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Trainer Andrew Balding
Image: Trainer Andrew Balding

Andrew Balding's Auria looks sure to be suited by stepping up in trip for the Betfair British EBF Stakes at Newbury.

The Listed event over 10 furlongs was formerly run as the Ballymacoll Stud Stakes, and it is perfect timing for those fillies for whom the Oaks at Epsom comes just a little too soon.

In recent years, the race has produced plenty of smart winners, probably none more so than William Haggas' Sea Of Class - who took it before winning the Irish Oaks and coming oh so close to denying Enable in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe of 2018.

At first glance there may appear to be nothing of her calibre in this year's field - but the best thing about this game is you just never know for sure if a rising star is about to shine.

Auria has looked very promising in her light career to date, winning at the second time of asking at Kempton, and she took a big step forward first time out this year in a conditions event at Ascot.

She was catching the winner Creative Flair all the way to the line over a mile - and while the pair meet again on the same terms, the extra two furlongs can help her close the gap - which was a length and a half.

Creative Flair has subsequently run well at York behind Ed Walker's hugely impressive filly Primo Bacio, with the highly-regarded Snow Lantern in third, but she does not appear to be crying out for 10 furlongs like Auria - who is also a half-sister to the smart Beat The Bank.

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Bethersden Boy was a 25-1 winner on his debut at Newmarket for Richard Hughes, but there appeared to be no fluke about it.

The former champion jockey is not known for first-time-out winners. But when they do manage to win on their first appearance they tend to be quite smart - Brentford Hope is a case in point.

Bethersden Boy beat a previous winner from the all-conquering George Boughey juvenile team quite convincingly - and back in third was Sovereign Prince, who takes him on again, this time on 7lb better terms.

However, Bethersden Boy is just as much entitled to come on again - so the Godolphin runner will need every bit of help he can get to close the gap.

Michael Bell's Tardis was well backed for her debut at Yarmouth, and in the end did well to finish second.

Slowly away, the bird had flown in the shape of Ed Dunlop's Bellarena Lady, who had been tried in Listed company last time out, by the time the penny dropped.

Tardis did well to eventually pass 10 others before finishing second, but she will be wiser in the EBF Restricted Novice Stakes at Haydock.

Mark Johnston's I'm A Gambler has been unfortunate to bump into what look two above average recruits in his two starts to date.

At Yarmouth on debut he beat all bar Tolstoy - who is heading to Royal Ascot for the Gosdens - while Richard Hannon's Al Shibli, who ran well in a hot race on his debut at Newbury, had too much for him at Chester.

James Tate's King Of Gold was only a neck behind the selection at Yarmouth, and is entitled to come on for his debut, but the Johnston colt should put his greater experience to good use in the Broad Oak Novice Stakes.

Ariel can land the hat-trick in the Visit Handicap at Yarmouth.

Having shown only glimpses of talent in his first four runs, he got off the mark at Kempton in early May from a handicap rating of 67 - and then followed up very impressively at Ripon from 4lb higher.

He carries a 6lb penalty for that win but is 3lb well in, because the handicapper actually raised him 9lb.

Muscika went close last week when beaten only a neck at Epsom - and while he has crept back up the weights, David O'Meara's sprinter should take the beating in the Download The MansionBet App Handicap at Nottingham.

Nicky Henderson appears to have taken far more interest in the summer jumping season this time around, and his Barely Famous should give him another winner in the Visit Maiden Hurdle at Uttoxeter.


HAYDOCK: 6.00 Tardis, 6.30 Ventura Express, 7.00 I'm A Gambler, 7.30 Caradoc, 8.00 Richard R H B, 8.30 Wink Of An Eye, 9.00 Action Hero.

LEOPARDSTOWN: 4.15 I Am Magic, 4.50 Golden Lyric, 5.20 Ice Cold In Alex, 5.50 Lord Of The Lodge, 6.20 Fly Girl, 6.50 Maoilin, 7.20 Kinch, 7.50 Malbas.

NEWBURY: 1.15 Bethersden Boy, 1.45 Spice Store, 2.20 Evident Beauty, 2.55 AURIA (NAP), 3.30 Naval Commander, 4.05 Sunset, 4.40 Reina Del Mar, 5.10 Mrs Meader.

NOTTINGHAM: 1.00 King's Guard, 1.35 Satono Chevalier, 2.10 Didtheyleavuoutto, 2.45 Muscika, 3.20 Brazen Bolt, 3.55 Hail Sezer, 4.30 Mere Green, 5.00 Turn Of Phrase,

UTTOXETER: 5.40 Barely Famous, 6.10 Our Rockstar, 6.40 Dog Of War, 7.10 Ambassador, 7.40 Armattiekan, 8.10 Chapati, 8.40 Blue Collar Glory.

YARMOUTH: 1.25 Priscilla's Wish, 2.00 Beryl The Peril, 2.35 Pagan, 3.10 Celestial Point, 3.45 Aria Rose, 4.20 Ariel, 4.55 Bearwith, 5.30 Tukhoom.

DOUBLE: Auria and Barely Famous

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