No prizes for originality here, however the performance of the day at Newmarket last Saturday came from debutant Calyx. Not only did he provide Kingman with his first winner as a sire when storming clear in the opener on the card, but he also produced the best performance by a two-year-old so far this season.
Connections weren't in a hurry to commit him to Royal Ascot, but he's a pattern performer in the making for sure, and, as Jamie Lynch wrote earlier this week, “his achievement – expressed as a rating first time out - is virtually off the scale, fattened by an exceptionally fast closing sectional which makes the option of the Coventry an obligation, despite the pressures of time.” John Gosden
The David O’Meara-trained Summerghand would be interesting if making the cut for the Wokingham, though with a BHA rating of 95 (including his 5 lb penalty), he’s unlikely to get in. That shouldn’t be a problem for Major Jumbo, however, who was in action at Musselburgh while Summerghand was making hay at Newbury. Trained by Kevin Ryan and rated 101 by the BHA, Major Jumbo continued in good heart as he once more made the frame in a strongly-contested handicap, arguably worth a bit extra over the result, too, given that he wasn't so well away from the stalls as he might have been. He was no match for the all-the-way winner Caspian Prince, but would be better suited by the galloping nature of Ascot and could be capable of running well at rewarding odds if taking his chance in the Wokingham Stakes a week on Saturday. Kevin Ryan
While Summerghand may not get in the Wokingham, stablemate Firmament should have no problem getting a run in the Royal Hunt Cup from his BHA mark of 101. You have to go back a bit further to his last start, in the Victoria Cup at this venue last month, however it was a promising sign that he retains all his ability despite a winless campaign in 2017. He was beaten three lengths when ninth of 27 to Ripp Orf in the Victoria Cup, running on late and deserving extra credit on the day given he was second home in the disadvantaged smaller group of runners who raced down the near side. He's quickly been given a chance by the handicapper, now 8 lb below the mark he was placed from at the Ebor meeting last year, and is one to be interested in again. David O’Meara