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NAZANIN can defend her unbeaten record in this Group 3. Archie Watson’s filly was sent off a well-backed favourite for her debut at Newbury last month and didn’t disappoint, hitting the front two furlongs from home and easily holding off the more experienced duo Peggoty and Baby Bay who were carrying less weight. That form has taken some knocks but she is well bred and capable of significantly better.
Paul Midgley had eight of the twenty three entered in this and JAMES WATT is the one to beat. He spent a long time in the wilderness after kicking off his career with two wins. However, the fitting of cheekpieces has sparked a revival recently and he made it two from three in this headgear over course-and-distance last time out, winning more comfortably than the official margin of a head would suggest.
It’s hard to rule out many in this handicap with preference for MARSABIT. It took him six starts to get off the mark but he has thrived since winning at Kempton last November, and added a fourth success from his last six at Leicester last Thursday where he saw off Dartington without Oisin Murphy asking for maximum effort. He continues to creep up the weights but the handicapper is clearly struggling to get his measure.
BLIND BEGGAR is an interesting contender in this wide-open handicap. His sole success from ten starts so far came in a Catterick maiden but he caught the eye in an equally competitive heat over this course and distance in June, finishing sixth despite suffering trouble in running. He couldn’t match that at Newmarket last time but returning to this track can help him bounce back.
ALDAARY has been costly to follow recently but I’m willing to give him another chance. He kicked off his campaign with an easy course-and-distance win and is better than two subsequent defeats show. He couldn’t reel in the front two after being given a lot to do at Goodwood in May and the Buckingham Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot didn’t go to plan either, because he had to make his challenge wider than ideal.
MOHAAFETH can take his winning spree to five. After winning a Lingfield novice in March, the William Haggas-trained colt has quickly progressed through the ranks and came from off the pace to land a Royal Ascot Group 3 last time. He idled when hitting the front and there is more to come if Jim Crowley can delay his challenge a bit longer.
This is set to be a cracking clash between two superstars and LOVE can prove she is the best with a fifth successive Group 1 victory. She had little trouble rattling off a hat-trick at the highest level last year and did well to overcome a lengthy absence in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, going off in front and responding gamely when challenged. She will appreciate the return to 1m4f and the quick ground is ideal.
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