We get the latest on Balko Des Flos and Monalee as the National Hunt season proper inches ever closer
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1m 7f 209ySoft
It is safe to say STRADIVARIUS has gone from strength to strength since finishing third in this last season, and arrives here as the standout stayer of 2018 having won all the major long distance prizes this season, landing the inaugural Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers Million bonus in the process. The Gold Cup winner is hard to oppose, with only soft ground as a concern, and the Sea The Stars colt can end the season unbeaten. Aidan O'Brien is mob-handed in opposition as he looks to retain the prize Order Of St George won last season, and Irish St Leger winner Flag Of Honour may give him the best chance to do so having downed the Irish Derby winner comfortably that day, and the son of Galileo has impressed over 1m6f on the last three occasions. Sir Erec is interesting stepping up in trip by half a furlong and appears the Ballydoyle second string, with Cypress Creek likely to be employed in pace-making duties, while Thomas Hobson is given an each-way chance having won the Group 2 Doncaster Cup when last seen and will have no issue with the forecast ground.
STRADIVARIUS can cap off a tremendous 2018 with a fifth consecutive win. He made short work of his rivals again in the Lonsdale Cup at York and could be the one to beat in the staying division for years to come. Sir Erec was mightily impressive when winning at Limerick and is part of a strong challenge from Ballydoyle along with Irish Leger winner Flag of Honour.