Nick Luck’s William Hill blog: Chelsea can score in Rockfel

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Newmarket, Friday

CRYSTAL CAPRICE can take the TV opener at Newmarket on Friday (1.50pm) at 7/4. I’ve kept my eye on this filly closely, as I always thought her dam was a serious talent that was unfulfilled. This one has been burning slowly, but she’s improving hand over fist, and she’s not been pitched in too deep here.

ROYAL SCANDAL gets the nod at 5/1 in the Princess Royal Stakes (2.25pm). By Dubawi out of a Group One winner Seal Of Approval, this is a filly that looks tailor made for a decent test at the trip, and James Fanshawe is not a man to threaten a workable handicap mark unnecessarily. She was really impressive at Kempton last time and can take the step up in class in her stride.

SYDNEYARMS CHELSEA has possibilities at a bit of a price at 12/1 in the Rockfel (3.00pm). She was a bit unlucky not to finish right up behind Meditate at Royal Ascot before even more unfortunate at Deauville. She made amends there next time a shade snugly, William Buick is booked, and the front of the market is either all promise or somewhat exposed.

POGO might just do the job for us again in the Joel Stakes (3.35pm) at 7/2. The dry weather has been his friend this season and, although you feel seven furlongs is his thing, he ran a superb race in this last year when splitting Benbatl and Masteroftheseas. There is little of that calibre here, and he might get an unharried time if it on the lead again following a career best effort at York last time.

Haydock, Friday

RAVEN’S UP can produce the goods at 15/2 in the opening TV event at Haydock (1.30pm). There was distinct improvement dropped to this distance at Ripon (beating fair horse) and Benoit de la Sayette’s claim can make the difference in slightly better company.

VINTAGE CHOICE is risky, but looks a bit of value at 10/1 in the 2.05pm. He has been a little free and keen, but a pause to refresh plus the hood might have put some manners on him and his run behind Encourageable earlier in the year makes him look pretty well handicapped here.

BALTIC BIRD might well be a whole lot better than his mark (2.40pm) and gets the vote at 5/1. Thought good enough to contest the Queens Vase – and not unfancied – he simply found the ground too quick and the company too hot. His rivals here are either exposed or have questions to answer and, granted cut in the ground, can show himself better than this grade.

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