The view from connections ahead of the Betfred Ebor at York on Saturday.
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The Betfred Ebor is one of the most competitive handicaps of the turf season and the recent rain on the Knavesmire has made things even trickier for punters.
Heading the betting for the one-mile-six-furlong event is the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Opinion, winner of the Duke of Edinburgh Handicap at Royal Ascot before finishing fifth in Haydock's Old Newton Cup.
Harry Herbert, racing manager for owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, said: "He has gone from strength to strength this year, it was a shame he couldn't follow up from Royal Ascot at Haydock but he didn't help himself coming out of the stalls and the gods decreed he wouldn't have a straight-forward run through.
"Kieren (Fallon) said he would have won if he hadn't had those problems. He's very well-drawn in stall five and I think Sir Michael has him in great form. The step up in trip should suit so I think everyone can go there optimistic that he has a leading chance.
"I think he would have to win well to even get into the Melbourne Cup, but all options remain open and we will have to give taking him down to Australia very serious consideration anyway."
"Both horses in good shape and I like Sun Central. He's won at the track and likes fast ground, so hopefully they don't get too much rain. On the other hand, every drop of rain will help the other horse (Guarantee)."
The Highclere team have an interesting second string to their bow in Guarantee.
William Haggas' four-year-old routed the opposition in the Melrose Stakes over the course and distance a year ago, but has been largely disappointing since.
"William has always thought he's a horse who could run a big race in the Ebor and I certainly wouldn't rule him out of it," said Herbert. He won the Melrose well last season and didn't run a bad race in the Leger on ground that didn't really suit him.
"He was gelded and he's now much better for it as he's got all the testosterone out of his system. Any rain would help and I don't think an outside draw is a big problem for him, as it might suit him to finish through horses."
Yorkshire-born Haggas has already enjoyed multiple victories at York this week and as well as Guarantee, he saddles Sun Central, who landed the Silver Cup on the Knavesmire last month.
Haggas said: "Both horses in good shape and I like Sun Central. He's won at the track and likes fast ground, so hopefully they don't get too much rain. On the other hand, every drop of rain will help the other horse (Guarantee)."
Philip Makin takes the ride on Guarantee and he was looking forward to the occasion when he spoke to Racing UK on Thursday.
"He ran at Newmarket over a mile and six and he came from 10 lengths off the pace on the outside to win. The form of that race worked out, he's in very good nick, we've laid him out for the Ebor he's got to be there or thereabouts."
David Redvers, racing manager for owners Qatar Racing, feels that testing conditions will be to the detriment of the chances of the Peter Chapple-Hyam-trained Caravan Rolls On.
Redvers said: "On his form this year we'd be very hopeful, but the rain that has fallen definitely isn't in his favour. There is more rain on the way, they are talking about possibly getting another 10 millimetres tonight, which is going to make things very tough."
Owner Henry Ponsonby is keen on the chances of Tiger Cliff, who won over a mile and three-quarters at Newmarket before finishing second over a marathon distance of two and a half miles in Royal Ascot's Ascot Stakes.
"He's in very good nick, we've laid him out for the Ebor and on his form he's got to be there or thereabouts," Ponsonby told At The Races.
"He ran at Newmarket's spring meeting over a mile and six and he came from 10 lengths off the pace on the outside to win. The form of that race worked out and we thought he'd come on for that run and we went up six furlongs in trip with no evidence that he'd get it."
John Holt's Number Theory was beaten less than two lengths into third in last year's Ebor, but is now 10lb higher in the weights.
Holt said: "He has to carry a few more pounds than he did last year, but he's in good form. He ran very well at Goodwood and I've been pleased with him since.
"I think he's a better horse than he was this time last year, he's much stronger now, so hopefully he goes there with a good each-way chance."
"I'm quietly hopeful he'll run a big race. He's lightly raced, won his only start at three, had a couple of comeback races at Kempton and then won at Ascot. He's laid back and gives the impression he'll stay further than a mile and a half."
Saptapadi is another horse to have shown up well in this race before, finishing fifth behind stable companion Moyenne Corniche in 2011.
The seven-year-old has since enjoyed a stint in Australia before rejoining North Yorkshire handler Brian Ellison and appears to be well handicapped on his old form.
Ellison said: "We know he loves York, he's run well there twice this year and hopefully he will on Saturday. We won't be using the ground as an excuse."
Roger Charlton is "quietly confident" about the chances of Bishop Roko, who carries a penalty for winning at Ascot late last month.
Charlton said: "He's lightly raced, he won his only start at three then had a setback. He had a couple of comeback races at Kempton and then won at Ascot. He's laid back and gives the impression he'll stay further than a mile and a half, which is what the Ascot race was over.
"There's huge prize money down to sixth so we'll give it a go and I'm quietly hopeful he'll run a big race."
Hanoverian Baron's owner, Paul Moulton, is thrilled and surprised the eight-year-old made the cut for the race.
He said: "We declared him for Friday because we thought he had a 10% chance of getting in the Ebor, but by some miracle he got in. He likes York and seems to have run all his best races there.
"He's eight now and is off nearly a career-high mark so we're not expecting any miracles, but if he was in the mix that would be great.
"He nearly won the Jorvik Stakes for the second time earlier this season when he was just touched off by one of Mr Stoute's horses (Sir John Hawkwood), but the young boy (Michael Murphy) got a good tune out of him so he rides him again. There's so much money on offer we had to run once he got in."