One of the most competitive races of the day and a chance for punters to win big with even the favourite set to go off at a pretty decent price. With winners at prices varying from 9/2 favourite (Buckstay last season) up to 50/1 (Candidato Roy in 2007), it would seem that anything is possible and we will be taking that fact in to account when writing this detailed race preview. With Adam Kirby at his peak this season and drawing all the plaudits we could not help but note the booking for Donncha (14/1 Each Way) made by the very shrewd Robert Eddery. The five-year-old has been in excellent form recently with a second to Secret Art and a third to Frankin D in similar handicaps at Sandown and Goodwood, and both over a mile but we note that three of his five career wins have been over this seven furlongs. He runs off the same mark of 100 now so must have a solid each way chance once again and will hopefully do even better dropped back to what we see as his best trip.
Peter Chapple-Hyam has Buckstay (12/1) in here as the now six-year-old looks to double up after winning this last season. Sadly for connections he would have to carry eight pounds more this year and the stable are not having the best of seasons to put it politely, but their current strike rate of 33% with two winners from six starts suggests they are over the worst of whatever ailed them, and he may run a lot better than some pundits would suggest. After winning a Class Three Conditions event he was a superb runner up to Breton Rock in the Group Two Park Stakes at Doncaster, only beaten a short head at the lone, and if he could be guaranteed to repeat that effort he would have very chance here even carrying top weight.
Closely following the early markets we have noticed that they have been quietly backing Librisa Breeze (11/2) and Dean Ivory’s four-year-old does have a good chance looking at his form. Pretty lightly raced for his age with just the ten starts, he has won four of them and finished second in three others, with wins at Wolverhampton and over course and distance already this season. Last time our he was a good fourth to good thing Nemoralia in the Group Three City of York Stakes in mid-August, and as he has been put up a pretty generous pound for that effort we can certainly see why some think he is the bet to have in this particular race.
Dutch Law (14/1) looks particularly well weighted off a mark of 99 especially when you see that jockey Charlie Bennett takes a further five pounds off his back. He has won three of his last four starts including last time out over course and distance when accounting for Firmament by half a length and although he has been put up another six pounds for that he just keeps on pulling it out when needed.
Looking for another each way option and William Haggas has Afjaan (10/1) in here and he has always been held in some regard at home. Owned by Al Shaqab racing Frankie Dettori has already been booked to ride as you would expect, and he is in good form having scored at Kempton last time out in early September by a clever three quarters of a length from Georgian Bay in the same class as he faces this afternoon. Put up another seen pounds for that he will obviously fond life that bit more difficult now but if he can be held up to get a run and be produced as late as possible, he has as good a chance each way as any of these runners.