September is the favourite and obvious one to beat after her runaway Leopardstown win on her debut, but just a glance at the race tells you we are dealing with any number of horses with similar profiles. My colt shaped very well when just touched off on his debut at Lingfield and the form of that race looks pretty strong, with the third coming out and winning since. The extra furlong will suit, so let’s see how we get on.
I know the horse well, having won a couple of times on him. He isn’t on a bad mark at his best and has run well on his only start at this course. He will need to have come on a fair amount from his run at Newmarket last time, though, to be fair, that was his first run since Meydan in February and conditions here will suit. He has an outside each-way chance.
This race may have lost Frontiersman but it still has a lot of depth, with last year’s winner Dartmouth and Idaho two of the more likely and obvious winners. But my colt is a Group 1 winner, 1m4f on fast ground are his conditions, and he has run two great races since joining Roger. He showed a good attitude for me when winning at Goodwood last time and, while this is obviously a lot tougher, hopefully he can be competitive here. It’s a big ask for him though, to be honest.
I thought he would run better than he did in the Lockinge last time but he could never get competitive there from off the pace in what were obviously very testing conditions. Stepping down 2f on faster ground is a much different test, but if he comes back to the form of his Challenge Stakes win in October then I don’t think he will be disgraced and I think odds of 25/1 underplay his chances somewhat. He could find things happening a bit too quickly here, though, I accept that.
He tends to go very well at this course. I was on board when he won a very valuable pot over 7f a couple of seasons ago and he finished fifth in this race last year, as well as rounding off his campaign with a good run behind Librisa Breeze in October. The handicapper has dropped him 1lb since, and he does go very well when fresh, so I think he could run very respectably.
He wouldn’t have the most obvious chance against plenty of 100+ horses but he is the least exposed! He has joined Jonjo after winning a bumper at Down Royal in May, so let’s see how he gets on. Racing can surprise you, I suppose!
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