The patience of punters is beginning to run a little thin with the enigmatic Frontiersman who veered quite markedly under pressure at Newmarket when presented with an excellent chance of victory. Not even the first-time cheekpieces could iron him out and he is discarded in favour of SECOND STEP (Best price 9-2) who should cope well with the conditions and is a fair bet to reverse Newmarket running with Lord Yeats who was a neck too strong when they met. Second Step boasts good experience of the track and that should stand him in good stead as will his ability to handle easy ground.
BEAT THE BANK (Best price 3-1), an expensive recent purchase to run in the colours of the Leicester City owners, readily outpointed Forest Ranger when they met at Newmarket three weeks ago and that could be the key line of form with the third home, D’Bai, winning well since to enhance the standing of the race. The selection was highly tried at Royal Ascot but appeared to enjoy the step up to a stiff mile at HQ and can continue his trainer’s marvellous week.
Royal Hunt Cup winner Zhui Feng is likely to try and make the running again from stall four and I’m hoping Ryan Moore can sit on the four-year-old’s tail aboard MASTER THE WORLD (Best price 7-1).
David Elsworth’s enigmatic handicapper isn’t one for the family silver but is highly capable on his day and was only beaten a head in this race 12 months ago by a handicap good thing in Franklin D.
He has the opportunity today to go one better following an encouraging performance at Newmarket last time and the selection’s Goodwood figures read 202 so he appeals as a fair each-way wager in a tough race.
Clive Cox is becoming quite a master trainer of sprinters and PROFITABLE (Best price 9-4) can enhance his standing with another big-race success in the Qatar King George Stakes.
The Lambourn handler is enjoying another marvellous season courtesy of his speedsters and Harry Angel’s blistering July Cup victory still remains extremely fresh in the memory.
Profitable provided a similarly seminal moment last season when landing the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot on rain-softened ground and he should find conditions to his liking again this afternoon.
The son of Invincible Spirit made a bold bid to defend his Ascot sprinting crown in June, but had no answer to the speed queen Lady Aurelia who displayed her trademark brazen pace to imperiously dismiss her 16 rivals that day.
There was no disgrace in that performance though and Cox will be pleased to return Profitable to a track where he can get his toe in and enjoy some cut in the ground.