The Group 3 Northam Stakes is the feature at Ascot on Saturday in what is shaping up to be a massive day of racing in the west.
We’ve previewed the entire 10-race card and our best bets can be found in our complete Northam Stakes Day Preview below.
Choix De Lace showed some early speed in her last start when fourth over the 1000m at Ascot. She remains the only horse in the field with any actual form to her name and rates highly with fitness on her side. Zangief looks the one to go forward from barrier 1 after two handy trials. The gelding by Street Boss won his latest jump out by over a length and could be worth a small shout in a very difficult market.
William Pike should be able to start his day off on a winning note aboard Miss Frost. The mare went around as the favourite first up in the mid-weeks and did not disappoint beating home Rock The Planet comfortably by 2.3L. She’s well-weighted again here and gets plenty of favours with Pike in the saddle for the first time.
Altani was a two-times winner at Ascot last time in and picked up where she left off with a first-up victory over the 1100m a fortnight ago over Tycoon Legend. She now gets the chance to go one better from the good gate and with a win to her name second-up during the Spring, the mare looks tough to beat.
Blackwater Bay went around as the favourite in his last start and did not disappoint winning by three lengths over the course and distance. He’s drawn a similar gate here on the short backup and rates highly stepping up in grade with William Pike in the saddle. Trandensia is third-up and couldn’t have been more impressive winning by two lengths over the 1400m a fortnight ago. The filly gets her first look at the mile here but should roll forward and figure somewhere in the finish. Lastly, Ginger Flyer could be one to watch at odds. She showed exceptional speed when third over the mile last start behind Shoes Of Ekraar and has placed in all three of her starts this time in.
Throwdown is on the short backup here but looks ready to win. The Stephen Miller-trained gelding finished 1.5L second behind Cambist last week but showed plenty of ability running the fastest final 200m of the race. Jason Whiting went wide early heading into the turn but I thought the pair battled on strongly. We should see a similar tactic this time around, but I’d be surprised if we get double figures again.
Fabergino’s big win down the Flemington straight back in February has seen her firm into odds-on favouritism in the market. The mare has an almost perfect record at Ascot to match with six wins in eight starts, while she also relishes a big gap between runs. If you’re looking for some value though, Flirtini is probably the one. Simon Miller’s mare has won twice second-up and wasn’t far away when third over the 1200m behind Angelic Ruler and Flower Of War three weeks ago.
Amelia’s On Fire came close in her first-up assignment when third over the course and distance behind Condor Heroes and I’m happy to stick with her again. The filly by Sizzling did well to overcome the wide draw and I think she’ll go one better now closer to the rail. She’s a two-times winner over the 1000m at Ascot and has won second-up before, so everything fits the profile for improvement.
Festival Miss caught my eye in the Listed Sheila Gwynne Classic where she flashed home late for third after being held up down the straight. The mare has a few queries here with apprentice Chloe Azzopardi on board as well as the wide draw, but she was a winner four starts back over the course and distance and rarely runs a bad race on top of the ground. If she can find some luck down the straight I think she’ll be hitting the line strongly.
She’s Alight was a last start winner over the 1400m and now has the chance to add on with her first step up to the mile. The mare by Tavistock has enjoyed a faultless prep with three wins from six starts and has shown the ability to overcome the wide draw on each occasion. La Bionda was a last start winner over the course and distance and is down in the weights from barrier 6. She’s shown great progression deep in her prep and can easily win again.
This is a fairly wide-open betting race to close out the day and I could easily make a case for almost half the field. Alpha Sky strips fitter for his first-up run when fifth over the 1000m and has a win over the course and distance to his name. Pym’s Royale is back from a 28 day let up after struggling in his last start over the mile on April 4. The gelding does have four wins to his name over the 1200m though and has drawn low for a bounce back. Massimo is second-up here and is unbeaten in two starts over the distance. The gelding also owns three wins in six starts at Ascot, so I’ll be looking to have a nice little saver on him.