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Everyone loves to get the meeting off to a flying start and the favourite PALACE PIER shouldn’t disappoint in the opening Group 1 race of a spectacular week. He’s head and shoulders best in the line-up and can start the meeting off with a bloodless success.
If you don’t like the jolly and want an each-way play, Regal Reality will be underestimated and can grab a slice with Paddy offering nice odds on his place chance.
DHABAB looks to be flying under the radar as all of the attention is focused on the American filly Kaufymaker. However, her trainer Wesley Ward has terrible stats with horses running over 6 furlongs – rather than the minimum 5 furlongs.
Our selection came from the back of the pack to win decisively under hands and heels riding in the closing stages at Leicester. We should take the hint that the father and son combination of John & Thady Gosden decide to roll the dice and let Robert Havlin keep the ride in here.
OXTED has not been seen to best effect in to start so far this season, but looks primed for a massive effort dropping back down to the minimum distance. Fast track conditions should prove absolutely ideal and he is reunited with his favourite jockey Cieren Fallon.
There is so much pace in the line-up that they will not be able to keep on rolling late in the day and stamina will come to the fore even over this 5-furlong trip. We have that in our locker with Oxted, and he can pounce late.
The Aidan O’Brien runner was a fantastic two-year-old and was arguably unlucky not to round off the season with a juvenile Breeders Cup success. BATTLEGROUND came over for the English 2,000 Guineas and was punted into favouritism despite the yard’s runners not being in peak condition.
He didn’t take up his engagement in the Irish 2,000 Guineas as the ground was clearly not to his liking, but rattling fast conditions can see this big boy bounce back to form in spectacular fashion.
LUCKY DEAL has run here on a couple of occasions at the Royal meeting and has not been disgraced on either occasion. He can race a little lazily, so the addition of blinkers will make the jockeys job slightly easier in the early stages.
He is one of only a few who look to be well handicapped and this extreme distance will suit him down to the ground as he has an abundance of stamina, which will come into play of the home turn. We won’t be lacking in the saddle either with Jason Hart taking the ride.
It seems an awful long time since JUAN ELCANO was placed in a 2,000 Guineas, but he has had a very stop-start career over a variety of distances since that outstanding piece of form. He didn’t run too badly on return at Doncaster behind a very good yardstick in Top Rank and that form may well be rubberstamped in the opener. He has had a wind operation and he steps slightly back up in distance too. Juan Elcano just could be able to bully this opposition back down in grade.
SALDIER is already proven as a Grade 1 winner over obstacles for this excellent handler Willie Mullins. He proved he was no back number with a comfortable success when switched back to the Flat last time at Listowel and he only has to shoulder a 4lbs penalty for that victory.
A look back at his previous form in Group company in France on the level will tell you what an excellent job Willie Mullins has done to get him in off a rating of just 103. He just may have as much in hand on the field as Palace Pier does in the opener.
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