Heaven’s Guest is the only British raider to compete in this valuable listed contest. He was last seen out contesting the Victoria Cup at Ascot last month, where the usually reliable Jack Garritty appeared out to be of his depth in what was a hotly contested affair. James Doyle is a notable jockey booking by Richard Fahey on this occasion in the hope that he can get the best out of this five year old son of Dark Angel.
Aiden O’Brien took this race a couple of seasons ago with Reply. Today he sends the lightly raced Father Frost into battle. He is sure to appreciate this step back up to seven furlongs and is likely to be delivered fast and late by Joseph O’Brien. The globetrotting Eastern Rules is likely to prove popular in the market given his exploits abroad. It is worth remembering that this is his first start since February and he may just need this outing.
Richard Fahey has his yard in excellent form and it often pays to side with British sprinters when they travel over to face their Irish counterparts. Heaven’s Guest is a talented horse on his day and he looks capable of a big run here.
Heavens Guest (WIN)
Bnedel showed significant improvement on his second start last year to win a decent maiden on the polytrack at Lingfield. The form of the race is turning out to be quite useful given subsequent victories for the likes of Sugar Boy and Swaheen. He is likely to have been well schooled at home by Richard Hannon throughout the winter and he remains a horse of immense potential for owners Al Shaqab Racing. Frankie Dettori rides as stable jockey to Sheikh Joaan Al Thani and the combination should be capable of a decent first run of the season.
Flying Fantasy is likely to go off as favourite for this race having won a small contest at Newmarket on what was his seasonal reappearance. The William Haggas team have started to fire on all cylinders and now that he is set to receive weight from all of his rivals, he is likely to prove the biggest threat to the selection. Laurence has improved on each career start for Luca Cumani but this looks to be the toughest opposition that he has faced to date. The form of his recent win was hardly franked when Ashbridge Lad was thrashed on Saturday and a few of the Cumani runners have disappointed in recent days. For these reasons he appears short enough in the market and is passed over this afternoon.
Bnedel should still have more to offer and at a track where the yard does well, he commands utmost respect.
Eastern Empire made it four wins in just eleven career starts when getting up to deny the well regarded Hunstmans Close in a cavalry charge at Newmarket last month. That reappearance should have blown away any lingering cobwebs and he is likely to have improved again for that effort. The four year old son of Bahamian Bounty really loves to hear his hooves rattle off the ground so conditions should prove ideal for him this evening. He was placed at this level last year and is well worth another try at it in order to add some black type to his already likeable CV.
Pretend was due to take up an engagement at the weekend but was withdrawn because of the ground. He has rattled up a string of victories on the all weather tracks throughout the winter including at this level. If making the transition to the turf he is likely to prove very difficult to beat and deserves his place at the head of the market. It should be worth noting that the horse drawn in stall one has won this race for the past three seasons. Minalisa fills that berth this evening but she will need to show further improvement in order to be able to get involved. Clear Spring has been in the form of his life of late and is proven over the course and distance. He is versatile regarding ground conditions and he could sneak into the frame.
Eastern Impact is still only a four year old and should have more to offer. He arrives here in peak condition and is likely to make his presence felt.
Eastern Impact (E/W)