Charlie Appleby is operating at a 40% winning strike rate over the last two weeks and has always performed consistently well at Newmarket. His runner here is Sound And Silence who won over course and distance on debut and beat today’s main rival Abel Handy a shade cosily when the pair last met, despite the official winning distance only being half a length. He also beat Mokaatil and To Wafij earlier in the season and should be able to confirm the form against both again today, while Battle Of Jericho will likely be popular for the prolific pairing of Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore however I’m not convinced the drop to the minimum trip will suit.
Sound And Silence (WIN)
Anna Nerium has a course and distance victory to her name and won a Group 3 at Salisbury last month but giving 3lbs away to the rest of the field won’t be an easy task.
Special Purpose was only a half length behind Anna Nerium last time out but should benefit from the extra furlong she encounters here and could well reverse that form, while I Can Fly could also enter the frame if handling the switch from the all-weather to turf.
Gavota and Dark Rose Angel have both placed in Group 2 races in recent weeks and are both in with a real chance again, however I’m opting for Expressiy who takes a big jump in class but has won her last two over seven furlongs and although may not have the scope of some of her rivals she looks to be progressing nicely and could sneak a place at bigger odds.
Zabeel Prince is two from two this season, winning by over three lengths despite being eased down on both occasions, and although steps up in grade off a 10lbs higher mark he looks like a potential Group performer so it would be disappointing if he couldn’t bring up the hat-trick here.
Highland Colori has only won two from twenty over a mile but his last victory came over course and distance off a mark of 95 so he warrants consideration racing off a mark 10lbs lower today.
Of the remainder, Zwayyan arrives on the back of a victory over One Word More but it would be no surprise to see that form reversed here, while Home Cummins has made the frame in three from five over track and trip and can get involved again here.
Zabeel Prince (WIN) – NAP
Frankie Dettori has ridden the winner of this race for the last two renewals and is today partnered with Dabyah who is unbeaten in three over the trip. She hasn’t been seen since coming fourth in the Coronation Stakes at Ascot in June but has won three times on return from a break so looks to have a great chance of another victory today.
Limato has been running consistently well without winning this season but has won over this trip at the highest level so cannot be ruled out, while Dutch Connection has won five from eight over this trip and Gifted Master has an excellent record at Newmarket so both add more spice to an open looking race.
Aidan O’Brien has an excellent strike rate and level stakes profit record at Newmarket, has won this race for the last three years and goes in search of his twenty fourth Group 1 win of the season by saddling Happily, Magical and September here. Jockey bookings, early odds and the form of the Moyglare all suggest that Happily is the one to beat although it would be no surprise to see either of the other two come out on top either.
Magic Lily deserves her chance up in grade following an eight length demolition of her rivals over course and distance last month but I’m sticking with Laurens who won the Group 2 May Hill Stakes on first run over a mile and is yet to finish outside the top two in three career runs to date.
Stall six has provided us with the last two winners of this contest and is today occupied by Brimham Rocks who has already won three times this season. He steps up in trip for today’s race but would be in with a chance if staying the extra distance.
Joshua Reynolds was well beaten of his current mark at Haydock last month but that was on heavy ground and had earlier recorded two victories on good-to-soft ground so with the conditions expected to suit today he isn’t passed over lightly, especially with both trainer and jockey in good recent form.
Gold Star has won his last two and looks to be improving with each run but at slightly bigger odds I’m opting for Star Rock who also arrives on the back of two victories including when beating a subsequent winner on return from a four month break last month.
Star Rock (E/W)
Torcello carries a 6lbs penalty for a three length course and distance victory last month but had finished behind First Nation, Melting Dew and Duke Of Bronte when sixth at Ascot on penultimate run.
First Nation has so far been seen to best effect over a shorter trip while Melting Dew has only just failed to gain victory in three of his last four runs although has been raised 5lbs and Sir Michael Stoute has struggled to find winners in the last couple of weeks so preference is for Duke Of Bronte who has won his last two over today’s trip and although has also been raised 5lbs looks capable of further progression and looks a decent each way play at early double figure odds.
Duke Of Bronte (E/W)