Saturday, 13th Jun 2020
Ballydoyle maestro Aidan O’Brien won the 1m 4f Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes for three-year-old colts and geldings with Japan last year, and Mogul looks the pick of his pair in this renewal at Royal Ascot on Tuesday (15:00).
This son of the great Galileo progressed last term to win the Group 2 Champions Juvenile Stakes on Irish Champions Weekend.
Flat thoroughbreds that get a mile as two-year-olds often want further the following year. The form of Mogul’s Leopardstown run received a boost when the fifth home, Cormorant, came out and won a Group 3 there last week.
Mogul was far from disgraced in the rearranged Group 1 Vertem Futurity Trophy when fourth and the race switched from Doncaster on turf to the all-weather at Newcastle.
He was only 3 3/4 lengths behind the winner, Kameko, who landed 2000 Guineas glory at Newmarket earlier this month. That form is by far the best on offer in the King Edward VII Stakes this year.
As the ante post betting on the Epsom Derby indicates, Mogul looks the best chance Ballydoyle have of landing the premier Classic.
He is a top-price 8/1 to reign on Epsom Downs with bookmakers, so should win this. That price about his target will go, so punters may wish to back Mogul both at Royal Ascot and for The Derby now.
Looking outside of Ballydoyle and their other runner Arthur’s Kingdom, the unbeaten Mohican Heights has more to offer stepping up in trip too.
This is the Australia colt’s second start for trainer David Simcock. An Irish import from Fozzy Stack’s stable, he made all in a 7f Leopardstown maiden before being bought.
Mohican Heights stepped up to a mile and Listed company on debut for Simcock with an easy two-length success in the Stonehenge Stakes at Salisbury.
The King Edward VII Stakes demands more, but his pedigree suggests he should relish further. That Salisbury form has been franked by the third home, Berlin Tango.
He came out and won the Group 3 Classic Trial at Kempton earlier this month. Granted further progress, Mohican Heights could give Mogul plenty to think about.
Another danger is Andrew Balding’s King Power Racing owned colt Papa Power. This son of Nathaniel is two from three starts over 1m 2f on the all-weather.
Although Papa Power hasn’t raced on turf yet, he made very easy work of wins at Chelmsford and Newcastle. Balding’s stable have been in fine form since horse racing resumed in the UK too.
The front-running Papa Power, therefore, could be another for Mogul to contend with. Arthur’s Kingdom was runner-up in a Group 1 at Saint-Cloud over 1m 2f on his final start as a juvenile, meanwhile.
O’Brien stable jockey Ryan Moore prefers Mogul, though. Coolmore could easily have a one-two here, however, and Arthur’s Kingdom is second best on official ratings behind his stablemate.
An eye-catcher behind the aforementioned Berlin Tango at Kempton was Pyledriver, so he looks overpriced. Trained by William Muir, this Harbour Watch colt took a big back step in the right direction on reappearance.
Following a Listed victory over a mile at Haydock under hold-up tactics, something was amiss next time out. Pylediver ran no race at all in the Group 2 Royal Lodge at Newmarket and trailed in last.
However, he made good headway approaching two out at Kempton and kept on into second. Pyledriver was 40/1 for that Group 3 contest and is among the outsiders in the King Edward VII Stakes here.
The way he shaped last time out means he is no forlorn home for getting in amongst a trappy field. Pyledriver could be worth a punt to run into the frame from off the pace.