Unlike last season, he comes to the Group One contest in cracking form following his impressive victory over Sharja Bridge (same terms) at Sandown
Unlike last season, he comes to the Group One contest in cracking form following his impressive victory over Sharja Bridge (same terms) at Sandown last month.
Andrew Balding, the five-year-old’s trainer, also could not have his runners in better form.
This will certainly not be a walk in the park for the gelding with Laurens and Le Brivado in the field.
Laurens, the winner of five Group One events last year, is reported to be better and stronger this season. A lack of outing should not be a problem as her trainer Karl Burke sent her to Newcastle for a racecourse gallop.
However, all of her success has been achieved in races confined to fillies. She can be forgiven for her latest defeat at Ascot in October when a long season had caught up with her.
But it is worth pointing out she finished runner-up in the 1,000 Guineas behind Billesdon Brook who has to be the each-way value in today’s contest at 25-1.
The former French-trained Le Brivido has to be respected. He will be ready after a recent run and his trainer Aidan O’Brien took the contest last year with Rhododendron.
CRYSTAL OCEAN (2.25, treble) can add to last year’s success in the Aston Park Stakes.
He has some outstanding form and looked better than ever when winning at Sandown last month.
His trainer, Sir Michael Stoute, can also strike with SOLID STONE (3.00, nap) in the London Gold Cup.
He is up 6lb for his success at Newmarket last month but he gives the impression that there is room for further improvement.
Stoute can make it treble with QUEEN POWER (4.50, nb) in the Haras De Bouquetot Stakes.
She was not disgraced when beaten a short-head by Muchly at Ascot 17 days ago.
On that occasion she was doing all of her best work in the closing stages and today’s extra two furlongs will be ideal.