WELCOME STRANGER came back to winning ways last week at Yarmouth much to the delight of the trainer. Hopefully he can continue now he has hit peak form as long as the handicapper is not harsh on him. He is entered at York on Friday but only runs if he is raised more than 6 pounds for his win. He is more likely to wait for Doncaster on 15th July and Ascot at the end of the month.
There are 2 runners today. FINAL DIVIDEND is in a ladies amateur race at Pontefract and is tipped by the paper. He did run well at Yarmouth last week but this race may just come too soon for him. MISTER AZIZ runs at Southwell and is being ridden by Daryll Holland. The significance if this is that he last rode a winner for James ( has had very few rides) 13 years ago this week in the same colours of Park Lane Racing. The reason the date is etched in James’s memory is because it is the week their son David was born. It would be a nice story if he could ride another winner today. The horse has been working nicely but could possibly need it and he has to overcome a poor draw.
ARIODANTE must have a good chance at Lingfield on Wednesday. The form of his Windsor race is working out well and the horse is in good form. BLUE PATRICK, who ran another sound race at Newbury last week, is a likely runner at Ascot on Friday. He won at this meeting last year so hopefully this again could be a lucky omen. If he can get a bit of luck in running he should run very well.
On Saturday the action is at York with 2 intended runners, TRANSACTION and ANATOLIAN QUEEN. There are 50 entries in TRANSACTION’S race so he may not get a run but if he does he is expected to go well after his good effort last time when he finished second after a long break. ANATOLIAN QUEEN is in very good form and James feels she will be better on better ground than she has encountered so far. She has only run on soft and heavy ground so he is hoping the rain will stay away for her.