14:45 Deauville - Caravaggio
This looks a pretty hot, and also a very interesting, renewal of the race. Signs Of Blessing was impressive when making all in this race last season and is a high-class sprinter on his day - apparently he had excuses in the King's Stand last time - but I reckon this could be a deeper contest this year.
I will come on to Caravaggio in a minute but you also have some up-and-coming French sprinters in here and Brando arguably boasts the best recent form. Fas looked very good when beating the subsequent French 1,000 Guineas winner at Chantilly in April - I am not sure why he has been off since - and Andre's got the unbeaten 4yo filly Rosa Imperial in here. She only made her debut in May but beat a fair sort in a Group 3 last time.
The Right Man won the Al Quoz in March and then you have Brando, who ran a great race from off the pace when third in the July Cup, a short-head ahead of my colt.
Of course, we were disappointed by Caravaggio getting beaten at Newmarket, and I don't think he was the same horse as we had seen in the Commonwealth Cup, though he clearly didn't run badly. Things simply didn't pan out for him in the race. I do think the extra half a furlong or so will suit him, but more important will be the pace of the race and getting him into a good racing rhythm earlier.
As I said this is a very good renewal - I haven't even mentioned Magical Memory, who is a Group 1-class sprinter when on song - but hopefully Caravaggio can get back to winning ways. This is far from straightforward though, as I've explained. It was good to soft ground last time I looked, and that will be fine.
15:23 Deauville - Abingdon
It was only a modest race by Listed standards but she could not have been more impressive in a 10-length win on reappearance at Pontefract. It was always going to be harder for her in the Lancashire Oaks last time and she lost little in defeat in going down by ½ length to The Black Princess. She is from a brilliant family and she will be a very valuable mare at stud when she retires.
This may be the easiest ground she has raced on, but she should be okay if it isn't too bad. It would be good to get a Group win on the board for her but, while this is only a small field, it's a good race.
Any more rain may see Bateel be hard to beat, but The Juliet Rose won the Royallieu by 3 lengths last time and Kitesurf will be suited by stepping back up in trip after running in the French Oaks last time.