Matchbook Brigadier Gerard Stakes (Group 3) 4yo+ | 1m2f
Mustashry's Lockinge victory at Newbury on Saturday highlighted the roaring form of the Sir Michael Stoute stable (six winners from last seven runners), and the Brigadier Gerard Stakes has been extremely good to the master of Freemason Lodge, yielding nine successes going back to Stagecraft in 1991.
Regal Reality is this season's chosen candidate and he bids to build on a third-placed effort behind Beat The Bank over a mile at Sandown in April.
This will be a first try at a mile and a quarter for the Cheveley Park homebred and, while the distaff side of the family have been seven-furlong and mile horses, his sire Intello is capable of injecting a bit more staying power into his progeny.
Sir Michael Stoute's Brigadier Gerard roll call
Opera House (1992)
Carlton House (2012)
Poet's Word (2018)
Nine wins might speak for itself but Stoute has occasionally been beaten in the Brigadier Gerard; he has trained the runner-up four times since the turn of the century, with the losing margins a head, a nose, a neck and half a length.
Matterhorn out to continue progress
Matterhorn has come a long way in a short time, having made his debut only last October.
The son of Raven's Pass stunned favourite-backers when capping a fine all-weather season at the expense of Wissahickon at Lingfield on Good Friday, before going down by three-quarters of a length to Forest Ranger in the Huxley Stakes.
Trainer Mark Johnston said: "Everything has been great with him and he was a bit unlucky at Chester. It was a small field but the winner got first run on him and it could be a different story if the two met again. He more than deserves to be here."
A new globetrotter for Thundering team
David Menuisier and owner Clive Washbourn have already been around the world with the popular Thundering Blue, and Danceteria made his first voyage overseas a profitable one when running down the smart Mer Et Nuages in the Listed Prix Jacques Laffitte last month.
That was enough to arouse the interest of Australian Bloodstock – whose colours were carried to Melbourne Cup success by Protectionist in 2014 – and they now share ownership with Washbourn.
"He looks like he has come on an awful lot for his first race back," said Menuisier.
"He did something special at Maisons-Laffitte because he was undercooked and still had his winter coat. He's really thrived since the last race so it will be interesting."
What the others say
Andrew Balding, trainer of Here Comes When
He's in great form and is very enthusiastic, but stepping up [in trip] is a question mark but we have to get the ball rolling. Ideally we'd want a bit more rain, but they do an excellent job with the ground at Sandown and good ground will be fine.
James Fanshawe, trainer of Bombyx
He’s been gelded, he’s in good form and it’s his first run of the year.
Owen Burrows, trainer of Elwazir
He tested a bit under the weather after the Rose of Lancaster so we decided to call it a day for the season. He's a big horse who we always thought would be better at four. He has a bit to find on ratings but talking to Angus [Gold, racing manager to owner], we thought we should treat him like a good horse. He’s won at Sandown before.