With a mile and a half in front of these improving three-year-olds stamina and weight will take effect in equal proportions leaving us looking for an improving sort if at all possible. Mark Johnston likes this meeting and has won this twice in the last six years with Mister Angry (16/1) and Royal Skies (7/1), so it makes good sense to start our race preview with Juste Pour Nous (14/1) now. To be ridden by Hayley Turner this afternoon, the son of Pour Moi was a beaten favourite last time out at Sandown over ten furlongs but somehow he has gone up three pounds since finishing six lengths last and although the step up in trio will suit, he is not for us today.
We far prefer the chances of Against The Odds (9/1 Each Way) who is handled by Classic winning trainer Paul Cole and will be ridden by Oisin Murphy. Last seen in action six days ago we know he us race fit and as he was second to Who Dares Wins at Chester. Prior to that he has won by a length at Windsor over eleven and a half furlongs so he is the form option by some margin today, and we think that he will be far better suited to this track than he was by the twisting turns he had to suffer at the Roodeye.
Ex jockey turned trainer Johnny Murtagh sends Full Court Press (10/1) over the sea on a trophy hunt and he is an interesting contender who may have been plotted up for a go at this race. Last time out the son of Frozen Power was only fifth at Down Royal, beaten eight lengths at the line, but that was over a mile and a quarter which was never going to see him at his best. In the race before at Ballinrobe he has tried a mile and five furlongs for the first and only time, and came home by an eased down seven lengths clear of his field for a very easy success. Back up in trip today and in a race that may be run at a furious pace from the off, he could get the chance to bring his stamina in to play and we will be watching the market very carefully as this already smells like a potential gamble.
Lord Yeats (9/1) was never going to be a sprinter as a son of a multiple Gold Cup winner but he has won over a mile and a half in a Ripon handicap but has been put up another four pounds after finishing second to Time Of My Life at Hamilton and may find he is weighted out of things.
Lastly, the Andrew Balding yard could hardly be in any better form and they have a recent winner engaged with Real Dominion (9/2). A lightly raced Cape Blanco colt his last run was here over course and distance when he came home alone, six lengths clear of Kesselring after taking it up at the furlong pole. Impressive as he was a nine-pound rise in the handicap does look a little bit steep and he may not be able to dominate quite as easily in this much more competitive event.