Most of these re-oppose each other form the trial on Feb 8th, where Zaman was turned over at odds on by Wasim with Centenary Diamond coming in third. Over a furlong longer on Thursday you would expect Zaman to reverse that result with Wasim, but his tendency to get behind in races is certainly an issue and enough to make us look elsewhere here. The massive eye catcher in the previous trial was Centenary Diamond, who finished just as well as Zaman on that occasion. Given that was only his second career start, a further significant improvement to come is not out of the question. With a plum draw in stall 2 and Silvestre De Sousa retaining the ride, we reckon he can have a part to play in the finish here.
Winter Lightening should win this as she pleases at prohibitive odds of 1/4, she has all the field held on form. A token bet would be Expressiy to progress past Rayya at this longer trip and could be worth a few quid in the forecast/betting without market.
This is a cracking handicap and these kind of race can be very front ended with Godolphin horses, but there are several in with chances here. Oh This is Us won two weeks ago with the second, third, fourth and fifth finishers the last day all reopposing here. The three pound raise for the winner is more than fair, but the eyecatcher for me that day was Silver Line.
* See for yourself here from as they swing for home from the 1 min 50 second mark.
He’s dead last as they turn for home (blue jacket, blue cap) and spends half the length of the straight unsuccessfully trying to scrimmage for a clear run before staying on pleasingly. He gets Gerald Mosse on board, which is a plus and with a clearer run there’s no reason he can’t finish closer or even ahead of those he faces off against again on Thursday. He also had stall 12 to contend with on that occasion and gets a plum gate in 3 this time out.
This is a decent Grade 3 and should prove to be good prep for the Gold Cup on World Cup Night. Vazirabad the obvious starting point here as he’s supposedly the best horse in the race and has won the last two Gold Cups. He’s a tricky enough ride however, and is surely using this as a prep like last season when he ended up being turned over at odds on. Thursday looks the day to take him on and while Sheikhzayedroad has gone well here in the past and is classy, we can’t get away from Rare Rhythm for Charlie Appleby and William Buick. Although he’s only had seven career starts and only one at this trip. He rated 110 already and surely has more to come. He’s obviously required a lot of patience to train, but it speaks volumes that they persevered with it and we believe he has all the makings of a good cup horse. If Vazirabad isn’t on his A game, then this one can take full advantage.
Someday Alabaster learn how to start and run a proper race. I’ve no doubt he’ll win that day, but given how he’s burned punters pockets all year we’ve given up on him. A lot of the rest have questions of their own to answer and while we’re not winning any prizes for originality, Don’t Give Up looks the solid play here. He’s no world-beater, but has the qualities of a good dirt horse possesses tactical speed, can grind when in front and prove hard to peg back. He’s won his last two and is creeping up the weights, but another good trip awaits here and he has far less to answer than most others in the field.
Baroot was a most difficult horse to price, his form is in and out. While he has looked classy on his day, this is a big step up in grade and it is very hard to slot into the market off a very low weight. We’ll reluctantly look elsewhere for a bet. Charlie Appleby runs Kidmenever and Banksea, he can never be ruled out in this races, but both have something to prove at this point. Mountain Hunter probably just bumped into one last time out and was a most impressive winner from a wide draw two starts ago. This looks a weaker race and with that in mind, he can get back to winning ways with an aggressive ride from gate 5.
* All odds correct at time of posting.