Friday 15 December 2017

Ryan Moore can repeat the dose on Century

Jockey Joseph O'Brien
Jockey Joseph O'Brien
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

AS was the case at Chester yesterday, Joseph O'Brien has opted for the race-fit Kingfisher over the returning Century for his father Aidan in the Dee Stakes today.

Ryan Moore again falls in for the plum mount on the cast-off and his desperate Vase triumph on the well-backed Orchestra was a timely reminder that the Ballydoyle maestro will have his horses just where he wants them to be on any given day.

O'Brien has won the last two editions of this 10-furlong Listed contest, with Moore driving the subsequent dual Group One hero Magician to an impressive victory 12 months ago.

It remains to be seen what sort of Classic aspirations any of today's eight-strong field have, but it doesn't appear to be an especially hot race. Indeed, Kingfisher has looked well shy of the elite echelon so far, with just a Killarney maiden rout to his name.

He never threatened behind Fascinating Rock and yesterday's flop Carlo Bugatti on his Navan reappearance over this distance, when the one-paced manner in which he was defeated suggested a step-up in trip would suit.

If this turns into a slog and he handles the soft ground, then maybe Kingfisher will have a big say, but it is worth taking a punt on Century.

Drawn just inside Kingfisher in stall two, the son of Montjeu failed to raise a gallop when thrown into Group One company at Doncaster in the autumn, just 13 days after scoring on his Curragh bow.

Previously at headquarters, Century was a straightforward winner of a fair maiden, with the recent two-time winner Prince Of All well held in third. With the exception of Mark Johnston's Bow Creek and Somewhat, that is as good a piece of form as is on offer here.

Both of those two have some smart recommendations, but they are far more exposed sorts that have amassed an aggregate 17 runs.

In contrast, Century has the scope to leave his Doncaster turn behind and improve beyond everything, so odds of 10/3 are too big to ignore.

Later on, Tommy Stack's progressive hat-trick-seeker Fine Cut could be up against it in the five-furlong handicap, with Tim Easterby's See The Sun instead fancied to overcome a wide berth.

Pat Shanahan's Dancing Cosmos has a lot on from stall 14 of 14 in the seven-furlong edition, while O'Brien has scratched Ernest Hemingway from the Ormond Stakes.

Brown Panther and Mount Athos represent Michael Owen's locally-based stable and Chester diehard Marwan Koukash, respectively, and are proven in this sort of slog.

However, Hillstar appeals for Moore and Michael Stoute, having powered clear of Battle Of Marengo over 12 furlongs at Royal Ascot last year, before then finishing an excellent third in the King George.

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