View from connections ahead of Saturday's 32Red Spring Cup at Lingfield Park.
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William Haggas cursed his luck after smart prospect Ertijaal was drawn widest of all in stall 13 for the 32Red Spring Cup at Lingfield on Saturday.
Still in the 2000 Guineas picture, Haggas' youngster was only narrowly beaten by Richard Hannon's champion two-year-old Toormore at Leicester when both colts made their debut.
Ertijaal easily broke his maiden at the next time of asking but then a minor problem ruled him out for the rest of the campaign.
Haggas hopes this run will confirm he is a colt right out of the top drawer, but accepts it will be very tough from his outside berth.
"It was always the plan to start him off here," said the Newmarket handler.
"We think he's quite nice and that we'll be looking at some serious races in the future - we're running him in this with a view to vaguely looking at the 2000 Guineas.
"I didn't want to run him in a traditional trial as they come too close and this gives him five weeks to get over it.
"The draw in 13 was just what we didn't need, he'll have to be good to win from there. He's useful, though, and it will be interesting to see how he gets on.
"Seeing what Toormore ended up doing can only be viewed as a positive, but that day at Leicester nobody thought they were watching the champion two-year-old.
"We obviously viewed his progression with great delight, though. Those two pulled a long way clear of the third (Major Crispies), who we meet again and should beat again, very quickly.
"You can plan everything to the nth degree for months but the one thing you can't account for is the draw."
"I was very happy with her performance at Kempton - she made up a lot of ground in the straight and did it easily in the end. I don't see the step up to seven being a hindrance. She gets weight from the boys, so that's a help, and I would be very hopeful."
Eve Johnson Houghton
Clive Brittain is buoyed by the fact Ryan Moore has chosen Brazos, having no doubt had the pick of most of the runners.
"I think he's very well," said Brittain. "He's never run on the all-weather but he's done plenty of work on the Al Bahathri gallops so I don't expect it to be a problem
"On the pick of his form he must have a chance. I've won this race a few times and he's as good as any of them. Ryan was keen to ride him so that tells me he's got a good chance."
Champion jockey Richard Hughes rides the Hannon-trained Expert, who brings a rating of 99 to the contest.
"He did well last year. He's a decent horse and is working very well, so we're quite hopeful," said Hughes. "He always works well on the all-weather at home.
"He won well at Newmarket and had been just beaten at Doncaster in a conditions race when they went quite slow. I thought he ran a hell of a race."
The unexposed Sir Robert Cheval looks an interesting runner for Marco Botti.
"He showed good form last year. He's a nice horse and has done really well through the winter," said Botti.
"He's been a little bit lazy in his work. He's fit and looks well in his coat but, at the same time, we don't know how much he's progressed since last year.
"He did the same last year before we ran him. He tends to save something in the mornings and he looks after himself, which is not a bad thing, but we don't how much he has improved.
"The seven furlongs should be fine. His last two runs last year he ended up making the running and when he got beat he was probably idling a bit in front.
"The time that day was good and hopefully there will be more pace and it will be a true-run race."
Eve Johnson Houghton's Alutiq was a winner at Kempton in January having mixed it with all the best juvenile fillies last season.
"She is in great form at the moment and seems really well. I was very happy with her performance at Kempton - she made up a lot of ground in the straight and did it easily in the end," she said.
"She has got bags of toe, but I don't see the step up to seven furlongs being a hindrance. She gets weight from the boys, so that's a help, and I would be very hopeful on Saturday."