Ian Brindle's horse-by-horse guide to the Princess Of Wales's boylesports.com Stakes at Newmarket on Thursday.
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Makes a belated return to Europe after an extensive campaign at the Dubai carnival with victories in a handicap and latterly a Group Two for his labours. The form of the latter has been well advertised by the subsequent victory of Mount Athos in the Aston Park Stakes at Newbury but the penalty he has accrued for that success will make life difficult for him at this level.
Potentially one of the most improved horses in training though that’s no surprise given the stable’s knack of realising improvement from their horses for a little extra time. Four out of four this term including a convincing victory in the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot and given the stable’s fine record in this contest, he is fully deserving of today’s step up in grade.
Much-travelled eight-year-old for whom Cup races have invariably been the aim. Not disgraced when third to Universal in this race last year though it’s over four years since he last won over this trip and this year’s renewal appears to be considerably stronger than the line-up he encountered some 12 months ago.
Finished a solid fifth in the Melbourne Cup last year and “needed the run” at Royal Ascot in the Hardwicke Stakes according to his trainer. A likeable if infrequent winner these days but no stranger to the winner's enclosure at Newmarket having won the Jockey Club Stakes back in 2011 though he has tended to come to hand at this time of year and it’s a little soon to be writing him off just yet.
Has rewarded the patience of connections to become a dependable campaigner at Listed level and has two prizes at Ascot and Goodwood to show for what has been a busy campaign so far. Fully au fait with the complexities of racing against small fields, though he’ll need to put up a career-best in order to be winning this.
Yet to win a race this term and ran on in vain pursuit of Telescope at Royal Ascot in the Hardwicke Stakes (taking the measure of Pether’s Moon in the process) on his most recent outing. Winner of the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot last year and does not carry a Group 2 penalty for that victory in this contest. Nevertheless, it’s somewhat offputting that Ryan Moore has elected to desert him under the circumstances.
Successfully graduated out of handicaps and put forward by connections as a potential Melbourne Cup entrant following his third in the Hardwicke Stakes. Races handily to the pace and could do with the rain staying away in order to offer him the best possible chance of reaching the frame.
A Group One winner in Germany for Andreas Wohler and shaped with a degree of promise on his debut for Marco Botti in the Henry II Stakes at Sandown. A useful International performer on his day and a solid third to Joshua Tree in the Canadian International at Woodbine though he now has something to prove against potentially more progressive sorts here.
Sir Michael Stoute’s record in this race has been second-to-none and Ryan Moore has made a brave call in rejecting a proven Pattern-race performer in favour of ARAB SPRING. Though the third and fifth have gone to be beaten in the Old Newton Cup at Haydock, it’s worth remembering that Sir Michael Stoute’s charge accounted from them off a welter burden of 9st10lb at Ascot.
Hillstar wouldn’t have coped with Telescope even under a more positive ride in the Hardwicke and with no penalty to carry here despite a previous success in this company, it would be folly to dismiss him too readily. Cavalryman appears sure to run another solid race though he’s invariably vulnerable to something with a little more speed over a trip that is probably short of his optimum.