A field of six go to post for this exciting Group 3 contest over 1m 2f, our International Stakes tips and betting preview is below.
IN SUMMARY: JOHANNES VERMEER drops in grade following a fair effort in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes and he can win this today. The step back up in trip to 1m 2f shouldn’t be a problem and he can get back to winning ways having missed most of the 2016 season. The Grey Gatsby is an obvious danger but he makes his stable debut today and has gone without a win since September 2014.
1 AIR PILOT – Did well to win to the Alleged Stakes (Group 3) on his seasonal reappearance at Naas in April. He found life too difficult in the Group 1 Coronation Cup at Epsom next time out but he didn’t run too poorly and he could bounce back in this grade and these conditions will suit him down to the ground. The yard haven’t been firing on all cylinders recently but that record could be improved today.
2 SUCCESS DAYS – Finished a head behind Air Pilot when the pair met earlier this season and there should be little between them again today. He’s the obvious pace angle in this and will attempt to hold them off from the front although he will want softer ground than this to be seen to best effect. A tongue tie is applied for the first time and he’s tricky to rule out entirely although others make a bit more appeal in this.
3 SHAMREEN – Lowest-rated runner in today’s field and Dermot Weld’s runner will need to be at peak fitness to win this. She’s been off the track for 294-days but she has Group 2 winning form to her name and there should be more to come from her as a 4yo although Pat Smullen gets off her to ride The Grey Gatsby which is a major negative in this. Best watched today on the back of that.
4 JOHANNES VERMEER – Drops down in grade today following some fair efforts in a couple of Group 1 races including the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot. He will appreciate softer ground than this but he is a Group 1 winner and it would be no surprise to see him run a big race for a yard in fine form of late (24% strike rate in the past fortnight). One to consider closely now down in grade.
5 MOONLIGHT MAGIC – Seeks his first win since early last season and he’s not been beaten in similar races to this lately. He finished 3 1/2 lengths behind Minding on his seasonal reappearance and he should improve again today for his third run of the season although a tongue tie is applied for the first time today and he’s at risk of becoming a disappointing sort. Others make more appeal in this for a yard with a 13% strike rate in the past fortnight.
6 THE GREY GATSBY – The classiest runner in today’s field and he makes his stable debut for Dermot Weld today. He finished 5 1/4 lengths behind Almanzor in the Champion Stakes at Ascot on his final start of last season which would be good enough to see him win this although he is without a victory since September 2014. If he’s anywhere near his best he will be dangerous today based on last season’s form.