FRANZ KAFKA enjoyed the drop back to this distance from a mile for his seasonal comeback at Doncaster last month. He may well have won there but for meeting trouble in running and it was an encouraging effort. It won’t take much more to get off the mark with Frankie Dettori taking over in the saddle.
Qutob showed promise as a juvenile and will enjoy this ground more than the soft conditions he faced at York when fourth in October.
This step up from 6f should help too. Mohareb looks the pick of the newcomers and has plenty of speed in his pedigree. Watch the market on this debut.
STRONG POWER has some well-bred newcomers to beat but showed lots of promise when second in the Brocklesby Stakes at Doncaster last month. He was green and looked in need of the run but managed to run on strongly.
He should come on plenty for that experience. Full Verse may not have the first colours but he looks the pick of the Godolphin runners given there is so much speed in his pedigree.
Well Of Wisdom and Electrical Storm should also be smart in time but may need a longer distance to shine.
ALMASHRIQ looks the most interesting runner in the line-up and didn’t have to get out of first gear to win at Newcastle in December. He is bred to be high-class and should take a big step forward as a three-year-old.
Fox Champion had plenty in hand when scoring on his comeback at Doncaster in March. He saw out this trip well there and has a lot more to offer with the benefit of that run. Almufti was third in a Group 3 when last seen in October and is one to watch with longer distances in mind.
BERINGER was an excellent third in the Lincoln on comeback at Doncaster last time when having to race wide. The drop back to this mile distance held no fears there and the handicapper has left his mark alone, which is generous.
Breden dead-heated with Beringer on Town Moor when getting a clearer passage through the race. He likes this distance and should be right there again.
Exhort is interesting for Richard Fahey and Ryan Moore. He finished the season with a close-up sixth at York over 1m2f and may prefer this shorter distance.
VINTAGER didn’t get going in Meydan last time on his comeback from seven months off when looking pretty rusty. His last visit to Newmarket saw him win a hot handicap on the July Course and that effort was good enough to win this. Zabeel Prince went close to winning a Group 2 here last time in September and should relish this trip.
He won first-up last season so 202 days off isn’t a particular concern. Elarqam was a good fourth in the 2,000 Guineas here last season and went close in a York Group 2 later in the campaign. He’s had a breathing operation since a modest effort at Salisbury in August and could make a nice four-year-old.
MUBTASIM showed good form in Meydan earlier this year with a win and second over this trip in good company. The handicapper has been fair with a 2lb rise for his most recent outing and he is worth following in this form.
Game Player improved through last season and finished with a win here and close second at Ascot in October.
This trip is ideal and there should be more to come as a four-year-old. Zap landed a big race at Leopardstown in September and is effectively 3lb lower thanks to his rider’s claim. That gives him a chance.
ORNATE has had a cracking winter on the AW and held his own in Listed company at Lingfield last time out. That was after landing a couple of good wins at Southwell from just 2lb lower in the weights than today. Abel Handy ran well in better races than this last term and has come right down the handicap.
Soie D’Leau lost his form last season but likes this trip, is down the weights and has had a breathing operation that could all boost his chances.
2.05 The Cull Bank
3.15 Late Night Lily
4.55 Happy Diva
2.15 Good Night Mr Tom
2.50 Hard Solution
3.25 Daffy Jane
4.00 Everything For You
5.10 Sir Ron Priestley
5.45 Bowson Fred
5.25 The Lazy Monkey
7.00 Shareef Star
7.30 Admiral Rooke
8.00 Lord Lamington
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