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MAYDANNY is 12lbs higher in the weights than for last year’s pillar-to-post success in this race, but it’s more than fair judged on his excellent second to an improving sort at Sandown earlier this month. His claims are there for all to see in a typically competitive renewal.
Migration made a most eye-catching return at Salisbury and is capable of better if building on that, while Caradoc has a big handicap in him and is another to consider.
LUSAIL and Berkshire Shadow both have 3lbs penalties to shoulder having already won at this level, but they still look the ones to beat on form, the former perhaps the more solid option given his proven stamina.
Richard Hannon has a good record at this meeting and Lusail hit the line like the step back up to 7furlongs would be no problem in the July Stakes at Newmarket last time. Eldrickjones has also fared well in Group 2 company before so is another likely contender.
SPACE BLUES is a real 7-furlong specialist who has won off a break before, so he is fancied to continue Charlie Appleby’s fine recent form and follow up his stylish win in this event 12 months ago. This is perhaps a stronger renewal, and his stable-companion Creative Force seems sure to throw down a bold bid on the back of his excellent July Cup fifth. Meanwhile, Kinross and Safe Voyage both worth a second look for place purposes.
STRADIVARIUS has suffered a dent to his strike rate in recent times, but there were clear excuses in his bid for a fourth Gold Cup at Royal Ascot last time (denied a clear run and Frankie Dettori was gentle on him once his winning chance had gone).
He remains one of the best around in this division and is once more the one to beat in his quest for the five-timer in this race. With Gold Cup winner Subjectivist out for the season, Spanish Mission and Trueshan look the main threats.
This is extremely open, and the vote goes to KING OF STARS. He opened his account on turf at Bath in April and has posted even better efforts in defeat since, finding only a progressive three-year-old too good back from a break at Newmarket 18 days ago.
A 5lbs rise for that effort looks fair and he makes plenty of appeal with James Doyle aboard. Jabbarockie is feared back in a handicap, while Rewaayat and Zargun are others to add on the shortlist.
SCATTERING was given a considerate introduction, but ran an encouraging race on debut and looks the percentage call here with improvement on the cards. Harb and Monet’s Sunrise are debutants who look likely types on paper and could be the pair to give him most to think about, but the market is likely to provide more clues.
It is safe to say that we probably have not seen the best of POMELO yet, and she is expected to leave her reappearance run in the Sandringham Handicap at Royal Ascot behind. She has an excellent pedigree and looked something out of the ordinary when making a winning debut at Newbury last year. This handicap mark shouldn’t be beyond her, and she can prove too strong for Riknnah – who could resume progress down in class.
GELLHORN had a bit up her sleeve when beating Lovely Breeze at Newmarket last time, looking very comfortable back at six furlongs, and is selected to make light of a subsequent 4lbs rise in the weights and confirm her superiority over Hugo Palmer’s filly. Caroline Dale is also on the shortlist.
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