The mighty Enable and MAGICAL (Sandown, 3.35) bid to become the first fairer sex winner of this afternoon’s mid-summer feature since the redoubtable Kooyonga in 1992 and past achievements and reputation dictate dual Arc heroine Enable is a warm order to land her eighth Group 1 despite a 245-day absence from the track.
However, although Enable has beaten Magical twice in an 11-race career already, there are reasons for believing Aidan O'Brien’s versatile daughter of Galileo is capable of exploiting any rustiness in her chief adversary’s make-up.
Less than a length separated the duo when they met in the Breeders’ Cup Turf last autumn and, while Enable’s supporters will suggest she might not have been at her best because of her Arc heroics, Magical herself had ploughed through the Ascot mud just a fortnight beforehand to claim Group 1 glory from Coronet.
Today’s 10-furlong trip is likely to suit Magical better than Enable who was beaten on her sole start at this distance whereas her battle-hardened rival has only suffered one loss in four starts over a mile-and-a-quarter, that defeat coming at the hands of the tactically-well ridden Crystal Ocean at Royal Ascot last month.
Magical has already showcased an explosive turn of foot when encountering fast ground which is another slight query for Enable, so the Irish raider looks the percentage call at the morning prices.
Magical 2pt win @ 3-1
SIR RON PRIESTLEY (Haydock, 2.05) failed to make much of an impact on a warm Ascot last time, but he should be more comfortable in these surroundings and is taken to bounce back to the form which saw him run out a cosy winner here on his penultimate start.
Admittedly, the selection faced a relatively straightforward task beating three rivals that day, but the manner of the win was emphatic and he should relish the step up in trip today.
Sir Ron Priestley 2pt win @ 5-2
With this in mind EPAULEMENT (Haydock, 3.15) could be worth chancing at a price to spring a mini surprise at big prices this morning. The selection was just a 4-1 chance to beat Al Muffrih at Redcar (1m2f) last time, but a wide draw scuppered his chance of getting to the front and dominating.
He is better berthed today and has always looked the type to appreciate a step up in trip so could outrun his odds at one of his favoured venues.
Epaulement 1pt ew (use firms offering five places) @ 20-1
In fact, the seven-year-old really knows his way round here with 15 visits producing three victories and six placed efforts. The winning spree saw his rating rise into the low 90s, but after a frustrating spell and a few close misses in warm handicaps, he is now better treated off a mark of 81 and was beaten less than a length in a near £19,000 race at Hamilton on Tuesday. He may well have won but for trouble in running from two out to the furlong pole and once clear, finished like a rocket.
Nicholas T has some very strong track figures and looks to be hitting peak form for Sunday’s task.
Nicholas T 1 pt win
The selection ran well at the venue over Sunday’s trip last time on going slower than ideal but should have perfect fast ground with just a few showers forecast and looks each-way value.
Pudding Chare 1pt ew
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