Dee Stakes Preview: Century the pick of O’Brien duo

Ballydoyle handler Aidan O’Brien saddles Century and Kingfisher in a bid to enhance his excellent record in this 1m 2f contest (2.15), and the former is by far the most interesting of the pair.

O’Brien has won the race four times, including the last two runnings with Astrology and Magician.

In Century, he has a colt who is bidding to get back on track after disappointing on his final start as a juvenile.

The son of Montjeu looked a smart prospect when overcoming greenness to score on his debut at the Curragh, where after being slowly away he kept on strongly fromn two out to beat Marakoush by 1 1/2 lengths.

It was a very taking performance and one which saw Century sent off just 6/1 for the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.

However, he was never travelling in the mile contest at any stage and trailed in a distant last of 11 after being heavily eased two furlongs from home.

It was clear that something was amiss, and Century is definitely better than that and worth another chance to build on his promising debut success.

The three-year-old certainly possesses far more scope than stable companion Kingfisher, who has raced five times and doesn’t look anything special judged on his latest fifth behind Fascinating Rock in a Group 3 contest at the Curragh.

Century also has the services of Ryan Moore in the saddle, who has been in irresistible form on the Roodee this week and teamed up with the stable to land yesterday’s Chester Vase with Orchestra.

To me, Century has more potential than any runner in the line-up and is going to be extremely hard to beat.

The two main dangers on form are the Mark Johnston trained Bow Creek and Somewhat.

The former revelled in testing conditions when winning a Newbury nursery as a juvenile by six lengths, and has gone on to land a listed contest on the all-weather at Lingfield this season.

The son of Shamardal will clearly not mind the going, but has to give 3lb to Century and looks exposed.

Somewhat had some smart form as a juvenile, but was soundly beaten on his seasonal reappearance when firth of 10 to True Story in the Feilden Stakes at Newmarket.

The son of Dynaformer is a free going sort, and I am not convinced that this track will suit.

The testing conditions will also make it hard for Somewhat to presumably try and make all, and he could well have shot his bolt and be a sitting duck for the closers rounding the home turn.