Superb racing is the order of the day wherever you look this weekend, one which encompasses the Arc at its temporary home at Chantilly, plus valuable domestic cards at Ascot and Newmarket.
The latter of those features the highly enticing Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes, the £250,000 fillies and mares mile contest, set to be run at 4.00pm on Saturday.
A field of nine includes visitors from France and South Africa, with the three strong Gallic contingent headed by Jean-Claude Rouget’s three-time Group 1 scorer, Ervedya.
Aided by the fitting of a first-time pair of sheepskin cheekpieces, she returns to racing against her own sex for the first time this season, looking to build on solid efforts at Royal Ascot and Deauville.
Rouget has been successful with three of his last five runners at home, and British and Irish punters are also familiar with his skills, as the Sun Chariot falls just three weeks after his Almanzor turned on the style to win Leopardstown’s Irish Champion Stakes.
Ervedya is overdue a win this season, and she can see off her compatriots as well as Aidan O’Brien’s talented but inconsistent Alice Springs.
Meanwhile, they go over the sticks at Fontwell, where the ultra-consistent, front-runner, Gowanauthat, might be able to bag another win for the Charlie Mann/Harry Bannister combination.
Top weight won’t make it easy for the horse who saw his five race winning spree ended at Worcester eight days ago, but even then he ran a gallant race to be second, and he continues to thrive on his racing.
His winning run might not have too much juice left in it, but this small field looks ideal for a horse who likes to try and boss affairs, and coming up against three rivals returning from a layoff this might be a shrewd choice of race (3.30pm).
Former course and distance winner, Gowanauthat, is 9/4 with the Betfair Sportsbook.
Lastly, Fontwell’s 2m 5f conditional jockeys’ handicap chase (4.40pm) looks a great opportunity for a young rider to achieve a career milestone, with in-form trainer Neil Mulholland giving young Jordan Canavan a fine chance aboard Highbury High.
Up six pounds for his win at Warwick 11 days ago, this gives him a solid chance to record back-to-back wins, and in doing so get his novice rider up and running.
Chief market rival Unify looks worth taking on, appearing under a penalty just four days after winning.
Saturday’s best bets:
3.30 Fontwell – Southern Water Handicap Chase – 1 Gowanauthat (win) @ 9/4 (Betfair Sportsbook)
4.00 Newmarket – Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes – 3 Ervedya (win) @ 4/1 (bet365, BetVictor, Betway, Hills or Ladbrokes)
4.40 Fontwell – Cappagh Utilities Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase – 1 Highbury High (win) @ 2/1 (BetVictor)Posted 1 year, 8 months ago