Soft Falling Rain, who won this race from a wide post last year, has an excellent chance of following up. He was below par when trying sprinting first time out this year, but back over a mile is where he wants to be and he has a lot going for him here. His overall record is solid, he is proven over the trip, he has a good draw, while his two main rivals, Shuruq and Variety Club both drew unfavourably.
True, horses have done well from wide stalls in the past in this race, but they need to be markedly superior to do so, and running style also comes into it. When you start from stall 15, as Variety Club does, and your preferred style is to go straight to the lead, well, then you are not in a good spot.
SHURUQ can come from off the pace, so her stall 10 may not be all that bad. She can drop in behind and be waited with. Her strong finish is likely to send her past many a rival in the straight, but she could also find traffic problems. Soft Falling Rain, whose impressive win in the Joel Stakes at Newmarket last autumn confirmed him as a top class miler, should get a perfect run from stall five. He is a clear pick.
— The author is a thoroughbred form expert and editor of www.stabell.co.uk