1st Race (0-20 – 1450m)
#2 OPAGUE gets the vote in the season’s opening contest. He has benefited hugely from the off-season and has looked very sharp at track work. #7 Valerin nearly made it in his last start. He is usually thereabouts and is a big runner in this. #1 Internet Kid could not secure clear running in his previous run. Before that, he had made it onto the podium. In good shape and form, he can go close. #3 Yankee Force was a disappointment in his debut season, although he did open his account in the final weekend. He is not prevented from confirming here. For the lower placings, #5 Minaloushe Venture and #8 Double Gratitude are worthy of consideration.
Our Favourite: #2 OPAGUE
Danger: #7 Valerin
Dark Horse: #3 Yankee Force

 

2nd Race (0-26 – 1400m)
#3 SAND PATH was narrowly beaten by Till Dawn last time out, and it is fair to say that it could have been a completely different result, had the saddle of his jockey not moved forward. Down in class and in good order, he can go one better. #9 Crushing Force made the headlines on his debut, making a direct visit to the winner’s enclosure. He has since changed yards, but remains well and is capable of making it two from two. #2 Giratorio is a newcomer for Vincent Allet’s yard. He has shown plenty of promise in training and is not prevented from making an instant impact. Similar sentiments applies to #6 Winter Guard, who is trained by Amar Sewdyal, while #10 Seventh Express and #5 Volatile Energy are rated as two decent outsiders.
Our Favourite: #3 SAND PATH
Danger: #9 Crushing Force
Dark Horse: #6 Winter Guard

 

3rd Race (B.36 – 1400m)
Apart from his debut showing, #5 DOUBLE GAMES performed genuinely in 2020, winning three races and making it onto the podium three times. Well-trained, he can run a cracker. #2 Memphis Mafia was in unstoppable form in the second half of last year. He remains in good nick and is rated as a big chance from the pole position draw. #3 Do Or Dare has quickly shown his potential during his brief career here. He is now under the tutelage of Jean-Michel Henry and is worthy of serious consideration in this. #1 Apollo Star comes into this race on the back of two consecutive second place finishes. He should be thereabouts once again. #7 Borya comes into this race on the back of some eye-catching workouts, and he can produce a competitive showing here.
Our Favourite: #5 DOUBLE GAMES
Danger: #2 Memphis Mafia
Dark Horse: #7 Borya

 

4th Race (B.41 – 1365m)
#1 KING OF TARA performed genuinely throughout his debut season. In top order, he sets the standard in this. #5 Candy Apple may not have confirmed his debut win, but he was a consistent place getter. This Gilbert Rousset-trained horse can give the selection a real run for his money. #6 Gunston has worked splendidly and is close to the form that saw him win two races in 2019. He can be bang in the shake-up. #2 Sea Dance has benefited from the long break, and as he is a class dropper, he should run on improvement. #4 Carlas Mambo’s last run must be ignored, as he was injured during the running. Before that, he had won twice and it would be wrong to write him off.
Our Favourite: #1 KING OF TARA]
Danger: #5 Candy Apple
Dark Horse: #2 Sea Dance

 

5th Race (B.51 – 1400m)
#7 SHADOWING was a source of major satisfaction for his connections last year. He has come out strongly from the off-season and if he can dictate proceedings here, he will be a very tough nut to crack. #2 Seattle Kid is rated as his biggest threat. He performed genuinely last year, winning four times, and his form at track work has been more than satisfactory. #9 Liverpool Champ makes his debut for the Gilbert Rousset yard. A promising newcomer, he has shown tons of potential in his workouts, and is capable of making an instant impact. Fellow debutant #4 Prince Of Venice has also shown promise and it would be wrong to put a line through his chances, while #3 Silken Prince and #8 Afdeek can fight it out to complete the quartet.
Our Favourite: #7 SHADOWING
Danger: #2 Seattle Kid
Dark Horse: #4 Prince Of Venice

 

6th Race (B.31 – 1450m)
Runner-up on his debut, #4 THOMAS HENRY had no issues in going one better in his follow up on Duke Of York Cup day. There is a lot more to come from this promising sort, and can give Stephen Donohoe an instant lift off in his debut meeting. #1 Crazy Charlie may not have confirmed his debut win, but he did pop up on the final podium spot. He has continued to progress since the off-season and can give the favourite an almighty fright. #2 Carlton Heights is a horse that blows hot and cold. On a good day though, he has proven tough to beat, and if he can dictate proceedings, he can make it to the winner’s enclosure. #5 Well Connected behaved himself in his Barrier Trial and if he can repeat this in the real thing, he won’t be very far away.
Our Favourite: #THOMAS HENRY
Danger: #1 Crazy Charlie
Dark Horse: #5 Well Connected

 

7th Race – The Noble Salute Cup (Group 3 – 990m)
#1 Rule The Night has done nothing wrong whilst competing in Mauritius. In fact, he has been a star performer. In good shape and form, he is primed for a big run. However, the vote in this contest is given to #3 ROB ROY, who has proven to be a specialist over the 990 metres. He only has to shoulder 53.5 kg and based on his form at track work, he can produce a cracker of a showing with Dinesh Sooful in the irons. #5 Kamadeva saw victory taken away from him in his last start. He has the ability to make amends here. #2 Virtue always tries his best and merits plenty of respect in this.
Our Favourite: #3 ROB ROY
Danger: #1 Rule The Night
Dark Horse: #2 Virtue

 

8th Race (0-25 – 990m)
#2 HARDWIRED gets the thumbs up in this final contest. He went agonizingly close in his last start and he has the ability to go one better this time round. #3 Straight, now trained by Jean-Michel Henry, usually performs consistently, and is rated as the biggest threat to the selection. #1 Coup For Lute is a newcomer for Preetam Daby’s yard. He has shown promise in training and is not prevented from introducing himself with a bang. #4 Duke Of York and #5 Gordonstoun are good contenders for the lower placings.
Our Favourite: #2 HARDWIRED
Danger: #3 Straight
Dark Horse: #1 Coup For Lute

 

9th Race (B.31 – 1450m)
#7 G I JOE makes his debut for the Patrick Meven yard. He has arrived with a promising reputation and having worked to satisfaction, he can make an instant impact. #1 Why Wouldn’t Yew started last season with two successive wins. He has not come close since, but he is down in class and in good shape. He can produce a big run here. #2 Copenhagen is another class dropper and can make his presence felt, while #4 Perfect Pursuit and #3 Nimitz are good contenders for the lower placings.
Our Favourite: #7 G I JOE
Danger: #1 Why Wouldn’t Yew
Dark Horse: #2 Copenhagen