Maxios to score for France in Ascot’s Queen Elizabeth II Stakes
Maxios pulled off a 7-1 shock when running away with the Prix du Moulin at Longchamp last month and is fancied to bring more French success this weekend. The son of Monsun seems better than ever this season and has been a revelation since dropping back in distance.
Stephane Pasquier kept tabs on the runaway leader at Longchamp whilst odds-on favourite Olympic Glory was well off the pace. That move proved decisive with Richard Hannon’s colt never closer than at the finish where he was still five lengths adrift.
Victory was never in doubt that day and Maxios is good value in a market dominated by 2000 Guineas winner Dawn Approach. The Godolphin colt flopped in the Derby but returned to winning ways at Royal Ascot in a titanic battle with Toronado.
He lost out to that horse in the Sussex Stakes before a disappointing run in France. Trainer Jim Bolger is confident that he has his stable star back to his best for this Group 1 event and he has been well supported in the ante-post market.
With doubts surrounding the participation of a number of his main rivals, Dawn Approach is a firm favourite to end his season on a winning note. The 2000 Guineas winner was well beaten at Deauville on his latest start but there have been encouraging reports coming out of Jim Bolger’s yard this week.
Soft Falling Rain lost his unbeaten record at Newbury when beaten by Gregorian but looked much sharper when galloping on well at Newmarket last time. He defeated a useful sort in Montiridge and is likely to be a serious contender here.
Gordon Lord Byron put up a breathtaking display to win the Haydock Sprint Cup but was well beaten by Moonlight Cloud on Arc day. There was no disgrace in that defeat but it is debatable whether he is as effective over a mile as he is at sprint distances.
Elusive Kate put up a weak effort at Newmarket whilst Kingsbarns still has a lot to prove on only his third career start. Top Notch Tonto has been supplemented but he will have to produce a career best to get involved here.