Glorious Goodwod 2019: Day 4

It may not have been the Arc, but Deirdre’s Group One victory in the Nassau Stakes is still a momentous occasion. Too often, top level British races become purely domestic affairs and so we may hope that this triumph leads to far more international competition on our shores.

Friday is the first day without a Group One as punters build towards the carnage that is the Stewards Cup on Saturday. To fill the pockets for that particular heat, here are few selections for tomorrow.

2:25 – BIOMETRIC

He may have been in receipt of 10lb when reeling in Turgenev late on in the Britannia handicap at Royal Ascot, but Biometric only recognised the nature of his task at a very late stage that day. If he shrugs off greenness and continues his progression, he looks in decent shape to add another prize. He has the best form among a number of unexposed types and those with more headline starts, such as Turgenev, Duke Of Hazzard and Momkin, are opposable with less likely to come from them.

3:00 – DARK VISION

There are obvious reasons for backing Mojito, who won so cosily after a lay-off and has only gone up 3lb, but bouncing is always a possibility. Goodwood is very much a course for certain horses. Among those that have thrived in the past are Seniority and Dark Vision, who won a Group Two here as a juvenile 12 months ago. I followed him when he finished an eye-catching fourth on the July course and I’ll continue to do so here. He has not won since, but has put in some admirable performances in defeat recently while drifting gradually down the weights. His 7lb three-year-old allowance is generous for this stage in the season and he’s a built to make a mockery of such generous weight donations at this stage.

3:35 – Obviously Battaash, but he’s an absurd price.

4:40 – MIRAGE DANCER

Having just insulted the price of one odds-on shot, I’ll willingly take the 8/13 on offer for Mirage Dancer. His two main market rivals were easily behind him at Newmarket and he has good course form, including when hacking up in this last year. If he’s anywhere near his best he will win even more comfortably than his odds suggest.

5:15 – COUNTRY

The mark of William Haggas’ charge can only be lower than John Gosden’s Harrovian because the handicapper is running scared. Country was talented enough to win over a mile at two and won first time out this season when getting every yard of a four-runner race at Ripon. That was a poor contest, but he was a class above them and looks capable of progressing within this sort of company. Fox Vardy is the most appealing of the rest.

Glorious Goodwood 2019: Day 2

I repeat, Pinatubo may prove one of the highest quality juveniles we have ever seen. Hopefully, he proves more of a Frankel than a Xaar, but for now, let’s just enjoy watching replays of his scintillating successes to date.

Jazeel’s place at 10/1 in the opener meant it was an even first day between myself and the bookmakers. Here’s day two’s picks as I look to surge ahead.

2:25 – TRIBAL CRAFT

Its wide open and he’s in the “could be anything” category, but Andrew Balding’s colt has had just three starts and won by 20 lengths on his most recent star. He only faced two rivals, but the margin is still extraordinary and he runs off bottom weight here. He could prove well ahead of his mark of 89, or miles behind it, but the former seems far more likely and he represents the value bet at 11/1.

3:00 – LIBERTY BEACH

I won a fair amount for her 33/1 place at Ascot, but have subsequently grown frustrated that she was drawn on the wrong side that day, as I missed her when she scooted up in Listed company at Sandown. She looked lightning quick that day and can defeat Wes Ward’s first Goodwood runner in Maven in receipt of 6lb, while these two, at present, appear clear of the rest on form.

3:35 – PHOENIX OF SPAIN

Another slightly risky one, but I refuse to believe he even remotely showed his form at Ascot most recently. He may have benefitted from an easy lead in Ireland, but still hosed up against quality opposition and may well have bounced at the Royal meeting. I’m willing to forgive him that, especially given he’s twice the price of Circus Maximus, who may want more rain, and at least thrice that of Too Darn Hot, who is still to convince me he’s a natural miler.

Tough assignments for punters elsewhere. Ultimately, I want Lil Rockerfeller to win the opener too much that it would be sacrilege to oppose him, so he’d make up any four-way accumulator.

Glorious Goodwood 2019: Day 1

Consistent summery weather looks to be arriving at just the right time for Goodwood to be as Glorious as it should be. Seven races per day through until Saturday ensure I’ll be busy. Instead of analysing every race, I’ll be giving tips only where I see fit. Here are day one’s selections.

1:50 – JAZEEL

Setting Sail has looked highly progressive in his last three starts and Beringer consistent at this level, but collateral form should ensure that Jazeel has a fine chance of taking the prize for Jedd O’Keeffe. Jamie Spencer gets the nod with the horse off 3lb lower than his latest start at York having beaten both the previous two named on his two starts prior to that. He is better off with the Godolphin-owned favourite and only 1lb the worse for his encounter with Beringer.

2:25 – PINATUBO

Until he gets beaten, I have to include Pinatubo, who has delivered for me at Epsom and Ascot. He was so impressive in the Chesham, beating the highly touted Lope Y Fernandez, that he remains impossible to oppose regardless of him being a current favourite of mine. Visinari could come very good in time based on various metrics, but his stride and size, which will benefit him as he grows even further, currently make his running a little awkward. Nevertheless, the presence of he, Lope Y Fernandez and recent July Stakes winner Mystery Power may make this a renewal fitting of the race’s title.

3:00 –  SPACE TRAVELLER

Having been victorious in the Jersey Stakes, the three-year-old allowance of 7lb should prove too generous Richard Fahey’s charge. The runner-up that day, Space Blues, subsequently chased home Too Darn Hot in the Group One Prix Jean Prat and Space Traveller was slightly hindered on hi way through to challenge. He was still comfortably on top at the line and though that was a big improvement on previous form, he may only need to replicate it to be in with an excellent shout.

3:35 – Can’t quite bring myself to recommend Stradivarius at those odds even though he’ll almost certainly win. Neither of the next two in the market offer each-way value so, if anything, favour Southern France for a place.

4:45 – LINE OF REASON

I can’t be certain that Line Of Reason will give his best, but he’s beautifully treated if he chooses to race. Even just two starts back, he showed some spark in a big-field handicap and he wasn’t beaten too far off 16lb lower in this two years ago. If he fancies it, 16/1 is a big price given there’s no stand out.

Fingers crossed for the quadruple and good luck.

Is The King George Regaining Its Throne?

As someone new to racing in the last decade, it was interesting reading Tom Segal’s verdict on this weekend’s King George. There has been no flat race in the world that has competed with the annual quality of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in recent years, but Segal claimed that the King George was the original flat calendar showpiece.

Falling in the height of summer within the golden climes of Ascot, it is unusual that the race has lost ground on the French spectacular, whose weather conditions are much more variable falling in mid-Autumn. However, Longchamp has managed to appeal to a global audience and with such little time left in the season once the field crosses the line in the Arc, the winner’s connections can claim almost infallibly that their horse is the champion of the year.

To keep up, the King George has to engage with the same global audience as well as providing a stellar field from which you could reasonably claim the winning horse is the best on the planet. The 2019 renewal has both and looks set to be the pinnacle of the season.

While a fair few of these will likely contest the Arc too, and a couple of sleepers may also lie in wait for Longchamp, the principles at Ascot would make up the head of the market in almost any middle-distance, all-age race.

Obviously, Enable is the headline actress and so she should be. An exceptional winning machine, she has previous in both of these Group Ones, but it was in the King George that she first underlined her superstar credentials. Powering away by four lengths in the rain from an above average field as she did was an eye-opener to her true talent. She is one of few horses who have brought Ascot and Longchamp together recently: the first since Danedream to win both and the first to capture both in the same season since Dylan Thomas ten years before her.

Of course, both Workforce and Found were defeated in the King George before winning the French showpiece later in the year, but whether either were primed for the former as they were for the latter is debatable. Simply, the Arc meant more to their CV’s in their respective seasons. There is none of that this year.

Enable must preserve her unbelievable unbeaten run to remain in the Frankel/Sea The Stars tier of legends. Ridiculous as it is, to challenge among the upper echelons, she must keep winning, undisputed champion though she is.

It is likely that she will, but aside from last year’s Arc, when she was probably only 80% fit, and her foray to America, this is easily her sternest test to date.

Unlike at Kempton last September, she meets a fully fit Crystal Ocean, whose camp will be buoyed by their charge finally claiming his first Group One when he took the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot. That victory over Magical, subsequently beaten by Enable in the Eclipse, ensured Sir Michael Stoute’s five-year-old is now the highest rated horse in the world. His consistency at the top level will mean he will test the other principles, but though Poet’s Word broke somewhat of a duck last year, five-year-olds have a poor record in this, something he and Enable must overcome.

Along with Taghrooda, Enable followed up an Oaks triumph by winning the King George, but Derby winners not only haven’t won this in the same season since Galileo, but haven’t run full stop since Workforce. As such, the presence of Epsom hero Anthony van Dyck adds extra seasoning to the already tasty dish.

His spark was dampened with a humbling defeat in the Irish Derby, but that race will remain a mystery for some years to come. Given conditions, he potentially performed perfectly admirably, but he has the Classic generation’s hopes resting on his shoulders. If he finishes down the field, his reputation will be in tatters given his receipt of 11lb and more from the principles.

Both Waldgeist and Cheval Grand have the dreams of their respective nations to burden, though are both are more than capable at the highest level, while Defoe’s recent victory in the Coronation Cup earned him an invitation to the Group One winners party. To maintain his new, uppish standing, he will have to continue to perform with credit and this is far tougher than his Epsom triumph.

Each of Salouen and Morando have won comfortably in Group company this season while Aidan O’Brien’s ability to find improvement out of nowhere has seen both two horses with Sovereign in the title earn healthy prizes for their connections. All of Magic Wand, Hunting Horn and Norway have furlongs to find, but there are few Group Ones run without multiple O’Brien inmates these days.

I recommend not having a bet. This is a race regaining its former stature and any money placed will detract from the splendour of likely battle. Sit back and enjoy a proper Group One in all its glory and embrace the winner knowing you haven’t lost a penny. For that winner, Arc or no Arc, will likely be the season’s ultimate champion.

Royal Ascot Day 5: Shining in the City Lights

There was no greater advertisement for the unpredictability of racing than Watch Me’s success in the feature Coronation Stakes on the penultimate day at Royal Ascot. This meeting has certainly proved to me how foolish it can be to call winners across the board, but there’s only one day left, so I’ll chance my arm once more. Every race on the final day is previewed below.

Chesham:

Immaculately bred and, having fetched a King’s ransom at the sales, Lope Y Fernandez could not have made a better start to his career than when hacking up by three lengths on debut. Few of his charges win on debut and confidence is high in this son of Lope De Vega, but he may just meet a juvenile beast in PINATUBO. The Godolphin runner is monstrous for a two-year-old and the way he fought back to win the Woodcote at Epsom from well off the pace, on a course that evidently did not suit, suggested big things await and this seven furlong trip should bring out even more from him. Heaven Forfend is another who owes a lot to his heritage, but his maiden conqueror was down the field in the Coventry with Year Of The Tiger boasting a similar profile over from Ireland. Rose Of Kildare has already raced five times so is probably too exposed while there must be a lot of stable confidence about Montanari to run him here on his debut and the market may end up reflecting that. Highland Chief showed more speed than would be expected of one of his size and that might hint that he has a fair bit of ability as well.

  1. Pinatubo
  2. Lope Y Fernandez
  3. Highland Chief

 

Jersey:

Here’s hoping Godolphin get off to a flyer as SPACE BLUES looks the most solid in this three-year-old contest. He took a while to improve into his reputation, but his Listed win at Epsom over Urban Icon gives him stronger claims than most here as his best is likely to come. Urban Icon only has a neck to make up from Epsom, but he’d have to show something new, as would So Perfect under a 3lb penalty for her latest triumph. Happy Power beat older horses last weekend and is preferred to the same connections’ Bye Bye Hong Kong who needs to get out the stalls quicker than he did at Epsom as a front-runner. Momkin ran a solid enough race in the Guineas and should improve back to seven furlongs having been second in the Craven while Duke Of Hazzard boasts an outside chance if he can recapture the form that saw him finish fifth in the French Guineas.

  1. Space Blues
  2. Happy Power
  3. Momkin

 

Hardwicke:

 

The question will be asked until the off as to whether last year’s Derby winner Masar is fit enough to win a competitive race after 385 days on the sidelines. The suspicion is that, though he won the Craven very easily to begin last season, that this will prove slightly beyond him as many runners will thrive upon a stern test of stamina which Ascot’s stiff 1m4f track will deliver. Defoe finally got the job done in the Coronation Cup, but that seemed to be a bolt from the blue and Lah Ti Dar was soundly beaten that day. She had SOUTHERN FRANCE behind in third in the St Leger, but he went down by under a length to the sensational Stradivarius last time. His re-appearance and non-staying effort in the Cesarewitch can be discounted and this would be within his reach if coping with dropping back in trip: he has shown enough ability to suggest that may well be the case. Mirage Dancer is a big danger as Sir Michael Stoute’s record in this race is outstanding though his horse usually falls short up to this level. Salouen is the only other with a realistic chance if getting his own way up front.

  1. Southern France
  2. Mirage Dancer
  3. Defoe

 

Diamond Jubliee:

Blue Point’s appearance in the final Group One of the meeting is of enormous interest. He has already taken the King’s Stand this week and is a Group One winner in Dubai over this extended six furlongs. However, his form at this trip in the UK would leave him vulnerable given his exertions and, particularly at the prices, he’s worth opposing. Invincible Army has looked just that in two starts this season, but the race definitely fell his way at York most recently and that brings Yafta into equations at a working man’s price as his two starts this term have seen everything go against him. The Tin Man won this two years back, but suspicions creep in that his best days have been and gone while Bound For Nowhere is now one of Wes Ward’s last hopes of recording a victory at this year’s meeting. Le Brivido is another who runs for the second time this week, but it is last year’s second CITY LIGHT (nap) who appeals as the likely hero. He missed the break last year and still went down by the narrowest of margins and he warmed up with a highly encouraging second to the top-class Inns Of Court in his native France. If he reproduces last year’s effort, he’ll almost certainly be right in the equation. Of the rest, the in form Dream Of Dreams, Kachy and Keystroke are other runners who could make this a fine contest.

  1. City Light
  2. Invincible Army
  3. Yafta

 

Wokingham:

One of the best handicaps of the season. Bacchus managed to win this on his re-appearance last season, so that cannot be considered a negative for chances again in 2019 off just 3lb higher. Cape Byron won here over seven furlongs in May and could be suited by a strongly run six, while Spring Loaded and Foxtrot Lady have big-field form in the locker that could serve them well from extreme draws. Soldier’s Minute ran right away with a handicap at York in the Spring, but that was not reflective of his previous efforts. Perfection is a Listed winner over the trip while it would now take a leap of faith to support Gifted Master after he disappointed last time, though he is now on a very appealing mark. For his first big handicap, however, it appears that HEY JONESY should be well treated to go close. He was only two lengths behind Eqtidaar in last year’s Group One Commonwealth Cup here and is admirably consistent at a strong level. Watchable has bounced right back to form recently and if the nine-year-old continues to retain some of his old verve, then he will be positioned to challenge while Fighting Irish was also close up in the aforementioned Commonwealth Cup, but has lost his way since.

  1. Hey Jonesy
  2. Watchable
  3. Bacchus

 

Queen Alexandra:

The longest race in the flat calendar, so it is no surprise to see the likes of Max Dynamite, Younevercall and Black Corton running in this code. The first named has actually raced most recently on the flat and is the highest rated of these having been second in the Doncaster Cup last year, though the latter two have only ever run in the National Hunt sphere, so it is very tough to gauge if they’ll enjoy this. Cleonte should shoe up better than when only sixth in the Chester Cup as he’d previously been third in the Cesarewitch. Corelli is well worth a step up in trip for Gosden and Dettori, but last year’s winner PALLASATOR may be slightly overlooked. His last two runs have seen him well beaten, but over nearly a mile shorter and he’d need at least this trip to be seen at his best on the level. He is now ten, but enjoys his trips here and Oisin Murphy gets the leg up for Gordon Elliott. The rest look up against it.

  1. Pallasator
  2. Corelli
  3. Cleonte

Royal Ascot Day 4: Time to follow Aidan off a cliff

Paddy Power reported that they were in danger of their biggest ever daily pay out as Turgenev and Frankie Dettori appeared to be surging clear in the Britannia Stakes yesterday. They were saved, just, by Harry Bentley in a driving finish, but Thursday 20th June will go down as one of Frankie’s most glorious days in the spotlight. Today, however, should be much more about the biggest name in training and with his three-year-olds shining so far, Aidan O’Brien will be hoping for a profitable Friday. Tips for all six races below.

Albany:

Frankie begins the day for the same trainer as yesterday, with Simon Crisford’s Last Surprise, unsurprisingly, backed down into second favouritism off the back of his rider’s glorious Gold Cup day crusade. There is no doubting the potential is there after she won with plenty in the tank at Lingfield, but Godolphin’s SILENT WAVE was arguably as impressive when overcoming greenness to win at Goodwood. That form alone is not enough, but she tried every trick in the book to lose and still came nicely clear, so any amount of improvement is plausible. Roger Varian has had a tremendous season and Daahyeh beat Queen Mary winner, Raffle Prize on debut though she’ll still have to have trained on again. Galadriel was sent straight into Listed company and performed with significant credit in spite of missing the break, while Nayibeth ran a much quicker time under the same conditions as stablemate Chilli Petin at Keeneland. Exclusively only lost by a neck to a Listed winner last time out and was conceding 4lb, so she is seen as the best each-way ploy.

  1. Silent Wave
  2. Galadriel
  3. Exclusively

 

King Edward VII:

Only three who ran in the Epsom Derby try again here and by far the best hand is held by JAPAN (nap). He powered home into third despite Wayne Lordan dropping his whip in the closing stages and he only lost second on the nod. He may yet prove the pick of his generation in middle distance races and this is a great opportunity to pick up a first Group race prize of the season. Private Secretary is definitely trending in the right direction and there’s no limits to what Gosden and Dettori can do at the moment. Bangkok and Humanitarian were both well held at Epsom and Pondus is only just stepping out of novice company for all his limitations are not yet exposed. Pablo Escobarr may prove the biggest danger as he was runner-up to Anthony Van Dyck in the Lingfield Derby trial and should be fine upped in trip.

  1. Japan
  2. Pablo Escobarr
  3. Private Secretary

 

Commonwealth Cup:

This revolves around three horses dropping back to what should prove an ideal trip. It is too difficult to vote against TEN SOVEREIGNS who still performed respectably enough despite not staying in the 2000 Guineas and was only robbed of a place in the final strides. He has won all three races over this trip to date and should be seen to best effect even in the absence of a traditional O’Brien pacemaker. Jash was only beaten half a length by the selection in the Middle Park and clung on to record a Listed success over seven furlongs on his seasonal return. He may not have truly stayed, but he’d still need to improve markedly on that anyway. Advertise is the other returning to shorter distances as he was well beaten in the Guineas, the first time he’s finished outside the top two. However, the problems seem to extend beyond non-staying as Martyn Meade resorts to blinkering his charge today. Hello Youmzain’s defeat of Calyx at Haydock could prove impressive, but the bare form against the other two he beat that day is not good enough while, of the rest, Khaadem remains unexposed and is chasing a four-timer and Forever In Dreams is moving in the right direction and was bought for over £400,000 at the beginning of the week.

  1. Ten Sovereigns
  2. Jash
  3. Khaadem

 

Coronation:

Jubiloso and Castle Lady are fillies of the grandest potential, but as a three-year-old, no horse has been able to touch HERMOSA. A dual Guineas heroine after a gutsy success at Newmarket before a divine display at the Curragh, it would be a surprise if she did not dominate again in the face of new opposition. Jubiloso’s pedigree and double of facile successes ensure she comes here with some reputation while Castle Lady will enjoy any cut that remains having won the French Guineas on heavy. She remains unbeaten while Pretty Pollyanna was initially the star juvenile of her sex. She is now race fit and could close the gap on Hermosa from the Curragh where she was runner-up. Watch Me wasn’t beaten too far behind Castle Lady in their mutual Classic and she is an intriguing entry and Main Edition’s German Guineas success may be being underrated by the bookies.

  1. Hermosa
  2. Castle Lady
  3. Jubiloso

 

Sandringham:

This truly is anyone’s to win. At the top of the weights are the classy pair of Magnetic Charm and Coral Beach. It will take a mammoth performance for the former to concede 5lb and more all round and 105 is a sky-high mark for a Listed winner of only a neck. The latter does not inspire confidence in terms of her recent form (a pair of Group One 8ths) though this could prove markedly easier. The trio of Hotsy Totsy, Invitational and Nonchalance arrive seeking hat-tricks for the season and the form of each has positives. Maamora finally broke her duck last time out and that experience may benefit her while both Kimblewick and Garrel Glen appeal at big odds returning to a level in which they can acquit themselves more thoroughly. That said, the two to appeal most won on their returns to action. Those are Desirous and LADY MADISON, with slight preference for the latter at the prices. She is slightly less exposed and her four length victory has since been franked.

  1. Lady Madison
  2. Desirous
  3. Nonchalance

 

Duke Of Edinburgh:

Baghdad and Corgi were one and two in the three-year-old equivalent last year and though the latter is now in a better position at the weights, his conversion rate in terms of wins is poor for a horse of his quality and Mark Johnston’s charge, with the benefit of Ryan Moore in the saddle, should confirm the form given his impressive displays so far this season. However, both have continued to rise higher in the weights while both Fujaira Prince and JOHNNY DRAMA are far less exposed and run from towards the bottom of the handicap. Roger Varian’s horse was denied narrowly by First Eleven at York, but a 4lb rise for finishing runner-up could prove challenging to surmount. Johnny Drama, meanwhile, must overcome a rise of nearly a stone, though he’s clearly on a steep upward curve, winning by a long way over a mile-and-a-quarter latest. The step back up in trip should favour him even more and a chance is taken that he could prove fairly useful. Top Tug’s best days are probably past him while Aquarium’s habit of popping up when you least expect him is unlikely to be seen today. Sevenna Star and Kasparenko offer value at their prices.

  1. Johnny Drama
  2. Baghdad
  3. Corgi

Royal Ascot Day 3: Dee Ex Bee can force Stradivarius out of tune

Ascot may not have shone in any actual sunshine, but with Lord Glitters and Crystal Ocean taking home two of the principle races to date, there’s certainly been a lot of sparkle on the racecourse. Day 3 promises more of the same, with the premier prize being the prestigious Gold Cup for the champion stayers. Tips for all six races below:

Norfolk:

Though he’s a short enough price for a Group level two-year-old contest, SUNDAY SOVEREIGN’s form is so spectacular for this stage in his career that there’s no escaping his obvious prospects. Coventry winner Arizona was left comfortably in his wake two starts back an he looks King Power’s best hope of the week having won on soft by seven lengths last time out. He should have Air Force Jet in his rear view window on collateral form while King Neptune has failed to build on the promise of his debut victory. As such, Mount Fuji is treated with a little hesitation for the same yard, though Godolphin’s juveniles have run creditably enough so far this week and so Expressionist is not discounted. A’Ali is a maiden but went very close having pulled well clear of the rest on debut, though the best two each way punts look to be Wesley Ward’s Maven, who is reportedly in rude health and Mark Johnston’s Misty Grey who was blisteringly quick over the first few furlongs at Epsom recently and so the drop in trip looks sure to suit.

  1. Sunday Sovereign
  2. Misty Grey
  3. Maven

 

Hampton Court:

Aside from maybe one or two outsiders, no horses can be discounted in this. Fox Chairman met trouble in running when third in the Dee Stakes at Chester and that form was given a major boost with Circus Maximus’ win in the St James’ Palace. That said improvement is still required and a line through the runner-up gives him a lot to find with Cape Of Good Hope although there are question marks over the soft ground for the O’Brien runner. King Ottokar failed to stay when upped in trip, but he was impressive under similar conditions at Newbury, but there is a chance that GREAT SCOT will relish the extra quarter-mile to his furthest trip to date. He stayed on powerfully when looking beaten in the German Guineas and snatched third late. That hints that more is to come stamina wise and he has form with significant cut in the ground. Sangarius looked a very promising two-year-old and there are reasons to believe he’ll stay while Eightsome Reel is unexposed enough to suggest 33/1 is too big a price.

  1. Great Scot
  2. Fox Chairman
  3. Cape Of Good Hope

 

Ribblesdale:

Ready preference is for FLEETING (nap) who romped home to be placed in the Oaks when ridden as if she wouldn’t necessarily stay or be good enough. She answered both those questions by finishing off best of any filly in the field and a slightly more aggressive ride should showcase her abilities to best effect as she may yet prove to be the pick of her generation at this trip. Frankellina was my selection in the Oaks and though she’s a likely improver, three lengths looks too much to find with Fleeting, especially as she looked a dubious stayer at Epsom. It is interesting that she looks set to be her connections’ second string with Star Catcher the choice for Anthony Oppenheimer’s red cap with Frankie Dettori in the saddle. However, Queen Power looks to hold her on that form with Sir Michael Stoute in great form and the promise of more to come. Sparkle Roll was hugely disappointing in the Musidora, but that may not have been her true form while Irish raiders Altair and Fresnel could relish this new trip.

  1. Fleeting
  2. Queen Power
  3. Frankellina

 

Gold Cup:

Champion stayer and millionaire Stradivarius is obviously as fearsome an opponent as they come, but I’ll gamble on last year’s Derby runner-up DEE EX BEE relishing every yard of this newfound trip. His form briefly went to pieces after running a blinder at Epsom, but he’s turned it around with two strong galloping wins over two miles to begin this season. His rangy style ensures he can gallop his rivals into submission and I envisage a Big Orange/Order Of St George type of scenario with Johnston’s charge grinding out the win. Melbourne Cup hero Cross Counter is another danger having taken his form to another level in Dubai, though he is much less certain of seeing out the trip. Capri has folded tamely so far this season and so stablemate Flag Of Honour looks the O’Brien number one. He win last year’s Irish St Leger and has recently been running over inadequately short trips while Magic Circle looks the best each-way option as he’s a likely stayer with a Chester Cup to his name.

  1. Dee Ex Bee
  2. Stradivarius
  3. Flag Of Honour

 

Britannia:

Thirty runners with varying levels of experience ensure this is the hardest code to break this week. Migration sneaks into this at the bottom of the weights with the absence of two in the original line-up. He has been progressing quicker than most this year with cut suitable enough and the same can be said of Motafaawit, who is already a duel course hero. Dunkirk Harbour lurks dangerously on his mark if his recent effort in a Group Three is anything to go by while the 8 in Awe’s recent form can be discounted due to meeting a nightmare passage. Velorum looks the pick for Godolphin as he’s impressed with two wins so far this term while Hero Hero looked smart at Chester. However, two at enormous prices stand out with Finoah having convinced enough that another furlong is within his range last time and a 6lb rise not looking overly harsh. Even higher in the market is HOT TEAM. His Listed win in France came on heavy ground and he won by 4 lengths that day. His two starts this term have been underwhelming, but he’s down 5lb for his first handicap start this season and there’s a chance he’ll relish conditions and run a mighty race.

  1. Hot Team
  2. Finoah
  3. Dunkirk Harbour

 

King George V:

Constantinople may well be very smart, but his rating of 105 leaves him vulnerable here in conceding 5lb and more all round for all that he is a Group Three winner. Stablemate Antilles was five lengths behind latest, but now receives that amount in weight. Sinjaari is raised a cruel 8lb for a runner-up finish at Newbury though he could surpass that in improvement for this trip. Almania needs to leave his Dante form behind, but the fact that he was considered good enough for that race speaks volumes, though the up and coming GREAT EXAMPLE was eased down to win in fine style in a novice race at Ripon and he carries a relative featherweight here. He is well bred and easily worth a shot at this if ready. Fox Premier and Sir Ron Priestley are the others of note.

  1. Great Example
  2. Constantinople
  3. Almania