It's the first day of the Dante meeting at York and Alan has two selections to hopefully get the meeting off to a winning start...
"The Ralph Becket team are currently going very well I expect to see more improvement again today."
The Musidora Stakes is a Group 3 race for three-year-old fillies and has been dominated in recent times by John Gosden and Frankie Dettori, the two have won the last three renewals and the trainer has won five of the last seven. The combination are looking to make it four in a row as they saddle the market favourite Highgarden who made her debut when scoring over a mile at Newbury in October and returned from a 181-day break to finish third at Sandown last month. Just over a length behind Give And Take that day who she re-opposes today.
She will be very popular with the betting public and therefore I think she is worth taking on today, the one I like to beat her is Ceilidhs Dream, she only made the one start as a juvenile when she finished third over a mile at Kempton in November. She is clearly a quick learner and gained plenty for that first run when returning to score on turf debut at Newmarket last month. She looked like this trip would definitely suit her and with the Ralph Beckett team currently going very well I expect to see more improvement again today and that could be enough to see off the Gosden/Detorri hold on this race.
This horse missed the entire 2017 but returned from a 508 day break to win on his debut for Clive Cox at Wolverhampton in February. Now Children's pedigree suggests that the step up in trip here won't be a problem and the Cox yard is currently in excellent form. Prior to joining the Cox team he was with Iain Jardine where his two-year-old form has worked out well suggesting his mark of 91 may still be favourable. On his last start for the Jardine yard he was an easy winner of a maiden at Hamilton and the horses who chased him home, some distance behind him, were Euro Nightmare (now rated in the mid 90's) and Sofia's Rock who is entered in the Class 2 Whixley Handicap on Friday and has winning form off 96.
He has clearly had a problem or two in the past but with his win at Wolverhampton under his belt, hopefully that is all in his past and he will strip fitter for that run. He clearly has the potential to pick up from that race and go on, if he does he might take some stopping under Paul Mulrennan and at 5/1 I wouldn't put anyone off backing him each way with the flat eight going to post at the time of writing and it's hard to see him out the frame. However, for the purposes of this column he will be staked win only.
2018 Overall (prior to this week): +10.75 pts
This week so far...
Staked: 10 pts
Returned: 8.75 pts
2017 P&L +53.30pts
2016 P&L +15.23pts