Friday 4th August
I rode him to win a Group 1 in Germany a couple of years ago when with Luca, and he has run three excellent races for Roger this season. His course-and-distance defeat of Desert Encounter here in May WAS obviously franked by the runner-up finishing third in the Eclipse and he ran another solid race when a neck second to Lord Yeats at Newmarket last time when carrying a 3lb penalty. This will come down to who copes with the conditions best, and my horse has got form with cut, though he would prefer better ground, for sure. But he has chances against the form horses Frontiersman and Poet’s Word.
On official ratings, in the absence of Trais Fluors, impressive Newmarket winner Beat The Bank is clearly the one to beat but the fact that he is unproven on soft ground gives the rest of us hope. My horse is the lowest-rated by some way but, as with Luca’s 79-rated God Given winning in Listed company recently, sometimes you have to look beyond the obvious. I do rate this horse. I was very impressed when he won his maiden on fast ground at Salisbury and it wasn’t the plan to make the running at Newbury last time, but he did it really well and lengthened away in style at the finish. That win came off a mark of only 85 in a 1m handicap, and I’d be worried about the soft ground as he is a good-actioned horse, but I think that he is better than his current handicap mark. He clearly has it all to do, though, if he takes his chance in the ground.
First-time blinkers didn’t do the trick over 6f at Ascot last time, so they are left off here. He was obviously a very good juvenile and he was impressive when winning in the soft in a first-time visor at Chester last season, on which form he is well-treated off a mark of 102 here. He stayed this trip at two, handles soft, is on a falling handicap mark and has course form, but he needs to show more than of late to be competitive here. If he returns to form, he can figure though, and recent runs show he clearly isn’t a sprinter. And his Breeeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf third over this trip came on bad ground.
This is the first time I have sat on the horse for over four years. He has obviously had his problems but he is a very good horse when fit and firing – as he was when winning the Duke Of York in 2015 – and he made a very promising return to action when fourth at Salisbury last time. He has never raced on ground this soft before and needs to come on a lot for that reappearance run, form-wise, to be in the shake-up here but he did finish a really good fourth in this race in 2013 and hopefully he can outrun his big odds if he takes his chance, which must be doubtful in this ground.
I don’t know a lot about her and she has plenty to find on official ratings by the looks of it. But she should handle the conditions judged on her second in 1m Group 3 in Germany last time, and the fact that she stays a lot further than 7f – she has won over 1m1f – is a plus in these conditions.
See Of Rome
He ran well below form on fast ground under a 6lb penalty at Newbury last time, and is actually 1lb higher here. But he is much better judged on his earlier clear-cut maiden win over this trip on good to soft ground at Salisbury, and he had experience of the track here last season. But he needs to improve to beat one or two of these who look progressive and well-handicapped.
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