This is a tight little race and you can make a case for pretty much all of these, but Raheen House is top on official ratings going into it. He didn’t run up to expectations in the Cocked Hat at Goodwood after splitting Shutter Speed and Enable at Newbury, but he returned to his best – and don’t forget he was also fourth in the Racing Post Trophy at two – when fourth to Permian in the King Edward VII Stakes for me at Royal Ascot last time. He didn’t get the best of runs at all there either – we got shuffled back to last after losing an early midfield pitch – and the manner in which he stayed on to finish fourth on the outside, to be beaten just under 3 lengths in the end, suggests this 1m5f trip will suit. You have to respect the likes of King George V winner Atty Persse but I quite like my chances – the rest have to improve to beat him – and Brian has his horses in great form, too. Tuesday’s rain will have suited him, as well.
This looks a typically competitive 3yo handicap, full of progressive types, and I imagine my colt is one of the outsiders. But he is one of the more lightly-raced horses in here and there are some reasons to be optimistic. He cost a lot of money as a yearling and this well-related colt looked set for a good season when making all over 7f at Newbury last August. But he has only run twice since, and not since I finished third of four on him over a mile at Kempton in April. That form hasn’t turned out to be that bad and the handicapper dropped him 2lb for it, and a strongly-run 6f could suit him, too, as he doesn’t lack pace. But he has been off a while, he wears a first-time tongue-tie and he is pitched into a very competitive sprint handicap against more hardened handicappers, so this could be tough. But Ed is another trainer who has his horses in good form, too.
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