Foundation looked a good horse when winning the Royal Lodge, smarter away than his first 2 efforts, and I’m not sure he was doing much in front when being closed near the line. He should hold the form with Deauville, who may not want any rain to come. If it does come though, Mengli Khan (best odds 9/1) will likely shorten from the generous odds available currently. He shaped nicely on debut in a decent maiden where the first 3 pulled clear and did best of the newcomers and best of those racing off the pace. The tailwind on the day meant little got into it and he was green under pressure. He duly stepped up next time though still a touch green when winning at Nottingham on soft ground and he looks to have been a little underestimated for all this is a big step up in class. His trainer has an excellent strike rate in Group races this term and doesn’t tilt at windmills.
Dungannon (best odds 14/1) is in search of a hat trick in the Doncaster sprint handicap and shows up 3lb and 4lb lower respectively than when taking this in the past 2 seasons. Eased over a stone this term, he’s well drawn in 13 to get cover with the likely leader coming out of 10 and Lucky Beggar likely to be up there in 11. He gets his ground and ran well considering he drifted far side last time and raced alone at the business end. This has likely been the season target and he’s very well treated. I also want to chance Robot Boy (best odds 20/1) at a big price, though Lucky Beggar and Perfect Pasture are right up there on the shortlist. Robot Boy was running for a trainer out of form but the yard are going well again now and he shaped well over 5 on soft 2 starts back. Well treated on peak form, he didn’t get 6 last time and a return to the minimum will suit. His trainer says he wants quick ground but Haydock was encouraging on soft and he’s a course and distance winner. I’m not thrilled with his draw but you can’t have everything.
Philip Hobbs has an excellent record in the staying handicap chase at Cheltenham and last year’s winner Roalco De Farges (best odds 8/1) is back off 4lb higher. He won well 12 months ago and gets the pace up top here that he’ll likely need. He went off the boil a touch towards the latter end of a fairly long season but is looking well treated again and he goes fresh. He’s not won on ground worse than good to soft either and generally a sound surface sees him at his best.