Timeform US Preview: Silverwave should take some stopping
Timeform's Mark Milligan previews the pick of the action at Monmouth and Woodbine on Saturday...
"He showed he retained all his ability when winning a minor stakes contest at Churchill Downs earlier this month..."
Timeform on Long On Value
Formerly a Grade 2 contest, Woodbine's Highlander Stakes (21:51 BST) has been upgraded to Grade 1 status for the first time this year, although it's doubtful whether the field assembled for this renewal is truly up to that standard. Brad Cox's Long On Value is the only horse to possess any worthwhile form at the top level courtesy of placed finishes in last year's Al Quoz Sprint over this trip at Meydan and the Woodbine Mile at this track on his final start for Bill Mott before being sold to current connections. He showed he retained all his ability when winning a minor stakes contest at Churchill Downs earlier this month (5f) and should relish stepping back up a furlong.
While Long On Value looks very much the one to beat, a close eye should be kept on the unbeaten Imprimis, who was a convincing winner at listed level last time. That form gives him a bit to find with Brad Cox's charge, but this is a horse very much on the up and he is still open to more progression. There is European interest in the race via Archie Watson's Corinthia Knight, though his best form to date has come on all-weather tracks. Back on turf, he disappointed in a Group 3 in France last time and needs to bounce back from that, but his young, forward-thinking trainer should be commended for targeting a race that looks weak for the level and it would be no surprise were he to finish in the money.
Meanwhile, over at Monmouth, Chad Brown seems to hold the key to the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes (23:01 BST) - as is as is so often the case in top-level US turf races - fielding four of the nine-strong field. Of the four, only Funtastic can be ruled out with any confidence, the other three all possessing strong claims on form.
Money Multiplier and Kurilov and are likely to garner most attention, but it may be worth chancing Silverwave, whose very best form when trained in France would make him tough to beat in here. Granted, his two US starts have been most disappointing, particularly last time when finding little in an optional claimer at Belmont, but Brown is a master at bringing horses back to their best and Silverwave should represent some value. Let's not forget, it was only a year ago that Silverwave was beating Talismanic in the Grand Prix de Chantilly, form that would put him a good way clear of the majority of this field.
Of the others, the consistent Oscar Nominated may be the one to trouble Brown's battalion most, his consistency a major strong point. He took a Grade 3 at Gulfstream on seasonal debut in January before going on to finish fourth and second in Grade 2 contests after that. He was beaten by another of this field, One Go All Go, last time, but the winner got an easy time of things in front while Oscar Nominated was forced wide to make his challenge. He is confidently expected to reverse that form but he may not be quite good enough to beat an on-song Silverwave if that one can be coaxed back to his best.