Ascot preview: Bengough Stakes (15.10)
The David Lanigan gelding improved throughout last season when winning three of his seven starts.
Polybius was most impressive in the last of those when beating Royal Mezyan at Kempton, where after dwelling at the start he made stealthy headway on the inside to take up the running at the furlong marker before showing a smart turn of foot to win by 2 1/4 lengths off a mark of 94.
It was a performance which marked him out as a pattern performer in the making, and that view was confirmed on Polybius’s final start last season when a staying on 1 1/4 length third to Intransigent in a Listed contest at Lingfield off an official rating of 102.
Polybius was then off the track for 179 days and after shaping as if needing the run when tenderly handled and well beaten at York, duly put in a much improved effort next time up when eight of 25 to stable companion Interception in the ultra-competitive Wokingham handicap at Royal Ascot.
The four-year-old then went down by just a short-head in a five-runner conditions’ contest at Doncaster, before getting back to winning ways when quickening well to land a Listed contest at Newmarket by a length from Naadirr.
This demands more, but Polybius is a likeable type who looks open to further improvement and can prove up to the task.
Eastern Impact has some very strong form to his name and looks a big danger now eased in grade.
The Richard Fahey trained gelding ran a blinder when an excellent 1 1/2 length third of 14 to Muharrer in the Group 1 July Cup at Newmarket before landing a Listed contest at Chester in good style.
Eastern Impact was then far from disgraced last time out when seventh fo 15 to Twilight Son in the Group 1 Sprint Cup at Haydock, and looks sure to go well for a yard in terrific form now returned to calmer waters.
Coral’s top tip: Polybius is a progressive sort and looks decent value to get the better of Eastern Impact to land a competitive renewal of the Benbough Stakes