Frankie Dettori will have to wait and see if he made the right choice in opting to ride Magical Morning in the bet365 Cambridgeshire at Newmarket.
The Italian could have ridden fellow John and Thady Gosden inmate and ante-post favourite Uncle Bryn in Saturday’s big handicap feature, but instead plumped for Magical Morning – causing a reshuffle in the market following declarations.
Magical Morning is saddled with second top-weight of 9st 8lb following his narrow second to Cruyff Turn in a York handicap last month, and Thady Gosden has expressed a minor concern that the good to firm ground may not be ideal for the four-year-old.
He said: “Frankie has obviously ridden both horses plenty – it was up to him to decide, and in the end he went for Magical Morning.
“The ground might be on the quick side for Magical Morning, but hopefully he’ll handle it OK.”
Uncle Bryn, who will be ridden by Robert Havlin, started the season as a Classic hope – but was gelded in May and returned to action with a front-running Ascot handicap success at the start of this month.
Gosden expects conditions to be in his favour, but would struggle to split the Clarehaven runners.
He added: “The ground should suit Uncle Bryn, I think.
“There’s probably not much between them. It just depends how it plays out on the day. Magical Morning has got plenty of weight as well, obviously.”
Astro King is among the leading lights for Sir Michael Stoute after a season which has seen him turn in just one unplaced effort in five starts, when well down the field in the John Smith’s Cup at York.
The four-year-old had previously chased home Group Three winner Real World in the Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot and was last seen finishing third, beaten just a length by Magical Morning, at York last month.
Bruce Raymond, racing manager for owner Saeed Suhail, said: “He’s a horse that doesn’t show up much at home – he doesn’t do much, but his form on the racecourse is pretty good. He likes fast ground, so hopefully it stays fast.
“I think it’s the most difficult race to win, but hopefully he’s in with a good shout.
“You can’t say anything on his homework – but I think Sir Michael Stoute is very happy with his well-being, and he’s very fit.
“I think his last run was good form – he’s certainly better on a racecourse than at home.”
Astro King is in stall 17, and Raymond added: “I’ll let Ryan (Moore) worry about the draw – he’s the driver, we’re the engineer!”
Owen Burrows believes Anmaat has plenty in his favour as he bids to cap his season with victory in the ultra-competitive nine-furlong contest.
The three-year-old has won three of his five starts this term and is now rated 100, although he is able to race of 98 in this early-closing race.
That perch takes into account a 4lb penalty for winning at Doncaster last time out, beating the well-regarded Faisal by a length and three-quarters at the St Leger meeting.
Burrows is satisfied with Anmaat’s draw in stall 22, and expects the likely fast ground to suit the Awtaad gelding.
He said: “We’ve been very pleased with him since Doncaster. The ground looks like it’s drying out – it’s going to be on the fast side of good.
“I’m happy with where he’s drawn. He seems to have quite a few fancied horses drawn around him, which I think is important.
“We’re looking forward to running him.
“He’s a horse we’ve always liked. He won first time up this year at Lingfield, and then I thought he would go on from that. To be truthful, it just took a bit of time to find his level, but I think he’s improved from going up in trip.
“I think in general he’s improved – we seem to have found a bit of a key with him now, and hopefully that can continue tomorrow.”
Last week’s Ayr winner Chichester came in for a welter of support earlier in the week – and he will be ridden by Hollie Doyle for trainer Keith Dalgleish.
Saeed bin Suroor fields three for Godolphin, with the Marco Ghiani-ridden Long Tradition the shortest price as he is joined by Royal Marine – once a Group One-winning juvenile – and Bedouin’s Story.
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