14:25 - Deauville
He was a very smart horse on his day last season, winning the Belmont Derby as well as running well in defeat on a couple of occasions in decent company, and he ran okay in Dubai on his comeback considering the rain-softened ground wouldn't have been ideal for him. He clearly stepped up on that run a good deal when chasing home Ulysses in the Gordon Richards Stakes - the winner was very impressive there, and we pulled 3 lengths clear of My Dream Boat in third - and, again, the watered ground would not have been in his favour there.
Hopefully it will be quicker here and everything looks set for him to run a big race, though it is a competitive little race, as you would expect, and Poets Word has to be respected stepping up in class. He did it nicely for me at Chelmsford last time, form that has worked out okay, but this is obviously a lot tougher a task for him. I do like him though, and I think Folkswood may be suited to this track, too.
15:35 - Venice Beach
Aidan has four of the eight in here and, as we saw in the Derrinstown on Sunday, these trials are exactly that; namely, to try and find out where they stand in the pecking order. But there is often precious little between them, as we saw at the weekend and in this race last season, in fact. All four have something to recommend them and my mount Venice Beach may be the best of them, but we will see soon enough. A Galileo half-brother to the Arc and King George winner Danedream, he is the only one of Aidan's that I haven't ridden but he clearly has the pedigree and he was impressive when winning his maiden in first-time cheek pieces at Tipperary last month, being well-suited by the step up to 1m4f, and the second ran well in defeat on Sunday.
Of the others, The Anvil ran well in Group company last season, finishing third for me in the Autumn Stakes over 1m, before disappointing in the Racing Post Trophy, but he confirmed his well-being when finally breaking his maiden tag at Dundalk on his reappearance. And Finn McCool and Wings Of Eagles both had Group 1 experience at two, as well, and I liked both when I rode them last year. We are dealing with lightly-raced horses stepping up here, though, and there doesn't look to be a stand-out at the moment, and bear in mind that Aidan has won this race with big outsiders in the past, like Golden Sword.
16:35 - Esprit De Corps
A draw in nine is not great but this horse showed promise at two and, after being gelded, reappeared to win well at Bath last month. He is related to some fair winners and hopefully an opening mark of 88 gives him possibilities, though it doesn't look overly-generous at first viewing.
17:05 - Banish
This has cut up a lot since there were 21 declared at the five-day stage, so hopefully it's a clean race. I rode him when he won his maiden at Lingfield last season and he progressed nicely enough. He looks to have run okay on his comeback at Doncaster recently, for which he has been dropped 1lb, and hopefully that will have brought him on. Trip and ground look fine for him.