Andrea Atzeni talks to Robert Cooper after UAE Prince got his 2017 season off to the perfect start at Ripon.
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1m 3f 188yGood to Soft (Soft in places)
All eyes will be on CRACKSMAN who is reported to have lit up the Newmarket gallops ahead of what will be his final start of the season. The son of Frankel has enjoyed a fine campaign already, placing in both the English and Irish Derbies, but connections are adamant that next year will be his year and he is expected to miss the St Leger after winning here. Despite the late defection of Capri, Aidan O'Brien once again brings a strong raiding party across the Irish Sea with Grand Prix De Paris third Venice Beach the pick of Ryan Moore, while Sir Michael Stoute has been bringing along Mirage Dancer steadily and he ran a fine race when placing in the Hampton Court at Royal Ascot. Stout stayer Count Octave ruffled up Stradivarius at the Royal meeting and it will be interesting to see how that form holds up.
Difficult to choose between MIRAGE DANCER and Cracksman. The latter went close in the Derby and Irish Derby on his last 2 starts and therefore sets the standard on form, but Mirage Dancer remains with bags of potential, and his trainer's patient approach can pay dividends once more. Venice Beach looks the pick of Aidan O'Brien's trio with Ryan Moore taking the ride.