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Superior Force impressed in justifying favouritism at Salisbury and he’s proven on the ground, so he could take some beating even with a penalty. However, SOVEREIGN PRINCE represents a top stable that tends to run a good one in this race, with its last three runners all sent off favourite and finishing 112. The son of Dubawi, whose half-brother won with some give underfoot, may make a winning debut.
Robert Cowell saddles four of the six runners and each of the quartet has something to recommend them. The classy Arecibo might prove the pick, but there is an interesting alternative in ADDITIONAL.
Martyn Meade’s four-year-old travelled notably well on last month’s return and the drop to 5 furlongs could prompt improvement. He’s feasibly treated on last season’s best efforts.
Calling The Wind should give his running and won’t be far away, but UNTOLD STORY and Law Of One may be too progressive. Both have smart pedigrees that suggest they can keep improving and conditions should not be an issue for either. Marginal preference is for the Godolphin runner, who has a Northumberland Plate entry and might prove the stronger stayer.
Air To Air is testing the patience and any number of these are open to significant improvement. BILHAYL made a nice debut at Kempton behind respected opposition and the fact he was so strong in the market suggests his future is bright. Almoshahar also comes here after a positive run on the all-weather and is respected, as is Sunset and one or two others.
John Gosden’s ALMIGHWAR (NAP) remains a stayer of considerable potential despite his Newbury defeat and this softer ground could make a huge difference to him. He has a big chance even though conceding more than a stone to Zeeband won’t be easy and Global Storm also comes right into the reckoning on a course he handles particularly well.
Baileys Derbyday has less to prove than any of them after a narrow defeat over a similar trip at Chester, but there is a good chance that MERITORIOUS will improve significantly for the step up in trip and soft ground is unlikely to be a hindrance.
Valparaiso has something to prove on that score, but he did look a stout stayer when just nailing it at Doncaster and is the other with good claims.
This may go to LUCANDER who was runner-up in last season’s Cambridgeshire off this mark and he handles soft ground well. Lunar Jet is always a solid option under these conditions, but the intriguing alternative is the ex-French Bugle Major, who has a Royal Hunt Cup entry. The consistent Jean Baptiste also commands respect.
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