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Breeders' Cup hero Yibir out to show his class before another trip Stateside

Thursday: 3.35 Newmarket
Princess of Wales's Close Brothers Stakes (Group 2) | 1m4f | 3yo+ | ITV/RTV

The Princess of Wales's has dented a few reputations and you need to go back to 2013 for the last winning favourite.

Market leaders priced at 1-2, 5-6, 5-4 and even-money have fallen short in the past eight seasons despite this contest averaging just over six runners per edition in that timeframe.

Perhaps the tactical nature of small-field races has contributed to that and the key to this being truly run could be the gate-speed of Living Legend.

There is an absence of recent front-running form among the six runners, but that is primarily due to Living Legend completely missing the break on his last two outings when flopping at Epsom and Royal Ascot.

Living Legend's previous two efforts, when he either made all or fought for the lead, bring him into the conversation and it is probably to the benefit of everyone if this six-year-old begins quickly.

The betting has it between Yibir and Mostahdaf. Living Legend already has a verdict over Yibir in April's Jockey Club Stakes on the Rowley course, but reopposes on 6lb worse terms.

Yibir is at his deadliest on fast ground and gets a quicker surface this time. However, there is a chance this hold-up performer will meet trouble again if the pace is moderate.

Mostahdaf turns out 19 days after a seemingly hard race in the Hardwicke and that is not typically John Gosden's style. The fact Hardwicke third Hurricane Lane flopped as an odds-on favourite on his next run is something else to bear in mind if considering taking a short price.

One at juicy odds to consider is New Mandate. This high-class miler is upped to 1m4f for the first time under Frankie Dettori and his proven turn of foot over shorter could be a real asset in a tactical affair. New Mandate is bred for middle distances regardless, and could surprise one or two.
Race analysis by Robbie Wilders

Globetrotting Yibir makes July course return

A year on from first establishing himself as a major force in the middle-distance ranks, Yibir returns to Newmarket's July course as the class act of the day.

Godolphin's son of Dubawi powered clear in the Bahrain Trophy on this day 12 months ago and has since gone on to prove himself a top performer by netting more than £3 million in prize-money.

Half of those earnings came from his brave Breeders' Cup Turf win at Del Mar last November and while he has not scored since, his subsequent efforts include a neck second in the Dubai Sheema Classic and a close third in the Man o'War Stakes on his return to the US.

Globetrotting is firmly on the agenda again according to trainer Charlie Appleby, who hopes this race can act as a confidence boost with the Grade 1 Sword Dancer at Saratoga on August 27 the next international aim.

"The ground went against him at Belmont last time, it rained and the going was changed to good to soft, which he didn't like," said Appleby.

"Back on quick ground, and on a track which he has shown a liking for, he should run well. He had a break after coming back from New York in May, he looks great and he's in good order for this. He'll be aimed at the Sword Dancer back in the States."

Appleby also saddles Global Storm, who shaped well in a handicap at York on his last outing.

"He's come forward for that, which was his first run back in Britain in six months. He won't look out of place in this," he said.

What they say

Angus Gold, racing manager to Shadwell Estates, owners of Mostahdaf
If he runs up to the form of his Royal Ascot run he should give a good account of himself. That was his first time at a mile and a half and he stayed it well. He won't mind the ground, John [Gosden] said he wouldn't normally run a horse back this quick, but he's come out of Ascot well, doesn't have to travel or have much mileage on the clock.

Jamie McCalmont, racing manager to Marc Chan, owner of New Mandate
He was bought to be a potential stayer and Ralph [Beckett] has wanted to stretch him out in trip for a while, so I'm excited to see what happens. We were disappointed with his run at Ascot so this is a bit of a fact-finding mission, but he's well and has learned to settle a lot more in his races. The ground won't be an issue.

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