Winners at odds up to 14/1 show this will not be easy to solve this year or any year but with the William Haggas yard in almost unstoppable form and showing a 44% strike rate as we write it makes good sense to at least start our race preview with Muzdawaj (10/1), a lightly raced son of Dansili who will be having his eighth race this afternoon looking for win number four. Two of his three wins have been over this mile and a quarter trip including two races ago here at Newbury after which he finished second to Lord Ben Stack at Haydock off a rating five pounds higher. Put up another two pounds here he will obviously need to improve again and that isn’t guaranteed on this slower surface and the value hopefully lies elsewhere.
We prefer the chances of Bermondsey (18/1 Each Way) who arrives here on the back of an acceptable sixth to Central Square at Doncaster. Trained in Newmarket by Luca Cumani and to ridden by Adam Kirby, he was only a length and a quarter behind Baydar the race before and meets that rival on eight pounds better terms yet is twice the price and as he has form on softer going as well you can see why we think he looks decent each way value now.
Sussex trainer Amanda Perrett has surprised us by deciding to rely on Zhui Feng (20/1) who has to try and shrug off a five pound penalty after winning a similar event by a nose at Goodwood near the end of August. Generally speaking that ought to be enough to stop him but he may have hit the front too soon that day and if he can be held on to a little longer this afternoon by jockey Pat Dobbs he may yet go close to following up.
Those who follow the favourite may well end up backing Autocratic (7/1) though whether the value has already gone is another question. Trained by Sir Michael Stoute and to be ridden by Ryan Moore he is lightly raced with just the five career starts and a maiden win at Sandown though his best form is on much quicker ground and that surely has to be a concern for anyone considering a bet on him this afternoon. As a son if Dubawi he is admittedly bred to be better than a handicapper and is well weighted off just eight stone eight, but he needs to offer up a little bit more if he wants to get involved in the finish in our view.
Meanwhile, Hugo Palmer continues his superb form and has an interesting entry with Baydar (9/1) who would arrive here looking for his fourth win in a row. All out at Sandown to hold off Goodwood Mirage by a short head he met trouble in running that day but still battled well to win and although up another four pounds here we like his attitude as well as his form and he may well be able to pull out enough to place even if beating our selection looks a lot harder than the odds suggest.