IN SUMMARY: Only five runners have been declared but this is a good-quality Listed event. HERE COMES WHEN (5/1) sometimes harms his chance by refusing to settle in the early stages but deserves a certain amount of credit for claiming third over 7f at Leicester last month, considering he took a fierce early hold there. With that outing under his belt, Andrew Balding’s gelding ought to be slightly more relaxed this time and, given he was competitive at the highest level on a couple of occasions last season, his odds represent good value. Lightning Spear has the best chance on the figures and will be a very tough nut to crack if on song, but he lacks a recent run. Battle Of Marathon is thriving at present and can’t be ignored, but he could come unstuck if this becomes tactical.
1 Battle Of Marathon – Returned to form with excellent third in the Lincoln (1m, soft) last month and posted new career-best performance when second in Ascot Listed event (1m, good to soft) 12 days ago; might be vulnerable if this becomes tactical but is evidently in excellent nick.
2 Bossy Guest – Excelled himself when 50/1 fourth in last year’s 2,000 Guineas and was subsequently placed in the Group 3 Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot (7f, good to firm); disappointed on all three starts in Dubai in early 2016, though, and was also soundly beaten back on home turf last month; needs to get career back on track.
3 Fanciful Angel – Bagged a 1m Listed event on Polytrack in spring 2015 and bettered that performance when landing valuable handicap at Meydan (1m, good) after break in January; slightly disappointing in Group 2 over that C&D a month later but still enters calculations here.
4 Here Comes When – Failed to win last season but ran some very creditable races in defeat, perhaps most notably when fourth to Solow in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood (1m, good); refused to settle in early stages of reappearance run in 7f Listed event at Leicester last month but still finished third and can play a significant role if more relaxed here.
5 Lightning Spear – Began last season with two impressive handicap wins and coped very well with swift jump into Group 2 company when second in the Summer Mile at Ascot; well beaten in the Champion Stakes when upped to 1m2f for latest start in October but that defeat shouldn’t be viewed harshly and he’s in calmer waters here.
myracing Forecast Prices: 11/8 Lightning Spear, 7/2 Battle Of Marathon, Here Comes When, 6/1 Fanciful Angel, 10/1 Bossy Guest