There’s no shortage of racing across Britain and Ireland on Wednesday 16 August, with six midweek meetings taking place exclusively on the Flat.
The highlights are a couple of Listed races from Salisbury – including the British EBF 40th Anniversary Upavon Fillies’ Stakes – while further action comes from Beverley and Yarmouth in the afternoon and evening fare is from Gowran Park, Ffos Las and Kempton (AW).
Amongst our midweek fancies is a filly for John & Thady Gosden bidding to make the most of a drop in class for the feature race at Salisbury.
3.35 Yarmouth – Skukuza @ 4/5
Ed Dunlop’s Skukuza looks to be holding the ace hand in this British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes at Yarmouth.
The Blue Point colt was a 66/1 shot on debut last month at Newbury (7f, good) and set out to make all under Neil Callan. They couldn’t repel the odds-on favourite Warm Spell inside the final furlong, but did keep on running in a race full of promise to take a clear second.
Those that have emerged from the beaten cast in that contest have given the form a solid if not quite spectacular appearance and, with normal first-to-second run improvement, this colt is fancied to go one spot better now for a yard in scintillating form with a 33 per cent strike-rate of late (12-36).
4.30 Salisbury – Running Lion @ 9/4
The British EBF 40th Anniversary Upavon Fillies’ Stakes makes for an excellent feature at Salisbury this afternoon and the market is dominated by Running Lion and Caernarfon.
The latter has produced fine efforts in Group 1 defeats in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, the Oaks at Epsom and the Nassau at Glorious Goodwood this season for Jack Channon, though it could be argued her Royal Ascot showing in the Hampton Court – her only run over this trip this summer – was underwhelming.
Running Lion, meanwhile, had won four on the spin when she impressively landed the Listed Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket in May by more than four-lengths.
She surely didn’t give her best in the French Oaks at Chantilly in June on her only start since and has been given a short break by the Gosden team. Back at Listed level, she can shine under Oisin Murphy and justify her inclusion on the Most Napped table via the Betfred Betfinder in doing so.
4.50 Beverley – Berry Edge @ 9/1
Michael Dods’ representative Berry Edge could be overpriced to banish memories of a below-par effort at Ayr five weeks ago when he lines up in the Clearanswer Call Centres Handicap at Beverley this afternoon, more so given this is a Betfred Super Extra Place Race (four places).
Prior to that most recent effort, the Mukhadram gelding had run three races of real promise this season.
He was a close third at Ayr in May on his first start since October and he followed that up with silver medals over the same track and trip before doing the same here over C&D in June, latterly in a pair of first-time blinkers.
He got to the front sooner than desired last time and faded, perhaps less suited now on soft ground than has been the case in the past.
He gets a quicker surface now, which should suit, and is back at the scene of his previous career win, which came from 1lb higher. If willing to forgive that most recent effort, he’d be clutching excellent claims.