IN SUMMARY: Vazirabad is undoubtedly the best horse here but connections will have their eye on a bigger prize on World Cup night and he was beaten at odds on in this race last season. It may be worth taking a chance with RARE RHYTHM who is lightly raced for his age and will be spot on for Saeed Bin Suroor and looks the better value in this field.
1 CANNDERA – An interesting contender but looks to be the Aga Khan second string on all known form and will need to step up on her win in Listed class at Saint-Cloud last time out. That was back in early October and was also her first ever victory and although the daughter of Dalakhani may well have more to offer at the age of four, she has her work cut out to win this on what she has actually achieved so far.
2 RARE RHYTHM – Three Godolphin owned runners in this contest but Charlie Appleby’s gelding gets to carry the first colours here as the highest rated according to the handicapper. Gelded in June 2016 he was off the track until last June when winning the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot which he followed with a Listed class victory in the Silver Cup Stakes at York over this sort of trip. Lightly raced for his age with just the seven starts and with his ability to go well fresh and perhaps more to come, he can emerge as a major contender here.
3 REMBRANDT VAN RIJN – The bin Ghadayer trained seven-year-old seems to have his own ideas about the game and can be a bit of a thinker on occasions. Last time out he had one of his off days when tailed off here and beaten a distance at the line and as that was a handicap and this is a Group race, he is impossible to fancy on that run and perhaps one to avoid at present.
4 NATURAL SCENERY – The lowest rated of the Godolphin trio and without a win in over a year since being successful at Newcastle in February 2017. That was over two miles plus so stamina will not be an issue for the daughter of Dubawi but this class may well prove to be too much with her best victory in a Class Two handicap back at Newcastle. She has won once on turf (at Newmarket) so cannot be ignored but it would come as no big shock to see her being used as a pacemaker today for her better fancied companions.
5 CARBON DATING – Plenty of Meydan experience with twelve starts but he is yet to score here and is basically a very decent handicapper. He has won four of his thirty-eight starts and placed in eight others but was last seen finishing a well beaten ninth here over shorter and looks to have a lot to find to mount any kind of challenge now. Tadhg rides for Satish Seemar but needs to conjure a career best to even place in this field.
6 RED GALILEO – One win on the all-weather at Kempton when trained by Ed Dunlop and one from nine starts for Saeed Bin Suroor since changing hands when successful in a handicap here in January 2017. Now a seven-year-old he really battled last time out here over two miles when beaten a short head and a nose when third last month and he won’t be far away at all if reproducing that effort.
7 TIAEMAH – A very serious step up in trip for the daughter of Premium Tap who was last seen finishing an eight and a half-length fifth to Promising Run in the Group Two Balanchine here over a mile and a furlong after being swamped after trying to make all the running. Drops in class here but her stamina is very much an unknown quantity on her second run for trainer Neil Bruss and there is no known reason to expect her to get home in this line-up.
8 SHEIKHZAYEDROAD – The winner of this race in 2016 and third last year obviously has each way chances over a course and distance that suits him but at the age of nine he may start to go backwards and cannot be guaranteed to be the same horse. He did hold his form well last season with some good runs in all the top staying contests, but he hasn’t been seen since October, and trainer David Simcock has had zero winners from twenty-five runners in the last two weeks which has to count against him.
9 BARREESH – On a long losing run now of eight races stretching back to July 2015 when in the care of Richard Hannon and thus yet to score for Jaber Ramadhan after six attempts. Last seen finishing a length and a quarter fourth to Prince Of Arran here over two miles when running on strongly he will need a fast run race to pick some off late on here but as he is seven pounds worse off with his conqueror today he looks to have very little chance of reversing that form.
10 VAZIRABAD – The class act in this field and by far the likeliest winner at his peak but he arrives with a very small question mark over whether he will be 100% tuned up for his return after over four months off. Last year he was sent off the 4/5 favourite for this race before finishing second and although he ought to win in tis line-up, that loss is fresh enough in the memory to cause some concern.
11 PRINCE OF ARRAN – A pretty decent gelding for trainer Charlie Fellowes who own her over two miles last time it when all out to hold off Los Barbados in a handicap on good ground in the middle of last month. Clearly likes a battle but that hard race may have taken something out of him, and upped to this class he seems unlikely to find things quite as easy.