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Walk of Stars is the best horse in the Bahrain Trophy, and he had Zechariah behind in the Lingfield Derby Trial, but he ran a stinker to be last of all at Epsom. Temperament seems to be getting the better of him, and while gelding him immediately after the Derby was the right move, he could go either way at present. Zechariah is the safest bet, as he has improved with each start, and was caught in the final inch of the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot. He can improve again, and should go well, while the front-running Al Qareem – fourth in the Queen’s Vase – is better than that, and could boost forecasts.
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The Coventry Stakes is historically stronger than the Windsor Castle, and while Little Big Bear landed a hefty touch in the latter, I’d still rate Persian Force’s defeat in the Coventry as marginally better form, and while the trip merely complicates arguments, Persian Force is proven over 6f in Group 2 company, which will stand to him here.
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Those looking to back Azure Blue will be hopeful that Lady Lade can boost her Hamilton win by scoring in the British EBF Fillies’ Stakes which will be shown on ITV. A course winner last year, Lady Lade has been running well over slightly further, and looks well drawn to make all the running over this slightly shorter trip.
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Khandjar is a warm favourite on the basis of a three-lengths win at Ripon, but Ripon runner-up Azure Blue is 7lb better off and retains the scope to do better herself. She wasn’t suited by having to make much of the running there, and will appreciate the return to a well-run race, and the form of her wide-margin win at Hamilton prior to that looks very solid, with several of those behind her winning or running well in defeat subsequently.
At an even bigger price, Lil Guff should outrun her price. A dual winner this term, she ran well at Royal Ascot despite dropping back to 5f and being drawn on the wrong side, and can be forgiven a defeat in a tactical race at Newbury last time. The very strong forecast pace will suit her style here, and she can make the frame at big odds.
Rory Delargy’s Thursday ITV Racing tips:
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