2-00 BETFRED MOBILE STRENSALL STAKES (GROUP 3) – 1 MILE 208 YDS
Top Notch Tonto has looked a reformed character on his last two starts and any overnight rain would certainly increase his chances. He has proven himself at this level in the past and he is fully effective at this trip. Silvestre De Sousa has partnered him to victory twice in the past and Brian Ellison has once again utilised his services. Conditions at this track would not have been ideal for them last month, so the ease in the ground should prove ideal and they should go well.
Basem is a versatile sort and has proved a model of consistency this season. Two wins at Sandown earlier in the summer showed how much he has improved and there could well be more to come. He has still only had seven career starts and deserves this rise in grade and he could prove the biggest danger. Mondialiste went into a lot of notebooks when he saw off the likes of Birdman and Short Squeeze with the minimum of fuss at Pontefract last time. That ten length margin of victory came courtesy of being allowed an easy time in front. If allowed an uncontested lead here, he could well prove hard to peg back.
Top Notch Tonto represents a yard that has enjoyed decent success this year. He is one of the most popular horses in training and should enjoy this step back to a mile. This is the time of year that he usually comes to hand so he should be capable of a bold display.
2-35 MELROSE STAKES (HANDICAP) – 1 M 6 F
AI looks a horse to follow for the remainder of the season. He has improved with each run for Luca Cumani and it was hard not to be impressed with the manner of his victory at Newmarket last month. He had seven lengths in hand of his nearest pursuer and he looked as though a further step up in trip could bring out even further progress.
William Haggas has had a profitable week on the Knavesmire and anything that he runs commands a closer look. Wonder Laish has just had the three runs, but he did lose his maiden in convincing fashion when romping home by no fewer than fifteen lengths at Lingfield. He is likely to have been well schooled at home since then and he could provide the sternest of opposition. Outspoken has won two of his three starts to date for Aiden O’Brien and he is still entered in the St Leger at Doncaster next month. He is clearly held in high regard but as a result is burdened with top weight here. It is hard to know what to make of his form thus far but he comes from a stable that have any amount of talent at their disposal and he too warrants respect.
Cam Hardie can still use his three pound claim on AI and as a result the combination are set to receive weight from every rival in opposition on Saturday. There are lots to like about his chances and he commands the utmost respect.
3-45 BETFRED EBOR HANDICAP – 1 M 6 F
Ajman Bridge had absolutely no luck in running when finishing fourth at Goodwood behind Blue Wave. He was travelling well when hampered and was only beaten around have a length in the end. He showed that he stays this trip well enough and with Adam Kirby back on board the combination could be in line for hefty compensation. Five-year-olds have a great record in this particular race and Luca Cumani has won it three times before with the likes of Purple Moon, Mephisto and Vicious Circle.
Clondaw Warrior sneaks into bottom end of the handicap and has Frankie Dettori in the saddle. The trainer and jockey combined to great effect to win the Lonsdale Cup here yesterday and they have to be feared as they go in search of a hat trick of wins. Quick Jack represents another Irish yard that have done well here this week. Tony Martin enjoyed success when Heartbreak City came good on Wednesday and he will be hoping that his consistent six year old can repeat the feat. Conditions look to be in his favour and with stamina assured he will be doing all of his best work late on.
Ajman Bridge could well have gone under the radar for many here but he does seem to need a lot of luck in running. Luca Cumani is likely to have him spot on for Saturday and Adam Kirby knows him inside out and will be keen to keep him out of trouble.