Local Singer probably sets the standard ahead of Tim Easterby's pair but we'll take them all on with CATHEDRAL SPIRES. Our selection defied market weakness to take third in what looked a good maiden at York. The winner that day had previously finished second behind subsequent Coventry Stakes runner-up Elzaam, whilst the only three horses to have come out of the race itself and run have all gone well, despite filling the last three places that day. Trainer Howard Johnson is operating at a 20% strike-rate in turf flat races this term; hopefully Catheral Spires can improve that further. Local Singer should pick up a maiden at some point, having seemingly improved with each of his three starts to date. This drop back to six furlongs is no concern and ground conditions should be ideal. Both of Tim Easterby's runners have claims with No Poppy just about the pick of the pair. She wears the headgear that served her well last time, indeed she showed speed that hadn't been apparent previously, and it if has the same affect she'll go well. Hortensis surely wasn't suited by dropping back to five furlongs last time and ran well in the circumstances; he helps to give his trainer a strong hand. Likewise Intrusion can only improve for stepping up in trip and indeed our concern with her is that she'll still find six furlongs here on the sharp side. Of the newcomers Better Self makes marginally more appeal than Grazeon Again, although both should want further in time. Better Self is though out of a dam who made a winning debut so needs a market check, but we'll return to Cathedral Spires for our idea of the winner.
Better Offer (IRE) Bahamian Bounty colt out of Yaky Romani.
Cathedral Spires 66-1 (9-3) Slowly into stride, mid-division, headway halfway, hung right over 1f out, staying on same pace when hampered inside final furlong, 3rd of 10, 1 1/2l behind Sir Reginald (9-3) at York 6f 2yo mdn (3) gd.
Grazeon Again (IRE) Diamond Green colt out of Saviolo.
Local Singer (IRE) 15-8 (9-3) Chased leaders, led after 1f, headed approaching 2f, ridden entering final furlong, kept on, 3rd of 11, 2 1/2l behind Tinkertown (9-3) at Redcar 7f 2yo mdn (5) gf.
Better Self With Approval filly out of Alter Ego.
Countess Cheval (IRE) 125-1 (8-9) Towards rear and pulled hard, hampered over 4f out, never dangerous, 11th of 13, 25l behind Magic Casement (9-3) at Ripon 6f 2yo mdn (5) gd.
Hortensis 4-1 (8-12) Slowly into stride, mid-division on stands side rail, ridden 1f out, kept on inside final furlong, never troubled leaders, 6th of 15, 5l behind Defence Council (9-3) at Ripon 5f 2yo mdn aut (5) gd.
Intrusion 10-1 (8-7) Towards rear, headway 2f out, ridden over 1f out, edged left and kept on same pace, 4th of 12, 4 1/2l behind Dubai Celebration (8-7) at Haydock 5f 2yo mdn aut (5) gf.
No Poppy (IRE) 9-2 (7-13) Took keen hold, with leaders, led halfway, ridden and headed 1f out, no impression when no extra and lost 2nd final 100 yards, 3rd of 15, 2 1/4l behind Temptingfaith (8-6) at Newbury 6f 2yo flls mdn auc stks (4) gf.