It is highly improbable that today’s Greenham Stakes will herald a colt of the calibre of Frankel, who won the race three years ago on the road to immortality, but it is nonetheless a proper Classic trial contested by several horses prominent in the betting for next month’s 2,000 Guineas.
We should learn much more about the unbeaten trio of Kingman, Lat Hawill and Night Of Thunder, none of whom has been stretched yet, but something now has to give. I suspect it will be Kingman (2.55 Newbury), so impressive when beating Emirates Flyer, a decent yardstick, at Sandown last August, who emerges with his record intact and reputation enhanced.
The Fred Darling Stakes, the fillies’ trial, does not appear to be of the same quality. Dutch Courage (2.20 Newbury) won only a nursery handicap when last seen in action, but has the scope to go on to better things and that may well include winning this.
Her trainer, Richard Fahey, also has decent prospects of winning the Spring Cup, with Gabrial’s Kaka (3.30 Newbury) fancied to turn the tables of those who finished in front of him in the Lincoln a fortnight ago on this less testing surface.
Ayr’s Scottish Grand National is as wide open as ever, with 30 going to post and bookmakers going 10-1 the field. Green Flag, a progressive novice expected to improve for this step up in distance, ticks lots of boxes, while Roalco De Farges looked back in top nick winning at Newbury last time.
But I’m pretty sweet on Yes Tom (3.50 Ayr). Stuart Crawford, who regularly plunders Ayr prizes from his Northern Ireland base, enjoys a similar reputation as Grand National-winning trainer, Richard Newland, for extracting improvement from seemingly exposed chasers and, to judge by a recent impressive victory at Down Royal, the signs are he has worked the oracle with this grey, ridden now for the first time by Paul Carberry.
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