19:05 Sandown Thu 23 May 2019

Scheduled
  • Matchbook VIP Henry II Stakes (Group 3) (Class 1)
  • 2m 50y,
  • 6 Runners
  • Winner£39,697.002nd£15,050.003rd£7,532.004th£3,752.005th£1,883.006th£945.00
  • Surface: Turf
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1
(3)
49-4OR: 112D
13/8

Classy individual who finished second to Masar (beaten 1½L) in the 2018 Derby before unsuccessfully contesting the Irish Derby (seventh) and the St.Leger (fourth); stayed on strongly to beat Raymond Tusk by 3¼L in Ascot's Group 3 Sagaro Stakes.

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2
(2)
59-2OR: 100D
50/1

Rattled off a four-timer on the AW (mainly over 1m4f at Lingfield) around the turn of the year; stays 2m (is a winning hurdler), but surely out of his depth against this calibre of opponent.

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3
(4)
79-2OR: 114CD
5/1

Backed up his 2018 Chester Cup win (bolted up) when running out an equally impressive 6L winner of this race last year (good); raced very sparingly since - no show in the Melbourne Cup; could strip fitter for his Ormonde Stakes comeback.

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4
(6)
49-1OR: 105BF
6/1

Tough and reliable handicapper who is a stablemate of Dee Ex Bee and Making Miracles; ready 6L winner of the Queen's Cup at Musselburgh (1m6f, good) on his penultimate start; progressive, but plenty more is required in this company.

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5
(5)
49-1OR: 108D
7/1

Progressive handicapper; always had the measure of his stablemate Austrian School when making most for a commanding 6L win in the Chester Cup (2m2f, soft) a fortnight ago; has earned the right of passage to step into this Group 3 contest.

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6
(1)
49-1OR: 104
5/2

Twice finished behind the Godolphin-owned Ghostwatch in 2018 (in the Melrose at York, and in the Listed Noel Murless Stakes at Ascot; both 1m6f); has to prove his stamina over 2m - in with an EW shout on seasonal reappearance if doing so.

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Last Year's Winner

DRAWHORSEAWGTSP
2Magic Circle69-211/2Full Result
T: Ian WilliamsJ: Fran Berry

Betting

Forecast

Dee Ex Bee (13/8), Mekong (5/2), Magic Circle (5/1), Austrian School (6/1), Making Miracles (7/1), Fearsome (50/1)

Verdict

A very strong field stand their ground for the Group 3 Henry II Stakes, including the ultra-impressive 2018 winner Magic Circle (also won the 2018 Chester Cup), and the fast upcoming Making Miracles who led his rivals a merry dance from the outset when hacking up in the 2019 renewal of the Chester Cup a fortnight ago. However, a very clear preference is for the Sagaro Stakes winner and 2018 Derby runner up DEE EX BEE. He has by far the strongest form in the book, recently proving himself over 2m, so rates as the clear pick of the Johnston-trio. All being well, he can take this race in his stride en-route to a prospective shot at the Ascot Gold Cup.
  1. Dee Ex Bee
  2. Making Miracles
  3. Mekong
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