Primo can come out on top in Friday G1



The highlight of the middle day of Newmarket’s July Festival is undoubtedly the Group 1 Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes at 15:35.

The top two in the market, Alcohol Free and Snow Lantern, renew rivalry having finished first and second in the Coronation Stakes at Ascot last time.

The winner showed improved form from her fifth-place finish in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, softer ground seemingly the catalyst, while Snow Lantern was much improved from a disappointing effort at York the time before.

Primo Bacio could have more in her locker

Both fillies look sure to go well again, but I can’t help thinking that Primo Bacio is overpriced and could still have more improvement in her locker.

Fourth on her reappearance at Newbury, Ed Walker’s daughter of Awtaad took a big step forward when winning a listed race at York last time, with Snow Lantern back in third. There was seemingly no fluke about that either, with sectionals telling us that Primo Bacio was by far the best filly in the race, having come from the rear in a contest that was run at just a steady pace.

She’ll need to take another forward step as she moves into Group 1 company for the first time, but that looks distinctly possible, and she’s been a little overlooked in the market compared to the front pair.

There’s also a strong Irish challenge, with the likes of Mother Earth, Pretty Gorgeous and Champers Elysees representing the Emerald Isle. Of those three, Mother Earth has just about the strongest form, though not by a great deal.

The feeling is, however, that they’ve shown their hands to a greater extent than Primo Bacio, who will be making just her sixth career start and may not have finished progressing yet.

Sadmah can beat Sandrine

The unbeaten Sandrine sets a fair standard in the Group 2 Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes at 14:25.

Andrew Balding’s filly made a good impression when winning on debut at Kempton before seeming to relish the testing ground in the Albany at Royal Ascot.

Leading over a furlong out, Sandrine drew clear late on to record a convincing success over Hello You and Oscula, both of whom take her on again here.

While Sandrine is clearly the one to beat, unless Newmarket suffers a deluge, conditions are likely to be very different to those she faced at Ascot. While faster ground in itself shouldn’t present a problem, it does bring into the equation her vanquished foes, who may well give her more of a race on a livelier surface.

Flotus finished down the field in the Albany, but is best given a pass for that, Frankie Dettori looking after her once it was clear she was held. Her striking debut win is still fresh in the memory and it would be no surprise were she to bounce back here.

However, it’s the once-raced Sadmah who’ll I’ll be siding with.

While the form of her Haydock win is nothing to write home about, Kevin Ryan’s daughter of Frankel is bred to be smart and managed to come out on top despite seemingly being in need of the experience.

That novice contest was strongly run, producing a good timefigure for the grade, and Sadmah deserves plenty of credit having been a little outpaced before staying on strongly to get the job done.

This is a big hike in class for her, but it’s one that should be within her compass on pedigree, and she makes some appeal from an each-way perspective.

The Bet365 Stakes at 13:50 is a handicap that Mark Johnston boasts a fine record in, and he’s doubly represented by King Frankel and Headingley.

Of that pair, it’s King Frankel that boasts the best form, but the feeling is he may now be ready for step up in trip and he could find a couple too good kept to 10f.

Foxes Tales could well still be ahead of the handicapper despite carrying top weight in this contest. He ran out an impressive winner in a good handicap at Royal Ascot on his most recent start, despite still showing signs of inexperience (ducked left when in control).

As with Sandrine earlier, though, conditions are likely to be very different this time around and he looks well found in the market for one that has yet to encounter ground quicker than good.

This looks a hot handicap, and it would be no surprise were several of the field to go on and achieve success at Group level before the season is out.

Chief among them may well be Peter The Great, who has won twice from three starts and is still open to progress. John Gosden’s colt has the physique of a pattern performer and his one defeat (second to Nagano at Newcastle) looks relatively strong form.

Dubai Honour caught the eye at Royal Ascot when fourth in the Britannia despite suffering a bit of a troubled passage. He’s another who could well be in a higher grade before the year is out and deserves plenty of respect.

This is a trappy affair for betting in, and it’s not one I have a firm view on, though it’s a must-watch for the future, with plenty of subsequent winners likely to emerge from it.

Vadream can mow down field at York

The good action isn’t just confined to Newmarket on Friday, with York beginning their John Smith’s Cup meeting on the same day.

The main event at the North Yorkshire venue is the Group 3 William Hill Summer Stakes at 14:40.

Light Refrain has already shown smart form, chiefly when taking a listed contest on heavy ground at Nottingham on her reappearance. Well held at Royal Ascot last time, it would be no surprise to see her bounce back.

However, she’ll need to be right at the top of her game to take care of Vadream, who finished well ahead of her in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot.

That was just Vadream’s fourth career start and she shapes very much as if the drop back to 6f will be in her favour (won over this trip on debut last year). Charlie Fellowes’ filly travels like a smart performer and she is taken to come fast and late to mow them all down.