Commonwealth Cup 2018: Timeform's runner-by-runner guide
Timeform bring you their comprehensive runner-by-runner guide to Friday's Commonwealth Cup, and pick out their 1-2-3...
"Leading form contender and sire (Scat Daddy) has excellent record on straight course at Ascot..."
Timeform on Sioux Nation
1. ABEL HANDY (Declan Carroll/Tom Eaves)
Won maiden at Nottingham, minor event at Thirsk and Cornwallis Stakes at Newmarket (by neck from Sound And Silence) in productive 2017 campaign. Below form after seven months off when well held behind Invincible Army in Pavilion Stakes over C&D last time, however, and likely to prove best at 5f.
2. CARDSHARP (Mark Johnston/Silvestre de Sousa)
Smart performer who won minor events at Brighton, Epsom (awarded Woodcote Stakes after first past post failed drugs test) and Beverley, and July Stakes at Newmarket in 2017. Proved better than ever when also beating his elders in listed race at Salisbury last time, but more needed here.
3. EMBLAZONED (John Gosden/Frankie Dettori)
Quickly developed into smart performer since making debut this season, winning minor events at Lingfield and Yarmouth before very good two and a quarter lengths third to Sands of Mali in Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock last time. Remains with potential.
4. ENJAZAAT (Owen Burrows/Dane O'Neill)
Attractive colt who won minor event at Yarmouth and listed race at Ripon (by two lengths from Tip Two Win) last season. Also ran well after seven months off when three and a quarter lengths third to Invincible Army in Pavilion Stakes over C&D last time and cannot be totally discounted with that run likely to bring him on plenty.
5. EQTIDAAR (Sir Michael Stoute/Jim Crowley)
Made winning debut at two and showed much-improved form when one and a half lengths second to Invincible Army in Pavilion Stakes over C&D on return. Not seen to best effect in listed race at Newbury last time, but nice type physically and seems sure to do better. Not to be underestimated.
6. EQUILATERAL (Charlie Hills/James McDonald)
Made good impression when making winning debut at Brighton last season, and reportedly came back lame when disappointing at York next start. Very impressive after eight months off at Doncaster last time, winning a minor event by eight lengths, travelling powerfully and forging clear in a fast time. Well found in the market as a result, but looks an exciting prospect.
7. FIGHTING IRISH (Harry Dunlop/Ioritz Mendizabal)
Won maiden at Salisbury, nursery at Yarmouth and Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte (by head from Nebo) in 2017. Ran respectably when third in German 2000 Guineas at Cologne last time and likely to be suited by drop back in trip here, but plenty to find judged on earlier form behind Invincible Army in Pavilion Stakes over C&D (beaten four and a quarter lengths, disqualified after rider weighed in 2 lb too light).
8. FLEET REVIEW (Aidan O'Brien/Wayne Lordan)
Well-made colt who finished runner-up to U S Navy Flag in Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket final start in 2017. Came on for reappearance when one and a quarter lengths second to Sioux Nation in Lacken Stakes at Naas last time, but no obvious reason why he should reverse that form.
9. GIDU (Todd Pletcher/John Velazquez)
Useful Frankel colt who followed head second to Speed Franco in Grade 3 Dana Beach Stakes at Gulfstream in February with wins in non-graded events at Tampa Bay (1m) in March and Belmont (7f) in May. Drops in trip here and a bit to find on form, but respected nonetheless for top American yard.
10. HEY JONESY (Kevin Ryan/Kevin Stott)
Near-smart performer who remains with just one win to his name, but had plenty use made of him dropped to 5f when head second to Main Desire in listed race at York last time. Extra furlong no problem, but may lack the class of some of these.
11. INVINCIBLE ARMY (James Tate/James Doyle)
Better than ever this year, winning Pavilion Stakes over C&D (by one and a half lengths from Eqtidaar) before good nose second to Sands of Mali in Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock last time. Return to this stiffer track will suit and every chance of reversing the form. Solid each-way contender.
12. LAUGH A MINUTE (Roger Varian/Andrea Atzeni)
Won valuable sales race at Doncaster (6.5f) in 2017 and better than result when one and a quarter lengths third to Sir Dancealot in minor event at Hamilton last time, not clear run from two furlongs out. Likely has a better performance in him now back in a big-field scenario.
13. ROUSSEL (Charlie Appleby/William Buick)
Showed useful form at two, including when neck second to Sound And Silence in Windsor Castle Stakes (5f) at this meeting, and produced career best when half a length third to Main Desire in listed race at York last time. Had no excuses that day, however, and looks up against back up in trip/grade here.
14. SANDS OF MALI (Richard Fahey/Paul Hanagan)
Had excuses for two heavy defeats after winning Gimcrack Stakes so impressively last year. Returned with a bang with back-to-back pattern wins this term, latest in Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock, beating Invincible Army by a nose. Likeable profile and another bold bid expected.
15. SIOUX NATION (Aidan O'Brien/Ryan Moore)
Won 5f Norfolk Stakes at this meeting last year and has very progressive profile on good or firmer ground, defying a penalty when returning to best in Lacken Stakes at Naas last time. Leading form contender and sire (Scat Daddy) has excellent record on straight course at Ascot.
16. SPEAK IN COLOURS (Joseph O'Brien/Donnacha O'Brien)
Left Marco Botti after winning listed race at Doncaster (by half a length from Mutaaqeb) on final 2017 start, and proved better than ever when one and a half lengths third to Sioux Nation in Lacken Stakes at Naas last time. Difficult to envisage him reversing the form on 3 lb worse terms here, however.
17. STONE OF DESTINY (Andrew Balding/Oisin Murphy)
Sturdy colt who won minor events at Newcastle in January and Chelmsford in March. Left David Simcock/off nine weeks, below form when well held behind Never Back Down in listed race at Newbury last time, finding little after racing freely, and looks out of his depth in this exalted company.
18. UNFORTUNATELY (Karl Burke/Tony Piccone)
Group 1-winning juvenile, but easy to back and well below form behind Sands of Mali in Sandy Lane Stakes last time. Possibly needed the run there, but nagging doubt he may not have trained on.
19. ACTRESS (Aidan O'Brien/Seamie Heffernan)
Won maiden at the Curragh and Anglesey Stakes at same course in 2017. Returned to form when making all in Ballyogan Stakes back at the Curragh (by one and a quarter lengths from Gorane) last time, but seen to maximum effect that day and unlikely to have things all her own way here. Limited appeal.
20. HEARTACHE (Clive Cox/Adam Kirby)
Won three of four starts in 2017, including Queen Mary Stakes at this meeting, and shaped better than result when sixth to Sands of Mali at Haydock on return. Entitled to come on for that run.
21. MAIN DESIRE (Michael Bell/Daniel Tudhope)
Very speedy filly who maintained unbeaten record when winning listed race at York after a year off last month, not needing to improve significantly but creating a good platform on which to build. Needs to prove stamina for 6f, but well worth a crack at this.
22. NOW YOU'RE TALING (Joseph O'Brien/Jamie Spencer)
Likable sort who ran as well as ever when one and three quarter lengths fourth to Sioux Nation in Lacken Stakes at Naas last time, but remains with just a maiden win to her name from nine starts and unlikely to change that here.
Timeform Commonwealth Cup Analyst Verdict
SIOUX NATION has a progressive record on going faster than good and can provide his trainer with a second successive winner in this race. Sands of Mali and Invincible Army are very closely matched on Sandy Lane form and this likeable pair look sure to give good accounts of themselves, while Equilateral and Emblazoned are lightly-raced sorts who have the potential for better still.
Timeform Commonwealth Cup 1-2-3
1. Sioux Nation
2. Sands of Mali
3. Invincible Army