Aidan and Donnacha in conversation with Lancaster Bomber being led away after his maiden win at Leopardstown last August.
Nine go to post with Ribchester and Churchill providing the duel in the downs. Ribchester heads the market as an even money shot with Churchill priced up at 2/1.
It’s a fair reflection that the rest of the field trade at 9/1 or better.
Ribchester has gone from strength to strength since running third in this last year. He went to Deauville after that and won the Jacques Le Marois. This year he’s won with authoritative performances the Lockinge and The Queen Anne. His trainer say’s he’s matured and now settle’s in his races. In the Lockinge he led from the front and in The Queen Anne he came from off the pace. He’s a very good four-year old and a win here will see stamp him as the best miler around today.
Churchill looked to be heading to take that mantel before blotting his copybook in the St James’s Palace Stakes last time out at Royal Ascot. Up to that point he’d built on a quality juvenile career where he’d won the National Stakes and Dewhurst Stakes before adding both the Guineas and Irish Guineas to his CV in this his classic year. He hasn’t been flashy, he had been reliable always doing enough to see off his rivals. Then at Ascot he ran flat as a pancake never picking up to challenge the leaders trailing in a well beaten forth.
Aidan O’Brien has never been able to identify what happened, nothing came back to suggest there was anything wrong with him. All that can be said was it was just an off day, nothing more. He now meets his elders for the first time and does so with a valuable 7 lbs weight for age allowance, the same as his stable companion Lancaster Bomber who finished in front of him for the first time at Ascot.
He can’t afford to have an off day, today he must produce his best day if he is to beat Ribchester. The depth of his form say’s he can do it.
With three to be placed Lancaster Bomber can again outrun his odds and run into a place.
Recommendation : Churchill 2/1 win
Lancaster Bomber 28/1 ew
It’s been dominated by Godolphin or Sir Micheal Stoute with seven out of ten over the last ten years. With no representative from the Stoute yard and the boys in blue fielding the favourite then it should be a done deal.
Poet’s Voice is a respected favourite and the form book justifies his market position. Things didn’t go his way in the Dubai World Cup where he never settled for Frankie Dettori and that upped his loosing steak to three. Saeed Bin Suroor has campaigned him beyond a mile and the stretching of stamina is reversed here with the return to the distance where his best successes were achieved. He added the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes nosing out Rip Van Winkle before pocketing this race last year. That’s the form of a solid miler. A pacemaker will be employed in the shape of Emerald Commander. A capable sort himself he has won at this level over a mile on soft ground in Germany.
One three year old run’s. Dubawi Gold got closest to Frankel in the Guineas and at the Curragh second again was the outcome. He hasn’t managed to build on this after below par performances in the Hungerford Stakes and St James Palace Stakes.
Clive Cox’s Beacon Lodge is the main threat to tradition. Arrears of 6 L in the Hungerford brings him into the mix. He been a model of consistency at this level over his career and deserves a day in the sun. On this sort of ground he was too good for Sahpresa in 2009.
Premio Loco has also displayed very consistent form this season and a reproduction of the Lockinge run where a 4 L deficit to Canford Cliffs would put him right there. Set The Trend wasn’t far behind Emerald Commander in Germany last time while Riggins has the benefit of Hayley Turner.
The break since March may mean that the favourite will come on for the run but this doesn’t mean Godolphin will be losers. Their sire Dubawi may strike Gold.