She obviously improved a great deal throughout last season and signed off with a great win in the Abbaye for me at Chantilly. She has strengthened up well over the winter and hopefully there is more improvement in her this year, and conditions here will definitely suit. But she picks up a 7lb penalty for that Group 1 Abbaye win and that makes life very tough for her in such a deep and competitive race, and this is a stepping stone to races like the Temple Stakes and the King’s Stand. But, if she doesn’t come out on top, then I hope she runs well and gives us plenty of encouragement for those races further down the line.
I think Churchill is the one to beat on form and Aidan is a genius at bringing horses to win this Classic on their seasonal debuts. He and Greenham winner Barney Roy are the two stand-outs in here for me – he was very impressive at Newbury, where he quickened up twice to win – and Craven winner Eminent is the best of the rest.
My GUINEAS 1-2-3: Churchill, Barney Roy, Eminent
He is a good, solid, sprint handicapper who has run some good races for me – most notably when we were just touched off by Hoof It in the Stewards’ Cup consolation race at Goodwood last summer – though he did lose his way a bit in the winter. There could have been something troubling him there though, and I am sure Paul [Midgley] has addressed that if there was, and freshened him up since his last run in January. And the horse has dropped to a decent mark of 90, some 2lb lower than that Goodwood run. I think he could run well in an open race.
She is a half-sister to Profitable and she looks to have shaped well when fourth at Leicester on her debut last October. I believe she has pleased them since that run, and she can run a nice race here, but May Sky obviously ran very well when just touched off at Newbury last month and Desert Frost is a brother to the very smart Birchwood, so this 6f maiden could take some winning.
I won on him at Wolverhampton last month, my only ride on him so far, and he ran another good race when third at Kempton last time. He is a horse who needs to be ridden with confidence, and I think stepping up to 1m on a track like Doncaster will suit him.
He comes from a stable in great form and he looks to be in pretty good order himself. He has gone up 2lb for his Bath win last time but he is rated a lot higher on the all-weather, so I think he can still be competitive, though there are some in-form horses in here, and unexposed ones like New World Power.
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