Sandown preview: Henry II Stakes (19.10)

Forever Now shaped well last time out and looks the answer to wide open renewal of the Group 3 Henry II Stakes at Sandown this evening (19.10).

The John Gosden-trained colt had a progressive profile last season, winning his maiden by eight lengths before going on to land a 1m 6f Listed contest at Goodwood in game fashion.

Forever Now also ran very well on his final start of 2014 when sixth of 12 to Kingston Hill in the Group 1 St Leger at Doncaster, holding every chance at the furlong marker until weakening to be beaten five lengths.

That effort suggested the son of Galileo would make up into a nice stayer this season, and Forever Now confirmed that impression last time out when third to Mizzou in the Group 3 Sagaro Stakes at Ascot.

The four-year-old attempted to make all in the hands of Frankie Dettori and kept on well after being headed a furlong out to be beaten 3 1/4 lengths.

That was Forever Now’s second run of the campaign, and he should now be spot on to do himself justice.

Although he finished 1 1/4 lengths behind Vent De Force in that contest, there is every chance that Forever Now can turn the tables as this race is likely to turn into a tactical affair.

Forever Now likes to race up with the pace, whereas his main rivals all prefer to be held-up for a late run.

Dettori should be able to dictate matters at the head off affairs on Forever Now, and there is no better jockey than the Italian at getting the fractions right.

If allowed an easy lead I can see Forever Now proving very hard to peg back, and that makes him look decent value to come out on top in this 2m contest.

Aforementioned Vent de Force looks the obvious main danger.

The Hughie Morrison-trained colt showed progressive form throughout last season when winning three times and finishing a cracking second in a Group 2 contest at Longchamp.

Vent De Force could well have even more to offer this year judged on his comeback run in the Sagaro, but the son of Hurricane Run ideally needs a strong gallop to be seen to best effect and is unlikely to get that here.

Chester Cup winner Trip To Paris is progressing at a rate of knots and looks sure to go well, while Irish raider Simenon would be a major player judged on his close second in the 2013 Ascot Gold Cup if ready to roll after a lengthy absence of over 300 days.