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VISION OF VICTORY shaped well amidst greenness when second on her debut at Newcastle in October, keeping on gradually despite hanging right to be beaten only two and a quarter lengths behind the promising winner Wild Iris. That form puts her right in the mix in this maiden, while the small ‘p’ attached to her Timeform rating denotes that she may yet have more to offer with that experience under her belt. She is fancied to open her account at the second attempt.
CREATIVE FORCE looked an exciting prospect when making a successful debut over this course and distance last June, running to a near-useful level in winning by a length and a quarter. It clearly hasn’t been plain sailing for him since then, finishing well held on his next start in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot and then missing the rest of the season. He arrives here with a few risks attached as a result, but it’s far too soon to be writing him off now that he makes the switch to handicaps from a potentially lenient mark. He has been gelded during his absence, too.
VALIANT PRINCE makes most appeal in what is likely to prove a typically informative renewal of this race, representing the Charlie Appleby yard which took the spoils with Night Circus three years ago. Bought for 200,000 guineas as a yearling, Valiant Prince is certainly bred to be smart, being by Dubawi out of the Group 1 winner at up to a mile Chachamaidee. It will be interesting to see whether the market speaks in his favour in a field full of well-bred individuals.
OXTED developed into a high-class sprinter for Roger Teal last season, notably winning this race before following up with an impressive victory in the July Cup. Admittedly, Oxted has failed to reproduce that form in two subsequent outings, but he had valid excuses both times and drops significantly in grade here after seemingly failing to handle the dirt on his return in Riyadh in February. He is well clear on Timeform’s weight-adjusted ratings and very hard to oppose.
LA BARROSA won his first two starts as a two-year-old, including the Somerville Tattersall Stakes at this course, where he overcame a troubled passage to land the spoils by a length (value for extra). He was well beaten on his only subsequent start in Group 1 company in France, but the testing conditions there provided a valid excuse. He remains with potential now back on better ground and could be worth siding with at the forecast prices, for all that William Buick has seemingly chosen to ride stablemate Master of The Seas.
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SCOPE is blessed with a useful pedigree (by Teofilo out of a half-sister to the Oaks winner Look Here) and duly showed plenty of ability when making a winning debut at Newbury in October. Held up in the early stages, he showed stamina to be his strong suit by staying on well on heavy going to lead in the final strides, ultimately getting the verdict by a nose. Scope will be suited by the longer trip here and is unlikely to give up his unbeaten record without a fight for the Ralph Beckett yard which has done well with this family over the years.
BALEARIC showed much improved form in first-time blinkers to open his account at Newcastle last month, displaying an excellent attitude to defy a BHA mark of 68 on his handicap debut. Always travelling strongly in touch, he was produced to lead over a furlong out and dug deep when challenged to win by a neck, with the first two pulling well clear of the rest. This will be tougher from an 8 lb higher mark, but Balearic is likely to go on improving and seems sure to mount a bold follow-up bid.
Timeform’s tips at Newmarket
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