COURSE form is often a vital tool at Epsom and CROSSED BATON (3.55) won the feature Investec Blue Riband Trial on this card 12 months ago under Frankie Dettori.
John Gosden's colt went on to run second to Hunting Horn in the Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot but a couple of disappointing efforts subsequently resulted in a wind operation. Crossed Baton has always gone well fresh and is a value alternative to Mildenberger.
Mark Johnston's top weight could prove to be a snip stepping into handicap company on the back of his Dante Stakes second to Roaring Lion at York. He could well jump out and make all from stall one but if he doesn't get to the front, the inside is often not the place to be, with runners edging down the camber under pressure and intimidating rail runners.
Gosden and Dettori have won the last four renewals of the Blue Riband Trial and they rely on TURGENEV (2.45) to make it a nap hand. Turgenev disappointed behind King Ottokar on his return at Newbury but seemed to get bogged down on the sticky ground. He will need to step up to the plate but represents a bit of each-way value against market leaders Cape Of Good Hope and Arthur Kitt.
Some firms are offering four places in the 1m 4f Investec Great Metropolitan Handicap, with course and distance winner EDDYSTONE ROCK (3.20) bidding to add to his recent Leicester success on quick ground. A 3lb rise isn't onerous and James Doyle is an eye-catching booking.
At much shorter odds, CURRENT OPTION (4.25) should mop up the one-mile Novice Stakes for William Haggas as he paid the penalty for going off too fast on soft ground when beaten by Good Birthday at Newbury.
Perth's three-day fixture kicks off on ground officially described as good. The track is notorious for over-zealous watering and GO ANOTHER ONE (3.00) wouldn't want any rain as all his best form is on a sound surface. However, he has improved leaps and bounds for John McConnell and his second to Canardier at Cheltenham in October has turned out to be top-drawer form.
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