BARYSHNIKOV has not been in the winner’s enclosure since last spring but David Barron’s seven-year-old looks primed to dance to victory in the day’s premier race at Redcar on Friday.

The Thirsk-trained seven-year-old, named after the finest ballet dancer of his generation, will be strongly fancied to land the Woodsmith Construction Straight Mile Handicap after strong showings in his last two runs.

The gelding was a fast-finishing third to Oviedo (pictured below) in the Racing TV Zetland Gold Cup at Redcar at the end of May, and Ed Bethell’s charge is considered worthy of a place in Group 3 company at Royal Ascot’s Hampton Court Stakes on Thursday.

The Northern Echo: Oviedo wins the Racing TV Zetland Gold Cup

Baryshnikov followed that by being an apparently unlucky loser days later when failing by a nose at Ripon after a tardy start.

He scored back-to-back victories in April and May last year and is on a mark a pound lower than the second of those runs at Chester, so he should be thereabouts again with Callum Rodriguez in the saddle.

Friday’s meeting is an eight-race appetiser to Ladies’ Day and a feast of fashion on Saturday and gets underway at 1.20pm with the Watch Racing TV Free For 31 Days Selling Stakes.

The seven-furlong opener looks to be at the mercy of Newmarket raider Mimi Kakushi, trained by George Boughey and ridden by five-pounds claimer Connor Planas. The filly ran with credit to dead-heat for fourth in a 14-runner Class 4 race at Newmarket last month, and this is an easier task.

Martin’s Brig was an unlucky second at Redcar last month after running into interference, and David Thompson’s gelding, with Cam Hardie riding, can go one better in the Join Racing TV Handicap (Division One).

The much-travelled Luke Morris has an attractive book of rides on his trip north and looks to have strong claims in Division Two on board Okeanos for Ivan Furtado. The four-year-old makes his turf debut having won on the all-weather at Wolverhampton in April, then finishing second despite failing to settle over a longer trip at the same track. Back down in distance, he is expected to be in the firing line.

County Durham trainer Michael Dods is enjoying another fine season and he looks to have found a good opportunity for Rockonmecca to break her duck in the Celebrate The Life of Joe Newton Handicap. The El Kabeir filly ran well to be third at Ripon last time and first-time blinkers could help to continue the progress under Callum Rodriguez.

Rodriguez will also fancy his chances of following up on James Tate’s Flying Frontier in the Novice Stakes. The colt was two lengths too good for Iron Lion at Carlisle last time but David O’Meara’s Roaring Lion colt should be go closer with a seven-pounds pull and an extra furlong to travel.

With likely favourite In The Trenches now a non-runner in the penultimate Start Your Racing TV Free Trial Handicap, it looks a good opportunity for Charlie Johnston's Perfect Play to return to winning ways.

Richard Fahey’s Talha looks the answer to the finale, the Come Racing On Ladies’ Day Tomorrow Maiden Handicap. He was second over six furlongs at Hamilton this month, having been headed inside the final furlong, and the drop back to the minimum trip may do the trick with David Nolan providing strong assistance.

  • Gates for Ladies' Day on Saturday open at 11am, with the first race at 13.37pm.