John Gosden took Epsom’s valuable Investec City And Suburban Stakes a couple of years ago with subsequent Group 2 winner Duncan and the in-form trainer holds a strong hand this afternoon with a two-pronged attack on the feature contest.
Taqleed is likely to be popular, but he was pulled out of the Lincoln due to the ground being too quick, so conditions may be more suitable for Beachfire (3:45) who looked a progressive sort last summer.
Not seen since winning the Summer Vase at Glorious Goodwood, the Indian Haven colt won four of his five starts and, though he didn’t look entirely straightforward, there certainly looked like there was more to come.
The fact he has handled Goodwood bodes well for his prospects of acting around here and, with the blinkers fitted for the first time, he is taken to continue his winning sequence.
Earlier the Investec Great Metropolitan Handicap looks an equally competitive affair, but Harlestone Times (2:35) is another progressive sort making his seasonal debut.
John Dunlop’s gelding won his last two starts at three and looked another to follow when scoring impressively over this trip at Brighton on his final outing.
Again, the fact he has form on an undulating track is in his favour and, despite being hiked up 10lbs for his latest success, the son of Olden Times can start the new season where he left off last time around.
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Last year’s selections included:
Hurricane Fly: 3/1 winner of the G1 Rabobank Champion Hurdle
Copper Bleu: 12/1 winner of the Jewson at Cheltenham
Great Endeavour: 18/1 winner of the Festival Plate
Tranguil Sea: 11/2 winner of the Paddy Power Gold Cup
Sizing Europe: 6/1 winner of the Arkle
Weapon’s Amnesty: 10/1 winner of the RSA Chase