I have ridden him a couple of times before and I remember him running a great race for me when third at Ascot last year. He races off the same mark here, and that was only five starts ago, so I think he is fairly handicapped and 7f on decent ground are fine for him. However, I accept that he didn’t run too well on his reappearance at Hamilton recently, but that was in the soft over 6f. He does have a bit of form on that surface but this better ground will suit him a lot better. He will probably be one of the big outsiders but I think he could run a nice race.
I am told that Charlie has an excellent record when putting cheekpieces on his horses for the first time, so here’s hoping! He has lost his way a bit since winning over this trip at Leicester in April – though he didn’t run too badly at Ascot last time – but he has been dropped 2lb and hopefully the headgear can spark him back to form.
I love this filly and she has progressed so much this season since winning her maiden for me at Kempton in April. I thought she may just be a black-type filly when winning a Chelmsford handicap and she proved me right with a great win at York last time. She may be tricky but she showed she had plenty of courage and guts there, and the runner-up has since run well in Group company. If she carries on her run of improvement, then you have to give her a fair chance of landing this Group 1, in which the top 3yo 1m fillies aren’t present. And that would just be unbelievable. I think she has a right chance.
He looks to have run two solid races since the visor went on after his debut and I think a mark of 70 looks fair enough on his placed efforts at Goodwood and Chepstow. The step up to 7f should suit him on pedigree, too.
Clearly, this could be a very hot maiden but Dukhan shaped really well when second here earlier in the month. He finished off his debut exactly the way Hugo likes it, gaining in confidence as the race progressed, enjoying it, and seeing the contest out well against a horse who had benefit of a previous run. It could be a tough race to win, but he does look a lovely prospect.
He showed the benefit of his first day at school when posting a much-improved effort at Newcastle last week. Form-wise he has a lot to find with the likes of Bustam, and there are also the newcomers to worry about, but he looks to be going the right way, so let’s see.
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