Preview: Sandown – Brigadier Gerard Stakes

Twilight Son

Godolphin’s exciting Tryster is back on turf after an extremely prolific winter on the All-Weather where he landed the Winter Derby as well as the AW Middle-Distance Championships. Can he be as effective on the grass? We’ll find out soon. He’s to beat some very tough opposition, that’s assured.

Most notably Sir Michael Stoute’s Arab Spring. Progressive last year and successful on his return to the track last month, he took a Group 3 over 12f and is one who’s expected to have a big season ahead. Not sure if the drop in trip to 10f will suit, though. He seemed to need every inch of the 1m 4f trip in the John Porter Stakes.

John Gosden’s Eagle Top was a runway winner of the King Edward VII Stakes last year but subsequently wasn’t in the same mood in the King George. Lightly raced and talented, he remains with loads of potential, but again, the drop in trip seems not to suit. He has never races shorter than 11f in his career.

Western Hymn won the Gordon Richards Stakes over course and distance last month. He beat some really good horses and this form works out well. He may have had race fitness on his side that day but proved that he can cope with a faster than soft surface. He showed guts and class, and seems to have physically improved over the winter.

Tullius was a long way beaten in the very same race and the trip is a big question mark. Niceofyoutotellme shouldn’t be good enough in this class.

Verdict: It may turn out at the end of the season that others have progressed past Western Hymn, but he seems to have found an ideal opportunity to get another Stakes win on the boards here. With race fitness assured, he seems overpriced to my eyes, particularly given that he is a true mile and a quarter horse, which can’t be said about all his rivals.

Western Hymn @ 5/1 Coral – 5pts Win

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