Genius beast can reign supreme
Tomorrow's Classic Trial at Sandown promises to be an intriguing contest, though whether it will live up to its billing as a genuine pointer for the Epsom Derby is another thing altogether.
Ballydoyle continues its growing association with Ryan Moore in the 10-furlong Group Three by sending over Jackaroo.
A good winner at Gowran Park on his debut last May, the Galileo colt did little in three outings thereafter to suggest that he might be a Derby contender.
While you'd have to respect Aidan O'Brien's decision to run Jackaroo, it's difficult to make a case for him winning.
That doesn't make the race any easier to decipher, with plenty to like about a number of the remaining nine runners.
Sheikh Mohammed's Dordogne, with Frankie Dettori up, ought to be thereabouts on the back of a narrow reappearance win at Newmarket, while the Henry Cecil-trained Specific Gravity, fourth that day, is another to consider. Ultimately well beaten at Newmarket, the son of Dansili was an impressive maiden winner in the autumn.
Masked Marvel, Measuring Time and Hurricane Higgins are others with claims, but preference is for Genius Beast. Representing Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin operation, Genius Beast improved with each start as a juvenile.
Third on his debut behind none other than Frankel, he was then beaten just a length when third to Picture Editor in another good maiden at Doncaster.
He progressed to win at Haydock in September over a mile in a race that has worked out well, and it's of note now that his handler Mahmood Al Zarooni's horses are in tip-top form.
Another that appeals at the Esher track is Henry Cecil's Arizona Jewel in the subsequent maiden. A half-sister to the decent pair Powerscourt and Kind, the Khalid Abdullah-owned filly ran just once last term.
Third in a Yarmouth event that has seen four winners, Arizona Jewel shaped with real promise. She should be good enough for this.