A second and a third for Alan yesterday, but his main hopes on Sunday rest with Hurricane Lane in the Arc and Milkwood over fences in his enhanced 11/1 double...
"As is often the case at Galway in those big fields, the gap was shut on him in the latter part and he had to regain his momentum."
Hurricane to continue his rise in France
Leg 1: Back Hurricane Lane @ 7/2 in the 15:05 at Longchamp
James Doyle nearly pulled off the Arc ride of the century in 2018 when Sea Of Class almost navigated the entire field, and it would be fitting to gain compensation for the Godolphin rider, who has brighter prospects in stall two with Hurricane Lane.
Priced at 7/2, he shouldn't be fazed by the predicted testing conditions we could face in Paris as he already has a "very soft" victory under his belt. Indeed, in a campaign worthy of a top 3yo, his win by six lengths at Longchamp in the Grand Prix de Paris was perhaps one of his best. He appeared happy in the testing ground, took a good early position and ran away from the field. The came just 18 days after his Irish Derby win at the Curragh.
He has been described as a horse who seems to be getting quicker - certainly showing a lot more pace in France than he did in Ireland, and could still be improving. Of course his only blip came at Epsom in the Derby behind his stablemate Adayar, but he didn't handle the track, especially with quick ground.
And as a guaranteed stayer, even though the Paris venue is a sharper course than it looks, he can claim another big win for his trainer Charlie Appleby.
Exciting chasing recruit the one to beat
Leg 2: Back Milkwood @ 11/8 in the 16:00 at Uttoxeter
The well-named Milkwood (son of Dylan Thomas) looks an exciting recruit to the chasing ranks and I am hoping he can justify his position as market leader to win on his chase debut this afternoon.
He won the Scottish Champion Hurdle for his trainer Neil Mullholland in fine style, displaying his customary smooth way of travelling to lift that race by over 3L. That form was bettered however with his second in the Galway Hurdle last time out. He ran a cracker from 20/1 and was matched in-running at 4.3100/30, as he once again smoothly moved through that race. As is often the case at Galway in those big fields, the gap was shut on him in the latter part and he had to regain his momentum.
A small field shouldn't inconvenience and the run in Ireland behind Saldier looks a standout.