The Summer Mile Racing Weekend provides two days of exciting, competitive racing as we reach the mid-point of the 2019 Flat season. With £450,000 in prize money available there are typically high quality fields headlined by the Group Two Fred Cowley MBE Memorial Summer Mile Stakes itself.
Friday’s action kicks off with the Knights Nursey Handicap for two-year-olds where Kemble heads the field for Richard Hannon and Sean Levey. Down the field in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot, she had previously been an impressive winner at Windsor and this looks an excellent opportunity. Eton College and Twice As Likely both won on their latest starts though and could make their presence felt.
The most valuable race on the card is the £20,000 Alvarium British EBF Fillies’ Handicap over a mile and a half where seven will go to post. Three time winner Hameem sets the standard but under top weight she could be vulnerable to Eve Johnson Houghton’s Bella Vita who arrives on the back of three consecutive victories and the handicapper might not have got to the bottom of her ability yet.
The consistent Dono Di Dio is another to consider having finished first or second in her seven runs so far this year while Cape Islay showed improved form on quick ground last time out to win at Chester.
Elsewhere on the card Louie De Palma returns to the scene of his gutsy victory in May for the Long Harbour Derek Lucie-Smith Memorial Handicap and in the same race Vegas Boy has slipped to an attractive looking mark for Nicola Currie and Jamie Osborne.
The feature race of the two-day meeting is the Fred Cowley MBE Memorial Summer Mile Stakes, a Group Two contest run on the Old Mile course.
Last year’s winner Beat The Bank returns and he arrives in fine form having been beaten into second by just a neck in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot. Accidental Agent, who refused to leave the stalls at Royal Ascot, is also in the mix as well as Zaaki, winner of the Paradise Stakes here in May before landing a Group Three at Epsom. Tip Two Win is an interesting contender for owner Anne Cowley who sponsors the race for her late husband and this has always been his early season target.
The £100,000 Betfred Heritage Handicap gets things underway and the five furlong sprint looks devilishly difficult to unravel with 20 horses in the field. Old favourite Muthmir, twice placed in the King’s Stand, lines up for his 39th career start while other veterans Watchable and Growl are also declared. Tis Marvellous was second behind Cape Byron at Royal Ascot and should go close if producing that form again while Moyassar looks an unexposed three-year-old and Fool For You remains progressive.
Last year’s winner of the Woodford Reserve Handicap, Cross Counter, went on to win the Melbourne Cup and this year the field features Persian Moon and Almania who could have more to offer having run well at Royal Ascot in the King George V Stakes. Faylaq might be the one to beat though having won two handicaps already this summer and he remains on a potentially favourable mark.
Ascot’s card forms a ‘Super Saturday’ of Flat racing with action also coming from York, Newmarket, Chester, Hamilton and Salisbury. ITV Racing will cover two races from Ascot as well as the concluding day of the Newmarket July Festival, which includes the Group One Darley July Cup over six furlongs, and York where the £200,000 John Smith’s Diamond Jubilee Cup is the feature race.