I won on him a couple of times a few years back. He’s a very decent handicapper on his day, and he has had a good break since a spell hurdling in the autumn. He goes well when fresh and, while you could argue that this trip may be on the sharp side for him, he has plenty of 1m2f form and hopefully there will be a strong enough pace in here for him.
It was obviously great news to pick up the ride on Wednesday, and I sat on him that morning. It was just a routine breeze, but it was all good. He obviously had smart form at two, just being touched off in the Coventry before being placed in the Gimcrack, but it was his eye-catching Lingfield win on his return that brought him to a few people’s attention. He clearly did really well to win from so far back that day, and posted some good sectionals in the process.
That win came over 7f but his pedigree gives you plenty of hope that he will stay, being by Havana Gold out of a mare who won at up to 1m3f.
This straight mile will obviously represent a much different test to Lingfield and he does need to improve to get into the shake-up here, but I think this is a very open Guineas and the drying ground will suit this daisy-cutter.
The favourite Gustav Klimt did really well to win on his return at Leopardstown considering he had been off so long after his Superlative Stakes win and is still relatively inexperienced.
To pick up a decent race-fit rival in heavy ground in the manner that he did was impressive, and we know this better ground will suit him.
But, to me, Masar could be the one to beat and he comes in here a touch underestimated.
That may seems a silly thing to say about a 9-length winner of a Craven but people seem to be looking for a way to underplay the form.
I rode in that race and, while he may have got an easy lead, he kicked 4f out and it was a very impressive performance in the manner in which he kept up the gallop. He was a tough and classy performer in Group 1s last season, not getting the rub of the green a couple of times, and he could just set the standard here.
Saxon Warrior is said to have progressed well physically since his Group 1-winning juvenile campaign but I think we will see him to better effect over further – he has always struck me as a 1m2f+ horse for this season – and Elarqam needs to step up a fair deal.
Sure, he has the pedigree and the potential, but I wasn’t a massive fan of his Tattersalls win over 7f here last season. But, of course, he has the potential to step forward.
This is a winnable Guineas, too – I don’t see the likes of a Churchill, with top 2yo form, in here – so I do think a few are fancying their chances as a result.
A lot of David’s horses have been needing the run this season. It has taken us a while to get on the grass, and horses tend to exert 25 per cent more energy on turf as opposed to all-weather gallops, so that is where the fitness comes from. So Highbrow will come on for the run, I am sure. In fact, I remember our Balios getting beaten in this race three years ago and winning the King Edward VII at Royal Ascot on his next start. But Highbrow is a good horse and one to watch this season. He impressed me when winning at Kempton in December, the 1m2f trip should suit, and I really like him.
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