Music Society is the one who looks to have the most potential after only three starts and with an eye-catching booking of Ryan Moore on first look, seems the one to beat @ 5/2. A little delve into his pedigree shows that his relatives, bar the smart Kool Kompany who did most of his winning at two, all the others only managed only three wins from eighty two starts between them. There are obvious quirks in the dam’s line, especially as the progeny age so he may be one to tread carefully with. Maybride looks well treated here but the drying ground could be an issue, as too is Dragons Tail but he may want further than this. Captain Jameson steps up in grade and can be competitive though there is a question mark about faster ground while Consequences may be the value against Music Society @ 6/1. This course and distance winner looks the type to make up into a decent sprinter.
All eyes will be on Military Band who is a half-brother to Cracksman but this race should really be a watching brief rather than a betting opportunity with little known about the runners. Unsurprisingly the big yards often take this race and usually at single figure prices so stick with those near the head of the market. Another to note is Surya, by Frankel out of the dual Oaks winner Sariska while Karaginsky, Gift Of Raaj, Prabeni and Dragon Moon could be anything.
Nobody can deny the quality of The Bay Birch’s emphatic victories recently but this will be run on much faster ground and the drying conditions pose a completely different question. The same can be said of Socksy, who’s best performances have come on soft or heavy ground. Tara Mist on the other hand does handle good to soft and faster and rates the one to beat @ 5/1 though she has fallen short in this grade before. Sheer Poetry is an interesting contender coming back from a break and will enjoy conditions if fit.
Last year’s winners Brando bids for back to back victories in the race for Tom Eaves and Kevin Ryan. He had his best season yet in 2017 when third in the July Cup before winning the Prix Maurice de Gheest in Deauville, only for his season to tail off in the Autumn. He goes well fresh, has had a wind operation and is the one to beat @ 10/3. Spirit Of Valor and Le Brivido are the main dangers and are similar in that they have been plying their trade over further and now drop back into the sprinting ranks. Both are very talented and could be anything over this shorter trip. Three to note as sprinters with a future are Dream Of Dreams, Projection and One Master though whether they are good enough to win this first time out is unlikely.
Racing Post Trophy second Roaring Lion sets the standard here and with faster ground in his favour, should really have too much for this field @ 4/7. Masar was progressive last season until going to the Breeder’s Cup where he finished a keeping on sixth and it may be that faster ground does not suit so could be one for later in the season. Glorious Journey has done nothing wrong on both his starts and represents the potential but will have to go some to challenge Roaring Lion, though could develop into a nice horse as the season progresses while Just Brilliant, a half-brother to Peter Chapple-Hyam’s Racing Post Trophy winner Marcel, is worth a second look and could go well @ 28/1.
Quickened Clear’s Best Bets:
Sheer Poetry – 2.40 Cheltenham – 1pt win @ 12/1
The ground will be very different for a number of runners but one who will love the ground is Sheer Poetry. Well beaten on her debut over fences in a novice chase by Alcala, she then hacked up at Worcester by seventeen lengths in handicap company on good ground. The autumn conditions were not to her liking following that win though she ran well over hurdles at Cheltenham in November which will put her in good stead here. Not seen since being badly hampered over course and distance last December she has now changed yards to Nigel Hawke an having gone well fresh previously, is worth a bet @ 12/1.