The last race of the televised day and the best one as well with a small but select field looking to land the guaranteed £109,400 prize fund. Three-year-olds have won six of the last ten renewals and the current betting suggests they have a good chance of adding to that with Sir Michel Stoute’s Thikriyaat (15/8) who heads the early market and understandably so with three wins and a second from four starts so far this season. A gelded son of Azamour, he has gone from maiden to Class Three to Listed to Group Three with the one blip on his record a second to Ribchester in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot in June. Last time out he beat Forge by a very comfortable half a length at Goodwood when running on strongly over this trip in the Bonhams Stakes and although this is a step up in class he does look quite capable of taking it in his stride on his way to bigger and better things.
Next in the betting we have Zonderland (5/2) who represents the out of form Clive Cox yard (one win in twenty-three runners in the past two weeks as we write) and arrives here on the back of a win last time out at Salisbury in a Group Three earlier this month. Prior to that he had finished sixth in the Group One 2000 Guineas behind Galileo Gold at Newmarket which is rock solid form and may be as capable as any of these in this class and looks a leading player to follo the selection home this afternoon.
Godolphin will be represented by Toormore (5/1) from the Richard Hannon stable and he is up to winning this with his head in his chest at his best, he just only shows that when he feels like it – or so it seems. We do wonder if he goes best fresh after he won the bet365 Mile first time out this season in April and he hasn’t won again in four races since, though it is hard to knock his fourth to The Gurkha last time out in the Group One Sussex Stakes where he had some decent enough horses in behind and the best miles around in front of him. If we could guarantee he would repeat that then he wouldn’t be the beat but the problem is we can’t, and we have to factor in his consistency when working out the value selection here today.
Intriguingly, the official ratings tell us that David Simcock’s Lightning Spear (7/1) is the best horse here, even though he was behind Toormore at Goodwood. The son of Pivotal is yet to win in three starts this season with a third to Tepin at Royal Ascot in the Queen Anne Stakes the stand out effort (Toormore one place behind him), but he needs to repeat that now which seems unlikely based on his ninth to Ribchester at Deauville last time out.
To end our race preview we need to at least mention Arod (8/1) who had some excellent form last season including wins at Epsom and Ascot but who has looked a shadow of his former self so far this season. Trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam has been having a torrid time with just the four winners all season but one of them was in the past fortnight and there are glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel, and if he is back to his best (which is highly unlikely we admit), then he has a much better chance than his likely odds imply.