Racing TV betting expert Dave Nevison has four selections for Friday's action from around the tracks, including John Gosden's Royal Ascot runner-up.
The re-invention of the Sky Bet Ebor as a £1million contest has undoubtedly changed the focus of several owners and trainers with middle-distance performers rated 100-plus, and there are several possible contenders for the big York prize lining up at this week's Newmarket July meeting.
There are few more obvious races to act as a stepping stone to the Ebor than Friday's Bet365 Handicap and to my mind no more obvious contenders for both races than my selection.
Looking every inch a potential Group-class horse still competing, if the Ebor was not on this horse's horizon this contest may almost certainly have been his last run in a handicap - in this continent at least - judged by the manner in which he is progressing.
His latest Royal Ascot effort was fantastic and he could easily have won with a better draw and the consequent likelihood of more luck in running. Ascot's relatively short straight after a sharp home turn would have been no good to a horse of his sheer size and he was next to last three furlongs out and forced out very wide.
It took Dettori several strides to get him balanced and rolling after the bend, but once he did Ben Vrackie picked up impressively and got to within a short-head of success.
He certainly wasn’t the only one who suffered, as is almost inevitable in big-field Ascot handicaps, but without lost the most ground and momentum, I could easily rate him a two-length winner.
That contest was over two furlongs shorter than this and it definitely looks as though a mile and three-quarters is going to be his trip this year.
A late-maturing and lightly-raced son of Frankel, Ben Vrackie could and possibly should improve a stone or more over the next 12 months and be a real contender for massive prizes at home and abroad. Victory here really should be within his powers.
Roger Fell doesn’t seem to need long to turn plenty of horses around and Najashee looks a typical type for him to be able to enjoy some success with in the months ahead.
There is no doubt that this five-year-old son of Invincible Spirit had ability for Owen Burrows, but he gave the impression of being jaded towards the end of his time in the stable, letting supporters down who backed him anticipating improvement in handicaps more than once.
Fell's obvious buying strategy was to try and unlock this potential improvement himself in the hope of ending up with a well-treated horse.
In three runs for the yard it has looked very much as though Najashee is being readied to show what he can do and Ben Curtis got him very close at Newcastle last time.
He has not gone back up in the weights for that effort and signicantly showed no sign of the slightly awkward head carriage then that had been previously evident. Najashee should be an each-way price here and showed enough over course and distance two starts ago to suggest he will go well in what is a decent York handicap.
This horse has been on a roll and didn’tseem to handle fast ground when going for a Carlisle hat-trick in the Carlisle Bell consolation race last time out.
The ground is currently good at Chester and judging by the weather forecasts for Friday seems unlikely to get much firmer by teatime so I would anticipate a return to form.
Drawn in stall one, all of the horses closest to him in low numbers are front runners or prominent racers. So long as Redarna just holds the inside berth behind the pace then Emma Sayer could get the perfect tow around. This horse is still on an upward curve and can show here that his last run was simply a blip along the way.
The handicapper hasn’t dropped this horse in the weights despite having three unplaced efforts next to his name, but a closer look at those runs makes it possible to see why he has been treated that way.
Having been in the wrong position in relatively slowly-run races on his two starts last year subsequent to a tidy Salisbury success in June, he blew up and was carried left on his seasonal reappearance over an inadequate trip last month.
Down in grade here in a less competitive race, he should now have no excuses, especially as he has already run a good race around Chester last season. I always like to see money for a Martyn Meade runner, so will be watching the market.
Dave's fab four: