Mildenberger Offer Each Way Value Against Hot Favourite Stradivarius
Stradivarius landed the £1 million bonus last season, and his road to that began in this very race, while it also ended with success at the same course. There is no doubt that this horse is a hugely talented individual, and he is sure to go close in his quest for the million once again. If there is a time when he is slightly vulnerable then it is on his first outing of the season, over a trip slightly shorter than his best, and it is for that reason why I am more than happy to take him on with something at a big each way price. The horse on Friday is Mildenberger from the Mark Johnston yard, who looks set to relish this step up in trip.
After missing the break and looking like a stayer over 1m2f at Epsom on his first start of the season, we again saw him show that he needed further in a Group Three over 1m4f at Newmarket last time out. That was a decent run, but one that again showed that another furlong or two will be ideal for him. I’m not sure he is a horse for the extreme staying distances, but races like this one over 1m6f look set to be ideal for him.
If you take Stradivarius out of the race, then this looks wide open to me. The second favourite Ispolini has some good form in Dubai, but he needs to prove he can do that in the UK and until he does, I will have a little question mark over him.
Aidan O’Brien sends Southern France to the race, and he showed his liking for this trip with a 3rd in the St Leger last season. However, we know how good he is as a stayer, and on ratings he is just 2lb better than Mildenberger. If he runs to his best, which he may not do, then I still think Mildenberger has enough progression in him over these kind of distances to go past Southern France.
Mootasadir seems to be the only other likely challenger, but he has doubts over both stamina and his ability to perform right up to his best on grass. Those two things need to click, which is a bit of a risk to take and that is enough for me to pass up on him.
The one standing out from all of these horses is Mildenberger, and while I completely respect Stradivarius, from a betting point of few, I think the value is with Mildenberger each way in this race.