Tac plots Yorkshire Cup triumph
Tac De Boistron is out to confirm his position as one of the favourites for the Ascot Gold Cup in the Sky Bet Yorkshire Cup.
Since joining Marco Botti last summer, the seven-year-old has won at Chester, been second in the Prix du Cadran, won the Prix Royal-Oak and scored in impressive fashion on his reappearance in the Sagaro Stakes at Ascot.
Botti had considered keeping his powder dry until the Royal meeting but given Tac De Boistron's penchant for ground with some give in it, felt this opportunity was too good to miss.
"Tac De Boistron is in very good form. He looks well and we are very happy with him," said Botti.
"It was his first race of the season at Ascot and he did it well. We were happy with how he had done over the winter, but going two miles under a penalty was a slight concern.
"How much he has improved since then is difficult to say as he is a clean-winded horse who keeps himself fit. He also tries very hard and always does his best.
"The ground is important to him - good to soft is fine but I would probably not want to run him on anything quicker.
"Touch wood, we have had no issues with him since we got him last year but you have to be careful with these older horses, particularly with their joints.
"I spoke to his owners after the Sagaro and explained that we could wait for the Ascot Gold Cup but that the ground could be fast by then. So we all agreed to let him take his chance in the Yorkshire Cup.
"Tac de Boistron has really blossomed since he returned to Europe from Australia (ran in 2012 Melbourne Cup). I don't know the reason why, but he is very happy and well.
"He has a very good turn of foot when the ground is soft, but he isn't slow - he does have speed. He doesn't need it heavy, he just doesn't want it firm and good to soft ground is fine."
One horse who has a bit to find on the figures but has good course form to his name is last year's Ebor winner Tiger Cliff.
He provided Lady Cecil with an emotional success that day but left her care to join Alan King for a hurdling campaign.
Having run out of time when trying to prepare him for Cheltenham, it was decided to keep him back for the Flat and Tom Queally retains the ride.
His owner Henry Ponsonby said: "We're very pleased with his condition and this race will tell us which direction we should be going.
"It's the obvious race for him as the track and ground should suit him ideally.
"Bar one slip up in the Cesarewitch, his record is very consistent.
"He'll do himself justice."
John Gosden's Camborne came of age last autumn, winning the Mallard Stakes at Doncaster and a Group Three at Newbury.
Official ratings suggest he has every right to be lining up in a race of this calibre.
His rider William Buick said: "He's a very good horse on his day, he has his off-days sometimes but you couldn't fault him last year.
"When he gets his act together he's quite a talented horse."
James Fanshawe's Seal Of Approval caused a shock when winning
the Fillies & Mares Stakes on Champions Day at Ascot in the hands of George Baker.
Baker was replacing Hayley Turner, who was out injured after taking a nasty fall from Seal Of Approval in the Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster, but Turner is back in the saddle again.
"She has taken a while to come in her coat this spring - she isn't quite there yet, but she looks better. We have given her time and she is well," said Fanshawe.
"I have always thought the trip would suit her. She was going well in the Park Hill and definitely saw out the stiff mile and a half at Ascot well."
Fanshawe is double-handed in the £140,000 Group Two event, which is part of the Qipco British Champion Series, as he also saddles High Jinx.
The six-year-old is a solid performer at this level and was last seen finishing third in the Further Flight Stakes at Nottingham.
He also has a good record on the Knavesmire, having finished second on both his previous visits.
Fanshawe said: "High Jinx is in good form and I think he has come on since Nottingham. The ground is in his favour."
Ralph Beckett's string are running well and his Cubanita already has a win against the boys to her name this season in the John Porter Stakes, when she beat Noble Mission.
That form could not look much better as Frankel's brother won on his next two starts at Sandown and Chester.
"She's in good shape. The ground will dry a bit, which won't suit her, but we've been wanting to step her up in trip for a while," said Beckett.
"It will be tough for her, but she is tough and I'm glad we're running."
Sir Michael Stoute's Gospel Choir is out again relatively quickly having won the Jockey Club Stakes at the Guineas meeting while Godolphin run Ahzeemah, winner of the Lonsdale Cup at the track last season, and Penglai Pavilion.