I can’t see past Ribchester in the Queen Anne. This is not the strongest division this year and I think he is good enough to dominate it. Mutakayyef probably looks a decent each-way bet against him, though.
I must admit I am struggling to get excited about any in here at the moment. But this race invariably throws up a top horse for next year and, if there is one, than I suppose Brother Bear is the likeliest candidate on what we have seen. He has been very impressive in Ireland. But you always have to respect Aidan’s horses obviously, and Murillo looks his number one.
Sir Mark tells me she comes into the race in top order, so fingers crossed for a big run. Whether or not we will be able to beat Lady Aurelia I am not so sure, but we couldn’t be happier with our horse and we will soon find out. I don’t actually sit on her at home as she is not the most straightforward, so the same girl rides her out every day, and they work on their own, too. Marsha obviously improved massively throughout last season, ending the campaign with that win in the Abbaye, and she appeared to have progressed again when winning the Palace House under a 7lb penalty on her return. I think that win took us all by surprise, but it was a very pleasant one. That marks her out as one of the form horses, the ground is perfect for her, and a midfield draw is good news, too. She has plenty of pace around her, and she should have a strong pace to follow, which is what she wants. With luck in running, we should be bang there at the finish.
My thoughts on this race are similar to those on Ribchester in that I think Churchill is the outstanding 3yo miler and this is his race to lose. But I do think that Rivet will be better back at a mile on quick ground on a flat track, and he could be the one to back each-way.
The horse is certainly in good shape, having worked really well with the 100-rated Flymetothestars recently. He disappointed last time but I think that was a combination of the race coming too quickly after his Chelmsford win and the softer ground. If he comes back to the form of that easy Chelmsford win then I think he still has a bit of room for manoeuvre off his mark of 95, if not too much. I can see him going well in an open race, and hopefully the first-time visor will help, too.
He was very impressive on his first two starts before being put in his place here last time. But that could be decent form – the winner didn’t get the run of the race in the National Stakes on his next start, and still finished a good second – and my horse has a solid each-way chance. Obviously you have to be worried about the Wesley Ward horses, and he has won this race twice in the past, but my colt has some of the most solid form coming into the race and has been given a break and been freshened up since his last run.
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