Hardwicke Stakes Tips & Betting Preview - MyRacing
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1m 3f 211y
Good to Firm

Hardwicke Stakes tips and antepost betting preview for 2018. This was won last year by Idaho with Barsanti back in second and has the potential to see the unveiling of a star this year with Crystal Ocean the current favourite.

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3 (4) Crystal Ocean 4/7 4/7 1/2 NA 4/7 NA 1/2
1 (1) Barsanti 5/1 5/1 11/2 NA 5/1 NA 11/2
4 (2) Idaho 5/1 11/2 6/1 NA 11/2 NA 13/2
2 (6) Cliffs Of Moher 9/1 10/1 9/1 NA 10/1 NA 8/1
6 (3) Red Verdon 33/1 25/1 33/1 NA 25/1 NA 33/1
5 (5) Rare Rhythm NR NR NR NR NR NR NR

This is one of the higher class Group 2 contests of the year and often goes to a very good horse. Last year it was won in impressive fashion by one time Derby second Idaho for Aidan O’Brien who was winning this race for the third time. That full brother to Highland Reel is likely to try and retain his crown this year though has a fair bit on his plate this time around. He was a shade disappointing after his Royal Ascot success last year and ran well below form in the Coronation Cup behind Cracksman. He was a good winner of the Ormonde Stakes at Chester so clearly retains ability but is on a retrieval mission now.

The current antepost favourite for this is Sir Michael Stoute’s progressive colt Crystal Ocean. He was raced just once as a two-year-old but enjoyed a fruitful three-year-old campaign where he won the Gordon Stakes and finished second beaten just half a length in what looks like being one of the strongest renewals of the St. Leger in a long time. He was only workmanlike when beating Fabricate on his return but came on plenty for that run and bolted up in no uncertain terms from Second Step in the Group 3 Al Rayyan Stakes. He looks a horse who will only get better with age and already has plenty of form which would make him difficult to beat in a race of this nature.

There was a shock in the Tattersalls Gold Cup where Defoe and Cliffs Of Moher failed to reel in Lancaster Bomber and the former may look to get his season back on track here. He was progressive last year but disappointed in the St. Leger and looked to be a real Group 1 horse when bolting up on his first two starts this season. He was well below par last time in what looked a weak Group 1 so the step down in class may be a good move and an improved performance is certainly possible.

Roger Varian’s Barsanti did well to beat Mirage Dancer last time and the second has gone on to win a Listed contest very easily so there must be a chance that Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum’s can evolve into a high class performer this year. This requires a new level of form but he isn’t completely exposed and there’s a fair chance he will get better as he continues to mature. He is yet to record a top class piece of form like Crystal Ocean but is reliable and wasn’t beaten far in this last year.

It’s difficult to know quite where Benbatl will end up at Royal Ascot but he would have to be a big player if Saeed Bin Suroor decided that this was to be his target. He was a good three-year-old who finished second in the Dante and won at the Royal Meeting but took his form to a different level in Meydan at the start of this year. He was beaten in the Jebel Hatta behind Blair House but won his other three starts there including when slamming his rivals in the Dubai Turf and looks a big player in the top middle distance races this year.

Crystal Ocean silk
Crystal Ocean
J: Ryan Moore T: Sir Michael Stoute
Cliffs Of Moher  silk
Cliffs Of Moher
J: Seamie Heffernan T: Aidan O'Brien, Ireland
Red Verdon  silk
Red Verdon
J: James Doyle T: Ed Dunlop
Idaho  silk
J: Donnacha O'Brien T: Aidan O'Brien, Ireland
Barsanti  silk
J: Andrea Atzeni T: Roger Varian
Non Runners
Rare Rhythm silk
Rare Rhythm
J: Non Runner T: Charlie Appleby

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22-06-2018 12:11:28pm