Seventeen pounds covers the eight runners here according to the official ratings which is quite a spread in ability and weight, and as Saeed Bin Suroor is the only trainer to double up in the last nine runnings and isn’t represented in 2017, there is little to be learned from the statistics. Only one joint-favourite has scored in that time so short odds are no guarantee of success, read on to see our expert tip and our horse by horse race preview.
IN SUMMARY: Mainstream only has a touch to spare over LUSTROUS LIGHT on recent form and the value may well lie with Ralph Beckett’s charge who was unlucky in running that day. He looks to be solid each-way value if he can repeat that effort and he can hold off Sir Michael Stoute’s horse this afternoon in an exciting contest.
1 MAINSTREAM – Sir Michael Stoute took this race in 2014 with Kings Fete and will be hoping for a repeat here with the top-weight who will have to shoulder ten stone if he wants to succeed this afternoon, but that has been done twice successfully in the last nine years so is far from impossible. Owned by The Queen and ridden by Ryan Moore on his last three outings, he has Stevie Donohoe doing the steering here and was last seen finishing sixth of nineteen to Rare Rhythm in the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot after a tardy start left him with too much to find late on. Runs off the same rating now in what looks a weaker race and one for the short list.
2 LUSTROUS LIGHT – Joint top weight here for Ralph Beckett’s four-year-old son of Galileo who represents a stable currently hitting a 10% success rate. He has raced five times since his last win at Fairyhouse in July last year when in the care of Ger Lyons and he was last seen when just a quarter length behind Mainstream at Royal Ascot on the same terms as this afternoon. He did fail to get a clear run when needed and took a bump or two that day and has as good a chance as the forecast favourite on paper at least, and seems well worthy of each way consideration at the prices.
3 OASIS FANTASY – David Simcock’s six-year-old is the eldest in this field and runs off a rating of 95 this afternoon, two pounds lower than when last seen at Royal Ascot. Eighteenth of nineteen that day he was beaten seventeen lengths at the line after trying to make the running and being heavily eased once passed but on pure form has it all to do with Mainstream and Lustrous Light if that form is taken literally. The stable are ticking over nicely with three winners from their last thirty-one runners for a 10% success rate but he will need an easier lead today to have any chance and that seems unlikely.
4 AZARI – Perhaps the most in-form of all the contenders here with a win and two places from the three starts this season for trainer Tom Dascombe. Bought out of the Paul Nicholls yard after winning a Wolverhampton claimer he has since finished third and then second at York in Lady Amateur’s races, picking up some decent prize money on the way, and was only beaten a neck there over a mile and a half last time out. This is a step up in class and he has been put up two pounds by the handicapper but he is up against largely out of form sorts and could surprise a few of them here.
5 BEARDWOOD – An interesting contender for the Mark Johnston stable who has only tried this sort of trip the once when a weakening eighth of twelve to Frontiersman at Newmarket on the Rowley Mile in May. Despite some recent placed efforts including a second at Sandown over a mile and a quarter last time out, there has to be a question mark over this trip with plenty of potential front runners to make it a war of attrition and draw out any finishing speed jockey P J McDonald may hope to keep in reserve.
6 NIGHT OF GLORY – Jockey Joshua Bryan takes five pounds off the back of the Andrew Balding trained three-year-old which can only help his cause and as a youngster here, he may have more room for improvement than most. Unraced as a two-year-old he won one of his four starts at The Curragh in May and has since changed yards from Michael O’Callaghan to his new Lambourn base and is having his first outing for new connections today. He will need to improve from his tenth of thirteen at Royal Ascot in the Queens Vase when weakening over a mile and three-quarters and could surprise here.
7 MUKHAYYAM – Not too high on the shortlist with no wins from four runs at this course and none from ten starts on this going either, though he has won on going with a bit more cut in it and may not be as inconvenienced as those stats suggest. A pair of seconds in lesser class at Ripon and York have seen him put up to this mark of 83 after which he finished thirteenth of fourteen at Carlisle when sent off the 11/2 favourite. He weakened rapidly that day for no obvious reason and will need to bounce back here and others look to have better chances.
8 GOOD OMEN – A hard to gauge contender now in the hands of Newmarket trainer David Simcock who looked one paced on his first try at this sort of trip last time out behind Atte Persse at Royal Ascot in the King George V Stakes. Prior to that he had won over a mile and a quarter at Doncaster with a late run off three pounds lower and only carrying eight stone eleven here it is hard if not impossible to leave him out of calculations in the hope he stays.