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The last-time-out winners Goolwa and in particular Mr Curiosity look notably promising but that appears to be even more the case with Newbury debut winner MANOBO. The two Charlton-trained newcomers are well related but this race may well be too warm for them to live up to that first time out.
They do not set a particularly high standard but BEFORE DAWN is narrowly preferred ahead of Blaast then Sunstrike among the three who have experience. The selection is one of two entries for Charlie Appleby in an Irish Group 2 near the end of this month, while Ardbraccan is one of two in it for Richard Hannon. Safra and Dubai Jewel are two more newcomers to note and the market moves will give further clues to a field which contains plenty of interesting candidates on paper.
Quite a few of these are capable of a big run on their best form but MR POY appreciated the return to 7f in his first AW handicap here last month and he looks the most convincing of all. Tipperary Jack’s recent run here was much more encouraging and he is preferred of the remainder, headed by Vivency.
Having so nearly made it two from two in 7f novice events at Newbury, BEHELD has the most substantial claims. That’s assuming that the form of Bakersboy’s final 2yo start isn’t the best guide but he is feared most, ahead of the Hannon pair Mr Trick and Caramelised.
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Roscioli has the best form but that was as a 2yo and the wind surgery seemingly needs to have done the trick since his very muted reappearance in April. If he’s not back on song in a big way, this could be a fine opportunity for THALER who moved so far clear with a Varian newcomer at Leicester 16 days ago. Godolphin newcomer Storm Damage is probably the most plausible danger among the rest.
Lightly raced pair Red Mirage and ROYAL PLEASURE (nap) stand out, with preference for the latter who looks well-in under a penalty after an easy comeback win at Wolverhampton last Wednesday. Daphne May makes a bit of appeal among the bigger prices now that she’s back on the AW.
A line can go through a number of these and Byzantia stands out among the older brigade, but there are a few unexposed 3yos with potential in here. Velvet And Steel ought to be up to winning off this sort of mark but she wouldn’t have the potential of ZAAJIRAH, who’ll find these waters somewhat calmer after starting among the favourites for the Group 3 Fred Darling on her comeback. Renaissance Rose, who went off a short price for a warm Newmarket nursery on her final start last backend, is an obvious danger.
It can be argued that Protected Guest was better than the bare result over C&D last time, given the way he behaved once hitting the front, but further improvement from the lightly raced VALYRIAN STEEL may ensure that Roger Varian’s 4yo does not require any intervention from the stewards on this rematch. Almareekh is feared most, first time out in a campaign that will probably yield further progress.
Indigo Times had been going great guns on the AW before failing to fire on turf and he’s fully entitled to be in the thick of things back on Polytrack. However, TEQANY is probably a much better horse now than when he was last seen on the Flat and, for one with his honours over hurdles, he should be very dangerous off this low a mark.
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