VERMILION CLIFFS is bred to be useful (by Galileo out of the Prix de l’Abbaye winner Gilt Edge Girl), but there wasn’t much support for him when he made his debut at Leopardstown six days, starting at 20/1 in a field of 15.
He ran a cracker under the circumstances to be beaten just a neck, briefly leading inside the final furlong before the winner (who had the benefit of previous experience) pegged him back close home. That form sets the standard here on Timeform’s weight-adjusted ratings, and, with further improvement on the cards, he is a confident selection to get off the mark.
ANJALAWI got back on track when second at this course last time, showing fair form on her all-weather debut. Settled just behind the leaders in the early stages, she held every chance entering the final furlong and stuck to her task well, simply finding one too good on the day.
The first pair pulled clear of the rest, and the winner gave the form a big boost when following up on her next start at Listed level. That suggests Anjalawi has been underestimated by an opening mark of 83, so she is fancied to take the drop back in trip in her stride to open her account under Colin Keane, who could hardly be in better form at present (six winners in the last four days).
NEVER BACK DOWN has been running consistently of late and could be worth chancing after an eye-catching effort over course and distance two weeks ago. He had plenty of ground to make up entering the straight and did well under the circumstances to finish as close as he did, staying on strongly to be beaten only two lengths.
Admittedly, his losing run now stretches back to November 2018 (when trained by Hugo Palmer), but he has come down a long way in the weights and could be ready to take advantage if building on the promise of last time.
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