Published 22 May
Sir Michael Stoute has won the Brigadier Gerard Stakes a record seven times which makes his latest candidate AUTOCRATIC of immediate interest at double-figure odds.
A typically progressive 3yo last season, he won his maiden over this course and distance, finished second in a traditionally hot handicap at Newmarket’s July meeting and signed off by landing a decent York prize.
That autumn success came off a mark of 96 so further significant improvement is required for him to make an impact in Group company, but everything about him suggests he’s the type his trainer so often excels with at this level.
The 1996 winner Pilsudski springs straight to mind as an example - he won the HQ handicap that Autocratic went close in, ran his final race that season off 95 and ended up with a stack of Group 1 victories to his name aged four and five.
I’m not suggesting for one moment that the Cheveley Park-owned colt will reach those sort of heights, but Stoute clearly believes he has Pattern-race potential having started him off this season in the Earl Of Sefton and now heading to Sandown for a race he loves to target.
On the face of it, his performance at the Craven meeting was a disappointing one - he finished a well-beaten sixth and never threatened to take a hand once the principals quickened.
But being a big, heavy horse, he was entitled to need the run more than most and though he has shown good form on a quick surface, he didn't appear to relish the lively ground running down into the dip.
He’s sure to appreciate being back at the Esher track - especially the uphill finish - and the ground, currently soft, looks like drying out to good if the weather forecast proves correct, which should prove ideal.
In a race that’s crying out for a value bet - Group 3-winning filly So Mi Dar is a short price taking on the boys, with Listed winners filling the next two slots in the market - it’s worth chancing the selection can take the big step forward his classy pedigree and overall profile suggest.
Recommended Bet (scale 1-5 points):
Brigadier Gerard Stakes, Sandown 25 May
1pt each way AUTOCRATIC (14-1 Boylesports, 11-1 bet365, Sky Bet William Hill, 10-1 general)
Already Recommended Bet (scale 1-5 points):
Investec Derby, Epsom 3rd June
1pt each way ATTY PERSSE (25-1)
Gary provides regular ante-post updates on Twitter. His username is @horsetraderinfo.@horsetraderinfo