SAEED bin Suroor has been due a headline winner all season and can oblige in the Betfred Ebor at York with Wadi Al Hattawi.
Relatively ignored in the market, the five-year-old has not had much racing for one of his age, but clearly has ability for an operation like Godolphin to persevere with him and that is how it looked when winning on the Knavesmire in July.
That was his first run following a disappointing effort when well fancied for last year’s Ebor, having gone into the showpiece handicap on the back of a fine run behind Arab Spring at Royal Ascot.
While he seemingly failed to stay 12 months ago, the fact connections are having another go is worth noting and his record at York is two wins from three starts, so the track is not a problem. It is a bit frustrating he is 6lb higher than 2014 after just one subsequent run, but it would be no surprise if each-way support was rewarded.
Convey has long been thought capable of making up into a Group horse and gets another chance to prove it in the Betfred Mobile Strensall Stakes.
The son of Dansili was impressive on his debut on the all-weather at Kempton in October, with his reputation preceding him as the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Dansili colt went off at odds-on.
Classic Guineas aspirations had to be shelved and he reappeared at Glorious Goodwood last month.
While beaten, there was much to take from the performance and how he got into it from the rear before receiving a bump and not finding things going his way.
With that experience and run under his belt, it is hoped there is still plenty to come in this Group Three affair.
William Haggas has been among the winners this week and it is interesting he has waited for the Betfred Melrose Stakes with Wonder Laish.
The Halling colt has not been seen since May – although he was declared at Haydock earlier this month – when he decimated the field in a maiden at Lingfield, winning by fully 15 lengths over just shy of a mile and a half.
Haggas was at pains not to get carried away after that win, pointing out that handicaps would most likely be the future path and there is every chance he could be some degree better than an initial mark of 87. The ground should be perfect.
Ornate might be another for Haggas in the Julia Graves Roses Stakes.
The Bahamian Bounty colt could not have done it much more easily at Ripon in a race his trainer has targeted before, and there is little doubt the Newmarket handler felt he was heading to York with one of his strongest-ever teams.
American maestro Wesley Ward loves nothing better than winners at the big meetings in Britain and can strike again with Finnegan in the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes.
Held in similar regard to other leading lights in his Keeneland yard, this Coolmore-owned youngster is completely unexposed and was strongly fancied for the Coventry Stakes at the Royal fixture before being a late defector. That he travels again means he merits the utmost respect.
Fine racing at Sandown, too, with First Selection a worthy ally in the 888Sport Solario Stakes.
Simon Crisford’s youngster was only a narrow winner of a valuable Newmarket handicap last month, but he still looked quite unfurnished that day, so one would assume there is plenty left beneath the bonnet.
That Crisford has already mentioned races like the Royal Lodge perhaps tells you everything you need to know about the regard with which First Selection is held at his Newmarket yard.