King Robert is on a long losing run but his mark has fallen as a result and he went close at Lingfield on Monday, finding only one too strong. That was an encouraging performance and he should go close from the same mark. Becker also has a creditable recent effort to his name, having finished fourth at Lingfield on Saturday, and he looks the main danger under Oisin Murphy.
Only a couple of these have experience and the bar is not set very high, so it is worth siding with Mutahamisa on her debut for the powerful Roger Varian yard. Varian has his horses in good form and he has already sent out a couple of two-year-old debutant winners so far this season. Mutahamisa, his representative here, cost 75,000 guineas as a yearling and is a half-sister to a useful winner who was successful as a juvenile, so she has obvious claims.
Its A Given hails from a good family and made a successful debut at Chelmsford in taking style. The form of her success has worked out well – three of the next four home have since won – and she can defy a penalty before going on to better things.
There are some interesting newcomers in this maiden, most notably Royal Mews, whose sales price leapt from €72,000 as a foal to €350,000 as a yearling. His dam, Queen Arabella, is an unraced half-sister to the very smart Poet, while trainer John Gosden has made a bright start to the season, increasing hopes that Royal Mews can score at the first time of asking.
Dubai Mirage sets a clear standard here and should prove difficult to beat. He shaped with obvious promise on both starts last season, including when placed in a very valuable maiden at York, and he is useful prospect. Winter Thorn cost 375,000 guineas as a yearling and is a half-brother to several winners, so he may give the selection the most to do.
To Nathaniel showed a good attitude to get off the mark here in January, travelling better than most and leading a furlong out before finding plenty when challenged to prevail by a head. That was a promising performance and he should still have plenty more to offer, so he shades the vote in a competitive three-year-old handicap.
Dreamweaver enjoyed a productive campaign last season, winning three times. He made no impression when last seen in the Old Rowley Cup at Newmarket but that was an ultra-competitive handicap and he should find this a much easier task. He remains with potential from this sort of mark and looks to have been found a good opportunity.
Afraid Of Nothing created a good impression last season, winning twice at Epsom, showing a useful level of form on the latter occasion. She came up short when tried at listed level on her final outing of the campaign but she looks the type to make a better-three-year-old and could still have a bit more to offer.
Not many of these have much to recommend them, but Under Curfew won at Lingfield in February and then ran just as well in defeat over this course and distance on his return last week, advertising his wellbeing. He can race off the same mark here, Tom Marquand is back in the saddle and he looks the one to beat.