Battle Of Marengo set to outclass King George VII rivals
Only seven rivals line up against the Battle Of Marengo who was beaten less than 2 lengths by stable companion Ruler Of The World at Epsom. The colt had been considered to be the best of Aidan O’Brien’s Derby runners after winning the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown in May.
His one and three-quarter-length victory over Group 1 winner Loch Garman did not convince everybody but he was still sent off the shortest price of the five Ballydoyle runners at Epsom. He led briefly before Dawn Approach careered into the lead and then led again three furlongs from home.
However, he could not quite sustain his effort and lost two places in the dying strides as the pack closed him down. If there is hope for the opposition it is in the poor record of Derby runners competing in this event.
Sir Michael Stoute has won this race five times, notably with Shareef Dancer (1983) and Saddlers’ Hall (1991). He is represented by Hillstar who has a tall reputation at home but was beaten off a mark of just 92 in the London Gold Cup at Newbury.
Luca Cumani’s Greatwood was touted as a Derby possible after a promising seasonal debut at Newmarket but ran no sort of race in the Dante. He raced too freely and dropped out too rapidly for that to have been a true reflection of his ability.
Andrew Balding’s Havana Beat also ran well in the same Newmarket event as Greatwood but was left trailing by Ruler Of The World at Chester. Contributor was slammed four lengths by Magician at the Roodeye but could not land odds of 1-2 in a 2-horse race at Goodwood next time out.
Roger Varian’s Mutashaded is the dark horse of the race having won both of his starts comfortably. The form of his win in the Whitsun Handicap has been let down by the second and third but he could do no more than win decisively and has place claims.
Tha’ir won the Chesham Stakes here last season and lost out by only a head to Fantastic Moon in the Solario Stakes. He was narrowly beaten at Newmarket first time out and will appreciate this step up in trip. Fantastic Moon has not shown any form in his last three starts but will have the assistance of Kieren Fallon in the saddle.