The ITV4 cameras are at three venues on Friday and Mark Milligan has taken a look at each of them...
"Mahrajaan started off life when third in a novice contest at Newmarket in June, though has done nothing but improve since, bringing up the hat-trick in fine style with a win at Hamilton last time"
The ITV4 cameras are at three different venues on Friday and it's fair to say there's a bit of something for everyone on the menu. High-class flat racing is the order of the day at Newmarket and York, while over at Chepstow, the National Hunt season proper is about to get underway.
The juvenile fillies take centre stage at flat racing's headquarters, with the Group 1 Bet365 Fillies' Mile the feature event at 15:35, a race that gives us another chance to clap eyes on the hugely exciting Inspiral.
John and Thady Gosden's daughter of Frankel has made a faultless start to her career, making it three wins from three starts in the May Hill at Doncaster last month, once again putting plenty of distance between herself and her rivals in the final furlong.
Wild Beauty was readily held by Inspiral in a listed race at Sandown in July but has progressed since. She was second to Majestic Glory in the Sweet Solera at Newmarket before proving far too good for nine rivals in a Canadian Grade 1 last time.
The waters are deeper here but she is a filly who appears on the upgrade and merits respect from a stable that can do little wrong this year.
Majestic Glory herself was disappointing at this track in the Rockfel last time and needs to prove she can bounce back from that. From another stable that has been in good form all season, it would be no surprise to see her return to form, though much more will be needed if she's to beat Inspiral.
A bigger threat to the favourite may well be another unbeaten filly, Mise En Scene. James Ferguson's Siyouni filly made a winning start in impressive fashion at Haydock and improved a chunk when following up in a Group 3 at Goodwood last time. She looks well worth a shot in this company.
Aidan O'Brien's Concert Hall is bred in the purple and she improved to get back to winning ways when taking a Group 3 at the Curragh last time. That came over seven furlongs and she looks sure to improve for the step up to a mile for the first time, though she'll need to if she's to lower the colours of Inspiral.
Bouquet and Magical Lagoon are other potential improvers but this looks all about Inspiral, who has carried all before her so far. She obviously represents little value at odds-on, so this is a race best watched and savoured, with better punting opportunities elsewhere.
Mahrajaan potentially a cut above rivals
Over at York, thirteen runners go to post for the Casumo Dare To Be Different Handicap at 15:50 and there could well be a potential Group horse lurking amongst them.
Mahrajaan started off life when third in a novice contest at Newmarket in June, though has done nothing but improve since, bringing up the hat-trick in fine style with a win at Hamilton last time.
That effort was all the more meritorious given Mahrajaan was badly hampered a furlong from home but still managed to quicken up smartly late on, winning with plenty in hand. That win had pattern race performer written all over it and a revised mark of 95 still looks workable against some exposed opponents.
If there is a slight question mark of William Haggas' charge it could come in the shape of soft ground on the Knavesmire, something this son of Kitten's Joy has yet to encounter.
However, his dam Lahudood went well with some cut in the ground, most notably when winning the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at a deluged Monmouth Park in 2007.
Of the opposition, Praiano has been runner-up in messy races on his last two starts and shapes as if he has a bigger effort yet in him. However, whether he possesses quite the same physical scope as Mahrajaan is open to question.
Iain Jardine's Ravenscraig Castle is a progressive gelding who won first his two starts in handicaps before an excellent close third in Melrose over this C&D. He found the steady pace all against him when second at Musselburgh last time and remains with potential, particularly in a bigger field and back at a more galloping track.
A jumps contest to whet the appetite
Jumps fans have been largely starved of quality action throughout the summer, but their wait for quality action is almost over, and Chepstow serves up some decent action as the National Hunt season starts to wake from its slumber.
The two-day meeting kicks off with a fascinating renewal of the Grade 2 Unibet Persian War Novices' Hurdle at 14:45, in which Paul Nicholls' Paso Doble heads the market. The Ditcheat trainer has taken this contest numerous times down the years, perhaps most notably with Silviniaco Conti in 2010.
Paso Doble was a fairly useful Flat winner for Jim Bolger and made a very encouraging start to his hurdles career when third in the Grade 2 Adonis in at Kempton in February before landing the odds back there next time.
He merits plenty of respect but there are others with equally compelling profiles in what should prove an informative contest.
Coeur Serein made big strides in handicaps during the spring, travelling with more purpose fitted with cheekpieces when completing hat-trick at Huntingdon in May. He's back in trip here but looks a progressive type.
First Street was turned over as favourite on his first two starts in bumpers but is unbeaten in as many starts over hurdles and looks open to plenty more progression. His most recent win at Warwick came in a fair time, though he'll need to brush up his jumping a little if he's to make his mark in this sort of company.
Camprond, Luttrell Lad and Up For Parol are others with chances in what looks a really good race. I don't have a strong view from a betting perspective, but this is certainly a contest that whets the appetite for the quality jumping action ahead of during the dark days of winter.
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Mark's 2021 P&L