Mithras’s debut was a tale of two halves. He showed significant signs of inexperience at the beginning of the race, slowly into stride and running with plenty of greenness, but he finished with a real flourish once getting the hang of things, catching the eye in no uncertain terms as he stayed on for fourth. That has since proved to be a strong piece of form, and he is bound to be more clued up this time around, so he is expected to land this before having his sights raised.
Equilateral looked better than ever at the beginning of the year, his best performance coming when second to top-class stablemate Battaash in the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot back in June. He has not been at that level since, but he has met trouble in running in both of his last two starts, and granted a little more rub of the green, he looks a major player under the in-form Hollie Doyle.
After opening his account at the second time of asking in an Ascot novice last summer, Kingbrook didn’t really progress as then trainer Mark Johnston might have hoped, though he did end the season with a promising third in a Doncaster nursery. Eleven months on and he was friendless in the betting on his first run since joining Ian Williams, but he shaped encouragingly, and he may have even finished closer than he did had he not twice been denied a clear run. He is not yet the finished article and there should be more to come from him if he can be kept on track.
Extra Elusive proved better than ever to gain a belated breakthrough win at Group level in the Rose Of Lancaster last month, and he improved further to defy a penalty in the Winter Hill at Windsor last time, settling better than usual and proving just as effective on the softer ground. He’s clearly struck up a good partnership with Hollie Doyle and is sure to go well in his bid for the hat-trick.
That Rhythm Master could win in the style that he did on debut certainly bodes well for the future, running to a pretty high level for one first time out as he pulled clear of his rivals at Haydock, and he took another step forward when third in the Prix Morny at Deauville last month. Pitched straight into a Group 1 on just his second run, Rhythm Master ran an excellent race up against three Royal Ascot winners, keeping on well inside the final furlong even though the winner had gone beyond recall by that time. He sets a clear standard on that form, and with further improvement anticipated, he boasts obvious claims.
Plenty was expected from Siam Fox ahead of his debut after he fetched 260,000 guineas as a yearling, and he duly showed plenty to work on behind an impressive winner, running on. He is nicely bred and remains open to further improvement, so he shades the vote in a race that could prove above average for the level.
Diocles Of Rome has only raced twice this season, but he has shaped encouragingly on both occasions. He demonstrated that all of his ability remained intact when a close fifth at Doncaster on his reappearance, and he improved on that effort when third at the same venue last time, beaten only by a pair of unexposed three-year-olds. His mark remains unchanged after those two promising efforts and he looks weighted to go close.
Tonyx won both her starts as a three-year-old, looking very much a filly to be positive about, and after looking in need of the run on her reappearance, she has since regained the progressive thread, catching the eye in finishing fifth and fourth at Chester and Haydock recently. She has been crying out for more of a test of stamina, so this step up to a mile and a half should show her to much better effect, and she looks well placed to get herself back in the winners’ enclosure.
Timeform’s tips for Newbury on Saturday
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