This is an incredibly tight event by our reckoning, just as it should be of course, with no apparent handicap blot lurking in the field this time.
That said, based on solid five and six furlong form our shortlist of six look trustworthy and all are capable of putting up a bold show on the day.
As the winner of this race in 2018 and runner-up last year, a big performance is naturally expected of Charlie Hills’ runner.
Coming from the same yard as Battaash and Equilateral, A Momentofmadness is somewhat of a crack sprinter albeit at a slightly lower level but while he has plenty in his favour his overall profile suggests he’s one who is going just ever so slightly backwards now.
Despite a record of 0/8 this season David O’Meara’s five-year-old goes in the ‘solid’ category given that he was forth in this race last year and has recent form figures of 5442.
In achieving those figures Arecibo has gone down 4lbs in the handicap which gives him a fighting chance here, especially considering he has arguably not had ideal racing conditions of late. Danny Tudhope rides once again.
Here are the headlines; Jawwaal is trained by Michael Dods who is one of the very best around at improving his sprinters and he has course form at Doncaster that reads 321.
The basics alone then entitle him to a place on this list, but a closer look at his profile makes him all the more interesting to us.
Coming along just nicely last year as a four-year-old, Jawwaal perhaps unsurprisingly sprung to a new level this campaign when landing a stylish double at Doncaster and Ascot. He was beaten at York last time but was slowly away that day, so wiping that anomaly from memory means we are still dealing with a very progressive type who is almost certainly ahead of the assessors.
In our column back on June 20th we remarked that Konchek was a proven Group horse as a juvenile and having been gelded could soon come back to his best.
We tipped him up to win the Wokingham Stakes back then, but he drifted like a barge out to 40/1 and ran just an OK race, though he has improved since. Now a winner at Salisbury, he’s properly learning to race again now and even though he has gone up in the weights, off 97 he’s still some 9lbs below his peak rating at two and so could yet be very well in.
This one is interesting at a nice price. A last time out winner, Orvar is capable of some very strong performances and has won at Doncaster before.
That said, his record suggests he doesn’t always run two solid races in a row and he has also let himself down in the last two runnings of the Portland despite being in great form each time, so those things added together just temper enthusiasm for him a little from a win bet point of view.
The one for money with several firms coming into the event, Soldier’s Minute is trained by Keith Daltleish and on the face of it has a very solid chance this time.
Second at York last time out over this five-and-a-half-furlong trip, he is in the form of his life and at five could yet get better as a sprinter.
The reason he is passed over for the win however is that he always seems to do very well at York while elsewhere on turf his form seems to take a slight dip, meaning we cannot take his latest outing at face value and have to factor that in when handicapping him.
A tight race indeed then, one in which Konchek could prove to be the best handicapped, Soldier’s Minute could run to his York levels or A Momentofmadness could put his course and distance form to good use.
These are all ifs to be honest though, whereas we’re almost certain that JAWWAAL hasn’t finished climbing the sprinting ladder for Michael Dods yet and so he gets the vote under the excellent Callum Rodriguez.