Admittedly, Global Applause sets a good standard here courtesy of his National Stakes win when he turned the tables on Mehmas from their running at Newbury. The former’s blood was found to be below par after that run so it was good to see him bounce back in style. Today’s ground is an unknown but he will be tough to beat.
There was plenty to admire in the opening effort of Plato O Plomo at Haydock where he was very professional from the word go in clocking a good time. He could well outrun his price and 25-1 looks an insult this morning as does the 20-1 in the markets without Global Applause.
Even Song arrives here a fresh horse after bypassing Epsom and that may prove a masterstroke by connections. She looks sure to improve hugely for her Newmarket comeback over 10f where she made eye-catching late headway after finding a troubled passage.
The Sir Michael Stoute-duo, QUEEN’S TRUST (Best price 10-1) and Shall We are interesting contenders. Queen’s Trust looked ready for a step up to 12 furlongs when, after a tortuous run through, she stayed on late behind We Are Ninety at Newbury. She is worth playing at the prices.
Leading Light, Fame And Glory and the magnificent Yeats have ensured O’Brien has found the flat season’s premier staying event a happy hunting ground and his representative appears to have the perfect combination of speed and stamina to complete a fabulous five timer in today’s feature.
Victory by a wide margin in last season’s Irish Leger saw the four-year-old scorch on to the Gold Cup radar and his comeback in the Saval Beg Stakes, a route his trainer has employed many times prior to Royal Ascot, again displayed his turn of foot.
A stayer with speed can be a lethal combination and the selection boasts both in plentiful supply. That change of gear is a vital attribute in a short straight like Ascot and he is taken to make amends for that unlucky defeat of Kingfisher Bay for the same connections in last year's renewal.
Both CLEVER COOKIE (Best price 12-1 four and five places) and Mizzou will love conditions and hold serious frame chances with the latter likely to improve on his below par run in this race 12 months ago when the ground was too lively.
Clever Cookie ran a blinder in the King George here last summer and again was on the scene in the Long Distance Cup in the autumn so he has a major chance of again reaching the frame and, with some firms offering four or even five places, he is crying out to be backed each way.
That said MUSTASHRY (Best price 12-1) has been on the radar for this race ever since winning a Thirsk maiden which has subsequently thrown up a couple of winners. There was plenty of cut in the ground that day and he is drawn in the middle so his rider can choose a path. It goes without saying the likes of Out And About, gelded prior to scoring at Haydock (form boosted since) and Folkswood who has been saved for this since impressing at Newmarket on his return, rate highly.
However, given the record of Brian Meehan in this type of race, I can’t help risking a little on PERKUNAS (Best price 50-1) who was runner-up to Emotionless no less on his debut before continuing to run well on soft ground as a juvenile, including when finishing a place in front of the now 107-rated Zonderland in the Horris Hill Stakes.
It is a risk that the visor sharpens his mind, but at 50-1 I’m willing to pay to find out and backing a horse at a big price with the five place concession paid off yesterday with Battle Of Marathon.
Read Sam Turner's tips in the Daily Mail everyday or at www.dailymail.co.uk/racing