Ayrad looks ripe to win back-to-back renewals of the Ambant Gala Stakes at Sandown.
Roger Charlton’s inmate justified 5-4 favouritism a year ago when he gamely defeated Spark Plug by three-quarters of a length.
Ayrad made all the running that day and it is not hard to envisage a similar scenario as he attempts to uphold the form with the runner-up.
The 109-rated six-year-old has continually given a good account in Group company.
But he has probably found his level at Listed class, a point nicely illustrated at Royal Ascot when he stayed on with some purpose for fifth in the Wolferton Handicap.
Nothing in that race was finishing with more purpose than Ayrad, but he could never quite reel in the protagonists on what was his seasonal debut.
Andrea Atzeni knows the Dalakhani gelding better than anyone so it is good to see him back at the helm.
Expect this wise jockey to be more forceful on Ayrad, who will surely be much sharper with that Ascot run in safe-keeping.
Plenty of Royal Ascot horses return to the fray in the Listed Dragon Stakes, with narrow preference for Havana Grey.
Karl Burke’s speedball was disappointing in the Norfolk Stakes as he probably expended too much energy by attempting to boss proceedings.
Havana Grey wilted when push came to shove, eventually finishing 10 behind Sioux Nation, but he is a better horse than that and can easily be given another chance.
The most important thing going for him in Esher is the fact he looked so good over course and distance in May.
The son of Havana Gold readily defeated Frozen Angel, who finished fourth in the Norfolk, in the Listed National Stakes, having previously excelled at Ayr.
Even in spite of a penalty, he should once again be very competitive at this grade.
TURF TALK TIPS
BEVERLEY: 6.10 I’m Super Too, 6.40 Eller Brook, 7.10 Dan Troop, 7.40 Hope Against Hope, 8.10 Fisherman’s Blues, 8.40 See Vermont.
CHELMSFORD: 6.00 Watheer, 6.30 Cainhoe Star, 7.00 Good Bond, 7.30 Bunbury, 8.00 Contentment, 8.30 Verity, 9.00 Excellent George.
DONCASTER: 2.00 Mutakatif, 2.30 Obeya, 3.05 Chief Craftsman, 3.35 Classic Seniority (next best), 4.10 Pleasant Surprise, 4.40 Indy, 5.10 Boychick, 5.40 Justice Lady.
HAYDOCK: 5.50 Arithmetic, 6.20 The Nazca Lines, 6.50 Raydiance, 7.20 Lincoln Rocks, 7.50 Azaly, 8.20 Teodoro.
NEWTON ABBOT: 2.10 Horse Force One, 2.40 Bistouri D’Honore, 3.15 Saffron Wells, 3.45 Prince Mahler, 4.20 Patricktom Boru, 4.50 Cillian’s Well, 5.25 Bubbles Arcade.
SANDOWN: 1.50 Tomily, 2.20 Havana Grey (treble), 2.50 Master Of Wine, 3.25 AYRAD (NAP), 4.00 Sinfonietta, 4.30 Opposition, 5.05 Almanack.