Queen Anne Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1) (Str) (Class 1) (4YO plus)
Advice: 1 pt Verrzano Insure-bet 2 places (5/2 Paddy Power)
Anodin: Sister to 2012 winner Goldikova but not in the same league, seventh, third and seventh in three Group 1 tries; Disappointing on return but best effort in career when landing second behind Cirrus Des Aigles in Prix D’Isphan; Feeling that not a great race for the level and will be needing much more here.
Ansgar: Improved over this trip when landing valuable handicap at the Curragh and second on Group 3 events there and at Leopardstown, and return at Naas a creditable one but overmatched here.
Glory Awaits: Ran a screamer to be second in last year’s 2,000 Guineas but not matched that since, despite being fifth here in St James’s Palace the next time; This looks to be too much of a test for him and hard to find a case for him being involved.
Mull Of Killough: Quality charge at his best, as he proved when finishing fourth in the Emirates Stakes at Flemington and landed another Earl of Sefton Stakes but couldn’t land a blow in Singapore Cup latest and long way behind the best on anything but that form.
Producer: First win over a mile when making an impressive amount of ground in very short space of time to land Topaki Trophy at Turkey; Expected to do so that time (went off 9/10) and rest of his form doesn’t match upto that so doesn’t make obvious appeal.
Side Glance: Third in 2012 renewal of this and has made the step up to globetrotting in his stride, landing the Mackinnon Stakes in November; Making good ground in last three tries at 10 furlongs but worry that’s his best trip nowadays.
Soft Falling Rain: Class act in South Africa and taken that form onto the international stage, impressive in landing the Goldophin Mile last time and then even more so when landing the Joel Stakes; Ground against him when he was in QEII here and not had things drop his way the last twice; Can go well.
Toronado: Disappointing when well beaten fourth in the Guineas last year but then short headed in the St James’s Palace and won the Sussex Stakes in terrific duel with Dawn Approach; Dreadful in the Juddmonte when his palate apparently troubled him again; This his first run for 300 days but if right, is likely to take the beating on all previous form.
Tullius: Injury curtailed his 2013 but better than ever since reappearing, taking the Sandown Mile in April and then finishing second in the Lockinge; No reason why he can’t go very well once again although third expected to come on greatly for the run and possibly not placed to best effect.
Verrazano: Landed 6 of 10 races last year, including Haskell Invitational by 9 lengths and the Wood Memorial; First run on turf since being moved to Ballydoyle and debut in the Lockinge, and he made a promising debut, running on late having not been seen to best effect during the race, and if coming on as much as yard’s debutants have been for a run, then every chance here.
VERDICT: The ground looks set to be good and no quicker for the start of the week but conditions should quicken. The clear form horse is Toronado, who was so brave in two epic battles with Dawn Approach last year including in the St James’s Palace, but he has not been seen for 300 days since a breathing problem once again stopped him in the Juddmonte International and at evens he doesn’t appeal as a banker. VERRAZANO ran a very promising race on his debut in the Lockinge and is capable, if coming forward from that, of taking it to the favourite. He’s 5/2 with Paddy Power on their insurebet market – where a second is moneyback – and that appeals. Soft Falling Rain, with his ground having come, can also take a hand, and Tullius could be overpriced.