Valko can make the most of his previous experience as he bids to shed his maiden tag at the fourth attempt. This marks a slight step up in trip for the son of Oasis Dream but with his breeding it shouldn’t prove too much of an obstacle. Charlie Appleby and Godolphin have a decent strike rate around here and William Buick ought to know a bit more about him this afternoon. This is his polytrack debut but plenty of the yard’s runners act well on it and he should be capable of a bold run.
Joules was well fancied when making his debut at Windsor back in June. He is likely to have been well schooled at home since then and he is fully entitled to come on for that experience. Jim Crowley is back in the saddle and they command utmost respect. Suqoor represents a yard that is well renowned for producing decent juveniles. Paul Hanagan replaces Sean Levey in the plate and they too are likely to be seen to be much better effect on this artificial surface.
Valko seemed to find seven furlongs a little too far on his first couple of runs, whilst he didn’t quite have the speed for the minimum trip at Catterick last time. This six furlongs could well prove the making of him and he is given the vote here.
Dubai Hills seems to be running back into form and now that he is back down to what was his last winning mark he has to be of obvious interest here. He won’t mind the bit of cut in the ground and Danny Tudhope is back on board. This combination have proved successful in the past and connections will be hoping they can repeat the feat today.
Trail Blaze is a previous course and distance winner who is still well handicapped on the best of his old form. Patrick O’Donnell is an up and coming amateur who has already won on the six year old. Kevin Ryan must be confident that the five pound allowance his jockey can claim could make all the difference in a race of this nature and they look the main dangers. Woody Bay is a model of consistency but like Trail Blaze he would not want too much in the way of rain. His win at Newcastle has been franked by the likes of Advanced and Harwoods Volante, so he fully deserves his place in this line up.
David O’Meara took this race last year and the stable continues to fire on all cylinders. With Danny Tudhope preferring Dubai Hills over stablemate Sophisticated Heir the hint has to be followed and it would be of little surprise to see them in the winners enclosure today.
Dubai Hills (WIN)
Gowanharry is a five furlong specialist and having gone close to winning on several occasions already this season, his confidence will have been boosted following a hard fought success at Ayr last time. He carries top weight here as a result though but Paul Multennan keeps the ride on the six year old and they look set to go well with weather conditions in their favour.
Jack Luey is another who bounced back to winning form last time. He remains a couple of pounds below his highest winning mark and has to be considered on ground he will relish. He was fast away at Beverley last time and could prove hard to peg back if allowed an uncontested lead. Flash City is lurking at the bottom of the handicap and Ruth Carr has been enjoying a profitable season. Despite trying to win off a career high mark, he is likely to find himself in the thick of the action given that he receives weight from all bar one rival.
Gowanharry has beaten many of these before including stablemate One Boy, Dreese and Cruisetothelimit amongst others. He seems to be on fine terms with himself and is worthy of each way support given tthe form of the Michael Dods stable.
Gowanharry (E/W if 9/2+)