Lord it up!
The clock doesn't lie and it would be ridiculous to dismiss Lethal Force's improved form this season as any sort of a fluke, given that he smashed the course record in his July Cup success and Moonlight Cloud had to do the same to beat him last time.
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What we can do more legitimately though is question is whether he will get the sort of conditions needed in order to reproduce his best form when he lines up in the Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock on Saturday.
How essential is an early lead to his prospects? Well, it may well not be essential, but the fact that he has made all or virtually all on his way to recording all of the best performances of his career is very hard to overlook.
I'd expected Hamza to take Lethal Force on in the early stages in Newmarket's July Cup, but he didn't - partly because of his wide draw furthest away from the rail and partly because his jockey perplexingly seemed at first to think the runners were going to head towards him in the middle of the course.
Letting Lethal Force dominate clearly didn't do Hamza any favours there, so I expect more of an effort to be made to lead the favourite up on Saturday - and he might not be the only one out to stake an early claim.
Heeraat is best ridden up with the pace (he disputed the lead for most of the first four furlongs in the King's Stand Stakes), while the likes of Cristoforo Colombo and Viztoria (if they run) won't want to be too far back as they come back in trip to sprinting.
Finally, it's the Haydock factor which makes me concerned for Lethal Force. The roll of honour for this race is full of good horses, but not a whole heap of frontrunners. Of the last 10 to score, we have five who according to the comments in running were "held up", three "midfields", one "prominent" and just one "made all" - Markab in 2010.
I've said it before and I'll say it again - Lethal Force doesn't have to lead to win, but it certainly seems to help. He had to work to get to the front in the Prix Maurice de Gheest last time and looked a little more brittle in the finish as a result when Moonlight Cloud swept past.
Irish raiders don't have a great record in this race but I reckon this could be the year for Gordon Lord Byron.
Latest weather reports suggest that even if rain does arrive at the track on Friday, it won't come in the sort of volume that will make much difference to the going with planned watering having been scrapped on Wednesday.
Not that Gordon Lord Byron can't handle any sort of going, for although he prefers a quicker surface, his versatility saw him through a far-from-orthodox preparation for this contest as he he scrambled home at 4/9 in a Group Three at Leopardstown. That performance came in rain-softened ground and he furthermore surely wasn't seen at his best over that one-mile trip either.
Six and a half furlongs is probably near enough his ideal distance, but he should get the fast pace he needs to chase here - particularly if Lethal Force is made to fight for the early advantage - and I can see him rattling through late on.
He has ground to make up with the favourite on Royal Ascot form, but the rain-softened ground there may not have suited and he wasn't drawn ideally either, being first home of the group to race towards the far side of the track.
The draw hadn't panned out in his favour at York previously either. Watch a replay of his effort as he stays on late to finish third behind Lethal Force and Society Rock in the Duke of York Stakes and tell me that he wouldn't have finished closer had he been able to make his challenge nearer to the principals.
He probably needs to find a little more to overturn an on-song Lethal Force but he has produced his best efforts at the back-end of the season for the last two years and he could well do the trick again.
He's tough, he's genuine, he's come back to winning form at the right time and - to me- he's very backable at 8/1.