Will all the short-priced market leaders oblige in the big races on Saturday and Sunday? Watch vital galloping clues and read the verdicts of Tom Peacock
By Tom Peacock
There are a number of hot favourites in the plethora of the big races across Europe this weekend, but which can we trust? Here’s a guide.
HARRY ANGEL - YES
Something of a guessing game as to how the ground will be by the time of the race but Clive Cox has not issued any concerns should it have turned soft and this has not been detrimental to many of his sire’s best progeny, while there is also hope on his dam’s side. An authentic star in a season blessed with good sprinters, this has been Harry Angel’s target for a while after his impressive July Cup win.
WINTER - YES
It feels as if you are clutching at straws in trying to get this outstanding filly beaten here. She goes on any ground, thrives on racing and is highest-rated in the field and has already proved herself better than Roly Poly, who has defeated many of the others herself.
CHURCHILL - NO
Deserved favourite after the season he has had and ran better than some of us expected when sticking on for second behind Ulysses at York. At a shade of odds-on, though, he seems short enough given there are still-improving sorts such as Eminent and Poet’s Word in opposition as well as the underrated Success Days. A downpour around Dublin on Saturday would not aid confidence, either.
RIBCHESTER - NO
Ribchester is readily forgiven his defeat in the mire at Goodwood and has been an admirable campaigner for connections. Nonetheless, his task here is stiffer than at first glance. With no Godolphin pacemaker, there is the opportunity for Taareef to steal an easy advantage after a slightly disappointing effort in the Jacques Le Marois. Inns Of Court, beaten a whisker by stablemate Al Wukair in that race, is still a potential improver for Andre Fabre.
GUSTAV KLIMT - YES
Neither an attractive betting contest nor a particularly interesting renewal of a two-year-old Group One which can often be a cracker. As much as one should not get carried away by Gustav Klimt’s escape act to score at Newmarket, the form of which does not look that special, he was worth far more than a head margin. Market rival Beckford might have reached his limit in the Phoenix Stakes and the favourite is given the nod as it is hard to find a viable alternative.
ORDER OF ST GEORGE - NO
Order Of St George’s position as a top stayer is obvious. However, the 2016 Gold Cup winner has proved a risky proposition at long odds-on a few times in the past, including in this race last year. Admittedly, not too many in the line-up inspire great confidence but Dartmouth and in particular Torcedor, long aimed for this race, would be in position to trip up the favourite.