Hong Kong Vase & Mile (G1)

Highland Reel leave the ring at Leopardstown for the Irish Champion Stakes

Highland Reel leave the ring at Leopardstown for the Irish Champion Stakes

Aidan sends Highland Reel and Cougar Mountain east to Hong Kong in a bid to cap an outstanding season. His lead in the Pattern Racing Trainers World Championships is unassailable but more of that in a later blog. His work isn’t finished yet for the year.

In the Vase Highland Reel will go off a short price favourite on a return to the course where he announced himself on the world stage last year when he beat Flintshire here. Since he’s won the King George V1 and Queen Elizabeth Stakes the highlight of the middle distance summer in Europe and then went on to run second to Found in the Arc. He then confirmed his superiority over Flintshire in the Breeders Cup Turf where the opposition jockeys didn’t show him the respect he deserves. He showed them though.

Cougar Mountain in the per parade ring at Leopardstown

Cougar Mountain in the per parade ring at Leopardstown

In the mile Aidan also send an old favourite in Cougar Mountain. He’s always been capable and every now and again he’s shown himself more than that. This course and ground could well bring out the best in him. He won the G2 Joel Stakes at Newmarket over 7f and then ran well at Santa Anita when 8th beaten 4 1/2 L in the Breeders Cup Mile. He’s a big price for this, 64/1 on the Sha Tin tote but he’s well drawn in 7 and he may well belie those odds and with Donnacha aboard he could run into a place and if the opposition show the same respect Highland Reel was shown in Santa Anita it might well be just better than that.


Recommendation: Highland Reel 1/1 win

                                        Cougar Mountain PMU E/W

Breeders Cup Turf (G1)


Found on her way out to contest the Irish Champions Stakes

Found is one of those rare things in flat racing, a mare the public have fallen in love with. It’s what she gives that his created this, her all.  She’s been second eleven times in her life but each time she tried her heart out. Her last three run’s have been the best of her life. At Leopardstown over 10f, short of her best trip she was the only one who could give Almanzor a run for his money. In the Arc over 12f her best distance, none could live with her and again at Ascot in the Champion Stakes she only went down to Almanzor’s wonderful turn of foot. No wonder the public love her so much. She’s here to defend her crown against another quality field.

Highland Reel leave the ring at Leopardstown for the Irish Champion Stakes

Highland Reel leave the ring at Leopardstown for the Irish Champion Stakes

Her stablemate Highland Reel presents the biggest threat. He comes here a little fresher. He was given a break since the Arc where he chased home Found and did not return to Ascot for Champions Day, the scene of his greatest triumph when he took the King George there in the summer.

They both will love the trip and ground and will produce an epic battle coming down the stretch. It will be one of head and heart with the heart to come out on top.

Recommendation : Found 3/1 win

                                         Found and Highland Reel RFC 


Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf (G1)

Lancaster Bomber on his way out to win his maiden at Leopardstown in August

Lancaster Bomber on his way out to win his maiden at Leopardstown in August

This is the tenth running of the Juvenile Turf and Aidan O’Brien will attempt to win it for the fourth time with Lancaster Bomber and Intelligence Cross representing Ballydoyle. Ryan Moore has chosen the latter leaving Seamie Heffernan to get the leg up on Lancaster Bomber.

Intelligence Cross is the higher profile of the two and will line up to face the starter for the seventh time. All his runs to date have been over 6 f and he’s troubled the judge twice so far winning a maiden at the Curragh and returning thereafter to take the G3 Round Tower Stakes. In between he was stepped into G2 company where he ran second in the July Stakes at Newmarket to Mehmas and then third to the same colt in the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood. The fact that he ran in those two tells you he was held in high regard at home. He returned to Newmarket for his last run where he was again stepped up in class for the G1 Middle Park Stakes. He ran well to be fourth getting closer to Mehmas beaten a 1/2 L, with The Last Loin winning from Godolphin’s Blue Point in second.

Blue Point then contested Europe’s most important juvenile race the Dewhurst at Newmarket over 7 f. He ran third behind Churchill and the 66/1 shot, Lancaster Bomber. Going off at that price the expectation was Lancaster Bomber was there to set the fractions for his illustrious stablemate. He had been asked to play the same role in the Futurity for Churchill at the Curragh in August but wasn’t able to do so. He hung that day never acting on the yielding to soft ground falling away to finish last of four.

In the Dewhurst the price suggested a repeat the dose tactic for Lancaster Bomber, he was there to do a job for his illustrious stablemate Churchill. The expectation was he’d wind it up before folding in the final two furlongs. Once he hit the rising ground coming out of Newmarket’s famous dip he didn’t fold, he rallied and battled all the way to line only to give way to Churchill’s turn of foot.

It was the ground and step up in trip that was the key and it’s a crucial piece of form as it puts him ahead of his stablemate through the Mehmas line of form.

The further step up in trip here to a mile will certainly suit Lancaster Bomber. He has a high cruising speed and will have time to hit top gear. He’ll act on the fast surface as he did in his maiden win at Leopardstown and also in the Dewhurst. He’ll relish the chance to blow them away.

No harm doing the forecast either as Aidan O’Brien has made a bit of a habit of getting that up lately in G1 company.


Recommendation: Lancaster Bomber 8/1 win

                                        Lancaster Bomber and Intelligence Cross RFC


Champions Weekend – Day 1

Stellar Mass winning the Ballyroan Stakes at Leopardstown in August

Stellar Mass winning the Ballyroan Stakes at Leopardstown in August

A cracking weekends action with the St Leger at Doncaster and The Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown. Idaho will travel to Doncaster to be ridden by Seamie Heffernan with Ryan Moore making the trip to Leopardstown to ride Minding.

Doncaster The St Leger

Idaho was a maiden winner first time out last October and didn’t return to the winners enclosure until the Great Voltigeur at York in August. In between he was beaten five times. It was in defeat he proved himself top class, Harzand beat him three times, in the Ballysax, The Derby and Irish Derby. He got closer each time putting up a great fight at the Curragh going down a 1/2 L. He did it very well at York and was an easy winner from stablemate Housesofparliment who reopposes here. As ever there is a question about the trip, will he stay the extra 4 f? At York he looked to have plenty left at the end so you’d be confident he will.


Champions weekend throws up a great card at Leopardstown. The centre piece will be the Irish Champion Stakes with the Matron Stakes, also G1 status, supporting the day. There’s also a top class G2 in the Boomerang Stakes, a tremendous Enterprise Stakes and a very intriguing Juvenile Stakes. Throw in a premier handicap and it’s some days racing.

The Juvenile Stakes

Douglas McArthur and Radio Silence line out for Aidan O’Brien and Jim Bolger. The former was a 5 L winner of a maiden here last time out while the latter went down to the very impressive Churchill in the G2 Futurity. It a good test and both hold lofty entries for the remainder of the season. The winner here will become the outright favourite for next years Derby.

The Enterprise Stakes

A small but select field, Aidan O’Brien is responsible for three of the five runners. US Army Ranger was given a break after Epsom where he couldn’t get to Harzand. He gave it all and was rested until the Royal Whip in mid August. Sent off an even money favourite he ran flat and trailed in fourth beaten 4 L by Success Days.

Bondi Beech before the Desmond Stakes

Bondi Beech before the Desmond Stakes

Bondi Beech, a Leger first past the post last year at Doncaster may struggle over the mile and half.

Stellar Mass and Kevin Manning goes out to win the Ballyroan Stakes

Stellar Mass and Kevin Manning goes out to win the Ballyroan Stakes

Jim Bolger’s Stellar Mass had the measure of Bondi Beech here at the beginning of August in the Ballyroan building on his very good third in the Irish Derby. Zhukova hasn’t been seen since winning the Blue Wind at Nass in May where he beat Pretty Perfect, form that got a timely boost with Pretty Perfect just getting piped by Simple Verse yesterday at Doncaster. Tree Of Knowledge put in a stylish performance winning a Gowran maiden after two previous seconds.

The Matron Stakes

The Irish 1000 Guineas winner Jet Setting renews rivalry with Qemah. In the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot Paul Keatley’s filly went off favourite having beaten Minding at the Curragh but it was Jean-Claude Rouget’s filly who came out on top.  John Gosden sends Persuasive, she’s unbeaten and has improved with every run when stepped up in class. A listed and G3 winner she steps into G1 company for the first time.


Tribal Beat on his way out to win the Ballyroan

Tribal Beat on his way out to win the Desmond Stakes

The Boomerang Stakes

Awtaad the Irish Guineas winner and highest rated in the field has to overcome the disappointment of the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood where he was beaten both times but he’s back on his favoured ground.

Form in the race will revolve around Hit A Bomb, Custom Cut and Tribal Beat who all contested the Desmond Stakes in August. It was the latter on his seasonal reappearance who won the day. Hit A Bomb who also made his seasonal debut tired in the closing stages and will strip fitter for this.

Custom Cut leaves the ring for the Ballyroan

Custom Cut leaves the ring for the Desmond Stakes

Tribal Beat winning the Ballyroan

Tribal Beat winning the Desmond Stakes


The Irish Champion Stakes

Found leaves the ring at Leopardstown

Found leaves the ring at Leopardstown

Minding could have gone the easy route and added another G1 by contesting The Matron. Instead she goes for the big one taking on the colt’s for the first time. She’ll benefit from her sex allowance getting 3 lbs from Harzand, Hawkbill, Almanzor and Moonlight Magic.

Harzand has had a break since the Irish Derby but you know Dermot Weld will have him well tuned for this. It’s interesting to remember when interviewed after the Ballysax in April Pat Smullen thought he’d shape into a Leger horse. It does beg the question will he find the 10f too stiff here in this company?

There’s no doubt on the trip for the French Derby winner Almanzor who also prepped for this winning a G2 at Deauville recently.

Hawkbill so impressive in the Eclipse is on a bit of a retrieval mission having run a stinker at York in the Juddmonte Stakes while Jim Bolger is sweet on Moonlight Magic for a place.

Minding will also benefit from a weight allowance from the older horses. Success Days has to be respected for his win in the Royal Whip and Highland Reel who’s won a Hong Kong Cup and a King George. The fear here for both of them is the trip. You can’t knock Highland Reel last time out in the Juddmonte but was the trip just too sharp at this level?

There’s a lot to like about New Bay who had a quiet prep winning a G3 at Deauville. Last years French Derby winner will again try to win the Arc and that rather than this will be main aim however it’s significant Andre Farbe travels him rather than keeping him at home for one of the trials in Paris.

The Grey Gatsby hasn’t won since beating Australia here two years ago and maybe his best days are behind him. Found on the other hand second here last year to Golden Horn looks to be coming back to her best. She been suffering from a dose of secondiitis but she put in a cracking performance last time out in the Yorkshire Oaks. She might just be too good her stable companion Minding over this trip at this time of year.


Doncaster :        St Leger Idaho 1/1 win

Leopardstown : The Juvenile Stakes Port Douglas, Radio Silence FC

                            The Enterprise Stakes  Stellar Mass 6/1 win

                            The Matron Stakes Jet Setting 7/1 win

                            The Boomerang Stakes Tribal Beat 4/1 win

                            The Irish Champion Stakes Found 10/1 EW





The Arlington Million (G1)

Chicago could turn green tonight. All four graded races have Irish runners from their top two flat and national hunt yards.

In the American St Leger Clondaw Warrior makes the trip from the Willie Mullins yard. He’s in great form this year and comes here off the back of a Galway Hurdle win and a good third prior to that on the flat in the Queen Alexandra Stakes. He’s likes fast ground however he’ll not have encountered anything quite as firm as this before.

In The Beverley D Aidan relies on Ballydoyle and Coolmore who both ran in the Belmont Oaks last time out.

Ballydoyle went off favourite but didn’t run to expectations. Colm O’Donoghue eased her down having felt she slipped on the bends and she never got in a blow at the business end. She trailed in an eased down last. Coolmore on the other hand out ran her expectations staying on for third having taken on the winner, Catch A Glimpse, down the far side and into the back straight only tiring in the last furlong.

In the Secretariat Aidan O’Brien sends Long Island Sound who like Deauville contested the Belmont Derby last time out. This time he splits them with Deauville going for the Million.

Long Island Sound ran sixth at Belmont but was certainly unlucky not to have fought out the finish. Colm Donoghue pulled him out two furlongs out only to have his run checked by the eventual second Highland Sky who was never catching Deauville who had a trouble-free run winning handily under Jamie Spencer.

Aidan spoke to Gary O’Brien on At The Races about his teams prospects reporting them all in good form. On the fillies he thinks Ballydoyle is a little bit sharper than Coolmore who gets the mile and a quarter well and he is hopeful Ballydoyle will also see the distance out. Long Island Sound is progressing with every run and he is not overly concerned about the wide draw Deauville has in the Million pointing out he overcame a similar draw at Belmont and feels he can rely on his tactical speed.

As regards prices it’s worth comparing the local morning line prices with the bookmakers. Clondaw Warrior is 9/2 locally on the morning line prices, over twice the price available from bookmakers. Long island Sound is 5/2, Ballydoyle is 9/2, Coolmore 6/1 and Deauville is also 6/1. All considerably bigger than bookmakers are offering.


The American St Leger Clondaw Warrior win (PMU Price)

The Secretariat Stakes Long Island Sound 5/2 

The Beverly D Stakes Ballydoyle win with Coolmore in the RFC. (PMU Prices)

The Arlington Million Deauville win (PMU Price)

The Coral Eclipse (G1)

My Dream Boat just gets the better of Found in The Prince Of Wales’s Stakes. Picture courtesy of Horsephotos and Getty Images.  

Would The Gurkha beat Found? Over 10f? On this ground?


That’s what the market wants us to believe. The Gurkha lost his last race, the St James’s Palace Stakes at the Royal meeting. The view post race was that if rerun, the result would comfortably reverse. The winner Galileo Gold was given a masterful ride by Frankie Dettori who picked him up a furlong out to go 2L clear driving him easily to the line.

When The Gurkha broke from the gate Ryan Moore dropped him in, whether that was by design or not is unclear. What is clear is in doing so he was shuffled back and from then on he struggled with his position. When he got to make his run Frankie had flown and granted he was checked and had to switch outside Awtaad but the reality is he was unable to travel comfortably through the early stages of the race and that is where the damage was done. Over this longer trip that might be less of an issue but will there be enough left in the tank to produce the pace he displayed in winning the French Guineas? That’s what he’ll need to do to win this. Travel and quicken.

Plenty of questions then for The Gurkha to answer.

So let’s go back to the question here. If The Gurkha was to take on Found who would you back to win? Fair chance that if 11/2 was available on the mare you’d take it as opposed to the miserly 10/11 on the colt given her overall level of form.

My Dream Boat is available at 11/2 having beaten Found last time out in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes over this 10f trip. Found has looked to make a race winning move when she pulled clear of the pack a furlong out. Adam Kirby had My Dream Boat daydreaming at the back. He woke him up, pulled him wide and passed all to catch Ryan Moore by a neck on the line. It was a fabulous ride.

Time Test is running out of time. He missed Royal Ascot because of the give in the ground but Roger Charlton is keen to run now with similar conditions underfoot. He beat Western Hymn here in April over course and distance in the Brigadier Gerard but have connections one eye on the next time out?

Hawkbill is asked to step up on his Group 3 Tercentenary Stakes win at the Royal meeting. He’s on the up having stitched five win’s on the bounce and Godolphin have every right to put him in here. The experience will stand to him.

It’s a fascinating race, the weight of money for The Gurkha since last Sunday would suggest he’s unbeatable. If he is to be found out it’ll be by My Dream Boat.

Recommendation : My Dream Boat 11/2 win

The Irish Derby (G1)

Harzand winning The Derby. Picture courtesy of Alan Crowhurst and Getty Images

Heavy pulses of rain hit the Curragh through Friday and the ground will ride with juice in it. It’s come right for Harzand. The Derby winner thrived on a heavy surface earlier in the season in the Ballysax and at Epsom he was even better when the ground was good to yielding.

He improved from Leopardstown to Epsom to confirm his authority over Idaho and although you would expect tactics will be different this time for Idaho the result will be the same.

Moonlight Magic didn’t handle Epsom at all but on form he’s not out of it. He beat Idaho in the Derrinstown in impressive style on good ground and while the showers have passed and it will dry out you would expect that decent ground won’t come in time for Jim Bolger’s colt. The same applies to Stellar Mass, the other Bolger representative who is an improver having taken the Ulster Derby at Down Royal last weekend.

Only one traveller in the shape of Red Verdon from the Ed Dunlop stable. Sixth in the Derby he has an uphill task.

Aidan O’Brien does his best to support the race and it’s a pity US Army Ranger didn’t make it. He was pulled out having scoped badly leaving Port Douglas, Shogun and Claudio Montevedi to join Idaho in the box up from Tipperary. Of the three the latter makes most appeal on the ground. He finished very well to take fourth on the first day of the season and followed up winning his maiden in very good style in April where The Gurkha was 6L behind in third. He hated Epsom when sent for the trial in April and Aidan dropped him from the team. No doubt he’ll be here to do a job, to set the fractions for Idaho.

Earlier in the week there was some doubt about the participation of Harzand with Dermot Weld expressing concern about the race coming too soon after Epsom. As the week has progressed it has become less an issue and with the ground in his favour it’s hard to look beyond him.

At even money he’s a fair price however at 66/1 a horse who can beat The Gurkha 6 L has to be backed for a place.

Recommendation: Claudio Montevedi 66/1 ew 



Royal Ascot Jersey Stakes G2 (Day 2)

Herald The Dawn chases home Air Force Blue at the Curragh last year. Picture courtesy of Alan Crowhurst and Getty Images.

This a step down in class here for both Ribchester and Herald The Dawn. The former finished third in the Guineas with the latter back in eighth. After the victory of Galileo Gold today that form doesn’t look too shabby. There’s nothing quite to match Guineas form and while you would have to respect the others, Gifted Master, Ibn Malik and Castle Harbour they all to step up considerably on previous effort’s.

Ribchester was in retrospect a big price at Newmarket (33/1) considering he ran second in the Gimcrack at York, only his second start, and then followed up winning the Mill Reef as a two-year old. In April Richard Fahey sent him to Maisons-laffitte for the Prix Djebel possibly thinking French rather than English Guineas. He ran second but was demoted to fifth for interference and the connections rerouted to Newmarket. They bypassed the showdown of today opting for this easier option.

Jim Bolger did likewise. Herald The Dawn was just as impressive as a two-year old. He won The Futurity and ran second to Air Force Blue in the National Stakes. He too had a trip to France for the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere on Arc day where he was only 2L off Galileo Gold who finished third to Ultra. Jim choose the direct route to Newmarket and rather than go for the Irish Guineas he held off for this.

We went for Herald The Dawn in the Guineas and at the price today we would have to give him another chance to rediscover that juvenile form.

Recommendation: Herald The Dawn 16/1 win

Royal Ascot (Day 1)

Big days at Ascot have the capacity to turn green. This could well be one of them.

In the St James’s Palace Stakes The Gurkha and Awtaad vie for favouritism on the back of Guineas wins at Deauville and the Curragh where both were impressive winners.

The Gurkha annihilated the opposition in France where he had them all in trouble from a long way out. He came home 5 1/2 L clear of First Selection with Zarak and Dicton in behind. They latter pair franked the form running second and third in the French Derby. Prior to that he’d won a maiden at Navan by 9L on heavy ground. No fears then on the this ground.

Awtaad won his maiden on the last day of the season at Leopardstown last year and his reintroduction this year saw him take the Madrid Handicap at the Curragh followed by the Tetrarch Stakes. This convinced his trainer Kevin Prendergast he had a colt capable of Guineas standard and so the Curragh was pencilled in to take on Galileo Gold who had triumphed so well at Newmarket. Awtaad had a smooth passage and ran out a convincing winner over the Newmarket conqueror who did have to suffer when caught in a pocket. In fairness to his team Hugo Palmer and Frankie Dettori there weren’t looking for excuses.

In the first, often the best race of the week, The Queen Anne, Tepin comes from America. She’s a superstar filly, the current Breeders Mile Champion and will look to add to a tally that includes five G1’s wins. The difficulty for her is not the ground, she can handle that, it’s the straight mile. As we saw last year with Able Friend Ascot’s straight mile is a huge challenge to horses who are used to coming around tight turns.

Evereyda was only beaten the once last year when Amazing Maria got the better of her in the Prix Rothschild and she is likely to off favourite. She won the French Guineas and Coronation Cup here last year and bounced back from the Amazing Maria defeat to take the Prix du Moulin on her last run in 2015.. She was well beaten on her comeback in May. Granted she have needed the run but she may not have trained on to the same extent as last year.

With doubts about the top two then the Lockinge must come into calculations.

Belarado leads home Euro Charline and Endless Drama in the Lockinge at Newbury. Picture courtesy of Alan Crowhurst and Getty Images.

At Newbury Belarado beat our selection on the day, Euro Charline, with Endless Drama back in third. The eye catcher was Endless Drama who’s only ever won the once, a maiden first time out at Naas in October 2014. Three runs as a three-year old saw him second each time however on closer inspection it’s fair to say they were very good runs.

He was beaten by a very good horse in the Leopardstown Guineas Trial, Zawraq trained by Dermot Weld. Zawraq has since been sidelined however he holds an entry in this years Irish Champion Stakes later in the year. Endless Drama was then beaten by Gleneagles in the Irish Guineas and then like Zawraq, was sidelined. Off the track for a year Ger Lyons nursed him back for the Lockinge without the benefit of a prior racecourse visit. That was a big run, he can improve again.

It could be a fairytale day for Ger Lyons Glenburnie stable. Possibly the biggest hour of their existence.

After the Queen Anne comes the Coventry Stakes where careers of top milers are launched. The Sean Jones owned Psychedelic Funk takes on Coolmore’s Caravaggio. Both have had two runs, the latter winning over 5F, the former over 6F. There’s little doubt the step up in distance will not be a problem for Caravaggio nor will the ground as his last win was on soft at the Curragh.

Psychedelic Funk is a son of Choisir who beat a well backed newcomer from the Jim Bolger stable first time out at Naas. He returned to the same venue when stepped up in class and won by a cosy 6L. That was on a on a yielding to soft surface indicating he’ll have no issue with this ground either. It was the manner of the victory which was so impressive, the ease in which he did it, Colin Keane had a job just to pull him up. There’s every chance a career at the very top level will be launched.

Great for the game, fantastic for a small outfit like Glenburnie.


Queen Anne Stakes: Endless Drama 7/1 win

Coventry Stakes: Psychedelic Funk 6/1 win 

The St James’s Palace Stakes: The Gurkha  6/4 win





The Derby (G1)

What’s sets the Derby apart and makes it such an appealing race is what it demands of a young three-year old.

The first requirement is to handle the preliminaries. The noise and build up affects animals more than it does the humans. It’s easy to boil over especially on a hot day. Then they have to go out on the course. Epsom is a horseshoe-shaped track with Tattenham Corner being the final bend 4 1/2 f from home. It’s a steep downhill track with an uphill finish with a pronounced camber which drags them into the rail. Tough. It finds them out, those how don’t stay run out of petrol before the line comes. Add ground, which by post time, will still include the word soft in places.

16 line up this year in an open year with no colt having stamped his authority over the trials.

Wing Of Desire leads the market on the back of his Dante win where he beat Deauville a neck. It’s the same path worn by his trainer and jockey who last year combined with Golden Horn to lift the blue riband.  He did it well always holding the challenge of Deauville. Like Jack Hobbs his maiden was won on the all weather at Wolverhampton 10 days after his racecourse debut where he ran third to Winning Story. He’s one of four to be supplemented.

Ballydoyle throw 5 at the target. The ante post favourite for the the last few months has been US Army Ranger. He’s been the Ballydoyle talking horse this spring. He won his maiden readily in April and then went to Chester for the Vase. Disappointment filled the air after his victory when in receipt of weight he just got home a short head from stablemate Port Douglas. People forget that as a juvenile Port Douglas won the Beresford Stakes at the Curragh last year hence the penalty he carried into the Vase.

Godolphin have supplemented Cloth Of Stars. Andre Farbe’s Prix Greffulhe winner beat Robin Of Navan (whom had beaten him twice as a juvenile) comfortably on good ground at Saint Cloud. He then like Pour Mio came to Epsom for breakfast with the stars where connections expressed their enthusiasm in a similar manner to 2011.

Godolphin’s other representative is Jim Bolger’s Derrinstown Derby Trial winner Moonlight Magic who had a convincing win over Shogun, Idaho and Beacon Rock. The form got a subsequent boost when the latter took Gallinule over Irish Guineas weekend.

The Ed Dunlop inmate Red Verdon has put in two good performances in handicap company over this 12f trip, enough to tempt his owners to stumped up the £75,000 supplementary fee. Humphrey Bogart owners also took the plunge encouraged by their colts second to So Mi Dar in the Epsom Derby Trial followed up by winning the Lingfield version.

Massaat brings the Newmarket Guineas form to the party. Owen Burrows colt ran second to Galileo Gold in a quick run Guineas and is very tempting at 16/1.

Dermot Weld has put Harzand away since he took the Ballysax in early April where he got the better of Idaho by a 1 1/4L . The pair went well clear of the third and visually it looked a very good trial. Harzand had won his maiden a few weeks before at Cork by 16 L’s and both runs were on heavy ground so there’s every possibility both will relish the surface here today. The ground today may just slightly favour Idaho.

In an open year we’ll rely on the Ballsax as the best trial and back both Harzand and Idaho each way.

Recommendation: Harzand 10/1 ew.

                                   Idaho 16/1 ew