Robbie Wilders from the Racing Post is bidding to keep up his good run in this column with two selections on the Royal Ascot trials day card at Ascot on Wednesday.
The Sagaro Stakes (3.15) at Ascot is a cracker with plenty of old faces locking horns and is sure to deliver pointers toward the Gold Cup in June.
Trueshan, one of the leading stayers over the last few years, has missed the Gold Cup the last two seasons due to fast ground, but loves Ascot and gets the slow surface he loves here.
He is a worthy favourite and gets the vote to extend his unbeaten record at the Berkshire track to four.
Trueshan may have let down favourite backers in the Further Flight Stakes at Nottingham on his comeback, but reopposing winner Rajinksy was given an excellent ride by Harry Davies that day and was receiving 7lb.
The Further Flight defeat probably wasn't as bad as first feared as my selection recorded an identical effort on Racing Post Ratings to his 2022 success (118), and the run is worth forgiving in a race that became tactical.
He is 2lb better off with Rajinsky and can atone for that defeat at what is arguably his happiest hunting ground.
It is assumed that Hollie Doyle won't let lightning strike twice.
His race sharpness gives him the edge over Coltrane, who is closely matched with Trueshan on last autumn’s form and might improve past him this season.
However, I’d be surprised if that happened first time out and particularly on slow ground.
The only time Coltrane encountered properly soft going he finished well beaten in the Cesarewitch.
There may be nothing in that, but Trueshan loves the mud and can get one over his old foe.
Despite the fact William Haggas has saddled a few short-priced losers recently, identifying a major threat to My Prospero in the Paradise Stakes (4.25) is difficult and favourite backers are likely to collect.
My Prospero will likely be predominantly campaigned as a mile-and-a-quarter horse this season, but the straight course at Ascot when the ground is soft demands a strong stayer at the distance and My Prospero is just that.
Two of this four-year-old’s finest hours came at this venue, as he followed a neck third in a bunched finish to the St James’s Palace with an even better half-length third behind top-class pair Bay Bridge and Adayar in the Champion Stakes.
That form is exceptional in the context of this Listed prize and he gets to run off level weights with horses he is patently better than, with Lusail, who is officially second-best in the line-up, having 7lb to find.
This could tee up My Prospero nicely for a tilt at the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh at the end of May and I’m not overly concerned at the prospect of backing him first time out.
He made a winning seasonal return in 2022 and handled a 90-day break perfectly well when third in the Champion, his career-best performance.
Exposed trio Chindit, Tempus and Raadobarg fall short of this company when a top-class performer comes to town, while free-going lightly-raced sort Cash needs to step up significantly to get involved.