With seven of the last nine winners of this race getting up at a double figure price, it is best to stick the trends in this unpredictable handicap.
And, William Haggas, who won this race in 1996 with Yeast, has two runners in particular who seem to fit the bill in Danchai, 20/1, and Westwiththenight, 25/1.
Perhaps most evidently, both are the right age, with four-year-olds winning five of the last six. Prince of Johanne’s victory last year was the first time a six-year-old got up since 2004, while the last five-year-old to win was Cesare in 2006.
However, weight seems to be just as crucial in this race. With only four of the last 20 winners carrying more than 9st, it has often been the case that victory in this race is reliant on the handicapper’s leniency. While there will certainly be drop-outs come the 19th June, both are currently weighted well below the 9st mark and Danchai is sure to make plenty of appeal should his mark remain around 8-3.
Like any other race, it is important to look for the horses in decent form. 13 of the last 15 winners had finished first or second in the same season and Haggas’ charges have certainly been performing.
Danchai finished runner-up in a similar contest at Newmarket in early May, missing out by less than a length in a big field.
Westwiththenight managed to go one better on her seasonal bow, winning a less prestigious affair at Doncaster of a mile impressively, hacking up by five lengths. She then followed that up with a place in a handicap at Ascot and that course form is likely to interest.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.