I think most people will assume he is just keeping Danceteria company, but he is a 104-rated horse and he probably has a very good chance in this $105,000 conditions race if at his best. His third to Zaaki in the Diomed Stakes makes him a big runner here, as does his placed Group 3 form last season, too. He didn’t run up his best for me over 1m2f at Sandown last time and this 7f is short of his best, but the ground looks set to suit and his draw in three looks fine. I’ll have the option of going forward on him, as some of his best efforts have been on the pace, but I’ll see how he breaks and go from there. The Australian handicapper certainly looks to have given a big chance by letting him race off 95 here.
I suppose you have to say that he was a little disappointing in the Ebor last time, but he didn’t run badly off his big weight. He is a horse I obviously know well from his days with Brian [Meehan], when he was rated 114 at his best, and his first two starts for William [Haggas] weren’t too far off his peak. A draw in nine could have been worse and, if he gets a clean run and a decent pace to aim at over this trip, then you can obviously see him running a big race. Again, the handicapper looks to have given him a real shout, as he races off 105 here and he ran off 111 at York.
There looks to be nothing between a lot of these, but this is a horse who I have a lot of time for. I think he needed it when he was third in the Brigadier Gerard back in May but his season has been one of progression since, and he notched up his Group 1 when winning in Germany for me last time. He has a potent turn of foot when on song, and you have to be hopeful given his form trajectory. It’s a tough race, but I’d be quite sweet on his chances. Coming back to his Sandown run earlier in the season, it is like riding two different horses at that track and away from there. When he went back to Sandown for the Eclipse, he must have changed his legs about five or six times up the straight and the ridges and undulations just don’t seem to suit him there. I reckon he is even better than he has been able to show, and I definitely think he would have been a factor, and placed, in something like the Juddmonte. I do rate him.