Turf Talk: Foxtrot Lady out to lead the field a merry dance at York

York contender Chiefofchiefs winning the John Smiths Racing Stakes at York last July. PIC: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire
York contender Chiefofchiefs winning the John Smiths Racing Stakes at York last July. PIC: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire
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Foxtrot Lady can lead the opposition a merry dance in the valuable six-furlong handicap at York on Saturday.

The Andrew Balding-trained filly is on an upward curve and may still be underestimated by the assessor ahead of the Pavers Foundation Catherine Memorial Sprint Handicap.

She looks on a reasonable mark and will be ridden by 5lb claimer Jason Watson, who has struck up a successful relationship with the daughter of Foxwedge.

The apprentice has partnered her to victory in her last two starts at Chester and Carlisle and though this race is sure to be extremely competitive, Foxtrot Lady has experience in a big-field dash.

She was third of 23 to Darkanna in the Redcar Two-Year-Old Trophy in October and is very consistent, having been in the first three in eight races since being well beaten on her racecourse debut.

Golden Apollo, winner of the big sprint handicap 12 months ago, can strike on this card for the second year running by taking the JCB Handicap over seven furlongs.

The Tim Easterby-trained gelding shaped well over the course and distance when fourth to Gilgamesh last month and looked as though he was approaching his peak.

Weekender found the two miles at Sandown last time stretched his stamina to the limit but should find a mile and three-quarters more to his liking in the Sky Bet Grand Cup Stakes.

The John Gosden-trained four-year-old made most of the running in the Henry II Stakes but had nothing left when Magic Circle swept by and ended up finishing third. He had previously won in great style over this trip at Chelmsford and can regain the winning thread in this Listed contest.

Chiefofchiefs stuck on determinedly to score over a mile at Sandown last month and can deliver for a second time in the Randox Health Handicap back at the Esher track.

This race looks tougher on paper but Charlie Fellowes’ charge is an improving performer.

He progressed throughout 2017, winning three times and signing off with a creditable fourth place behind subsequent Group-race winner Addeybb in the Silver Cambridgeshire at Newmarket.

Sound And Silence can bounce back to form in the Randox Health Scurry Stakes.

Winner of the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot last summer and a Group Three at Maisons-Laffitte, the Charlie Appleby-trained sprinter has under-performed so far this term.

The penalty for his Pattern success has been no help, but it is surely just a matter of time before he finds his feet again.

Istanbul Sultan can recoup Wetherby losses when he steps up to a mile and a half for the first time in the City Of London Handicap at Chester.

William Haggas’ three-year-old was sent off a short-priced favourite for a seven-runner handicap but the race was not run to suit and he was collared close home by 22-1 outsider Mr Reckless.

He is better judged on his previous start when he we stayed on well to finish third to Old Persian at Newmarket over a mile and a quarter.

SOBOT’S SELECTIONS

BATH: 1.45 Carvelas, 2.20 General Brook, 2.55 Queen Of Desire, 3.30 Swift And Sure, 4.10 Isomer, 4.45 Aqua Libre, 5.20 Indian Pursuit, 5.55 Spot Lite.

CHESTER: 2.10 Dark Thunder, 2.40 Istanbul Sultan, 3.10 Maureb, 3.45 Midsummer Knight, 4.20 Candelisa, 4.55 Confessional, 5.30 Envoy.

FONTWELL: 5.50 Howlongisafoot, 6.25 Mercian King, 6.55 Lion Rouge, 7.25 Midnight Bliss, 7.55 Mogestic, 8.25 Midnight Gem, 8.55 Chimes Of Dylan.

HEXHAM: 2.15 Roman Numeral, 2.45 Pearl Of The West, 3.20 Jacks Last Hope, 3.55 Sweet Holly, 4.30 Bodega, 5.05 Apache Pilot, 5.40 Back To Balloo.

LEICESTER: 6.10 Chaleur, 6.40 Rita’s Man, 7.10 Firmdecisions, 7.40 Beyond Equal, 8.10 King Crimson, 8.40 Camakasi, 9.10 The Golden Cue.

SANDOWN: 2.05 Sound And Silence, 2.35 Rio Ronaldo, 3.15 Chiefofchiefs (next best), 3.50 Flavius Titus, 4.25 Hasanoanda, 5.00 Mutanaqel, 5.35 Dark Pearl.

YORK: 1.50 Desert Ruler, 2.25 Golden Apollo, 3.00 Weekender (treble), 3.35 FOXTROT LADY (NAP), 4.05 God Willing, 4.40 Rathbone, 5.15 Short Work.