Andrew Balding saw enough in Beat The Bank’s run at Royal Ascot to give him encouragement ahead of his return to the Berkshire track for the Fred Cowley MBE Summer Mile on Saturday.
After winning five of his first six races, he signed off last season with a dull display in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and reappeared with a disappointing run in the Lockinge.
But there was more to like about his showing in the Queen Anne last month, when he was beaten less than two lengths into sixth by Accidental Agent, and he drops in class for this Group Two.
“It was a much better run from Beat The Bank in the Queen Anne. He just couldn’t get out in time. He was only beaten just over a length and a half and didn’t have a hard race,” said Balding.
“I think he had legitimate excuses for his last couple of runs. He is in good form and if he gets a clear run at Ascot, I would hope he will be in the mix.”
Another one dropping in class – and also trip – is Martyn Meade’s Eminent, who is on something of a retrieval mission.
Having won the Craven last year and run well in the Guineas and Derby, he was expected to come into his own this year but as yet it has not happened, with poor runs at both Chester and Ascot.
“We’ll drop him in trip and class slightly. He had good form over a mile as a three-year-old and hopefully it will be a confidence run for him,” said Meade.
“Hopefully he has a nice time and comes back to his old form, which he hasn’t shown in his first couple of runs this season.”
On just his third run for Jane Chapple-Hyam, Circus Couture was third in the Royal Hunt Cup, although this represents a significant rise in grade.
“He’s got good form at Ascot, although this will be his first time round the bend,” Chapple-Hyam told At The Races.
“His other two races have been on the straight track, but I can’t see why he won’t handle it. He’s in good order.”
David Simcock’s Arod has been around the block a bit, but was bought for £145,000 guineas by the Two Towers Partnership at Thursday’s Tattersalls Sale.
He was just touched off in a Listed race at York last time out.
“He ran well under a penalty at York to be beaten a neck three weeks ago,” said Simcock.
“I’m looking forward to running him. It’s probably the last chance for the older horses to take each other on before the three-year-olds start coming through.”
Silvestre de Sousa has been booked by Andre Fabre for Trais Flours and the champion jockey is proud to get the call from the master trainer.
The four-year-old was narrowly beaten in a Group Three last time out.
“It will be my first time riding the horse, but Mr Fabre is coming across so you always think it’s a good ride. I’m just pleased he’s given me the call,” said De Sousa.
“He has good form, Mr Fabre just wouldn’t bring him over for a day out.”
David O’Meara’s duo of Lord Glitters and Suedois, and Simon Crisford’s Century Dream also hold strong claims.