Pilaster back on board to take Flight at Nottingham
Pilaster appears to hold all the aces as she returns to action in the Barry Hills Further Flight Stakes at Nottingham.
The four-year-old made rapid strides during 2018, winning a couple of all-weather maidens before making the leap to Group Two glory at Goodwood in the Lillie Langtry Stakes.
Pilaster showed a staying trip to be right up her street that day, gamely out-battling Maid Up by a short head to ratchet up her official mark to 106.
Sent off favourite for the Park Hill at Doncaster next time out, she narrowly failed to see off a couple of older rivals, finishing a half-length third in a bit of a blanket finish for the main honours.
A muddling pace hardly helped her chances as a strong stayer that day, with her rider perhaps regretting not going for home earlier as she was keeping on all the way to the line.
A switch up to Group One company and down to a mile and a half on Champions Day really did not play to her strengths, so it is best to just forget that closing effort ahead of this return.
Pilaster has upwards of 4lb in hand on each of her rivals here, but will be getting 5lb or more due to age and sex concessions, so Roger Varian really has done all he can to find her a winning starting point for the year.
Pocket Dynamo is another runner who is similarly well in for the Watch Racing TV Now Conditions Stakes.
Last seen when finishing down the field at the Breeders' Cup meeting, Pocket Dynamo was near the top rank in terms of last year's juvenile speedsters - only being beaten by a nose in the Norfolk at Royal Ascot.
His keen attitude is not always a plus - as shown at Churchill Downs when he weakened towards the finish - but he is certainly a classy performer and even giving 4lb or more away to every horse here, Pocket Dynamo really is unopposable.
New Graduate is the pick in the Every Race Live On Racing TV Handicap for James Tate.
This four-year-old finished just behind Zaaki on his debut last year, form which reads quite well as that one went on to be placed multiple times in Pattern company, while the third was a three-time winner, including at Listed level.
New Graduate went on to win his maiden in May before being off the track until October, when he posted a fair second under a penalty. Given his time on the sidelines and the testing conditions that day, it appeared to be a pretty good effort and he can progress again this term.
Shanghai Grace is on a roll right now and can extend his winning sequence to four in the Ladbrokes Home Of The Odds Boost Handicap at Lingfield.
He is now 10lb higher than when winning the first of those three races, but his hike up the weights is offset by the 7lb his promising young rider Cieren Fallon takes off.
KEMPTON: 4.35 Waqt, 5.10 You Little Ripper, 5.45 Characteristic, 6.15 Es Que Magic, 6.45 Goldslinger, 7.15 Kingfast, 7.45 Collide, 8.15 Secret Potion.
LINGFIELD: 2.20 Clement, 2.50 Javelin, 3.25 Shanghai Grace, 3.55 It Must Be Faith, 4.30 Vino Rosso, 5.00 Jamaican Jill, 5.35 Revamp.
NOTTINGHAM: 1.30 King Ademar, 2.00 Phoenix Star, 2.30 Pocket Dynamo, 3.05 PILASTER (NAP), 3.35 New Graduate, 4.10 Ambient, 4.40 She's Apples, 5.15 Nabbeyl.
WARWICK: 2.10 Hang Tough, 2.40 Bubbles Of Gold, 3.15 Newtown Boy, 3.45 Just Minded, 4.20 Steel Bob, 4.50 Nickname Guest, 5.25 Raising The Bar, 5.50 Sid Hoodie.
DOUBLE: Pilaster and Pocket Dynamo.