The Hannon factor added to the Godolphin factor makes Toormore favourite here. Between the pair they have won five of the last six runnings with only Frankel in 2012 interrupting the sequence. As a partnership Night Of Thunder did the business for them last year when Toormore ran a fine race in third. At G1 level it was his best run of the season. Therafter he bagged two G2’s beating Dutch Connection in the Lennox Stakes (form he franked on his return this year) and going to Turkey to win the Topkapi Trophy. In between he was beaten in the Queen Anne, Jacques Le Marois, Prix De La Foret and Hong Kong Mile.
He’s worth taking on.
Two who should be considered are Euro Charline and Arod.
Euro Charline with Frankie in the plate on her way out for the Matron Stakes last September
Arod ran third here last year and like the favourite scored at G2 level in the Summer Mile. He then ran a cracker to get within a 1/2L of Solow in the Sussex. That form reproduced here would be enough. Connections were confident enough of his capabilities to send him to Australia to contest the Cox Plate and Emirates Stakes. The trip didn’t work out. Maybe it was the exertions behind Solow or maybe he just wasn’t a traveller. In any event it’s forgivable and he deserves another chance.
Euro Charline has scored at G1 though we’ve to go back to the Beverley D in August of 2014 for that. It’s what she done lately is the encouraging piece. On a spring trip to Dubai she ran second in the Balanchine. That was a prep for the Dubai Turf where she repeated the dose chasing home Japan’s Real Steel. She must be in good form as last year on her return from Dubai she didn’t see a racecourse until July when she ran second in the Falmouth. Marco Botti must feel she’s in good form to bring her back two month’s earlier this year. She has the added benefit of Ryan Moore on her back.
There both worth backing.
Recommendation: Arod 20/1 EW, Euro Charline 20/1 EW
The first clash in England of the older generation at top-level.
It’s not vintage, yet. The field is led by last years Guineas winner Night Of Thunder who hasn’t won since. He’s been beaten four times but he’s still the absolute rock of form for this race. Kingman and Charm Spirit twice have been his undoing at the mile and in all reality the only blot on the copy book is when his stamina was stretched beyond his capacity to 10 f in the Eclipse.
Toormore accompanies him from the Richard Hannon stable a horse who beat The Grey Gatsby in the Craven last year. He was a brilliant two-year old who’s three-year career didn’t quite match up to that early Craven win but he’s not far off the pace.
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Integral a double G1 winner ( Falmouth and Sun Chariot) last year is the main act to oppose. Can she beat the boys? who’d rule it out in the hands of Michael Stoute with Ryan Moore in the plate.
Tullius went to all the big dances after coming second here last year and with give in the ground has to come into calculations.
Custom Cut has yet to score at top-level but he keeps getting better, a Dermot Weld baby is becoming a man with David O”Meara.
And of those that stand out under the radar.
Yeften’s disqualified second in the Jean Prat behind Charm Spirit doesn’t look too shabby nor does Here Comes When Challenge Stakes victory but the one that is most intriguing is Cougar Mountain.
You would have to think Aidan O’Brien lost the plot when he threw this once raced into the July Cup last year yet he only went down a 3 L fifth to Slade Power. Next time out in the Nunthorpe ninth was the best he could muster yet only 2 L separated him from Sole Power.
It’s a shot to nothing stepping him up to a mile, if he doesn’t stay he’ll revert to sprinting. If he does stay that turn of foot proven with the best sprinters in the world will put this fella as the main opposition to Able Friend in the Queen Anne.
Recommendation : Cougar Mountain 25/1 win
Ante Post : Royal Ascot – Queen Anne 40/1 ew