A Listed race over just shy of the mile, Here Comes When looks to be the class act amongst this field on last year’s form but he does love getting his toe in and it remains to be seen if he will be suited by these conditions. Sovereign Debt has winning form at higher levels while Arod has looked well capable since returning to Britain, but must concede 3lb to two useful rivals.
Favourite Here Comes When
Prolific winner (7-28 on turf) landed career-best in Group 1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood last summer. Best form comes in soft conditions.
Arod was once a very smart performer when trained by Peter Chapple-Hyam in 2016 and has shown pleasing form back on British shores this season after a couple of years as a globetrotter. Sovereign Debt is a dual Group-race winner.
Just the five runners in this Listed contest but plenty of pondering required to try and get the right outcome. The obvious starting point is Here Comes When, winner of the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood last summer for Andrew Balding.
He ran a stormer to win that Group 2 over a mile, travelling powerfully and getting the best of no less than Ribchester in a grim finish. He did so in the sort of conditions that have characterised his best career efforts, with mud flying in all directions. He was firmly put in his place in the QEII at Ascot on British Champions Day and failed to muster a sustained challenge on his seasonal return at Sandown in April in Group 2 company.
Sussex Stakes winner Here Comes When runs in the bet365 Mile @Sandownpark today
A real opportunity to showcase he has what it takes to win more series races in 2018
— Champions Series (@ChampionsSeries) April 27, 2018
On the plus side, he’ll be fitter for that run, is a previous C&D winner, and comes out best on ratings. He also gets 3lb from his chief rival in the betting.
Ruth Carr’s Sovereign Debt was in cracking form around this time last year but, now aged nine, hasn’t shown the same level of effort this time around. He landed the Diomed Stakes at Epsom last June over an extended-mile but, in terms of this race, last month’s convincing defeat at Windsor doesn’t inspire confidence.
That race was won by another former Diomed Stakes winner and my pick for this race, AROD.
He won that contest in 2015 and looked a very smart performer given his optimum fast ground. Since then, he’s travelled the world and run in some hot races, before returning this season to British shores in the hands of trainer David Simcock.
He was just denied on his first start on the AW at Kempton and showed plenty of the old dash when scoring in that Listed Windsor race last month. Oisin Murphy should again be able to set the fractions in front from stall one and, despite conceding a penalty, they will prove tough to pass on this Knavesmire track where Arod once finished second in the Dante.
Chessman finished in close proximity to Arod at Kempton in April but has since been soundly beaten in Listed company at Naas. Archie Watson’s runner is lightly-raced and the youngster in this field, so he could improve, but he’ll have to do so quite markedly to land the pot.
Another Touch was a scorer in this grade last summer at Pontefract on soft going, but Richard Fahey’s five-year-old hasn’t looked as good since. He’ll have to produce something special to be winning this.
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Written by Enda McElhinney
Enda McElhinney is an Irish-based racing writer with an increasing portfolio of work on British and Irish racing. His daily routine is race-by-race form analysis, both on the Flat and over jumps. While the racing world must keep on turning, he is quite sure that no horse will ever pull at his heartstrings quite as much as the 2008 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Denman.