Just the two winning favourites in the last ten renewals show us that this is not as easy as it might look at first glance though Saeed Bin Suroor has won three of those – if only his horses were in better form. We all know he has had his problems of late but that will come to an end shortly, and it may be value to start our race preview with Sky Hunter (7/2) who is an interesting proposition here if he is as good as they have always hoped he is. Wins in France when in the care of Andre Fabre soon saw a move to Newmarket in 2014, and since then he has added wins at Ayr and Newbury (in the Group Three St Simon Stakes which he took by nine lengths), after which he headed off to Dubai. He then took a Group Two at Meydan in Dubai and placed back at Newbury before finishing twenty-second of twenty-four at Flemington in the Melbourne Cup last November. The fact that he hasn’t been seen since has to be of concern to the sensible punter, as is the form of the stable, and much as we suspect he could well be the best horse in the race LONG TERM, we cannot possibly back him under those circumstances.
We have decided to come down firmly on the side of Sir Michael Stoute’s Arab Spring (13/8) who heads the market as he returns to this level after being beaten in to eleventh of twelve in the Group Oi=ne Juddmonte International at York earlier in the month. Although beaten twenty-eight lengths at the line it needs to be pointed out that he was heavily eased once his chance had gone, so the form could be a little deceiving and he may be better judged on earlier outings. Only a head behind Western Hymn in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes over a mile and a quarter at Sandown, he may well be a lot happier in the longer term back at this mile and a half, and certainly deserves to carry our money this afternoon in a more complicated race than it looks at first glance..
Anyone ignoring Mark Johnston’s Fire Fighting (9/1) here doesn’t follow their racing as the tough as teak five-year-old looks to win race number twelve in a career stretching to a massive sixty four races. Last week he was fifth to a rejuvenated Berkshire at Windsor in a Listed race but that was his best run for some time and hard as he is to get past up the home straight if he can get to the front he may still find himself outclassed this afternoon.
Denis Coakley sends Miss Majurie (10/1) here and she has a small chance on her best form as long as she can repeat it now. She has won over this mile and a half at Haydock at this level and ran her best race last season when a length and a half fifth to Pleascach in the Yorkshire Oaks and although not up to that standard in three runs this season she would have very chance if able to repeat that run.
Robin Of Navan (5/1) ends our preview and is a class act at his best for Harry Dunlop and possibly overpriced. After his debut at Kempton when sixth in a maiden he has been campaigned exclusively in France, possibly for the better prize money, and has won four races at up to Group One level (he won the Criterium De Saint-Cloud last November) and is clearly well above average. This season he has only has the two races with a second to Cloth Of Stars in the Group Two Prix Greffulhe at Saint-Cloud and was eleventh of sixteen in the French Derby in June but hasn’t been seen since or even tried this trip, so his participation would be interesting to put it mildly.