Longines Irish Champions Weekend takes centre stage on Racing TV this weekend, with six Group Ones to look forward to from Leopardstown and The Curragh. The Pertemps St Leger also looks a particularly interesting renewal, but the horse who would have been my selection goes to France instead for Sunday's Grand Prix de Paris.
Aidan O'Brien has been playing down his expectations for Serpentine's return in that race, but the bookmakers don't seem to have been listening as they have made the Investec Derby winner the hot favourite. It promises to be a very, very informative contest.
Listen to the On The Wire team preview Day 1 of Irish Champions Weekend
I backed this horse at a big price in the Wokingham and fortunately due to extra place offers from bookmakers got paid the place money though that cash didn’t last long as after I piled into him again in a five-furlong handicap at Ascot subsequently where he reared at the start and gave himself little chance.
I had marked him down as a possible Portland horse after that Wokingham run as this in-between distance might suit him well, as he just seemed to fade after making really good headway from the two-furlong pole.
He clearly doesn't find winning easy but shaped as if he was still in form when second last time at Sandown and I am convinced there is a decent race in him.
Joseph O’Brien has already won the race known as the fillies' St Leger this week and has a good chance of landing the final British Classic with this mightily progressive stayer. He has won his last three races in ever more impressive style and has clocked good time-figures in doing so despite very soft ground for two wins.
A stylish success from Galileo Chrome at Navan last time out
A close relative of his, Michelangelo, was third in this race a few seasons back and he will have no issues with the trip - more likely it will bring further improvement.
With just four career runs he certainly still has upside and his talented trainer has booked Tom Marquand with Shane Crosse forced out of the ride after a positive Covid test.
This is a really good renewal of the race which is most encouraging for its prestige and victory would represent another rapidly-achieved milestone for his excellent in form trainer if he can pull it off.
I hope he has got lucky with the draw here in stall 11 and can demonstrate that he might have been closer in both his last two starts had things gone more smoothly in the run.
He has been lower than his last winning mark for a while now and just needs the breaks and should be able to get the lead here.
Now 2lb lower than when running well over course and distance three runs ago, his stable are in pretty good form and he could be about to run up a sequence as he is usually hot once hitting form.
I feel this is a horse who is still improving and certainly looked as though he might appreciate a step back up to a mile last time when he beaten behind the only other progressive type in the race.
A strong pace looks guaranteed in this race which should hopefully suit and provided the first-time application of cheekpieces doesn't have a negative effect then I don’t feel he needs to improve much to win.
Select any odd to add a bet