TOMORROW’S Sky Bet card at York is a cracker with Frankie Dettori and Kieren Fallon both seeking winners on the Knavesmire.
The big two look the men to follow with fearless Fallon’s Afsare (3.10pm) and Ajmany (4.20pm) the two bets of the day.
Tomorrow’s feature race at York is the ultra-competitive Sky Bet Dash at 3.45pm where the bookies go 10-1 the field.
The Ruth Carr-trained Head Space generally heads the market but you’ll have little head space left if studying this race in depth and Powerful Presence is no more than a suggestion. He has decent course form, looks progressive and the drop down to six furlongs may suit this chap well, but there are a whole host of dangers.
There are also dangers to our two main Fallon hopes but both Afsare and especially Ajmany should take the world of beating. Ajmany is the strongest fancy of the duo as he still holds an entry in the Group Two Gimcrack Stakes at York in late August.
Tomorrow’s maiden is four rungs below that level and as Ajmany has just about the best form in the race anyway, it will be hugely disappointing if he cannot gain a confidence-building success.
The fact that trainer Luca Cumani ran him in a Listed race first time up says it all – the horse is evidently very well regarded – and Fallon is confidently expected to steer him home and go one place better than he did last time.
Another Cumani horse who is very well regarded is Afsare, who is said to have always worked like a very good horse at home.
After seven defeats in succession, he was in danger of becoming a very frustrating individual but he won easily last time and could now follow a sharp upward curve.
Afsare has it to find on the figures being rated only 113 but top-rated Planteur is only rated 4lbs superior and there is likely more to come from late developing Afsare.
The two Cumani ‘A’ horses give Fallon excellent prospects of a double and possibly more than that if Hippy Hippy Shake has won the first (2.05pm).
Both he and Sir Henry Cecil’s Popular are fascinating contenders but my guess is that the first will be one for Frankie with Anjaz (2.05pm).
It seems very unlikely that Dettori will leave the Knavesmire empty-handed and on the book Anjaz – who has won two from two – looks his strongest ride of the day.
He could be anything and much better than a handicapper, though Dettori’s Quick Wit – who is massively down in class – might prove a cut above in the handicap at 2.35pm.
And that might also be the case in the finale as Dutch Masterpiece absolutely hacked up on his debut and could easily make it two from two for Gary Moore and Tom Queally (5.20pm).
A quality card all round with Ascot staging the day’s other big meeting which features the Group Three Princess Margaret Juddmonte Stakes (3.25pm).
The Michael Bell-trained Hoyam will be fancied by many but Richard Hannon’s Maureen sets a tall standard and is preferred under Richard Hughes.
It is also surely significant that Ryan Moore is at Newmarket where Ultrasonic (3.20pm), Duke Of Firenze (4pm) and Campanology (5.05pm) head a strong book of rides.
Moore had a four-timer at Lingfield on Thursday and you wouldn’t bet against it happening again at HQ.