Autumn Lily can bloom for Godolphin in Chesham Stakes
Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation has been relatively quiet this week with the exception of the victory of Dawn Approach in the St James’s Palace Stakes on the opening day. Twelve months ago they enjoyed success in the Chesham Stakes courtesy of Tha’ir and they have decent claims this year they have two live candidates.
The pick of them may prove to be the once-raced Autumn Lily who looked a smart filly in the making when she won at Haydock. She strode clear in good style despite her rider losing the reins briefly in the closing stages and the daughter of Street Cry should relish this seven-furlong trip.
The Godolphin second-string is Ihtimal who has chased home two decent sorts in Kiyoshi and Wedding Ring. Kiyoshi ran away with the Albany Stakes yesterday to underline the value of the form. Ihtimal ran on well when headed at Newmarket last time and is another who should see out the trip well.
Richard Hannon has suffered a frustrating meeting but finally got off the mark with Sky Lantern yesterday and Bunker could end the week on a high note. The son of Hurricane Run took a while to find his stride on his debut but was going away at the finish and will know more about his task on Saturday.
Mark Johnston won this race three times in the space of four years between 2000 and 2003 and has a real chance of gaining a fourth victory with Somewhat. Not many winners of Musselburgh maiden races go on to win at the Royal meeting on their next start but this colt could be an exception.
He strode clear to win by seven lengths although his high knee action may be a concern if the rains don’t arrive in time. Veteran trainer Clive Brittain has won this race three times and he could have a lively outsider in Street Force, ridden by the in-form James Doyle. The same combination teamed up successfully with Queen Mary winner Rizeena earlier in the week.
Aidan O’Brien relies on Friendship who needs to step up on his Listowel third whilst Jim Bolger runs Freedom Square who won at the third time of asking. The consistent Master Carpenter and the maidens Bureau and Berkshire could also come into the reckoning in a decent renewal of this Listed contest.