herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

Great opportunity for Ryan's Grey Gatsby

THE GREY GATSBY should be reaching concert pitch following two readying runs for Royal Ascot and is fancied to come out on top in a fascinating renewal of the Prince of Wales's Stakes.

The Kevin Ryan-trained grey enjoyed a fantastic three-year-old campaign last season, winning the Dante at York and the French Derby before claiming the notable scalp of dual Classic hero Australia in the Irish Champion Stakes.

He made his seasonal reappearance in the Dubai Turf at Meydan in late March and while he failed to justify favouritism, nine furlongs was always likely to be on the sharp side and there was certainly no disgrace in his performance in filling the runner-up spot behind French star Solow.

On paper, his eclipse in last month's Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh was a more disappointing effort, but there were mitigating circumstances.

On the evidence of his career so far, The Grey Gatsby is a horse who excels when the gallop is strong, which was not the case in a muddling six-runner affair in Ireland but almost certainly will be in Berkshire.

Ryan also insisted he had left plenty to work on ahead of his stable star's Royal assignment, so at least some improvement should be anticipated.

Free Eagle is the likely favourite, but even Dermot Weld's considerable training talents might not be enough to help him beat race-fit rivals on his first start since October.

Australian runner Criterion, Japanese challenger Spielberg and American hero California Chrome all add international flair, but The Grey Gatsby can down them all.

EURO CHARLINE could be the answer to the Duke of Cambridge Stakes. Marco Botti's filly ran a stormer to finish third in the Coronation Stakes 12 months ago and progressed to clinch top-level honours in the Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park on her final appearance at three.

She was set a huge task on her return in the Dubai Turf, but ran a race full of promise to finish fourth behind the aforementioned Solow and The Grey Gatsby, hinting she could be better than ever this season.

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