Definite chance but tricky draw to work from
14:35 - Seniority
I was fortunate enough to be two-from-two on him last season, including a win in a valuable mile handicap at Goodwood, and he is only 3lb higher here. He hasn't run up to that level since, though he ran okay in the Strensall Stakes afterwards, and hopefully a break since a below-par run in Dubai for me in January has done him the power of good.
He goes well when fresh too, and trip and ground look ideal for him, though he also had the option of the 1m2f handicap on the card. You can make a good case for him, though of course it's a competitive race and a draw in one presents its challenges.
Big improvement from Chester expected
15:10 - Kew Gardens
I felt that the bad ground just caught him out fitness-wise when a distant second to Morando in the Ormonde, so he will have come on nicely for the race and he will enjoy this better surface. He also improved a lot for his first run of the season at two and three, as well.
We have always had this race down as his early-season target, so we took him to Chester to give him a bit of match practice on a sharp, left-hand track, but the ground clearly played its part there. We know he is a lot better than that, he won a Grand Prix de Paris on good ground over this trip, and he saw off Lah Ti Dar and Old Persian in the St Leger before a decent run in the Arc.
I was going to say that he probably sets the form standard here on those Group 1 wins, but I wouldn't be in a rush to under-estimate Old Persian's defeat of a pair of high-class Japanese horses in the Sheema Classic, as I think he took it up another level there. And we were closely matched with him on last year's Voltigeur run, anyway.
Lah Ti Dar is probably the best of the rest after a solid return over an extended 1m2f in the Middleton; we think a bit of the runner-up Rawdaa, so she did well to beat my race-fit filly there over a trip short of her best, first-time-up.
Last year's runner-up Salouen is probably the other I would mention after his winning Ascot return, but I imagine a couple of others may fancy their chances of nicking a place. I think they are up against it, though.
Strong chance for in-form yard
15:45 - Elector
We fancied him on his reappearance at Newmarket as we thought he was on a fair mark, and he did it nicely enough from Jazeel, who re-opposes here. I am not sure if that handicap was as hot as it has been in previous years but he has only gone up 2lb for it and the fifth came out and won the Zetland Gold Cup earlier in the week.
The extra 1f here will certainly suit him, and I'd say he has a pretty strong chance. The boss's horses continue in great nick, too.
Very good chance of Oaks success
16:30 - Pink Dogwood
I was very impressed by Mehdaayih in the Cheshire Oaks, as she quickened up like a serious filly to spread-eagle a fair field headed by Manuela De Vega in behind, and she is probably entitled to be favourite on that showing. The runner-up could get closer but I can't see that form being turned around on what we saw at Chester.
But I am happy to be on Pink Dogwood, who has a very good chance as well. She has all the attributes that you need to win an Oaks. She has pace, she will stay, and has the required class and ability, I think.
Okay, she doesn't bring the strongest level of form into the race - though she wasn't beaten far in a bunch finish to the Boussac last season - and she needs to build upon her Listed race win over 1m2f at Navan on her return.
But she did it nicely for me there, and there is substance to that form, too. The third, Tarnawa, came out and won the Blue Wind at Naas - and takes her chance here - and the fourth wasn't beaten far in the Musidora.
This daughter of Camelot will be well suited by the step up to 1m4f, and I can see her progressing and giving all these plenty to think about. A draw in 12 is wide enough, but we can't change that.
I do respect Mehdaayih greatly, and the same goes to Maqsad. I think her connections will be worried about the trip for her, as she showed a lot of speed at Newmarket, but she really was a very taking winner there over 1m2f and is a live threat to all if staying.
I know she coasted home very easily, but I don't think the Lingfield race that Anapurna won was that great - it was a surprise to me to see Frankie on her, though I read Mehdaayih's owner wanted to stay loyal to Rab, who rode her at Chester - though clearly you can't be making hard-and-fast decisions about a filly with her lightly-raced and unexposed profile.
I think the betting now looks to have this just about right but either of Aidan's Peach Tree or Fleeting could hit the board at a very big price, and maybe Naas third Delphinia, too.
They all have plenty to find - maybe Fleeting a touch less so on her May Hill win last season - but they have the pedigree and the trainer, and those two factors are often good enough to win Classics, and indeed have been in this race in recent years.