Morawij new favourite as Smoothtalkinrascal misses Scurry
Smoothtalkinrascal was a leading fancy for this race after his eye-catching run behind Wokingham favourite Duke Of Firenze at Epsom. He has now been withdrawn as he is in the process of being sold to Cheveley Park.
David O’Meara’s gelding has not been out of the frame in five starts this season and he was top on official ratings for this race on 106. It is believed that he will remain in the care of O’Meara for the rest of the season.
Just a point lower in the ratings is the speedy Morawij, trained by Roger Varian. He put up a very encouraging first run of the season when sixth in the Temple Stakes behind Kingsgate Native, Swiss Spirit and Reckless Abandon.
Just ahead of him was Spirit Quartz who has since won a Group 2 in France. The run was even better in view of an early stumble leaving the stalls and he is certainly a leading contender here.
Robert Cowell, trainer of Spirit Quartz, relies on Chester handicap winner Normal Equilibrium here. He had earlier finished behind Smoothtalkinrascal in a race won by Riskit Fora Biskit here but did not get the clearest of runs and could be a danger to them all.
Sound Of Guns and Sandreamer were second and third in the Listed St Hugh’s Stakes at Newbury last season. The former never really threatened when returning to the Berkshire track last month whilst Sandreamer made no show at Ascot.
Dutch Masterpiece is well regarded by trainer Gary Moore and ran out a convincing winner over five furlongs at Chester last weekend. The son of Dutch Art will need to improve again to take this but looks to be going the right way.
Richard Hannon, fresh from saddling his 3,500th career winner here on Friday, should never be overlooked in these sprint races and he is represented by Dominate. He weakened quickly behind Zanetto last time but had previously won at Windsor.
March, a progressive filly trained by Marco Botti, could be the best of the remainder after rattling off a hat-trick of wins. She still has a lot to find on official figures with several of these but may still be on the upgrade.