Six weeks ago we said it couldn’t be done. There we are, talk about getting it spectacularly wrong. Tomorrow if Aidan O’Brien wins this race he will break Bobby Frankel’s world record of 25 G 1’s established in 2003. We no strangers to his genius. His greatness was hinted at last year ( just have a look at distance he won the PRWC 2016) but this year he’s really put himself in a league of his own.
He saddles four here with Ryan Moore siding with Saxon Warrior after his impressive win at Naas in the Beresford Stakes from another Ballydoyle inmate Delano Roosevelt. The latter was a surprise winner of a maiden in July when returned at 14/1 when winning first time out, a rarity for an O’Brien two year old. He beat Coat Of Arms who appears here in possibly a pacemaking role, possibly not. On collateral form Coat Of Arms has only 2 L to find on Saxon Warrior.
The winner of the Tyros Stakes on the same night in July was The Pentagon. He was a very short price favourite returning 4/11F. That was his third run. First time out when needing the run he was nearly 20 L behind Verbal Dexterity, Jim Bolger’s main hope here. He then went on to win a maiden by 8 L. In The Tyros he had a comfortable 1 3/4 L to spare over Theobald, Jim Bolger’s other runner here. We haven’t seen him since and his fitness is taken on trust.
Seahenge returns to Doncaster, scene of his finest hour where he was given a canny ride by Donnacha O’Brien to come through the pack and win the Champagne Stakes over 7 F. Since he’d a difficult passage in the Dewhurst where he was bumped at the start and became unbalanced entering the dip but stayed on well to clinch third. The step up in trip here will suit.
The best form in the race comes courtesy of Verbal Dexterity. He’s already a G1 winner when taking the National Stakes at the Curragh from Beckford. He found plenty when asked the question and pulled away powerfully to win easily in the end. There was an awful to like about it.
Roaring Loin heads the home team for John Gosden. He’s unbeaten in three runs. He took the scalp of the Ballydoyle inmate Nelson (who’ll go to France on Sunday) a neck in the Royal Lodge last time out. He’s improving with every run.
Martyn Meade will hope his charge Chilean is as good Eminent. Two wins from three runs suggests he could be while the unknown quantity in the race is the Charlie Appleby trained Loxley. He dead heated for first on his only racecourse appearance with Istanbul Sultan who previously had run second to Sir Michael Stoute’s Gabr who makes the line up here.
It could be Aidan’s day. It’s a strong team he is sending, all four are capable especially the front two who now head the market for the Derby next year. They’ll surely come out of the race with their reputations enhanced if both are placed behind Verbal Dexterity. He’ll go winter favourite for the 2000 Guineas when he win’s this. He’s should be backed to win both.
Recommendation: Verbal Dexterity 4/1 win
Ante post: 2000 Guineas 2018 Verbal Dexterity 12/1 win