By Tom Peacock
While the hard-working David Menuisier would be deserving of a significant winner through Betfred Cambridgeshire favourite Thundering Blue, the grey is short enough at 7-1 to land his four-timer and there are a handful of others to take the eye.
The Cambridgeshire went through a phase when it was invariably won by a future Group performer, but this has been less pronounced lately. Similarly, there have not been reliable recent markers in terms of price or age of runner.
Trainer: Saeed Bin Suroor
Jockey: Pat Smullen
Odds: 16-1 generally available
One of the most obvious to fit the ‘Group horse in a handicap’ adage, he finished best of those drawn on the far side last year when third and reappears off just 1lb higher this time around.
Of most immediate concern is that he has not raced since that day, having looked the obvious sort to have been campaigned at the Dubai World Cup Carnival.
Given the Godolphin facilities, it is not unsurprising that Bin Suroor can ready one from a layoff and it could also be hoped that Very Talented has grown up a bit more, as he still looked inexperienced on what was only his third run last year.
Trainer: Henry Candy
Jockey: Harry Bentley
Odds: 28-1 with Ladbrokes
Lightly-raced, from the stable of one of the best in the business, and might very well have been freshened up with this race in mind.
What makes most appeal about this gelding, who has surprisingly already reached the age of six, is he is two-from-two on the Rowley Mile, winning once on good to firm and once on soft at the tail-end of the season.
Greenside is also excused his last two beaten efforts. He reportedly took a bad step at Sandown and suffered a luckless passage at Goodwood last time when travelling wide.
Trainer: Karl Burke
Jockey: Patrick O'Hanlon
Odds: 33-1 generally available
Not far off winning one in a busy spell on the all-weather during the winter and has usually fared best when kept to wide and galloping turf courses.
What is most appealing is his recent reappearance after a five-month break, when he finished third behind the rapidly-improving Kryptos and high-class three-year-old Battered in a good event at Doncaster.
You’re Fired’s form does not suggest he must always be kept fresh and he might well be a little sharper for the outing.
The continued form of the Karl Burke stable can add further confidence.