Andrew Balding: Previewing my weekend runners
The Betway ambassador previews his runners from all over the UK on Saturday and Sunday.
Ndaawi (14:15 Epsom) is a lovely horse. He won very well last time, and this is a step up in class, but he’s got plenty of ability.
Star Of Mayo (14:40 Ffos Las) is having his first start and will benefit from the experience but he is capable of going well on his debut.
Sporting Icon (15:15 Ffos Las) won well last time out. The handicapper hasn’t taken any chances. He’s rated to the hilt but he’s in good form and we’ll see how he gets on.
Nobel (16:00 Epsom) is a lovely horse that we had very high hopes for. He’s had an injury that has kept him out, but his fitness levels are good and he’s working to a very high standard at home.
Bay Dream Believer (16:00 Epsom) found the ground too fast for her last time. A slower surface will suit her better and I think she’s got the ability to nick a place here, but her future will lie in handicaps.
City Spirit (16:23 Ffos Las) didn’t handle Epsom last time but shaped like a stayer and should enjoy this test.
Wodeton (16:30 Epsom) has got some good form over shorter trips and this step back up in distance should suit him. He could be competitive on a track he’s won at before.
Orange Martini (13:30 Haydock) improved from her first run to second run and I hope she’s improved again. This looks a strong race on paper, so she’ll have to step up to get involved but she does have valuable experience.
Winnaretta (13:40 Chester) looks to have it all to do against the favourite, but I’m happy to put a line through her last run. If she handles the track, she could have a chance of getting placed.
The Foxes (13:50 Newmarket) runs in the Royal Lodge, where just four runners go. I did think the Godolphin horse was very impressive in the Stonehenge last time and he’ll be very tough to beat. We’ve always thought a lot of our horse, though.
Harrow (14:05 Haydock) ran well on his reappearance over an inadequate 7f. With that run behind him, he can be very competitive.
Melody Of Life (14:15 Chester) ran well at Newcastle last time and should enjoy the track and trip.
Stone Of Destiny (14:40 Haydock) has the ability to win this race, but you never know which version of him is going to turn up. If he starts well and fancies it, he’s the one to beat, but we won’t know until he’s started running if he’s at his best.
Celtic Champion (14:50 Chester) is a lovely horse. They have had some rain up at Chester, but they’re not due anymore. I think he’s well handicapped but 7f might just be at the hilt of what he wants as a trip.
Frequent Flyer (15:20 Curragh) runs in the Goffs Millions at the Curragh. On official ratings, he’s got a mountain to climb, but he’s done nothing wrong on his last two starts and he could nick a place. There is fantastic prize money on offer.
Morando (15:25 Chester) loves Chester and is in great form. He ran well last time and should give another good account of himself.
Star Caliber runs in the same race. He’s a proper galloper and I hope will be suited by this test.
We run three in the Cambridgeshire (15:40 Newmarket), including Bell Rock , who loves Newmarket, and these would look to be his optimum conditions. He’s not getting any younger, but he’s fairly treated. We’ve always though this race is perfect for him and, as this may well be his last ever start, it would be fitting if he could bow out by winning the Cambridgeshire.
Notre Belle Bete will need rain. I’m slightly concerned that these conditions might be too dry for him, but we’ll make a call on the day. If he has his ground, he could give a very good account of himself.
Carolus Magnus (15:40 Newmarket) has also had this as his long-term objective. He’ll love the track, trip and ground, so it wouldn’t be a big surprise if he outran his odds.
Australian Angel (16:00 Chester) has been very consistent and busy all year. She’ll need a little luck, but she always gives her best.
Vermilion (16:15 Newmarket) has run two very solid races so far. She was a little gassy at Leicester last time, so we’re putting the hood on her. She’ll have every chance.
Follow That Star (16:35 Chester) is still a maiden and has shown a good level of form all year. The drop back in trip should suit her.
Oo De Lally (17:25 Newmarket) couldn’t have it soft enough. I’m not sure he’ll get the rain he needs but if he did, he’d have a solid chance.
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