With Ayr abandoned there is a big hole in the horse racing today but there is still some pattern races to enjoy at Newbury as well as some two-year-old races well worth keeping an eye on with the back end of the season and next year in mind some tricky handicaps to have a go at if you wish as well at Newmarket. They also go at Catterick this afternoon and Wolverhampton this evening.
The Group Two Mill Reef Stakes is the race of the day at Newbury due off at 2.50. James Garfield was too good for Lansky last time in the G.3 Acomb Stakes won by Wells Farhh Go (second and third respectively) and he was fourth in the G.2 Vintage Stakes won so impressively by Expert Eye at Goodwood. Both those were over seven so he drops back to six in this and I think the George Scott trained colt can take this at a decent looking 4-1. The colt is reported to be in tip-top shape by his trainer "I have been very pleased with James Garfield since his terrific effort in the Acomb, where he was just collared under the shadow of the post. Since then I believe he has strengthened up, and having always thought he wanted better ground, it appears that he will get that tomorrow at Newbury. The drop back to 6f won’t be a problem as he possesses a huge amount of natural speed." the Newmaket handler said on his website Friday. He continued"Whatever happens, James has been a tremendous flag bearer for the yard this year having been third in the Windsor Castle, fourth in the Vintage Stakes, and second in the Acomb. He has not put a foot wrong all season and I don't envisage him doing any different tomorrow. All being well, he will then head to California for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf." Invincible Army has been running well throughout the season and is naturally feared.
In the Group Three Dubai International Airport World Trophy Stakes at 4.00 over the five furlongs the pace looks to be in the higher numbered stalls, Thesme in nine, Take Cover in ten, Abstraction in twelve and Caspian Prince in thirteen. I think they may all just set this up for Muthmir who should be able to slipstream the leaders out of stall six and all being well slide on by in the final furlong to nick it. At 6-1 the seven-year-old is the pick for Triple G.
On Sunday Quiet Reflection is set to warm up for Champions Day at Ascot with a run in the Group Three Renaissance Stakes over six furlongs at Naas due of at 4.00. The dual Group One winning sprinter has only been seen once this term, when down the field in the Temple Stakes at Haydock in May. However, trainer Karl Burke reports last season's Commonwealth Cup and Sprint Cup heroine ready to return to the fray at the weekend ahead of a crack at the Qipco British Champions Sprint on 21st October. Talking earlier this week Karl Burke said "All being well, she heads out there on Sunday. She's in great form, she looks great and she's been working well." She might be worth a punt depending on price as at her best she would be too good for this line-up. Gordon Lord Byron is in the hunt, but he must concede weight to the full field, while Aidan O'Brien has Cougar Mountain, Peace Envoy and Alphabet.
Talking of Mr O’Brien Saxon Warrior heads a three-strong team for the trainer in the fiver-runner G.2 Juddmonte Beresford Stakes at 5.00. The son of multiple Japanese G.1 winner Deep Impact is out of the filly Maybe who of course was unbeaten as a 2YO. He looked a potentially decent colt on his racecourse debut at the Curragh winning his maiden well by just over three lengths it appeared as he liked and is one to watch.