Godolphin aren’t really renowned for having a tilt at the season’s first big handicap, but it looks as though they mean business this time around saddling two live contenders in the shape of UDODODONTU (best price 10/1)
and SECRET BRIEF (best price 18/1)
. Arriving here straight off their sunbeds having been campaigned out in Dubai, both have displayed a level of form out in the desert to suggest they can put their race fitness to good use. The former, a creditable runner-up to War Envoy in the Britannia Handicap at Royal Ascot when in the care of Richard Guest, made a bright start to his career for new connections with a sparking performance in a strongly-run affair on the Meydan turf and although he failed to follow up next time when well fancied to do so, he lost nothing in defeat behind stable companion Carry On Deryck. As the field came down the middle in this race last year, the son of Lope D Vega could well turn out to be well drawn in stall 10 and with the ground continuing to dry out in his favour, a big run can be expected. The latter also ran well in the very same handicap as his stable mate last time out and having run to a decent level throughout most of his career, he’s also worth a shot at a big price.