Race Time: 1.45pm Meeting: Newbury Distance: 1m 3f 5yds
Full Race Name: Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup (Registered As The Arc Trial) (Group Three) Class One
We all know by now that official ratings can be used as an aid but are (sadly) not a definitive way of finding all the winners, though in this case the John Gosden trained Eagle Top (10/11) is five pounds clear of all of his rivals at these weights and thus the most likely winner. A good looking son of Pivotal with a lot more stamina than his sire, he is yet to win a race this season but has been mixing it with the very best and may find this a good deal easier than when going under by a nose after being nabbed on the line by Postponed in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot. The drop back in trip of a furlong is unlikely to be an issue for the now four year old colt, even though he clearly stays further, and this looks suspiciously like a little confidence booster under Frankie Dettori before they decide if he is worth sending to the Arc in Paris – or not as the case may be. Somehow (well, race conditions) poor Sky Hunter (10/1) has to give weight away to all of his rivals after winning a Group Two at Meydan back in March, yet for reasons unknown, he hasn’t been seen on a racecourse since, which has to be a concern. The form of that win isn’t exactly working out that well with runner up Sheikhzayedroad losing six races since but he is a pretty decent beast and may well run in to a place if anyone of the better fancied contenders has an off day. Looking for an outsider or two to round off our early short list, and if Sir Michael Stoute can get Hillstar (12/1) back to his very best he has to be on the short list. Rated as highly as 119 at his peak (in 2013), he would be a shoe in for the runners up berth on that form, but hasn’t reproduced it in far too long to be relied on. Three runs this season at Ascot, Newmarket, and Goodwood, he finished fifth, fifth and sixth, and is clearly held by Eagle Top on that form. Why he has been so below par this year is not information we are privy too, and if anyone can get him back Sir Michael is your man, and we won’t be quite so quick to write him off as others in the racing media.
Ooty Hill (8/1) is perhaps the darkest horse in the contest with just the two career runs, though on what we have seen so far he will need to improve considerably to take a hand in the finish here. A maiden win last season at Newmarket hasn’t really worked out that well in the context of a race like todays, while his return to action when three and a half lengths runner up to Star Of Seville at Newbury in a Condition race is light years away from what is needed here, yet trainer Roger Charlton is nobody’s fool and he still sends the three year old here – but does he know something we don’t we wonder? Lastly, we can’t just ignore The Corsican (4/1) who may well arrive here to represent David Simcock who has a good line to most of the staying horses thanks to the aforementioned Sheikzayedroad and his various exploits. A four year old son of the legendary Galileo, he won first time out in 2015 at Goodwood in a Listed race and stepped up on that performance with a fourth to Free Eagle in the Group One Prince Of Wales Stakes at Royal Ascot and most recently managed a second to Dubday back at Goodwood when denied a clear run at a crucial time. That form is good but not spectacular compared to that of his rivals and if they all show up we doubt he can win – but then again that never happens and he may well go close to a place as a minimum here.