The Group 3 Sovereign Stakes is the highlight of Salisbury’s season. Read our full race preview for our experts’ betting tips.
IN SUMMARY: It’s easy to understand why many will be drawn to Massaat, who can be excused his defeat in the Derby and was an excellent second in the 2,000 Guineas two starts ago. However, nagging doubts about the suitability of today’s fast ground tip the scales in favour of SOVEREIGN DEBT, who, as a 7yo, doesn’t have such an exciting profile but has compiled a string of good performances in Group/Listed company in recent months and seems very likely to be in the thick of things. Tullius, Tony Curtis and Zonderland all have decent each-way claims.
1 Tullius – Boasts impressive 11-37 career strike-rate and his wins include this race in 2012 and the Group 3 Diomed at Epsom (8.5f, good to soft) when fitted with first-time visor for latest outing in June; versatile ground-wise and can make his presence felt.
2 Belgian Bill – Encountered some traffic problems and ran very well when fourth in the Golden Mile at Glorious Goodwood (1m, good to firm) last month but this 8yo has come up short on previous forays into Pattern company and, at today’s weights, a similar scenario is likely again.
3 Master Carpenter – Won the John Smith’s Cup at York (1m2f, good) last summer and has held his own in Group/Listed company on a few occasions this year, but has a bit to find with the principals here and, even on this stiff track, is reliant on a strong pace over today’s trip.
4 Master The World – Beaten only a short-head in the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket (1m1f, good) in September and ran to an even higher level when strong-finishing second in the Golden Mile at Glorious Goodwood (1m, good to firm) last month; each-way claims on the figure but seems very well suited by the temp of big-field handicaps, so may not be seen to best effect here.
5 Sovereign Debt – Fully exposed at the age of seven but comes here after finishing second in four consecutive Listed/Group races, most recently in the Minstrel Stakes at the Curragh (7f, good) last month; will also be suited by today’s trip/ground and probably won’t be far away.
6 Tupi – Stays 1m but is much better known for his exploits over shorter trips; made very pleasing seasonal debut when close second in the Group 3 Abernant Stakes at Newmarket (6f, good to soft) in April but generally been disappointing since then and others have much less to prove.
7 Massaat – Didn’t get home after taking too keen a hold in the Derby and is better judged on his excellent second in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket (1m, good to soft); confidence would be higher on slower ground but he still needs to be afforded considerable respect.
8 Tony Curtis – Won a C&D Listed event as a 2yo just under a year ago and returns here after two respectable efforts in Group 3 company; didn’t enjoy the run of the race when fifth of nine in muddling contest at Glorious Goodwood (1m, good to firm) on more recent occasion and has a very realistic each-way shout today.
9 Zonderland – Behind Massaat when sixth in the 2,000 Guineas but didn’t get the best of runs that day and subsequently won a Sandown Listed event (1m, good to firm) in good style; disappointed when sent to France to contest a Group 1 last time but not out of this.
myracing Forecast Prices: 6/4 Massaat, 4/1 Sovereign Debt, 6/1 Zonderland, 8/1 Tullius, 12/1 Master The World, 14/1 Tony Curtis, 16/1 Master Carpenter, 20/1 Belgian Bill, Tupi