What better way to start this meeting than with a nap. Order of St George looks the good thing on the card and ran a blinder in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
He should have won the Ascot Gold Cup and subsequently bolted up at the Curragh twice, including the Irish St Leger.
An odds-against price looks outstanding.
Aidan O’Brien’s sprinter Caravaggio was thought a world beater early this season and now is his chance to get back on track. Harry Angel will have company on the front end, so the race should set up for a closer.
Caravaggio managed to win over 5f on his latest start and did it easily. Admittedly it was in lesser company, but the race looks tailor made for him to pounce late.
Coronet won at the Royal meeting here for trainer John Gosden and has continued in top form in the best company. She ran a cracker in the St Leger when fifth to Capri, when outstayed late on.
She returns to a course and distance that she clearly goes well at and is reunited with French jockey Olivier Peslier who won on her in June.
Al Wukair arrives here under the radar for the multiple French champion trainer, Andre Fabre. There will be so much talk about tactics between Ribchester and Churchill that the selection could be left out of calculations.
He comes here off the back of a Group 1 win at Deauville, has a wonderful change of gear and wears the headgear on for the first time. Was third in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket to Churchill and Barney Roy, when he really could have won it. He looks a big danger at a fair price.
Richard Hannon’s charge Barney Roy has done little wrong in five races so far this year, never finishing out of the first three. Tactics got him beaten last time at York and from an inside draw, he can drop in and find that all important racing rhythm.
He is by far and away the fastest horse in this line-up and provided the ground is not bottomless (the going was soft all round on Friday), he’s going to have too much speed for these.
Speculative Bid seems to act on any ground so whatever the weather throws at us, we should be ok in the finale. David Elsworth’s runner has obviously had his problems and made a return to action at Ascot when finishing seventh in the Challenge Cup a fortnight ago.
It was an eye-catching return to action, travelling very smoothly over two furlongs out, before getting tired. He’s got winning form at Ascot and likes a big field. The reigning champion jockey Jim Crowley takes the ride.