Timeform Daily: Friday, Newbury 16:50

John Gosden's Skilful holds strong claims

An intriguing listed race at Newbury comes under the focus of Timeform...

Skilful is still unexposed for one his age and is fancied to go well under what could turn out to be his optimum trip...

Edinburgh Knight split Libranno and Majestic Myles in the Criterion in June and good effort in big-field Ascot handicap next time. No show in Group 2s last 2 runs but this more his level.

Producer is a 7f specialist who goes well on downhill tracks, his 5 career wins coming at Epsom (4) and Goodwood (Group 3) most recently. More required under a penalty here but respected all the same.

Scarf is a multiple winner in Australia and put up a smart performance when readily landing C&D minor event (soft) in July. That level of form puts him bang there but ran poorly on fast ground next time.

Skilful was most impressive when routing opposition off mark of 93 at Haydock 12 months ago. Lightly raced since but ran best race yet when second in listed race at Windsor last time, and worth another try at 7f

Right To Dream showed big improvement when winning 5-runner minor event at Warwick on return from a 5-month break (had been gelded). Found out at this level next time, though, and similar scenario likely.

Saigon won a maiden and listed race at 2 yrs, and ran well when seventh in St James's Palace Stakes. Some creditable efforts since then but probably more at home over 1m.

Silverheels was a maiden winner at 2 yrs and plenty of good efforts in defeat as year progressed. Hard to place this term, albeit mostly running well, and likely to be found wanting at this level.

Van Ellis has generally been progressing well, and seemed to relish the drop to 6f when a decisive winner of York handicap/listed race at Chester. Stays this far but has to put poor run in Turkey behind him.

Zumbi is a lightly-raced colt who's gradually going the right way, looking unlucky when third behind Producer in Group 3 at Goodwood last month. 3 lb better off with that rival now and one to consider

I'm So Glad tends to flash her tail, but has already won 4 times this term, including 2 7f handicaps at Newmarket. Found out in Group 3 next time, though, and this no easier.

Timeform 1-2-3:
1. Skilful
2. Zumbi
3. Van Ellis

Timeform View: Skilful is still unexposed for one his age and is fancied to go well under what could turn out to be his optimum trip. 3-y-os Zumbi and Van Ellis are feared most.

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