14:10 Chester - Apphia
Apphia ran well when fifth in the Ribblesdale, and again when fourth in the Aphrodite at Newmarket, and the ground was against her when below that form last time. I think she's crying out for this sort of trip now, and the search for black type continues.
In that respect this listed handicap represents an ideal opportunity, and she's got a workable if not ideal draw. Chester is not an easy track given its turning nature, but despite its reputation, it's essentially a galloping track, and horses that travel well and gallop tend to cope very well.
Apphia has always travelled strongly enough in her races, but I've decided to put cheekpieces on to help her knowing that getting on the back foot early can make life difficult.
14:25 Sandown - Arbalet
I was a touch disappointed that Arbalet was beaten on his first two starts, although the form has worked out. We've found that although he possesses speed, as all good horses do, he's been aching for this step up in trip on the racecourse, and is sure to need a mile in time.
I think Sandown's stiff seven furlongs will suit him, and there is still plenty of juice in the ground, which will suit. He worked right-handed the other day to prepare him for Sandown's sharp bend, and he did it well.
This looks a more competitive renewal of the Solario than we won with Aktabantay for the same connections a few years ago, but I believe Arbalet is up to this level, and both his parents won Group 1s as two-year-olds. He's a lovely horse who goes very well, so I hope he can get himself organised and run a nice race.
18:50 Chelmsford - Gododdin
Gododdin is a really lovely colt from the first crop of the exceptional Camelot, who got better and better with age and should, of course, have won the Triple Crown, and he is out of a sister to the dam of Covert Love, who won the Irish Oaks for us.
He reminds me of Covert Love in the way he moves and in how he looks, and I'm expecting him to progress well with racing. We're very keen on him, and while I feel he might be susceptible to more forward types at this stage of his career, he's done enough work and is ready to crack on.