He was a very good horse a few years ago for Godolphin, and he has come down to a mark of 102 after presumably having his fair share of problems and not raced for 18 months. I think he had a failed career as a stallion in between, too, so it’s been an eventful time for him. But he has joined a good stable in Mick Appleby’s and he can hopefully show a bit of his old sparkle on a track where he has run well before. But it’s a pretty big ask trying to win such a competitive handicap as this after a long break off, and he may need to come down a few pounds from 102 before getting his head in front again. But let’s see.
He showed the benefit of his debut effort when showing a good attitude to win at Sandown last time. But, being honest, he probably needs to improve the best part of two stone to trouble some of these. He is clearly going the right way, though.
I think I may have lost the ride now that Simple Verse has come out. He has put up two great performances in this race for the past two years – they were his only starts at this track – and he chased home Big Orange last year. He ran below form when fifth in the Sagaro Stakes at Sandown in May – where he would have needed the run – and hasn’t been out since, but he is back in really good form at home now and if he comes back to his best on the track as well then he has each-way claims in a Gold Cup that has a stand-out in Big Orange, but also has a fair bit of depth, too. He could be the forgotten horse of the race.
The only time I have ridden her I have won – over 7f at Chelmsford last year – so hopefully we can keep that record, intact. It won’t be easy though, and she needs to step up on her Haydock reappearance. But she is entitled to come on for the run and has been dropped 2lb, and hopefully the step up to 1m for the first time will be a positive. Others do look to have more obvious claims, though.
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