Stratum was very good in the JLT Cup at Newbury, and there was nothing between him and Whiskey Sour in the Ascot Stakes in June, where they finished 3rd and 5th respectively, with only a length between them.
Whiskey Sour came out of Galway well, and Stratum has come out of Newbury well. They’re both in really good order.
Stratum likes to be ridden in the first half, with Whiskey Sour the opposite, so Willie Mullins will have one in both places. Stratum looks to be the improving one, but Whiskey Sour is in really good form.
I don’t know what an ‘Ebor type’ is, but as novice hurdlers last year I had Stratum slightly ahead. Whether or not that will transfer to the flat, tomorrow might tell.
I don’t have a ride in this, but Paul Townend rides Mr Natural for Willie.
Mr Natural is rated very low on the flat, but has only had three runs. He will benefit from the experience.
Willie has Causey Arch and Sapphire Lady in this one. On Galway form, you’d have to go with Sapphire Lady. On ratings she’s 7lbs well in with Causey Arch, who was disappointing at Galway – I’m sure he’ll run a lot better here.
For me it would have been hard not to ride Sapphire Lady, and she seems to be in good form.
Initially, we had three entries in this one.
But Lareena ran on Friday instead and running with 11-9 was always going to be a huge task for Bargy Lady, who stepped aside.
Court Artist ran respectably well in Galway and she has her chance.
Steel Wave is bottom weight in this handicap chase, and 9-11 should suit him, as will dropping back in trip from his previous race at Galway, where he probably ran better than his finishing position suggested. He’ll give a good account of himself.
It’s a competitive race, and it always was. This can be a quality race, and has been a stepping stone to Listowel.
Yukon Lil ran well on her debut at Fairyhouse, and followed it up with a win at Killarney. She’s a decent filly who goes well, and is the one Willie sided with out of a few entries.
The rain on Friday morning may have helped him make that decision. She’s in good order and will take all the beating. She’s the best of what we’re running on Saturday.
Renneti didn’t exactly put his best foot forward at Deauville last weekend, and is turned out again quickly. He’s a moody character, and didn’t try too hard in France – maybe closer to home he’ll put up a better show.
Laws of Spin, on ratings, has a bit to improve.
Thomas Hobson is in good form, and needs to run a big race in order to set up for the Melbourne Cup. We’ll be hoping he’s the strongest of them and will go close.