It’s a decent Jersey with the likes of French Guineas runner-up Le Brivido in here, but I think Dream Castle is the horse to beat if getting cover and settling from his wide draw. I thought he was the best horse in the Greenham and things didn’t pan out ideally for him when fifth in the Guineas. I think he is a better horse than we have seen so far.
Mother Of Dragons
She has run well on both her starts, just being touched off at Windsor and Goodwood, but I don’t think there have been any real excuses for her. Of course, she can improve but I think we are playing for places at best to be honest. Mind you, I think everyone may be if Happy Like A Fool is the filly I think she is. She won her only start in Keeneland back in April and she impressed me when I rode her in a piece of work at Ascot last week, and this doesn’t look the strongest Queen Mary. She has a good mind, is physically strong and has speed. I don’t see any chinks in her armour.
This looks a good Duke Of Cambridge but I just come down on the side of Usherette. She was very impressive when winning this race last year, but we didn’t see her again after she blew out in the Falmouth. She looks to be steadily coming back to form, not being beaten far when third in the Prix d’Ispahan last time – the second Duke Of Navan won next time – and, back to a track that we know she likes, I think she may just edge this.
I like Ulysses in here. I was impressed with him when he won at Sandown on his return and this looks the perfect race for him, even if he is drawn a tiny bit wide. That is something you probably can’t say of the form horses. Highland Reel is a very good 1m4f horse but, aside from his Secretariat win, he does tend to struggle when racing over 1m2f, for all that he finished a good second in the Juddmonte.
I was originally on Banksea before Frankie’s unfortunate news broke on Tuesday morning, but I have switched to El Vip. But don’t underestimate Banksea. He was gelded after playing up in the Cambridgeshire and we saw the benefit of that when he won well for me in the Spring Cup. That is probably the strongest piece of handicap form in this race. The second won easily at Nottingham last time, the third Fastnet Tempest has scored twice since, and generally it looks a very solid slice of form. He ran well over course and distance last season and, off just a 4lb higher mark than Newbury, I can see him being very competitive once again. But I’m very sweet on El Vip’s chances. He has a huge amount of ability. The problem with him is getting him through the preliminaries – he is a huge, big, horse and an edgy one, too – and the important thing is to get him to relax. He will wear a rug going into the stalls and I’d be more worried about the first half of the race for him, rather than the second. I rode him when he won well at Newcastle earlier in the month and, even with his 5lb penalty, he is 3lb well-in here. He races off 99, and is currently rated 102, and I’d be disappointed if he is not a Group horse by the end of the season.
Con Te Partiro
It is hard to get a handle on her form in the States, so whether or not her mark of 102 is on the high side I’m not so sure. But I rode her in a piece of work with Lady Aurelia at Ascot last week and she went nicely.
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