3.05 WOLFERTON HANDICAP (LISTED) – 1 M 2 F
FIRST Flight made a pleasing seasonal reappearance when chasing home the re-opposing Mahsoob at York last month.
He is much better off at the weights this and should be able to reverse the form now that he is likely to be a lot sharper. James Doyle keeps the ride on Saeed Bin Suroor’s four year old son of Invincible Spirit and he is likely to know much more about his partner. This appears to be his trip and ground conditions are in his favour, so a big run is expected.
Mahsoob comes into this race undefeated and he is clearly a most progressive sort. He will need to be at the very top of his game to extend that unbeaten run here, but with John Gosden’s team in such rude health he is hard to discount.
He gave weight away to most of his rivals last time out and if in the same mood, he could well do so again and he once again looks the biggest threat to the selection. Educate looked like he enjoyed his most recent run for the first time in a long time at Goodwood last month. He is gradually dropping down the handicap and is another that ought to be well suited by the conditions of this race.
First Flight should have enjoyed that first spin of the year against race fit rivals. Godolphin have their team in good shape and it would not be the biggest of surprises if he were to go close here.
4.20 DIAMOND JUBILEE STAKES (GROUP 1) – 6 FURLONGS
Mustajeeb looked as though he was back to his best when running away with the Greenlands Stakes at The Curragh last month.
He comfortably saw off the attentions of Gordon Lord Byron and Astaire and should do so once again. Dermot Weld has already enjoyed success at the Royal Meeting this week with Free Eagle and Forgotten Rules was far from disgraced in the Gold Cup. He and Pat Smullen won with this son of Nayef when landing the Jersey Stakes here last season and they should be in peak condition in order to try to repeat that.
Brazen Beau bids to emulate the success of compatriots Black Caviar and Choisir by taking this prize back to Australia. Chris Waller has managed to win fourteen Group 1’s with him in their own back yard the four year old has to command utmost respect under Craig Williams.
Fellow Aussie raider Wandjina represents the powerhouse yard of Gai Waterhouse and he too fully deserves a place in the field. Despite the lack of a recent run by the international contingent, the British runners do not seem to be of the same calibre and they look up against it.
Dermot Weld formulated a plan to drop Mustajeeb down to this trip at the beginning of the year. So far he has executed it to perfection. There should be more to come from the lightly raced chestnut and he has to rank highly on the shortlist.
5.00 QUEEN ALEXANDRA STAKES – 2 M 5 F
Wicklow Brave bids to notch up a hat-trick of wins in what shall only be his third career start on the flat.
Following a long spell in the doldrums, he was encouraged back to his very best by Willie Mullins when landing the County Hurdle at Cheltenham back in March. He has subsequently followed that up with wins at Gowran Park and Listowel and with the yard already taking a major handicap earlier in the week with a dual purpose performer in Clondaw Warrior, this six year old ought to prove a tough nut to crack.
Times Up seems to have been around for an eternity and he always seems to be saved for marathon contests such as this. The veteran stayer has good form on a decent surface and if in the mood, he could prove to be a potential fly in the ointment. The booking of James Doyle suggests that an encouraging effort is expected and he should go well.
Marzocco was considered good enough to be sent to Dubai earlier in the year but he fluffed his lines when finishing some way adrift of Brown Panther. This step up in trip could tease out further improvement from this unexposed sort and he too has the potential to make his presence felt.
Willie Mullins has once again opted to utilise the services of Ryan Moore and the combination ought to make a bold bid in order to win another valuable prize.
3.05 First Flight
5.00 Wicklow Brave