With the jockeys now aware that sticking to the fair rail is more fruitful than coming down the centre, we may say this massive field split into two groups. There are a ton of variables here, but all things considered these are the six we think stand out:
There are two Juddmonte and two Godolphin horses in our shortlist, and within their own mini groups they’ve been hard to split.
In the case of A’Shaari she could, in theory, be Charlie Appleby’s best and she also carries the first-choice blue cap. However, William Buick has chosen to ride Divine Light instead.
A’Shaari was briefly on the Oaks trail this season having won her debut as a juvenile in very good style. That win was on soft ground over seven furlongs, so while this mile would appear to suit much better than middle distances, it’s possible she’ll not reach her full potential on a quicker surface.
She is possibly very well handicapped in this sphere however and it would be silly to ignore her.
Beheld is, in theory, the third choice Juddmonte horse but all three of them look capable. Roger Charlton trains this one, a Frankel filly having only her fourth run on the back of a win and two runner-up efforts.
She is another who may well appreciate a bit of dig in the ground, so we must keep that in mind, but she’s stepping up to the mile for the first time which will help, the big field and fast pace will bring out the best in her and she appears capable of being a mid-90’s filly which would make her well in here off 84.
In these very big field handicaps, you will always have to take a chance, a leap of faith if you will, on some element of your decision-making being that we don’t know what all of these horses are truly capable of.
In the case of William Haggas’s Belief, we’re willing to make an educated guess that the numbers attached to the form of her breakthrough win at Thirsk underestimate the form.
At the Yorkshire track, where Haggas sends many a decent type, Belief scarpered clear of her field to win very comfortably. Two of the three Newmarket horses immediately had already recorded performances better on the numbers than they apparently managed in the race in question and it’s hard to believe that’s really true.
We reckon that race was simply better than first thought, with the speed figures also impressive considering Belief didn’t really get into top gear.
Forced along by the big field here and with natural improvement which she’s already shown plenty of in three starts, this filly looks to us like one capable of reaching 100+ in these conditions so off 88 she’s very well in indeed.
Divine Light has the white Godolphin cap, but is Buick’s choice and is slightly easier to gauge than A’Shaari. She too won on debut, also at Newmarket on soft over seven, but was unlucky that she didn’t get a lot closer to Sacred in the Nell Gwyn thereafter.
She was disappointing at York, but tends to pull very hard and ruin her chance which she may not get the opportunity to do in such a fast-run race here, leading to her showing us her best.
The other Juddmonte horse on our shortlist (Lucid Dreamer was only just bumped off), Pomelo represents Ralph Beckett. Having run twice over seven furlongs, she stayed on really well over Wolverhampton’s extended mile which stands her in good stead for this outing.
Riknnah comes into this on a hat-trick after two all-weather wins. There are no worries about the surface though; she’s run very well in a strong race on debut on turf before winning on both Tapeta and Polytrack.
She’s perfect for this mile and has great potential, so it will be interesting to see if any significant money comes in for her.
The Godolphin pair A’Shaari and Divine Light are both interesting in handicap company, although both need to settle and appreciate this mile to show their true potential.
The one with so much potential at the trip however is BELIEF she is gets the nod. Her Thirsk race was better than the bare form would suggest, she won it very easily and is climbing the ladder oh so quickly.