In the 4.20 at Catterick on Wednesday, notwithstanding one effort on unsuitably fast ground, Nietzsche has been quite highly tried since winning at Beverley in April, but faces a much more realistic assignment this time. He remains 8lb higher in the weights, but his latest third of nine, beaten 1¾ lengths, behind Robinnielly in a 0-90 contest at Ayr suggested he’s still feasibly weighted and he has his conditions.
In the 2.50 at Catterick, Stoneham has been raised 5lb for winning in convincing style at Musselburgh earlier this month, necessitating a rise in class, but she has looked better than ever in recent starts and may be capable of completing a four-timer. She won over 2 miles 1 furlong on soft going over hurdles at Sedgefield last autumn, so slower underfoot conditions should do her chance no harm.
In the 4.55 at Catterick, Seamster has already run 21 times since the turn of the year, but is holding his form exceptionally well and may yet have more to offer. He takes a slight drop in class and is fully effective on soft ground, so must have a decent chance of recording his second course and distance win of the season.
Selections: Catterick 4.20 Nietzsche, Catterick 2.50 Stoneham, Catterick 4.55 Seamster, 3 x 1-point Win Doubles, 1 x 1-point Win Treble
In the 3.05 at York on Friday, One More Word has been placed on both starts over course and distance this season and, following a luckless run at Goodwood three weeks ago, can resume winning ways. The Thousand Words gelding was only beaten half a length and a neck over course and distance two starts ago and, although another 1lb higher in the weights, his run in the Betfred Mile – in which he was repeatedly denied a clear run until the race was effectively over – demonstrated that he was still in form.
In the 4.55 at York, Show Stealer needs fast ground to produce her very best and, having run creditably in defeat in hot three-year-old handicaps over 6 furlongs at Newmarket the last twice, should appreciate the step up to 7 furlongs. The handicapper may have taken a chance by dropping her 1lb since the second of those efforts and she still looks feasibly weighted. She’s still only had eight starts, so still has plenty of time to make up into the decent Group class performer he trainer believes she is.
Selections: York 3.05 One More Word, York 4.55 Show Stealer, 1-point Win Double
In the 4.10 at Salisbury on Tuesday, Massaat was bitterly disappointing when trailing in ninth of 16, beaten 16 lengths, behind Harzand in the Derby at Epsom in June, but deserves another chance. The Teofilo gelding was never a guaranteed stayer, but ran too freely when failing to see out a mile and a half at Epsom, but his earlier form over a mile bears close inspection. In the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket in April, he went down by 1½ lengths to Galileo Gold with Ribchester 2 lengths back in third and that form has been well advertised.
In the 5.15 at Salisbury, Alyssa may have started at odds of 1/2 for a 0-75 contest at Epsom four weeks ago but, even so, the way she drew right away in the closing stages to beat Machine Learner by 10 lengths, with 23 lengths back to the third horse, was visually very impressive. Exactly what she achieved in doing so is difficult to judge, but a 10lb higher mark may not be enough to prevent her winning again, even in 0-85 company. Silvestre de Sousa, who won on her at Epsom, sticks around for the last race of the afternoon, which often isn’t a bad sign.
Selections: Salisbury 4.10 Massaat, Salisbury 5.15 Alyssa, 1-point Win Double
In the 3.40 at Pontefract on Wednesday, Stars Over The Sea was far from disgraced, off today’s revised mark, when third of 17, beaten 1¾ lengths behind stable companion Fire Fighting over 1 mile 2 furlongs at Goodwood last week and, having won over 2 miles over hurdles, the step back up in distance may well be in his favour. He takes a drop in class and can resume winning ways.
In the 4.10 at Pontefract, Mr Orange has yet to win over the minimum trip, but was only beaten half a length, off a 5lb lower mark, on his last attempt over course and distance, despite being denied a clear run in the closing stages. His subsequent defeat of Laila Honiwillow, over 6 furlongs, on the West Yorkshire course has been franked by the runner-up so, on his favoured fast ground, he may be capable of following up.
Selections: Pontefract 3.40 Stars Over The Sea, Pontefract 4.10 Mr Orange, 1-point Win Double
The fourth and final major of the season, the USPGA Championship, gets underway at Baltusrol Golf Club, Springfield, New Jersey on Thursday and, as is customary, the winners of the first three majors, Danny Willett, Dustin Johnson and Henrik Stenson, play together for the first two days. Following a sensational performance at Troon, Henrik Stenson (13/8) looks worthy of support in that particular three-ball.
Elsewhere, Sergio Garcia may never shed the tag of ‘best player never to win a major’, but is another who arrives in fantastic form after finishing tied fifth at Troon. The Spaniard should be suited by the course and, at 15/8, may be able to get the better of Bubba Watson and Jordan Spieth in the opening exchanges.
Last, but hopefully not least, Baltusrol favours accurate driving, so Jason Dufner (7/5), who won this tournament three years ago and finished in the top 25 at Troon, may be able to steal a march on Martin Kaymer and Y.E. Yang.
Selections: Henrik Stenson (13/8), Sergio Garcia (15/8), Jason Dufner (7/5), 1-point Win Treble