With Hit It A Bomb and Nemoralia now out of the race for other targets the field takes on a more open look and Godolphin’s Home Of The Brave (13/8) now heads the betting for the likeable Hugo Palmer and rightly so. After winning a Listed race on his return at Leicester which he followed with a Group Three win in the Timeform Jury Stakes at Haydock and he was anything but disgraced last time out when beaten in to second spot by an in-form Dutch Connection at Goodwood in the Group Two Lennox Stakes. Charlie Hill’s horse does not re-oppose today which can only help his chances, and as one of the few seven furlong specialists in the field we can certainly see why he heads the early betting and he will be our confident section this afternoon.
Sir Michael Stoute looks all set to allow Convey (11/4) to take on Home Of The Brave here even though he was a neck behind his rivals at Haydock and they meet today on the same terms. A son of Dansili, he had a little confidence booster last time out at Pontefract when hacking up in a Listed race, beating Algaith by three and a quarter lengths and as his trainer is adamant he has the speed for this seven furlongs and is not just a miler, it could be tight between the front two once again today.
Markaz (7/1) is a horse that has invariably flattered to deceive for trainer Owen Burrows and is hard to assess as they apparently think he is well above average. His last effort was in fifth, beaten four and a half lengths by Dutch Connection at Goodwood and there is a possibility that this could be seen as a slightly weaker race, on paper at least, but surely a place is the very best connections can realistically hope for.
Lambourn trainer Charlie Hills should have a good idea where he stands with Markaz thanks to Dutch Connection and he has Jallota (12/1) in here who has as good a chance as many. Now a five-year-old, he has already had a pretty rewarding season with wins at York and Haydock as well as a decent second to Jimmy Two Times at Deauville in a Group Three in July but overall he is a very good handicapper bordering on Group Three class and it would be a shock were he to win a race of the magnitude.
Lastly and very risky we admit, we have all heard how highly regarded John Gosden’s Richard Pankhurst (14/1) is, if only he could show his class on the race course. He really hasn’t shone at all this season and was last of ten to The Gurkha in the Sussex Stakes when last seen, but that was a Group One and they clearly still think he has plenty of ability – if he sees fit to show it now he could well be the surprise package.