4.20 GOLD CUP (GROUP 1) – 2 MILES
FORGOTTEN Rules comes into this race defending an unbeaten record and having won the Long Distance Cup at this meeting last year over the same trip, he has to be of obvious interest.
He defied a bit of ring rustiness on his seasonal debut when seeing off the likes of Answered, Sir Ector and the re-opposing Kingfisher. That form received a significant boost when the latter won a listed contest at Leopardstown next time out. Now at peak fitness with a run behind him, Forgotten Rules should be cherry ripe and he can justify favouritism in this stamina sapping contest.
Mizzou looks to be an up and coming improver for Luca Cumani. He was well backed for the race following a facile success over course and distance when landing the Sagaro Stakes back in April.
He has won four of his last five races and the booking of William Buick certainly catches the eye. They look the main challengers in what should be an exciting renewal. Clever Cookie is likely to prove popular given his recent successes. He and Tac Du Boistron both need the heavens to open in order to be seen at their best and the on course watering may not be enough at this stage.
Forgotten Rules is an exciting individual who is far from exposed. Whilst he is untested on ground this fast, his sire Nayef certainly handled it and was also a multiple winner at Ascot.
3.40 COMMONWEALTH CUP – 6 FURLONGS
Hootenanny had an ideal preparation for this when running away with an allowance race at Keeneland back in April.
He always sat handy under Javier Castellano and under a hands and heels ride only, he drew right away from his rivals to land the spoils. There was a mention of him taking in the 2000 Guineas, but trainer Wesley Ward has purposely saved him to run here instead. He landed the Windsor Castle Stakes at this meeting last season and provided that the ground remains on the quicker side, this three year old should prove a tough nut to crack.
Anthem Alexander was a winner at this meeting last year when she landed the Queen Mary. She too made a pleasing return to action when winning a Group Three race at Naas last month.
That run should have cleared away any cobwebs and she appears to be the biggest danger to the selection. Eddie Lynam and Pat Smullen are a formidable combination and she looks destined to play a role in the outcome here. Tiggy Wiggy looks another obvious threat.
Having appeared not to have stayed a mile in the 1000 Guineas, this return to six furlongs should prove ideal. Like Anthem Alexander, she receives a fillies allowance coming into the race. She is a model of consistency and has never finished out of the first three places in a ten race career and she commands respect in this field.
Hootenanny stays much further than this trip and Wesley Ward has an enviable strike rate when sending his runners over from the USA . He looks to have strengthened up over the winter months and is capable of a bold showing.
Thursday 4.20 Forgotten Rules
Friday 3.40 Hootenanny