Mahsoob can make the transition to Pattern race performer with the minimum of fuss in the Princess Of Wales’s Arqana Racing Club Stakes at Newmarket
John Gosden’s charge arrives unbeaten in four starts to date, kicking off with a late racecourse bow in a Kempton maiden at the back end of last season.
That effort earned the four-year-old an initial mark of 89 and it was clear from the start of the campaign that the handicapper’s assessment was wide of the mark as he lifted a competitive event at Newbury on his return before following up in a similarly well-contested heat at York.
Those runs prompted Gosden to raise his sights to Listed level at Royal Ascot and the Wolferton Handicap proved a fruitful hunting ground as Mahsoob notched a workmanlike half-length verdict, although it is anyone’s guess how much he had left in the tank that day.
Group One entries demonstrate the regard in which he is held and while he has a little to find with a couple of his rivals here judged on the official ratings, Mahsoob is lightly raced and certainly does not appear to have finished improving yet.
Future Empire can reverse Ascot form with Tommy Docc in the Group Three Bahrain Trophy. The pair finished behind Aloft in the Queen’s Vase at the Royal meeting, with Tommy Docc holding Future Empire by half a length to cling on to the runner-up spot.
However, Future Empire was given plenty to do that day and was never closer than at the finish, suggesting he could have the measure of his old adversary if he can be a little more handily placed.
Eltezam ran an excellent race in the Coventry to finish third behind Buratino and a repeat of that performance would certainly put him in the frame for the Arqana July Stakes. The winner is one of the juvenile stars of the campaign so far and proved a bit too swift in the finish after Eltezam had raced prominently in the early exchanges.
He previously had the reopposing Elronaq behind him when winning a Haydock maiden and while seven furlongs well within his compass already, Eltezam is still speedy enough for this six-furlong test.
Bossy Guest can gain a deserved success in the Hastings Direct Sir Henry Cecil Stakes after finishing fourth in the 2000 Guineas and third in the Jersey Stakes at Ascot. He did not enjoy the best of runs in Berkshire and would surely have been closer than third if granted a clear passage. The switch back up to a mile is also a major plus.
Shaakis ran into Lightning Spear last time but the competition in Newbury’s Relyon Cleaning Newbury Handicap looks a little more humdrum.
Lightning Spear boasts a big reputation so there was no shame in finishing a four-length sixth behind him, particularly as Shaakis found the gaps closing when he was about to launch his challenge.
War Strike is the choice in the Breeders Backing Racing EBF Maiden Stakes at Carlisle while Prim And Proper can star in the totepool Racing’s Biggest Supporter Handicap at Epsom’s evening meeting.
Strath Burn held his own in Pattern company last term but a drop in class should see him finally get his head in front in the Download The Betdaq+ App Maiden Stakes at Doncaster.