Last week will not live long in the memory.
I managed to get almost everything wrong and that takes my July Course punting this summer to new lows.
Roll on the autumn! York has been a joy cover for Racing UK this week and I’m hoping for some good results today.
I went to see Battaash at Charles Hills's earlier this week ahead of Friday's big match-up with Blue Point in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York and you can watch all of my interviews with the trainer, work rider Mike Murphy and groom Bob Grace and read Geoffrey Riddle's feature here.
I was also fortunate enough to visit Charlie Appleby's stable to speak to him about the King's Stand Stakes winner, and you can watch my chat with the Moulton Paddocks handler here.
I would slightly favour Battaash, give the nature of this track but it wouldn't be a race I want to get involved with at the prices.
I would be thrilled for either winner, given the individuals who train them.
If Erik The Red were better drawn he would be going up in bright lights in this column but 20 of 20 is far from ideal.
I think Pacify is worth a bet back at 12-1 at a track he likes and so, too, is Caliburn, who looked a horse with a very bright future when winning at Haydock on quick ground but found the Bahrain Trophy a class and trip too far.
Newmarket over 10 furlongs did not seem to play to his strengths last time, either, but I liked the way he battled back up the rail having been outpaced. Three-year-olds do not have the best recent record but not many have tried in the last five years (only four) and he will be better back on a sound surface.
We saw the filly with probably the best form in the race win the Lowther om Thursday in Fairyland and if that happens again in the Gimcrack then Shine So Bright will be in the winner’s enclosure just after 3pm.
His Coventry form is rock solid when fourth on his side and he was keener than ideal early on.
He then moved yards and I’m not sure if he was in love with the track at Goodwood when third to Land Force in the Richmond.
He may want further already and is bred for it on his dam’s side (Alla Speranza) but this son of Oasis Dream is clearly not short of pace and I’m willing to give him another go over this trip.
Another two-year-old going up! This doesn’t bode well.
I do think Barys is a great bet, though, and is my strongest fancy of the day.
He bumped into a couple of experienced and well entered horses in Marhaba Milliar and Fanaar at Yarmouth on debut and it is worth noting this horse has some fancy entries himself with the Dewhurst in among them.
Archie Watson's yard has gained quite a reputation for their two-year-olds this year and quite rightly, given their record.
They tend to improve a deal for the run too and this strapping son of Kodiac is a lot bigger than I thought he’d be.
First up Nicklaus is a horse who looks to want a mile, having shaped for it at Goodwood last time.
I am not sure he loved the track that day either and he gets his ground this afternoon. He took a while to get going this year but is very much on the up now.
Also going up is one of my favourite horses.
I am not sure why he is because I have often got him wrong but Commander Han has to be backed at big prices, having been gelded.
He’s super talented, I’m sure of it, and hope he shows that with a mind fully on the job in hand.
He ran here on debut in a hot race but was asleep during most of that and looked the type to improve in time and over further.
He has been disappointing here on his last two runs but back from a break is worth siding with now returning to a mile.
Tom Stanley's Friday best bets:
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