York 16:05 - Murad Khan
Murad Khan has won on a sound surface, but I'm convinced he's a better horse on easy ground, as was the case with his half-brother Ascription. Like Ascription, he doesn't seem to enjoy racing at Newmarket, running no sort of race there on his final start last year.
Many horses are better when they race close to home, but a few are the opposite, and Murad Khan seemed to resent it, so I don't plan to send him back there to race. Other than that blip, his form last year was strong and progressive, and he handled deep ground well when winning at Thirsk in September.
The plan last year was to go to for the Britannia at Royal Ascot, but he wasn't quite right at the time, so we gave him a break. Ideally, he will go for the Royal Hunt Cup this year, but the ground is key to him and there are other valuable handicaps on his agenda at York and Goodwood in the summer.
I'm looking forward to getting him back on track, and he has solid claims on form, accepting this is a very competitive race.