Race 1 (B.31)
Preference is for VARADISO in this opening contest. Runner up in his debut, he went one better in his latest, winning from start-to-finish. He remains in excellent condition and is taken to confirm. Ocean Drive South was last seen completing the quartet in race meeting 12. Freshened up, he should go close. Red China failed to confirm in his recent run, although it must be said that he had a difficult run throughout. A better showing is expected from this Simon Jones-trained gelding, although he has been widely drawn. Purple Rock was under-par in his last few showings. He is in better form now and even if he has been handed a wide draw, he can still make the frame. Last time winner Megamuhti and New Golden Age, who has benefited from his debut, are good place contenders.
Top Tip: VARADISO
Dangers: Ocean Drive South, Red China, Purple Rock
Race 2 (B.36)
PLAIN OF WISDOM has blown hot and cold so far this season. He completed the quartet in his recent race, making up some ground in the final few metres. In good shape and jumping from a good draw, he can open his account for the season. The Deacon is back in this Benchmark in which he has winning form. He was not disgraced last time out and a big showing is forthcoming here. Marron makes his debut for Patrick Merven’s yard. He is a son of the legendary Horse Chestnut and is a speedy sort. He has been drawn perfectly and can strike at the first time of asking. Impressed has come out very well from a long spell. He looked in good order at track work and he should be thereabouts. In The Trenches’ sole win has come in this Benchmark, and he is rated as a good place bet here.
Top Tip: PLAIN OF WISDOM
Dangers: Marron, The Deacon, Impressed
Race 3 (B.46)
VAR’S DREAM scored a mighty win in the 15th meeting. Despite his bad draw, he followed in a striking position, before winning at the finish. This genuine performer remains in good nick and his connections are confident of him confirming, even if he has been widely drawn yet again. Answeringenesis has not confirmed since he struck in the Duchess Of York Cup meeting. He has been freshened up and although he has not been handed a kind draw, he can easily renew with success here. Nottinghamshire managed to make it third time lucky in his latest and he can confirm with Jeanot Bardottier on board once again. Glen Coco will try his luck in a higher class and he merits plenty of respect. Sunset Breeze did what he could in his recent run. It would be a mistake to write him off here, as he remains a genuine sort. Mystical Twilight fared well in a higher Benchmark last time out. In this field, he should be bang in the shake up. Wavebreaker is finally ready for his debut. A half brother to Disa Leader, he has arrived with a good-looking reputation. He can finish in the lower placings here.
Top Tip: VAR’S DREAM
Dangers: Answeringenesis, Nottinghamshire, Mystical Twilight
Race 4 (B.51)
ORANGE TRACTOR was the best of the rest behind his stable mate Hard Day’s Night in a Group 1. Well-trained, he is taken to go one better. Do Be Snappy won brilliantly in his latest and his chances of confirming look strong. The same is said for Silver Snaffles, who will be hard to stop if he is able to dictate proceedings. Jama has benefited from his debut run. Down a Benchmark and running over longer, he merits consideration. Jambamman and Sir Earl Grey are both capable of performing better than last time. Both can finish in the lower placings.
Top Tip: ORANGE TRACTOR
Dangers: Do Be Snappy, Silver Snaffles, Jama
Race 5 (B.56)
NATION BUILDER is the one to side with in this 1400 metre contest. He made it an instant visit to the winner’s enclosure in his debut on Derby day. Still in good nick, the vote is given to him to confirm. The horse he beat was Lucky Valentine, who nevertheless produced a much better showing, compared to his second-to-last attempt. He can easily gain revenge here. Psycho Syd was sent off as favourite in his latest, but all he could manage was 3rd place. This Ricky Maingard-trained gelding is not prevented from doing even better here. Entrée was not very far behind the aforementioned NATION BUILDER in his previous start. He is worth a thought in this. Chosen Dash landed an impressive 3rd place in the Lightning Cup. A reproduction of that run can see him open his account for the season. The Tripster will appreciate running in this category, while Navistar and New Hampshire are two decent outsiders.
Top Tip: NATION BUILDER
Dangers: Lucky Valentine, Psycho Syd, Entrée
Race 6 – The Coolest Chili Hinterland Cup (Group 3)
The Barbe Cup was all about TANDRAGEE as he produced a majestic showing to win his second classic on Mauritian turf. This courageous veteran remains in top order and has a genuine chance of winning this Group 3 race for the third time. Ernie scored a brilliant win in the Lightning Cup, earning his yard a first Group race win in the process. He is rated as the best sprinter on the island and Cedric Segeon thinks of him very highly. Mootahadee has performed genuinely throughout his Mauritian career. He might not have confirmed in his latest, but he is capable of bouncing back in this. Beat The Retreat has come out well from his debut showing. Well-trained, he will appreciate running over longer and a big run is forthcoming from him. Executive Power was unfortunate not to win in both of his last races. It won’t be a surprise if he renews with success here. Stable companion and defending race winner Charles Lytton will appreciate running over shorter, and will be a threat in the closing stages, while Victory Team and Step To Fame are rated as two interesting outsiders.
Top Tip: TANDRAGEE
Dangers: Ernie, Beat The Retreat, Mootahadee
Race 7 (B.31)
With a win and four runner-up finishes to his credit, KIMBERLEY has performed very consistently in his debut season. Beaten by Rob’s Jewel in his latest, he is tipped to go one better here. Charles My Boy showed plenty of improvement in his last outing, landing 3rd place. A reproduction of that run can see him do even better, and it is worth noting that his two wins in South Africa have occurred over the 1600 metres. Redwood Valley was inconvenienced in the final straight just two meetings ago. He is back in this Benchmark in which he struck in race meeting 14, and he has a genuine chance here. Prince Ariano caught the eye with his finish last time out. He will appreciate running over longer and in this lower category. Yashin Emamdee rides him and he warrants respect. Emblem Royale managed to break the ice in his latest. He has been drawn in the ace and is not prevented from trying a pillar to post.
Top Tip: KIMBERLEY
Dangers: Redwood Valley, Charles My Boy, Prince Ariano
Race 8 (0-25)
MONARCHS EMBLEM lost no admirers when beaten by Varadiso in his latest. This Shirish Narang-trained gelding remains in top order and as he is down a class, he gets preference here. Brave Leader scored a pillar to post on Barbe Cup day, finally opening his Mauritian account in the process. His chances of confirming look rock solid. A case can be made for Captain’s Orders, who has been knocking on the door in his recent outings. He merits serious consideration in this contest. Social Network is reunited with Jeanot Bardottier and he is worth a thought, while similar sentiments apply to Billy Bojangles and Newsman, who completed the podium in his latest.
Top Tip: MONARCHS EMBLEM
Dangers: Brave Leader, Captain’s Orders, Social Network