Royal Ascot 2015: King Edward VII Stakes preview (15.05)
Trainer Sir Michael Stoute has an excellent record in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes, and Stravagante can further enhance it with victory in the 1m 4f contest at Royal Ascot.
The Newmarket handler has won the race six times, most recently with Hillstar in 2013 who had a similar profile to Stravagante going into the contest.
Stravagante, like Hillstar at the time, has had just four starts and shown steadily progressive form in competitive handicaps.
The three-year-old has won two of his four starts, and was particularly impressive when romping to a 3 1/4 length success in a decent 13-runner contest over 1m 2f at Epsom two weeks ago.
After being held-up off the pace by jockey Ryan Moore, Stravagante made rapid headway on the outside two from home before taking up the running inside the final furlong and storming clear.
The son of Rip Van Winkle won with tons in hand, and the way Stravagante finished off the contest suggested that the extra two furlongs in this should hold no fears.
It was also a performance which suggested Stravagante was well worth a crack at this level, and he can the step up in class in his stride to land the spoils before going on to even better things.
Mr Singh represents last year’s winning connections and looked a smart prospect when winning on seasonal reappearance at Newbury in what is traditionally a strong maiden.
After being slowly away, the John Gosden trained colt came with a sustained run on the outside a furlong from home before staying on strongly under a hands and heels ride from jockey Frankie Dettori to get up close home and beat Scottish by a neck.
The runner-up and third home Fabricate have both gone on to score since to give the form a solid look, and it is a race which Gosden and owner Lady Bamford won with Eagle Top who went on to land this 12 months ago.
Although Mr Singh could finish only fifth to Storm The Stars in the Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood last time out, the son of High Chaparral seemed ill at ease on the track and it would be no surprise to see him bounce back and prove the main threat to the selection.
Another worthy of plenty of respect is the David Simcock trained Balios.
The colt won his sole start as a juvenile in good style, and ran a blinder on his seasonal reappearance when chasing home Best Of Times in a 1m 2f Listed contest at Newmarket.
Balios ran on strongly to be beaten just 1/2 a length by a useful sort who went on to finish runner-up in the aforementioned Cocked Hat Stakes, and the son of Shamardal looks the type who has plenty more to offer and will be suited by the step up in trip.
Coral betting tip: Stravagante is a strong contender here.