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THE GATEKEEPER ran to a useful level when making a winning debut at Musselburgh last month and ran to a similar level when finishing second to a potentially smart type under a penalty at Ascot last time. The Gatekeeper was strong in the market on that occasion and is expected to progress further for the step up to 6 furlongs. He sets a very good standard and is hard to oppose.
CREATIVE FORCE blotted his copybook in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot last season, but barring that blip he has looked very good. He produced a smart performance to make it two-from-two this season in a handicap at Newmarket last time.
He confirmed himself a horse capable of making his mark at pattern level, and he is expected to be contesting those races sooner rather than later following another success here.
LOGICIAN won all five starts in 2019, including the St Leger at Doncaster, and made a winning return in a minor event back on Town Moor last season. He had been kept off the track for a year due to a serious bout of peritonitis, so it was encouraging to see that all of his ability remained intact – easily dismissing of his lesser rivals as his cramped odds suggested he would.
Logician was clearly amiss on his final start at York where he trailed home last of four and that run can be easily ignored. Logician could hardly be in better hands and is very much the one to beat here on his best form.
HIGHLAND ROCKER didn’t need to match his best form to open his account at Ripon last month, but he looked more clued up and seemed to appreciate the switch to turf. He readily dismissed of a next-time-out winner on that occasion and, while he appeared to be well suited by the step up to a mile-and-a-half, there isn’t much concern about him dropping back in trip now making his handicap debut. An opening mark of 91 is fair, and there is better to come under Frankie Dettori for the first time.
PALACE PIER is Timeform’s highest-rated Flat horse in training and is incredibly hard to oppose following his bloodless success in a Group 2 at Sandown on his return last month. He bounced back to his very best that day and it was reported after that he would come on plenty for the run. Palace Pier stands out a mile on form and this good-topped colt could have even more to offer as a four-year-old.
SEA EMPRESS has all the credentials to make a top-notch filly and her debut at Newcastle could hardly have been more impressive. She pulled well clear of the remainder with another above-average debutante (who bolted up on her next start) in taking style, making smooth headway two furlongs out and went clear inside the final furlong before the runner-up closed in. Sea Empress is open to significant improvement now and will likely prove hard to beat up in class.
A smart handicap to conclude the card and BLUE MIST, who has a good record fresh, is taken to make a successful return following a wind operation under Ryan Moore, who is two from two on him. The low-mileage Path of Thunder and John Best’s Plantadream may give him most to do, but it is a contest where a case can be made for quite a few.
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