Unibet Richmond Stakes (Group 2) | 6f | 2yo | ITV/RTV
Five of the last seven Richmond winners – Ivawood (2014), Shalaa (2015), Mehmas (2016), Golden Horde (2019) and Supremacy (2020) – have gone to Newmarket in the autumn and recorded form figures of 21311 in the Middle Park. Keep that race in mind for the winning colt.
Mehmas was a leading two-year-old on the track and quickly developed into an outstanding sire. Not only did he win this race himself, but Supremacy provided him with a first Richmond winner as a stallion last year. This time around he's doubly represented courtesy of Gubbass and Caturra.
Gubbass remains unbeaten after two runs for trainer Richard Hannon, who, along with his father Richard Hannon snr, has saddled two winners and three placed horses from just seven runners in this race since 2001.
The highly regarded colt justified strong market support on his debut at Leicester in April and overcame inexperience to win the coveted Super Sprint at Newbury earlier this month.
Still growing and improving, Gubbass has plenty to find with his main rivals according to the handicapper but is entitled to take another big step forward in his progression and comes here instead of the Gimcrack next month.
Caturra represents Clive Cox, who has won this race for the last two years. The Richmond has always been the target but testing ground is not ideal for this pacey juvenile, who may be better once he is dropped back to the minimum distance.
The most likely winner of the race is Asymmetric, who boasts the highest rating (107), has won on good to soft and represents Tuesday's Goodwood Cup-winning trainer Alan King.
This course-and-distance winner was unlucky to be denied by Lusail in the Group 2 July Stakes when last seen and faces an easier task here. The main worry is his passage from a rail draw in stall seven.
Do not rule out Perfect Power despite his 3lb penalty. He beat subsequent Railway Stakes winner Go Bears Go in the Norfolk at Royal Ascot and has a push-button turn of foot.
However, he may have been favoured by his stand-side draw that day and trainer Fahey is zero from seven in this race in the last 20 years.
King bidding for more Group-race glory
Alan King is looking to complete a dream week on the Sussex Downs as high-class juvenile Asymmetric bids for Group 2 glory in the Unibet Richmond Stakes.
King was flying high on Tuesday after Trueshan handed him a first win at the highest level on the Flat thanks to a spirited performance in the Goodwood Cup and top-rated Asymmetric certainly has the potential to be a stable star of the future.
After victories on his first two runs, he was a fast-finishing second in the Group 2 July Stakes at Newmarket three weeks ago and King is hopeful he has improved since.
"We were delighted with him at Newmarket and hopefully that run has brought him on a little bit as well," said the trainer. "I just hope the ground dries up a bit more for him. He has handled softer ground but we think he's a better horse on better ground."
On official ratings, Asymmetric is rated three pound superior to Royal Ascot winner Perfect Power, who has to concede three pounds to all his rivals on this occasion.
However, connections are confident the step up to six furlongs will play to Perfect Power's strengths.
"Richard [Fahey, trainer] is very happy how he came out of Ascot and I think the step up to six furlongs is a big bonus," said Philip Robinson, racing manager to Perfect Power's owner Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum.
"He was doing all his best work at the finish and the form stacks up well. I think this is a good horse, it's as simple as that and the ground is drying out, so I don't think that is a concern. We're the one they've got to beat."
What they say
Clive Cox, trainer of Cattura
He's done really well and has already run well on softer ground when winning at Bath, so hopefully he will handle conditions but he'd prefer it drier rather than wetter. He's given us a good feel all the way through the season and is clearly progressive.
Hugo Palmer, trainer of Ebro River
He's in great shape and developing and improving all the time. We felt the very quick going was against him the last twice and we're very hopeful. It's a sharp six and, having won a Listed race over five furlongs on soft ground, I think it could all be up his street.
Adam Ryan, assistant to Kevin Ryan, trainer of Gis A Sub
He improved on his debut to win at Pontefract and we thought then a better race would see him to better effect. That form has been franked and, while it's a big step up, he deserves to go there. He shapes like he'd appreciate some ease in the ground and hopefully he can put up a big performance.
Richard Hannon, trainer of Gubbass
He's always shown plenty of ability at home and he could end up being very good. He will need to perform very well here to go for races like the Gimcrack but his sire, Mehmas, won this race so he's certainly bred to win and I'm extremely hopeful.