John Gosden isn’t one to return his horses to the track quickly unless they are in top condition so it appears highly significant that TWIST ‘N’ SHAKE (York, 2.25) faces the starter just seven days after a Nottingham romp at short odds.
She had previously been narrowly beaten by the classy Maqsad at Newmarket on her return and the winner followed up three weeks later in the Pretty Polly Stakes, leaving the field trailing in her wake and is now best-price 8-1 for the Oaks.
To go down by just a short head after an epic last furlong battle looks very good form indeed and today’s conditions should play to her strengths. A big run here could see her off to Ascot next month for the Group 1 Coronation Stakes (currently 33-1), where she may well bump into Maqsad again.
Twist ‘N’ Shake 2pt win @ 13-8
STRADIVARIUS (York, 3.00) boasts an excellent record fresh and is unbeaten in both starts at this venue so will clearly take some beating given his achievements last summer.
The Gold Cup winner went on to complete a stunning five-timer and land the million pound bonus on offer and a repeat of that level may be good enough here.
If there are any fitness issues with Stradivarius or for those looking for bigger prices, then the match-fit duo Ispolini (fit from a spell in Dubai) and Southern France could be the ones to exploit it. The former stays well and looked to improve for a winter abroad while Southern France wasn’t knocked about on his Navan comeback.
Stradivarius 2pt win @ 4-6
Two-time all-weather winner Habub looks a smart prospect and a translation of his synthetic form to turf could make him very tough to beat off a mark of 93.
However, fellow all-weather ace WALK ON WATER (Newbury, 2.10) could represent slightly better value.
There is every chance we haven’t seen the best of him on the grass yet (just five previous starts) and he has shown great tenacity from the front at Chelmsford on his last two starts. Rob Hornby is 3-4 on the selection and is rewarded with the ride again.
Walk On Water 1pt ew @ 9-1
Walk On Walter is part of your Lucky 15 for Friday.
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