This is quite an interesting little race which features two rapidly improving Godolphin horses right at the top of the market. If the bookmakers got the order right, I’m not so sure, though. Four Seasons with Ryan Moore on board makes plenty of appeal for obvious reasons, as he is on a hat-trick here today. That says visually his most recent win wasn’t all that impressive in a race which he was clearly entitled to win on ratings and weights. That doesn’t mean that he can’t improve again and he is obviously nicely bred and cost a good deal as a yearling, nonetheless I think he is a very short price, given that you can pick big holes into his recent forms and that he has to overcome a three month long break.
I’d prefer stable mate – though trained by bin Suroor – Greatest Journey. He cost even a bit more as a yearling and he looks a really nice, big, scopy gelding who improved dramatically on the All-Weather this winter – he is here to complete a five-timer today! He went up big time in the ratings for obvious reasons and now on a mark of 97, he’ll need to improve again. I’m not so worried about that, and think he could be absolutely up to it. However the drop in trip is a big question mark. He looks more like a horse crying out for further, as his pedigree is pointing that out too. He won over 9.5f already, and while he may have enough class to be competitive even over 7f, I believe off a mark as high as he is on right now, it is very seldom that you can afford to race over a trip clearly too sharp of the optimum.
Carry On Deryck could run well fresh and should find this easier than what he competed in last year, however he has to overcome a very big weight and may struggle. Anonymous John is consistent and competitive. He can win a race but maybe the step up to 7f is not the right thing to do. Polarisation has loads to find and doesn’t make any appeal.
Much more interesting is Charlie Hills’ very lightly raced colt Pharmaceutical. Only two starts to date, he could be open to any kind of improvement. He was not a cheap yearling by any means either, with a price tag of €100k and in fact is a pretty nicely bred Invincible Spirit son, out of a Listed race winning mare. He did a fair job in a rather poor maiden on a winning debut run, but couldn’t quite back it up subsequently. That was an odd race though and he kept on nicely. Despite finishing second last he was less than two lengths beaten, without getting beaten up at all. Obviously he needs to show more today, up in grade against better opposition.
That says he should improve naturally, have learned a fair bit from his first two starts and if he could live up to his pedigree, must rate a competitive runner in this field. Pharmaceutical receives an awful lot of weight from most of his rivals here, most notably from the favourite Godolphin horses. In addition to that he has Cam Hardie on board who is more than worth his 3lb claim. So effectively he can race off 76 today! I believe there is a very good chance that this colt is a fair bit better than that. If that is the case indeed, he will go very close.
4.30 Lingfield: Class 3 Handicap, 7 furlongs
Pharmaceutical @ 6/1 PP – 5pts win