St James’s Palace Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1) (Rnd) (Class 1) (3YO only)
Advice: 1 pt win Night of Thunder (5/2 general)
Kingman: Came into the 2,000 Guineas as the hot favourite having previously trashed Night of Thunder in the Greenham, but that form reversed and rather emphatically as he couldn’t answer to winner’s late charge; Since made amends with easy win in Irish equivalent and strongly fancied for this rematch; Some say ground was too quick for him at Newmarket but maybe racing too early compromised him.
Night of Thunder: Looked a really promising 2 year old in winning Goodwood maiden and Doncaster listed race by combined total of 9 lengths but looked second best to Kingman when beaten on return in the Greenhaam, nearly 5 lengths behind Kingman; Maybe being delivered late helped him there as many got racing early, but searing turn of foot had him well on top at the end; Form of that looks wonderful; Hard to think that they’re going to be anything but closely matched here.
Outstrip: Only last in the Guineas but he bled there; Hard to forget his 2yo form, although he was behind War Command in the Dewhurst and the ground has not come for him, with elements of ease in the surface is not likely to suit him; Better days likely for him,
Prince of All: Looked a useful horse when fourth on debut at the Curragh and since then, a comfortable winner of his maiden, and then Listed contest at Dundalk, drawing away in fine style on latest occasion; This needs a huge step forward however.
Toormoore: Flat in the 2,000 Guineas when just seventh but that may not have been his best, and the way he dismissed Dante and Jockey Club winner The Grey Gatsby before giving 3lbs in the Craven suggests that he’s much better than suggested and booking of Ryan Moore also a plus.
War Command: Was a leading juvenile last year, when he landed Coventry by 6 lengths, Futurity, and then the Dewhurst, although he made harder work of things than expected. Guineas effort disappointing, but that his first run of the year and if he improves then he may have a say but others may have more to give.
Yuften: Landed odds by 7 lengths on return at Newmarket in 1m maiden but that was what his 2yo form suggested and this a different matter altogether.
VERDICT: One of the most anticipated clashes of the week, with NIGHT OF THUNDER meeting Kingman again in a rematch of the 2,000 Guineas – with War Command, Toormoore and Outstrip there for good measure too. The general consensus seems to be that Kingman will reverse form but clearly very little separated the two and his chances of confirming form have to be biggest than the prices suggest.