He may have found the 2000 Guineas a furlong too far but Ertijaal looks just right when assessing the potential field for the upcoming Bunbury Cup at Newmarket.
The 12/1 chance was in red-hot form prior to his failed attempt on the Rowley Mile, landing both the Spring Cup and an All-Weather Championships event over 7f at Lingfield.
And the step back down to his preferred trip makes William Haggas’ classy three-year-old a standout pick to return to winning ways and secure a maiden handicap victory.
Winning the Guineas was always going to be a tough ask and so it proved as a messy renewal unfolded and the Hamdam Al Maktoum-owned colt struggled to make headway in the closing stages.
Sharper test the right option for Ertijaal
However, the son of Oasis Dream’s breeding and past performances both suggest that the Bunbury Cup’s shorter distance will suit.
A close second to champion juvenile Toormore on debut at Leicester, Ertijaal subsequently secured his first score on his next start at Yarmouth before going on to record his quick-fire double at Lingfield.
And while his sire and dam Shabiba both achieved moderate success over 8f, it was their performances over sharper tests that caught the eye.
Oasis Dream’s July Cup and Middle Park Stakes successes at Newmarket, coupled with a Nunthorpe Stakes victory at York, have left an impressive legacy.
Eritjaal has already displayed a similar turn of foot and if he can replicate his previous form then he’ll be tough to beat.
Elsewhere in the betting, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Abseil and Roger Varian’s Horsted Keynes are also attracting attention.
Meanwhile, Varian’s distance specialist is the current 8/1 favourite after a game second in the Buckingham Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot last time out.
Watch Ertijaal secure Spring Cup success at Lingfield!
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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