Another day at Ascot, another full field of handicappers many of which are potentially well in. All things considered regarding form, breeding and potential, these are our top six:
There’s plenty to get excited about with Aaddeey at this trip and the money has come in for Simon & Ed Crisford’s horse leading up to the race.
His easy win at Nottingham over a mile-and-a-quarter last year and his equally facile success at Newmarket over a mile-and-a-half this are the main reasons for the support.
Indeed, his latest 4½-length win was very much expected, the horse he beat into second having since gone on to win very easily himself, going up 6lbs in the handicap. The third horse has also franked the form.
On the basics then; he’s going the right way, has no trouble over the trip, loves faster ground and has reliable form in the book. Big chance.
Grand Bazaar has already had 11 runs for John Gosden, perhaps leading to a few people thinking that we know his level and that he’s flattened out.
However, horses still improve for age, not just for racing, and so like any other four-year-old we have to factor in that there’s more to come from him and that we haven’t seen the best of this Golden Horn offspring yet.
He’s tried soft ground, shorter trips and the all-weather. But, taking a look exclusively at his form on good or faster over a mile-and-a-half makes for interesting reading. In such events he has run to official marks of 83, 91 and 98 showing an upward trend.
He was left unmoved on 97 for his latest run, a front-running close third at an average pace when he finished upsides Global Storm, giving the Godolphion horse 3lbs. That horse was a very strong fancy for the Copper Horse Stakes here earlier in the week.
He ran a solid third in that race, but didn’t quite see it out. Adjusting that for this trip would put Global Storm at around 101 now, effectively making Grand Bazaar 104 and with the prospect of even more to come. He gets in here off 97 and so is basically a well handicapped horse.
Richard Hannon’s Lost Eden did very well on the all-weather before bombing out on turf. His two wins were achieved over a mile-and-a-quarter too meaning at a glance there are a few negatives and unknowns.
However, trip-wise this looks perfect as he’s stayed on strongly over ten furlongs and is by Sea The Stars. As for the ground, he clearly hated the soft on his last outing with this forecast good to firm much more like the quick Polytrack he’s been used to running on at Lingfield.
Another horse bringing in strong all-weather form is Charlie Fellowes’s Pirate King. He hasn’t run to this level on the turf and has been campaigned heavily at Lingfield, but he’s not without a chance if he can transfer his current form to this event.
Based purely on his very good-looking reappearance win, Quickthorn makes this list. He stays the trip well and clearly has more to come, with the only negative being the ground.
So far, he’s done well at Kempton and on softer turf going so as a son of Nathaniel you’d have to question whether he’d be at his absolute best on firmer ground.
More was expected of Tritonic at the Cheltenham Festival, but his flat form is solid enough to make us think he can get involved here.
He stays the trip and handles faster ground which is all good, though he’s been stuck on a mark of 99 on the flat for the last 11 months and four runs without winning again.
If, and to be fair it’s a fairly big if, Quickthorn can pull out the same level of performance or better on faster going than he did at Haydock then he is right in the front rank here, there’s no doubt about that.
Another “if” comes with Aaddeey. He may well be significantly better than what we’ve seen so far and he certainly has a nice profile, but he has been beaten a few times and so is clearly not infallible.
GRAND BAZAAR is most interesting to us. He is on a sharp climb when running in these conditions and has good recent form, especially with Global Storm who showed us the other day how strong it is.