2.35 TORONADO CARNARVON STAKES (LISTED) – 6 FURLONGS 8YDS
AHLAN Emarati was placed in a couple of Group Two events including the Coventry at Royal Ascot in what was his debut season.
He should have strengthened up throughout the winter and he proved last year that he is capable of going well fresh. Silvestre De Sousa takes over in the saddle and the combination look good value in what looks a wide open renewal of this race. He has only had a handful of runs - there should be further improvement to come.
Waady is undefeated in his last three runs, however, this is a significant rise in grade. The manner of his latest win at Sandown was impressive, but he will need to up his game here. The way he won last time out suggested that a return to six furlongs would not pose a problem and if that is the case he looks a live danger.
Paul Hanagan is one from one on the three year old and he should go close. Salt Island has a similar profile to Waady and is working his way up the ratings just as fast. He enjoyed the quicker ground at Newmarket last time and is another that can make the frame
Jungle Cat seems to have lost the plot since finishing placed in the Gimcrack at York last season. He does have ability bit is given a watching brief only. Alan Emarati should have more to offer and he can go onto bigger and better things as the season progresses.
3.45 AL SHAQAB LOCKINGE STAKES (GROUP 1) – 1 MILE
Night Of Thunder was capable of winning the 1000 Guineas on his seasonal reappearance last year - that looked a much better race than this. He has been purchased by Godolphin subsequently, but he remains in the care of Richard Hannon.
The yard have held a vice like grip on this particular race in recent seasons with stars such as Canford Cliffs, Paco Boy, and Olympic Glory all successful. If returning in the same rich vein of form that he showed last season, he is likely to confirm the form with many of these including Integral and stablemate Toormore.
Integral was not done any favours by racing on heavy ground at Ascot when last seen back in October. He was beaten a long way by the likes Night Of Thunder, Toormore, and Tullius. It is envisaged that a return to this better ground will see a better display and he can get in the mix with Ryan Moore in the saddle. Toormore has never been too far behind his stablemate and he too looks destined to put up a decent display here. Richard Hughes knows the four year old inside out and they too can make the frame. Breton Rock and Here Comes When would need the heavens to open in order to be considered, whilst the likes of Captain Cat, Custom Cut, Tullius and Trade Storm may prove vulnerable to younger and faster improving types.
Night Of Thunder has made the frame in six out of his seven career starts to date and there should be even more to come from him this year. James Doyle rides and they should be capable of going very close here.
4.55 PLANTEUR HANDICAP – 1 MILE
GM Hopkins looked a most progressive sort when winning three races on the bounce last season. Having landed a stakes race at Nottingham, he then rattled up a couple of handicap successes at Sandown and Newmarket.
His seasonal reappearance at Doncaster was a fair enough effort and he can be expected to improve upon his mid divisional placing. That run will have cleared away any cobwebs and he is sure to come on for that run. Frankie Dettori and John Gosden have teamed up to great effect already this season and the four year old has to rank highly on any shortlist.
Extremity boasts a similar profile to the selection and likewise has climbed his way up the handicap. Hugo Palmer has done well with the four year old, who has already acquired a liking for this course. He seems to be versatile regarding ground conditions and is unlikely to be found wanting for assistance with James Doyle in the plate.
Extremity has already beaten the likes of Munasser and Ogbourne Downs in the past and he could prove a potent force now that he should be at peak fitness. Spark Plug defied market expectations when runner-up an impressive Ayaar over this course and distance last month. He represents a yard that is bang in form at present and he too cannot be underestimated.
John Gosden is likely to have bigger things on the agenda for this talented son of Dubawi and he should go well.
Newbury 2.35 Ahlan Emarati (each way)
Newbury 3.45 Night of Thunder
Newbury 4.55 GM Hopkins