One form-line from Wednesday’s Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot suggests INTERNATIONALDREAM could have the beating of Meshakel. However, much will depend upon which one has made greater progress from their respective debuts.
This looks a golden opportunity for C&D winner VOLATILE ANALYST, who was not beaten far in the Group 2 Richmond Stakes at Goodwood on the second of his two juvenile runs and sets a clear, and useful, standard back in much calmer waters on his return to action.
The pick of the opposition is Benefit Street, who built on his debut run when only just caught at Wolverhampton 12 days ago and is open to further progress on his drop back in trip.
Not a race on which to dwell, and dual trip winner LINCOLN RED appeals most dropping back from 7 furlongs, after finishing second off the same mark at Yarmouth 12 days ago. He’s the solid option, with Jessie Allan second best.
Several have possibilities but it might be worth siding with OBEE JO, who showed signs of a revival with cheekpieces added at Wolverhampton on his comeback 12 days ago and is well treated if he can take another step back in the right direction.
The versatile Be Proud is feared most on his step back up in trip, though Mr Wagyu was placed at Thirsk last week and has each-way claims again. Others who need checking in the market are the returning pair Redrosezorro and B Fifty Two.
Top of the list is triple turf winner LORD RIDDIFORD (NAP), who is only 3lb higher than for his dominant display at Chelmsford in March and could be hard to catch if he can match that form back from a break.
Lomu is feared most, though National Anthem won three times at Southwell early this year and is a key player if he can transfer his progress back to turf.
The other one on the shortlist is Wentworth Falls, who could have a big part to play if he gets a good pace and some luck back at 5 furlongs.
The leading contenders are the generally progressive pair Queens Gift and QUE AMORO.
The former ran creditably in a Group 3 at Newmarket on her reappearance and is respected on this drop back in class, but the vote goes to Que Amoro who really kicked on with her two York wins last summer and ended last season with a bold bid in a Listed event at this track.
Mrs Bouquet didn’t fire on her return last Sunday, but she was 4-6 during her useful two-year-old campaign and is a key player if she can bounce back.
Oakenshield won well on his reappearance and still has potential over this trip. An 11lb rise does demand much more though and he could be worth taking on with GOBI SUNSET.
Mark Johnston’s colt isn’t on a bad mark on his two-year-old best and a recent run should have blown away any cobwebs. 7 furlongs should suit on breeding and he can go in again. Bond’s Boy may prove best of the rest.
A chance is taken on CLUB WEXFORD, who will appreciate this return to a lower grade and the smaller field. Tadleel hit the ground running for Richard Fahey at Newcastle and a 3lb rise should be manageable.
A good race to finish with and the preference is for OASIS PRINCE, who ran as though in need of the run when fourth in a very solid handicap at Haydock.
Daawy hinted that he might be on the way back at Newcastle and off a good mark he’s feared most, ahead of Hot Team.
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