A small but select field for the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes and the market makes it a match between Regal Reality and Matterhorn. It’s a fair bet that Sir Michael Stoute has had tonight’s feature at Sandown in mind for Regal Reality for a while now, considering he’s won it four times in the last eight years, including the last twice, and nine times in total.
Although Regal Reality has yet to win over 10f, the four-year-old is the highest-rated runner in the field and returned to action last month when a close third to Beat the Bank and Sharjah Bridge over a mile in a Group 2 contest.
With that fine-tune under his belt, he drops in class tonight and with hopefully a winning first attempt at 10f in the bag, his options for the season will open up. Mark Johnston’s Matterhorn won’t go down without a fight though as the 10f specialist and the joint winning-most runner on the all-weather was just chinned in the Group 2 Huxley Stakes on soft ground at Chester. A return to a quicker surface should suit him better too.
Here Comes When is the old man of the field at seven and really needs the skies to open to give him his favoured soft ground that will blunt the speed of the principles. Course and distance winner Elwazir makes his seasonal debut, is still unexposed and won a handicap over this trip at Ascot last term before finding the Group 3 Rose of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock last August a step too far. He’s still under the radar and could pay to follow this season.
Bombyx eventually capitalised on some good early runs when winning at Doncaster last season over 1m 4f but could be tapped for speed at the business end tonight, while Danceteria came out best in a 10f Listed race in France first time out. That will stand to him, but he’ll still need a career best here in better company.
We’re sticking with the Stoute / Moore combo to get the job done.
Selection: Regal Reality @ 7/4
*Prices correct at time of publishing