Legends Of War can rule roost
Exciting prospect Legends Of War, which represents the Roaring Lion connections of Qatar Racing, John Gosden and Oisín Murphy, can provide the highlight on the first day of Newmarket's July meeting by winning a competitive Arqana July Stakes (2.25).
From the last crop of Scat Daddy, Legends Of War, a 900,000gns purchase, looked destined for the top when an easy winner first time out at Yarmouth. A minor problem kept him out of the Coventry Stakes at Ascot and it does mean that he is the least-experienced colt in today's field.
The standard is set by Advertise, which was beaten a length by Calyx, also trained by Gosden, in the Coventry. He was also entered in Saturday's Superlative Stakes and it was clearly a toss-up whether to go six or seven furlongs with the Phoenix Thoroughbred-owned colt.
If there is to be an upset it could be provided by the Alan King-trained Dunkerron, which has done nothing wrong winning his past two starts, including with a 6lb penalty at York.
A three-year-old has not won the Princess of Wales's Racing Club Stakes (3.35) since 2006, but not many have tried and I fancy Gosden's Raa Atoll can buck that trend. Godolphin's Loxley has done little wrong and appeals as the winner of the Bahrain Trophy (1.50).
Silvestre de Sousa's appeal against a seven-day riding ban for failing to ride to obtain the best possible placing on Massam at Chelmsford City last Friday will be heard today. If confirmed, a ban at such a busy time of the year is likely to impact upon his jockeys' title defence.
While we await news on the injury which kept Masar, the Derby winner, out of the Eclipse, in California the US Triple Crown winner Justify's racing career is effectively on hold while vets evaluate swelling on his near-fore fetlock.
"Justify had some filling in his left front ankle a week ago, which subsided," explained trainer Bob Baffert.
"I trained him last week and the swelling came back. We want to get him checked out."