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14:45 Newbury

Chindit showed steady progression last season, winning at the first time of asking and then following up in Listed company next time out, before winning The Group 2 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster in September. He failed to fire in the Group 1 Dewhurst the following month but that came in soft ground so can be easily overlooked and with three victories already over seven furlongs it's no huge surprise to see him head the market.

Marcus Tregoning won the 2019 renewal of this race and runs Alkumait who was also a progressive horse last season, his seasonal highlight being the victor of the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes here at Newbury in September. His only attempt over seven furlongs to date came in the Dewhurst where the softer ground also went against him, however of more concern was that he failed to settle so I would be wary of this possibly happening again on first run of the season.

Fundamental has a bit to find on official ratings but also a fitness advantage over most of the main market principles having won at Chelmsford at the beginning of the month, and although both career wins have come on the polytrack he wasn't beaten far in two runs on turf last Autumn. He's proven over the trip and usually likes to be up with the pace, so if breaking well could just lead the way and then use his proven stamina to hold off all challengers. He should be able to continue to progress and looks a solid each way option with Frankie Dettori taking over in the saddle.

Nando Parrado won the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot at odds of 150/1 last season, and proved it was no fluke by following up with two Group 1 second's in France, finding only Campanelle too good in the Prix Morny and then faring best of the rest in heavy ground in the Jean-Luc Lagadare, a race won by Sealiway. Given the way he improved from first to second race last season, I am not 100% convinced he will be fully tuned up for this on his return, however if he is then he is another with solid place possibilities.

Of the remainder, Rhythm Master wasn't far behind Alkumait and Nando Parrado in his last two runs of last year and has scope for improvement now stepping up in trip, Mehmento has won two lower grade contests on the all-weather by ten and thirteen lengths so deserves a crack at this higher level, while The Lir Jet won his first two last season but both came over five furlongs and despite stepping up in distance as the season progressed I am not convinced that this trip will see him at his best.


written by Dean Kilbryde


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