2.20 – This looks a crackerjack of a renewal of this race with last year’s top sprinter Reverence set to take on a good class field. Eric Alston’s charge will have come on a bundle for his run at Sandown where he looked rather gross in the paddock and didn’t really get the give underfoot that served him so well last season. There could well be a chance that he will be withdrawn here, but if Alston does let him take his chance then expect a decent run without perhaps a victory!
However, even on good ground I suspect others will have a better turn of foot. Wi Dud, second in that Esher race is the most obvious alternative and looks sure to run well. I actually thought he looked a bit ‘light’ at Sandown.
As long as he doesn’t miss the break then a big race is on the cards again, but he is hardly well drawn in stall one.
Like Reverence, Bygone Days possibly needs more rain but has not been disgraced on his two outings to date this season and will relish this relative drop in grade, but while the ground is still on the fast side I prefer the claims of ASSERTIVE as long as the ground stays dry.
He hated the going at Royal Ascot and has been aimed at this race ever since and is sure to stay on when others have cried enough.
Baltic King is also a danger on fast ground, while Sonny Red is interestingly dropped back to six furlongs after being far from disgraced behind impressive Jersey winner Tariq.
2.50 – The question is how many more chances can we give Pride of Nation after his dismal failure at Royal Ascot and then Sandown this season. He is still feasibly rated on the best of his form from last year, but maybe his yard and the media have just over rated him.
Whatever the case this looks an easier contest, and as long as there is no sting in the ground he looks sure to go very well.
However, the percentage call is once again to oppose him and the vote, albeit a tentative one in such a competitive event goes to bottom weight HARARE (NAP).
This six-year-old normally operates at a slightly lower level, but one thing we do know, and it is a negative about several of his opponents is that he stays the mile well and acts on fastish ground.
Stall one is hardly a benefit, but he has to be held up off a strong pace so will probably be brought in behind the field to settle and just needs some luck in running to make his presence felt.
Of course there are numerous dangers in such a big field and the likes of Newmarket winner Third Set, one of the few progressive in the field, along with Count Trevisio and Prince of Elegance are feared.
3.25 – A always, Richard Hannon is the man to watch in this event and with each horse’s weight based on their purchase price there are some anomalies in the line-up.
Without a doubt the best ‘handicapped’ horse has to be Cake, only a length and a quarter off Elletelle in the Queen Mary after getting a far from clear run. The winner has of course gone on to run a cracking race in the Cherry Hinton since, so the form looks absolutely rock solid to me.
The negative is obviously the price and at around the 5/2 marker value she is not! FANATICAL was only a length and a half behind in eighth place that day and maybe appeals as an each-way selection. I have to say she is hardly solid to reverse the form, but will be staying on very well (really needs six) and is therefore put up as an each-way alternative.
Cracking and Miss Versatile are others that could fill the frame, but Cake should be hard to beat here and I have only put up the selection as a value alternative.