herald

Sunday 4 December 2016

Pay Due Diligence to O'Brien star as his runners are finding their stride

Slade Power and Due Diligence get close in the dying strides
Slade Power and Due Diligence get close in the dying strides

Due Diligence hit the bar in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes last year but should make no such mistake this time around on the closing day of Royal Ascot.

Admittedly Aidan O'Brien's charge does not come into the race this time with quite as progressive a profile as last term, but he still appears to be a horse on the up. The four-year-old started life with Todd Pletcher in America, racing twice in the States before switching to the care of O'Brien last term.

After an initial third, he won his next two starts and was reasonably well fancied coming to Ascot, where he put in a cracking performance to be beaten a length and a half by Slade Power.

However, he was subsequently sidelined by injury and did not reappear until lining up in the seven-furlong Gladness Stakes at the Curragh in April.

Due Diligence finished seventh that day but it would be very surprising if he did not come on from that run, particularly dropped back to a seemingly more suitable sprint trip.

O'Brien's runners appear to have found their stride of late and Due Diligence can keep up the good work.

O'Brien can also strike with his yard's namesake, Ballydoyle, in the opening Chesham Stakes.

Postponed should have both his optimum trip and conditions in the Hardwicke Stakes. Luca Cumani's charge demonstrated his immense promise when graduating to a Group Two win in the Great Voltigeur last year and he looked in similar sort of heart when chasing home the reopposing Western Hymn on his reappearance at Sandown in April.

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