After the rough and tumble of the Royal Hunt Cup, it’s time for the three-year-old generation to strut their stuff over the same course and distance. The Britannia Stakes is a 30-runner, £75,000 handicap which is tough to solve, but these are our own dirty half-dozen:
On a hat-trick after going two from two this season, George Scott’s gelding has only landed novice races so far but plenty more can be expected of him in this environment.
In terms of the trip and ground he has several things in his favour, he’s drawn in the middle and if tracking the right speed could well be showing up well at the business end.
The Crisford horse hasn’t won since his debut back in August last year, but the speed he showed when second in a six-furlong French Group 3 last year and behind Qaader (in opposition here) at Goodwood over the mile in April was impressive.
He stays a mile for certain and was beaten in Listed company at Epsom only by the very well fancied Mehmento last time out. This quicker pace will suit much better, as will the track, and he could prove to be nicely handicapped. Talented claimer Mark Crehan rides.
John & Thady Gosden’s colt is nicely weighted off 98 given he has talent, he’s drawn in the middle and of course has track specialist Frankie Dettori on board.
He was disappointing last time out in the Heron Stakes, but he was only 3/1 up against stablemate Mostahdaf and clearly didn’t appreciate the very soft ground.
Before that he showed some nice pace to win a decent handicap over seven furlongs at Newbury, while he has also stayed the mile at Newcastle as a juvenile so should be happy here. He’s a few pounds better than a 98 horse and must be strongly considered.
Admittedly, at first glance, you’d have to be taking your chances if you back Quintillus but all is not as it seems.
A son of Dubawi out of a Nashwan mare, he is beautifully bred. His debut fourth at Newmarket was more than fair, something he proved when very easily winning his next start at Kempton despite being very green indeed for the second time.
He was upwards of a stone better than runner-up Run To Freedom that day, who had experience and has since beaten Highland Avenue and finished second to Silent Film off 88 to now be rated 91.
At Cheltenham in April, Quintillus was still showing so many signs of greenness but finished only a few lengths behind Qaader (in this race, rated 99) and Fundamental (rated 100).
He was given one more chance, but took too big a hold and was dropped out. He’s now been gelded, will be much straighter, will love the bigger field and fast pace and won’t get a chance to run around the course. Based on his true potential, he could be as much as a stone well in and is well drawn too.
Another hat-trick seeker is Richard Hannon’s Siam Fox, carrying King Power Racing’s first choice colours. He was quick over the mile at Doncaster last time which gave him a perfect prep for this, though the bigger field means we don’t know if you can handle what are different race conditions.
While not in as wild a way as Quintillus, you again would find it strange if someone were backing Tawleed but once more a closer look reveals some big positives.
True, Jim Crowley has chosen Qaader, but Tawleed was always going places and could get a chance to prove it now.
Tawleed was runner-up on his first two races to Alkumait and then Naval Crown before winning next time. That represents damn near Group form.
On his second start this season, he was impressive over seven furlongs on quick ground at Newmarket, running to a mark of around 92 in our book and he will have improved since. He races off 90 here, and we’re willing to draw a line through his last run when he hated the ground. Big chance if staying the mile.
Mithras could be very dangerous, while if Tawleed stays he has a massive chance in the third choice Shadwell colours but that doubt does remain.
At a potentially massive price then in a race of this nature, it could pay to take a chance on QUINTILLUS. He’s far better than he’s been able to show, with his gelding operation perhaps the making of him as a racehorse.