COUNT D’ORSAY showed promise in Ireland when trained by Charles O’Brien, but his form has taken off since switched to Tim Easterby.
In seven starts for Easterby his rating has gone from 76 to 96, winning three races and placing on another three occasions. Soft ground is the key to this horse, and it is to his credit that he ran so well on his reappearance at Newmarket on fast ground when finishing third.
The easier ground here is a massive plus for his chance and the booking of Oisin Murphy increases confidence.
MORE BEAUTIFUL is a half-sister to 2,000 Guineas winner Saxon Warrior and on debut she showed that she may well be as exciting as he was.
She was extremely impressive when winning at Naas, travelling well on the front end and quickening up in style to win going away.
She should improve plenty for that run and Aidan O’ Brien is already off the mark this week with his two-year-olds. She will take plenty of beating.
Admiral Nelson is a massive two-year-old who will surely improve plenty for his debut win at the Curragh, but QAADER created a really positive impression on debut at Newbury when getting off the mark by 4 lengths.
He clocked a decent closing sectional and the third, Perotto got off the mark on his next start, so the form already looks solid. While impressive at Newbury, he also displayed greenness when hanging left-handed under pressure, suggesting he should improve plenty of the run.
Mark Johnston did win this race with Buratino in 2015. Jim Crowley and Sheikh Hamden are having an amazing week and they might be able to add another winner to their totals here.
QUADRILATERAL was favourite for the 1,000 Guineas, but found the ground a little bit too lively for her and while they got away a little from her 2 furlongs out, she did run on strongly.
The slightly easier ground on a stiffer track will definitely play to her strengths and it is very lightly that she will improve for the run in Newmarket also.
Cloak Of Spirits and Run Wild should ensure this is run at a solid pace and the harder the go in front, the better for Quadrilateral. She can make amends for her Guineas defeat here.
THREAT was a very useful two-year-old last season, finishing second here in the Coventry Stakes and in the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood – followed by two Group 2 wins in the Gimcrack at York and the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster.
He looked unsuited by the drop to 6 furlongs in the Middle Park, staying on well after struggling to go the early pace. Wichita and Pinatubo set the standard here and have the benefit of having a run this season, but the Hannon’s have a decent record in this race, winning it with Canford Cliffs and Barney Roy in the last 10 years.
Threat’s striding data suggests he could actually improve for this step up to a mile and if that proves to be the case, he will outrun his odds here.
KHAADEM won on his reappearance last year, so the lack of a recent run shouldn’t be too much of an issue for him.
Another positive is that Charlie Hills’ four runners this week at the meeting have all run really well, so I’m hopeful that Khaadem can run well for the yard. Not the most consistent last season, when he was on his ‘A’ game and looked top class, no more so that when he bolted up in the Steward’s Cup at Glorious Goodwood off a mark of 107.
He disappointed on his final two starts, but the testing ground wouldn’t have suited him too much. It looks likely that the straight course could dry out to good ground by time this race is run and if that is the case, Kahaadem would look to have decent each-way claims.
Bielsa is very lightly-raced with four wins from his five starts and he looks certain to rate higher than his current mark of 101 before the season is out, but I am going to side with the race-fit TINTO here.
A tough horse, he has had 30 career starts already despite being only a four-year-old and has finished in the first three in 16 of his 30 races. He progressed plenty last season, beginning the season off a mark of 77 and ending it rated 100. The highlight of the season was a win over this course and distance on soft ground off a mark of 96 when ridden by Marco Ghiani.
He ran well at Listed level on the all-weather at Lingfield when second and made a cracking reappearance at Newmarket on Guineas weekend when winning off a career high mark of 100. He has gone up to a mark of 105 for that win, but Marco Ghiani jumps back on board for the first time since that Ascot win and claims a valuable five pounds off his back – so he is effectively off the same mark as Newmarket.
He has course form and is versatile with regards ground, so he looks to have solid each-way claims.
This looks a very poor renewal and I reckon it is safest to stick with a solid, consistent performer in WHO DARES WINS.
A decent dual-purpose performer, he should appreciate the return to the flat and had a very solid season last year. He was second in the Chester Cup off a mark of 100, won the Northumberland Plate off a mark of 101 and was fourth in the Marsh Cup off a mark of 104.
His only run on the flat was an excellent third in the 2017 renewal of the Ascot Stakes behind Thomas Hobson and if he runs up to his form from last season’s flat campaign, he should prove tough to beat.
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12.40 Silver Wokingham Handicap – Count D’orsay
13:15 Queen Mary Stakes – More Beautiful
13:50 Coventry Stakes – Qaader
14:25 Coronation Stakes – Quadrilateral
15:00 St James Palace Stakes – Threat
15:35 Diamond Jubilee Stakes – Khaadem
16:10 Wokingham Stakes – Tinto
16:40 Queen Alexandra Stakes – Who Dares Wins
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