Last year’s winner just looks the wrong price to me, as I look through all of the other contenders. This is not a race loaded with natural pace and Richard Fahey’s runner won’t mind the underfoot conditions as he has a very solid record when the ground is really testing. This is going to be a true slog up the straight at Ascot and he might just get a soft lead like last year in a race Paddy’s paying the first 4 home.
I know he has bundles to find on the official ratings with Stradivarius, but with the top few in the market likely to under-perform on the ground that brings him into the each-way calculations. His handler Sir Michael Stoute doesn’t just throw them into races for no good reason, so Jim Crowley is under no real pressure and can ride him confidently to see what happens.
She’s multiple times the odds of her stablemate and short-priced fav, Star Catcher, but is open to improvement. She’s only had four start this season because she’s looked tricky on quick ground, with a high head carriage and an awkward way of running. If she really lets herself down on this softer surface it’s worth chancing at 25/1, to see if she can hit the places at least.
Run an absolute cracker in last year when under a length third to the mighty Roaring Lion. Has acquitted himself reasonably well in Dubai – bar his last start – where conditions would have been quick enough for him. He’s been freshened up since his last run there in March and aimed at this weekend’s contest. Connections will be thrilled that the weather has arrived to suit their runner and Paddy’s paying the first 4 home.
She deserves to get her head in front up at the highest level again, as Aidan O’Brien’s runner has been a model of consistency for the team. Let’s hope running just 13 days ago has not taken the edge off her – but she does seem incredibly tough. For those who like ‘exotic’ bets, I can see Deirdre making a bit of a run at it and it shouldn’t be too much between those two in the finish for the reverse forecast!
This Ballydoyle runner was talked about as one of the hot-pots going into his three-year-old season, but something went wrong last term, so he spent the season on the sidelines. He was eye-catching last time in a Listed race at Cork, looking like he was about to hit top stride, before being checked in his run and finishing a two-length fourth.
He could be thrown in to this 1m handicap off a mark of 98 and can pick up this big-money pot, before going back up into Group company.
*Prices correct at time of publishing