 1lb after being beaten five and a quarter lengths, his last success came over a mile and six furlongs at Meydan and he subsequently showed he got two miles. David Egan is proving well worth his claim and he has plenty in his favour on his second start back from a break.
There’s a bundle of pace on in the five furlong handicap later on the Ascot card. That said, plenty, bar Copper Knight, could struggle to land a glove on Yalta and he’s very tempting dropping in grade.
I had him lined up for the King George at Goodwood next week but perhaps connections feel he is so well treated that a handicap is the right place to go. Expect them to come forward in one group and I like the draw of Coolfitch here in 11, not too far from Yalta and Copper Knight.
She is a progressive three-year-old who did not help her chances when slowly away at York last time. This is a jump up in class but the way she has continued to improve all season, they have far from got to the bottom of her.
She will get plenty of cover in the middle of the group and I fancy this stiff five to suit her hold up style, as long as the birds haven’t flown.
I cannot resist having a dabble in the big field sprint handicap at York. All the Kevin Ryan runners are on the shortlist but if sticking to one, Kibaar gets the vote.
He is a tricky customer and last time was not a going day. He can sulk, but if he decides he fancies it, back at a track he likes, then he is very well treated.
Kibaar might just appreciate returning to six furlongs too. He's a course and distance winner and hails from a yard going well. Big chance, if he fancies it. Up the Baar!!