The big handicaps look shark infested waters today with so many unexposed types potentially cutting loose, so we'll stick with quality and focus on the main event, the Lockinge where BEAT THE BANK (3.40 Newbury) has outstanding claims.
He did us quite a few favours last year though he let us down in this race which was his first outing of the season. This time Andrew Balding's runner has a very solid prep race under his belt with his recent Group 2 success at Sandown where he showed a liking for good ground which seems likely again today. And of course he's a year older and more seasoned now.
Oisin Murphy probably left it too late on this horse in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot, but Balding's charge picked up sweet compensation when taking the Summer Mile at the same track and of course the Celebration Mile at Goodwood.
He is a specialised miler and they have an outstanding record in this event so with quick ground certain to suit he ticks many boxes. With Laurens and Ostillio sure to set a brisk pace that should set things up nicely for our selection.
Four year olds have an astonishing record in this as have - from a small and select representation - fillies and mares like Rhododendron who triumphed last year. This immediately brings us to Laurens who has serious claims of course though the Karl Burke stable is not perhaps firing on all cylinders right now. Another four year old filly who could make a splash is I Can Fly who is inconsistent but has her moments, particularly on fast ground, and she came within a whisker of beating Roaring Lion in the QE11 at the Champions Day meeting at Ascot.
But the ultra reliable Beat The Bank gets the vote and can finally bag the Grade One win he richly deserves.
Newbury - 15:40
1 Point Each Way Beat The Bank (8/1 Betvictor paying 4 places)
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