We always thought a lot of her last season and she progressed quickly from her maiden win here, landing a Group 3 in France just two starts later. She wasn’t disgraced when we stepped her up markedly in class to contest the Vermeille (that was a tactical race), and I was also very happy with her comeback run at Ascot. I wasn’t on board that day but Joe [Fanning] didn’t look to give her a hard race from the front, and the form looks even better given the subsequent runs of the placed horses, Mirage Dancer and Salouen. We thought she would need that run, too. Perhaps she could do with some rain but I wouldn’t be overly-concerned on that front – perhaps it is just the way the races have panned out, and they have watered at Haydock – and, regardless, I think she has a favourite’s chance and is the one to beat. It is a competitive Group 3 though, and most have stood their ground from the five-day stage.
He has run two good race since winning at Kempton, and the handicapper has eased him 1lb for his latest run. All of his runs this season have been on the all-weather but he showed he was capable on quick ground on turf last year, and hopefully he won’t be far away again if running his race. I thought Dragon Moon, back in trip on decent ground, was the one that interested me most in here.
I’m not sure why he ran below expectations here last time, although being drawn 16 probably didn’t help at all. There were a lot of runners to be drawn out in the car park there, and it is always hard here in those circumstances. You can never get back in. The handicapper has ignored that run, which I suppose is fair enough, and he remains on the same mark as when a good fifth for me at Ascot previously. Things didn’t fall right for us there, either, and I would like to think he is capable a winning a handicap off 82. He isn’t straightforward and needs to relax early, so this course may not be ideal in that regard, but hopefully there is a good pace to aim at.
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