Owner Sheikh Hamdan al Makhtoum can make it another Saturday for the family to remember following his father’s first win in the Derby last weekend with Masar.
Hamdan’s blue and white colours could well be in the winner’s enclosure in both halves of the country with MUTHMIR at Haydock and YAFTA at Newmarket.
The William Haggas trained MUTHMIR has won three Group 2 races and a drop in class may see him take the Listed Achilles Stakes, although I also like the improving JUDICIAL for Julie Camacho who should have his perfect conditions.
Down at HQ Hamden has both YAFTA and TAJANNUS entered for the 7f handicap.
The former has a Royal Ascot entry in a couple of weeks and is likely to take his place tomorrow (Saturday) but switch to TAJANNUS if trainer Richard Hannon – who has both horses under his care – decides to take this course.
And in the John Of Gaunt Stakes at Haydock Hannon will also saddle TABARRAK for the Sheikh, although this should be a tight affair with Carrigill’s nap SO BELOVED firmly in the mix for David O’Meara.
Over the border at Musselburgh sprint king Paul Midgley has six entered in the £100,000 Scottish Sprint Cup Handicap, and it’s easy to make a case for a few of his seasoned campaigners including LINE OF REASON.
The veteran sprinter has always bloomed in June and he gets to run off a mark 7lb lower than when winning this race last year. Confidence will increase only if he’s drawn high.
Midgley won the Epsom Dash last Saturday with TANASOQ who enjoyed a charmed and trouble-free passage, which was not the case for another of his charges TARBOOOSH – who caught the eye in that race by making up a lot of ground late on after reportedly clipping heels with the horse in front soon after leaving the stalls.
His day will come, and it could happen at Nottingham on Sunday at 4.05 in the 5f handicap where Cam Hardie will do the steering.
Another to note earlier in the card is NAPANOOK in the 1.50.
Trainer Brian Meehan’s two-year-olds always show improvement on their second runs and keep an eye out for where he shows up as he is also entered at Newmarket on Saturday.
The two Saturday’s before Royal Ascot tend to be somewhat low key and, in the John Sunley, Memorial Handicap at Newmarket at 3.40 SHRAAOH can come on for his last run.
He’s now with Harry Fry after starting life with Sir Michael Stoute and ran well over course and distance in May after a 10-month lay-off.
Middleham trainer Jedd O’ Keefe has his string in fine fettle and can also score at Haydock on Saturday with ARMED RESPONSE (5.45) and run the rule over Richard Hannon’s K CLUB in Beverley’s 3.15.
She quickened smartly to score at Bath last month after being hampered at the start last month, and if she can handle the undulations, looks too good for the rest.