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Top of the list is IMPLORE, who sets the standard on his clear second behind a smart prospect at Doncaster and is open to further progress. Unspoken was a bit disappointing under a penalty at Goodwood, but he should appreciate this step up in trip and is respected, along with Sir Duke – who was an eye-catching third over 6 furlongs at Newcastle on his debut. Khanjar looks the part on paper and is an interesting contender for William Haggas, while another well-bred newcomer to keep a close eye on is Flying Secret.
This can go to William Knight’s major improver SPANISH KISS, who scored in impressive style on his step up to 1m 6f at Newmarket and still looks feasibly treated off his revised mark. Most of the others have something to prove, but Just In Time and Buriram ran well behind a progressive rival who made all in a similar race at Salisbury 17 days ago and they are feared most in that order.
A solid renewal of the Summer Mile and most of the contenders closely matched on form. The least exposed candidate is probably TILSIT, and he gets the verdict after an excellent second in a Group 1 at Longchamp last time. The admirable Century Dream may provide the sternest opposition, with Top Rank, who chased him home at Windsor two weeks ago, third on the list.
Significantly has turned over a new leaf this year and commands major respect after his hard-fought course and distance success at the Royal meeting, but narrow preference is for course specialist TIS MARVELLOUS, who is now 2lbs lower than when winning this race in 2019.
In a predictably competitive renewal, strong cases can be made for last week’s Sandown dead-heater Hurricane Ivor and the upwardly mobile Boundless Power, while Ostilio attempts 5 furlongs for just the second time and is a fascinating contender for sprint wizard Paul Midgley.
Appellation found plenty when winning her handicap debut at Leicester and she has another big run in her, but ACHELOIS would surely have gone very close on her first attempt over 1m at Sandown had she not been penned in when attempting to start her challenge.
The recent rain is less of an issue for her than for Richard Hughes’s filly and she is preferred, with Caspian Queen also making some appeal after her creditable run at the Royal meeting here.
Dhushan looked tailormade for a valuable 1m 6f handicap at Haydock one week ago, but was denied a run and does not make quite as much appeal over this trip. He could still be a big player, but preference is for the exciting SURREY GOLD (NAP), who was a late non-runner himself when making considerable appeal for a course and distance race at the Royal meeting.
The ground should be softer today, which gives him less to prove three weeks on. Mystical Dawn, with his proficiency on testing ground, is third on the list, ahead of Irish Legend.
A few of these come into the race in winning form with Be Prepared looking the best of that group despite his big weight. Song Of The Isles could run a big race now back off her proper mark, but COLD STARE looks especially interesting. Now 3lbs below his last winning mark, he makes his first start down at 0-85 level and any further rain will suit.
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