Kinross aiming to set the standard in Criterion contest

Ralph Beckett reports Kinross in “great shape” as he bids to defy a 3lb penalty in the Close Brothers Criterion Stakes at Newmarket.

The one-time Classic contender returned to his best with victory in the Group Three John Of Gaunt Stakes at Haydock four weeks ago, and Beckett is confident the four-year-old is ready to excel again at the same level on Saturday .

“Kinross is in great shape. It is a race that he has got a penalty in, but it is a race that really suits him,” said the Hampshire trainer.

“I’ve been very happy with him since Haydock, where he looked back to his old self.

“He did it really well the last day, and we will be sticking to seven furlongs with him. I think gelding him has been a significant help. Hopefully this is a stepping stone to bigger and better things.”

The William Haggas-trained With Thanks finished only seventh behind Kinross at Haydock, but jockey Tom Marquand believes the Camacho filly can get closer this time if forecast rain arrives.

“She ran a little bit free at Haydock – but that was her first run back, and she was entitled to need it,” said Marquand.

Richard Hannon believes a return to the July Course will help Motakhayyel’s cause.

The five-year-old is seeking a first success since landing last year’s Bunbury Cup over the same course and distance.

“He likes the track here and he is working well and hopefully he will run a big race,” said the Marlborough trainer.

“When he is in form he is hard to beat – I hope he is, and he seems like it at home.

Hannon expects going back up in trip to benefit Mums Tipple, following his lacklustre effort over six furlongs in the Cathedral Stakes at Salisbury.

He said: “Mums Tipple was disappointing last time, but he hung a good bit that day and he never got in the race.

“This is a nice race for him – and stepping up in trip again should help him, because he looked like he was a bit flat out in the Cathedral Stakes.”

Jockey Robert Havlin is looking forward to being reunited with Logician, in the Close Brothers Fred Archer Stakes.

John and Thady Gosden’s grey has had his issues since winning the St Leger in 2019, and has been restricted to just three runs since then.

“It is great to get back on him, and he is a nice horse to pick up,” said Havlin.

“I rode him on Wednesday, and he felt in great shape and has come on since the last day.

“He is a big horse that is hard to get fit, and the whole way through it has always taken a run to get him right. He seems to have come out of his race the right way.”

Logician (left) will try to return to form in the Fred Archer Stakes
Logician (left) will try to return to form in the Fred Archer Stakes (Clint Hughes/PA)

Beckett believes the 12-furlong contest represents a good starting point for Max Vega’s campaign.

“We’ve had to be patient this year, because he hasn’t quite been himself,” he said.

“Things of late have been different, and he has definitely picked up.”

George Boughey is happy to give Cachet the chance of a Listed success in the Maureen Brittain Memorial Empress Stakes, following her run at Royal Ascot.

The Aclaim filly finished a respectable fifth to Sandrine in the Albany Stakes, despite being unsuited by the rain-softened ground last week.

“It is a quick turnaround from Royal Ascot, but she has come out of that race in great shape,” said Boughey.

“I walked the track on Thursday, and it is far quicker than at Ascot – where it was an extreme of ground. It probably found her out and it was only her ability that got her home.”

Simon and Ed Crisford’s Najat tries her hand in Listed company, after making a fine impression when taking a novice event at Thirsk.

Ed Crisford, who holds a joint licence with his father Simon, said: “She won very well first time up at Thirsk and she is deserving of her place in a stakes race, and this looked a suitable option.”

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