Three winning favourites and not one winner at a double figure price in the last ten years is promising for us punters, and with Sir Michael Stoute and Roger Charlton responsible for two winners each in that time they look like a sensible starting point. Sir Michael had two class acts engaged with Dartmouth (2/1) the one he has decided to rely as The Queen’s four-year-old drops in class after finishing third to Highland Reel last time out in the Group One King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot in late July. Only beaten four lengths at the line, he had won all his other three starts this season including the Group Two Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot and he really ought to win this if a trip to France for the Arc is a serious consideration, but he has no form whatsoever on going this soft and that has to be held against him.
We are not sure what rain dance trainer Harry Dunlop did but it worked and Robin Of Navan (11/4) could go well at a price as one of the few to love this rain softened surface. Mainly campaigned in France as a two-year-old he picked up the Group One Criterium De Saint-Cloud in November so is clearly no slouch, though he is still looking for his first win this season. His second to Arab Spring at Kempton suggests he gets this trip and he has only had the three runs this year so has room to improve, and we think he is the value call in these conditions that look ideal.
Meanwhile, Roger Charlton has made life a little easier for us all with just the one entry as Ayrad (10/1) heads here with place chance at least. His three wins from sixteen starts have been over a mile, ten furlongs and a mile and a half so he won’t have any problems with the trip, and he has placed in Group Three company, and won on good to soft ground and may well handle the going a lot better than some of his rivals today.
David Simcock continues in good form and we have seen a bit of money for Algometer (3/1) here, presumably because he has some form on good to soft going. So far this season he has finished runner up to Midterm in the Group Three Classic Trail at Sandown and then won a Listed race at Goodwood before finding them a bit too smart in the Epsom Derby when fourteen lengths behind winner Harzand back in seventh. This is obviously a lot easier to cope with and he may well have been freshened up by ahis break since June and we can see him running a big race if he handles the ground of course.
Lastly, Richard Hannon’s Tashaar (12/1) is the outsider now even with Frankie Dettori in the saddle. His best form was probably a fourth to Storm The Stars last season with his latest run a four length fourth to Berkshire in a Listed race at Windsor but neither of those look good enough to get involved at the finish today though it could get tactical which may yet see the form book turned on its head.