We have a small field assembled for this Listed contest over seven furlongs of Newmarket’s Rowley Mile. There may only be six runners going to post but we could have some decent quality on display, with four of these holding Group One entries later in the season. If they are to come close to fulfilling those lofty aspirations, connections will be expecting a good performance here.
The two without the fancy entries are the Richard Hannon trained pair of Misterioso and Tupi. Of the two jockeys riding for Hannon here, Sean Levey and Cam Hardie, it is Levey who has the better strike rate for the yard. Levey takes the ride aboard Misterioso which is interesting as Tupi has the better form in the book. His run behind Home Of The Brave reads particularly well in view of that horse’s prominent display in the 2000 Guineas. It is tough to split the pair.
Latharnach looks a live threat from the Godolphin yard having landed two of his three starts as a two year old. Sire Iffraaj does particularly well with his juveniles so that early success should come as no surprise. The question is whether he can handle this step up from a Class 3 handicap to Listed level on his first start as a three year old. He looks a nice big type and holds two Royal Ascot entries so must be respected given his powerful connections.
Having been pitched into Group 3 company on his previous two starts, Barry Hill’s Markaz is having his sights lowered slightly here. He didn’t run poorly by any means in those races but never looked like winning and the suspicion is there may be one or two too good again here. In the same Hamdan Al Maktoum ownership Mutamakkin looks the most difficult horse to assess in the race but would look to be the second string on jockey bookings. That said, on what will be only his third career start and boasting a smart U.S pedigree he could well be involved.
The one to be on though is Marco Botti’s Bravo Zolo. This bay by Rip Van Winkle was deemed worthy of an entry in the Racing Post Trophy during his two year old season. Whilst he ultimately didn’t take up that engagement, his shrewd trainer has obviously held him in some regard from an early stage. It is possible this horse has just taken a little longer to develop than his handler envisaged. He certainly looked an improved performer when recording his third career victory first time out this season at Wolverhampton. That looked a hot race for the grade with multiple winners in behind him. He did it easily that day and looks well worth a step up to Listed level at this stage. The obvious question mark would surround his ability to translate his all-weather form to the turf but I have no concerns on that front. The progeny of his sire go well on good to firm and his dam Set Fire recorded her two career victories under such conditions.
BY PAUL HARISSON