John Gosden won this race four years ago and has an excellent chance of recreating that success with two outstanding entrants.
Expresso Star provided Gosden with the prize money in 2009 and there are some striking similarities that can be drawn with that victor and one of his chances this year.
Lahaag is currently an 8/1 shot and, like Expresso Star was, is four-years-old and has plenty of scope. Going off 8-12, he also carries exactly the same as Gosden’s previous champ.
As a three-year-old, Gosden’s charge was impressive and failed to finish outside the top two. On his last start he was headed in a handicap at York, but ran well that day. That place came on soft ground and could prove to be a crucial bit of form, especially with rain expected.
With Paul Hanagan plying his trade at Meydan, Robert Havlin takes the ride for the champion trainer. However, had the fixture not clashed with the Dubai World Cup, Hanagan would have chosen to ride stable mate Eshtibaak, a 7/1 shot.
The five-year-old is still utterly unexposed and 8-10 is a very workable mark. Although ninth on his last run in the Keltbray Handicap at Ascot, he was less than five lengths behind the winner and looked to be unlucky. Held up on the rail, Hanagan stopped the colt three times when stuck behind other runners and looked to have plenty to give when the jockey accepted his fate.
However, with a very wide draw and concerns over whether the trip could be too sharp, you can be entitled to have reservations.
With a 16/1 and 25/1 shot getting up in the last two years, those looking for a bit more value may swerve Gosden’s runners with plenty of decent chances at a double figure price.
The prodigious Andrea Atzeni takes the ride on Gladys’ Gal, who is 10/1, again after securing a double on her back in 2011. Off the track since then, there could be concerns over fitness. She is, however, unexposed and if retaining the ability that saw her win a Class 3 at the track could go close.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing