Poet's should find true voice for second time in Celebration Mile


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The Independent Online

Scraps from Frankel's table must suffice for British punters this weekend, albeit something rather closer to a square meal is available to those broadening their horizons overseas.

The comeback at Saratoga of Uncle Mo, the sensational juvenile whose Kentucky Derby challenge was derailed by a rare liver condition, is the highlight of an American programme that will go a long way to determining the strength of the home defence at the Breeders' Cup. And at the Curragh tomorrow the unbeaten Ballydoyle filly Maybe seeks her first Group One success in the Moyglare Stakes, where the opposition is led by La Collina. Maybe beat her at Leopardstown in July, but La Collina has since improved to beat colts, headed by Maybe's stablemate Power in the Phoenix Stakes.

The home fires, however, do little more than smoulder in the rain, with much of the televised schedule siphoned off to More4. Softening conditions prompted Richard Hannon not to declare Strong Suit, the ante-post favourite, for the Betfair Celebration Mile at Goodwood – staged over the same course and distance so recently scorched by Frankel in the Sussex Stakes. Hannon instead relies on Dubawi Gold, the colt who emerged from the toiling pack to chase home the champion in the 2,000 Guineas in the spring. Dubawi Gold then finished a much closer second in the Irish version, but that form has not worked out and, while he has had legitimate excuses since, he may have his work cut out against Poet's Voice (3.20).

Having long hinted at raw class, this colt took until around this time last year to achieve his potential, by dint of learning to settle properly. Connections rather overdid things subsequently, trying to stretch his stamina beyond a mile, but at this trip he ran away with this prize (in easy ground) before narrowly thwarting Rip Van Winkle in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot. He has not been seen since the Dubai World Cup, but had previously shown he can go well fresh when winning his trial after a five-month absence.

The convergence of improving, unexposed fillies in the other Group race on the card would already demand guesswork, quite apart from any deterioration in conditions. As things stand, however, it seems sensible to accept that while Questing could not have been more stylish in her maiden, for now Regal Realm (2.50) has strictly achieved more – and is, moreover, entitled to improve again over this seventh furlong.

Twenty runners hurtling seven furlongs round a bend is a recipe for traffic chaos in the big handicap, but a rails draw gives Casual Glimpse every chance of following up his success at the big meeting here. That was his first start in a handicap, and he has got away with a 4lb rise, but Eton Rifles (3.50) has also kept some good company in his time, is also well berthed and will not mind further rain on his first start for David Elsworth.

At Newmarket, connections of Samitar (2.30) have favoured cash over kudos in choosing a fat sales purse ahead of the Moyglare for their Royal Ascot winner. In hindsight, her debut third behind Regal Realm and Gamilati would probably still qualify her as the one to beat, quite apart from the way she scythed through testing ground in the Albany Stakes.

Monsieur Chevalier also excelled at Royal Ascot, where his Group One second sets the standard in Listed company, but Mac's Power (3.30) has repeatedly threatened to emulate his stablemate Deacon Blues in proving better than a handicapper. Another strong fancy on the televised schedule can be found at Beverley, in Tinkertown (3.05).

Turf Account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Tinkertown (Beverley 3.05)

Encouraging debut for this stable when closing into midfield at Goodwood.

Next Best

Mac's Power (Newmarket 3.30)

Has seemed persecuted by ill fortune in top handicaps and has ample class for this grade.

One To Watch

Diala (William Haggas) made an excellent start to career at Newmarket yesterday, last off the bridle and not given unnecessarily hard race when unable to wear down a rival who had enjoyed first run.