In the 3.20 at Windsor on Monday, Mister Blue Sky has recorded his best form so far over 6 furlongs but, while he doesn’t appear to be crying out for another step up in distance, the fact that he’s out of a Linamix mare offers cause for encouragement on his first attempt beyond 7 furlongs. Although no match for the progressive Harbour Master at Sandown last month, he didn’t appear to have a problem staying a testing 7 furlongs on that occasion, so 1 mile 67 yards on a fairly sharp track should be well within his compass. If it is, his previous half-length second to subsequent Listed winner Monataire, over 6 furlongs, at Ascot makes excellent reading in the context of this race and he appears versatile ground-wise.
In the 5.30 at Windsor, May Rose was sent off at just 7/2 on her racecourse debut, over 7 furlongs, on the Polytrack at Kempton last December, so had clearly been showing something at home. However, the Lawman filly appears to have improved for the switch from Marco Botti to Charles Hills in July, winning two of her three starts and rising 12lb in the weights as a result. Exactly what she’s achieved in her short career is difficult to quantify, but she’s progressive, unexposed and appears reasonably handicapped stepping back up in class off a 4lb higher mark.
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Selections: Windsor 3.20 Mister Blue Sky, Windsor 5.30 May Rose, 1-point Win Double
In the 4.20 at Catterick on Wednesday, notwithstanding one effort on unsuitably fast ground, Nietzsche has been quite highly tried since winning at Beverley in April, but faces a much more realistic assignment this time. He remains 8lb higher in the weights, but his latest third of nine, beaten 1¾ lengths, behind Robinnielly in a 0-90 contest at Ayr suggested he’s still feasibly weighted and he has his conditions.
In the 2.50 at Catterick, Stoneham has been raised 5lb for winning in convincing style at Musselburgh earlier this month, necessitating a rise in class, but she has looked better than ever in recent starts and may be capable of completing a four-timer. She won over 2 miles 1 furlong on soft going over hurdles at Sedgefield last autumn, so slower underfoot conditions should do her chance no harm.
In the 4.55 at Catterick, Seamster has already run 21 times since the turn of the year, but is holding his form exceptionally well and may yet have more to offer. He takes a slight drop in class and is fully effective on soft ground, so must have a decent chance of recording his second course and distance win of the season.
Selections: Catterick 4.20 Nietzsche, Catterick 2.50 Stoneham, Catterick 4.55 Seamster, 3 x 1-point Win Doubles, 1 x 1-point Win Treble
In the 3.05 at York on Friday, One More Word has been placed on both starts over course and distance this season and, following a luckless run at Goodwood three weeks ago, can resume winning ways. The Thousand Words gelding was only beaten half a length and a neck over course and distance two starts ago and, although another 1lb higher in the weights, his run in the Betfred Mile – in which he was repeatedly denied a clear run until the race was effectively over – demonstrated that he was still in form.
In the 4.55 at York, Show Stealer needs fast ground to produce her very best and, having run creditably in defeat in hot three-year-old handicaps over 6 furlongs at Newmarket the last twice, should appreciate the step up to 7 furlongs. The handicapper may have taken a chance by dropping her 1lb since the second of those efforts and she still looks feasibly weighted. She’s still only had eight starts, so still has plenty of time to make up into the decent Group class performer he trainer believes she is.
Selections: York 3.05 One More Word, York 4.55 Show Stealer, 1-point Win Double