DARK LION 6.00 Wolverhampton at 8/13
British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes (Class 5) (2yo) 7f36y
Pedigree: E140,000 Y; second foal; half-brother to French 1m winner Gena; dam French 7f-1m2f winner RPR 90), half-sister to 1m Group 1 winner Giofra and Listed winners Big Baz (1m), Gramati (1m) and Gradara (1m4f) out of 7f Group 3 2yo winner
Trainer Form: 5-15 for 33% (10)
PRP: 108 (10)
Optimum Ground: Good/Std (10)
Optimum Distance: 6f-7f (10)
Jockey: David Egan (10)
The Racing Horse Composite: (50)
Main danger: Future Vision 6/1
Dark Lion was foaled on 29 April and a half-brother to Genal, who won at 1m. Unpaced in both starts to date but finished 4th just 3 1/2l behind Nando Parrado when fourth of 15 at 7/1 on his latest outing in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at Ascot over 6f on good ground last month. Tomorrow's race is a Class 5 Novice Stakes.
Great run at Royal Ascot
The Dark Angle colt Dark Lion finished a very respectable fourth in the Coventry Stakes at Ascot last month. That’s by far the strongest form on offer and he should be opening his account over this longer trip. The form can even be upgraded given he raced on the wrong side of the track and the step up to 7f can only help further.
Optimum conditions and now down in class
The 140,000-euros purchase should be much too good for his rivals and the reports from his work on the Al Bahathri is excellent. The colt has drawn 4 which is perfect for jockey David Egan to place him and get a pitch so that he can finish powerfully. This will be the third run for this physically scopey sort, has the experience and now given optimum conditions (albeit on a tight track) and dramatically down in class. The colt retains a Group 1 entry at the Curragh in September in the National Stakes.
A look at the last 14 days show the following form of the trainers competing:
Sir Mark Prescott: 7-21 for 33% (-6.56)
Roger Varian: 12-58 for 21% (-7.58)
Andrew Balding: 8-57 for 14% (+6.21)
Richard Hannon: 9-93 for 10% (-29.55)
David Evans: 2-30 for 7% (-16.00)
Saeed bin Suroor: 1-22 for 5% (-17.50)
Top trainer at the track David Evans is just 2-30 for 7% and as we said yesterday when opposing the favourite against our Pacafi, Saeed bin Suroor shows just one winner from 22. It is hard to take their runners seriously at the moment.
Roger Varian is in absolute top form and currently shows 5-15 for 33%. At Wolverhampton he shows 64-254 for 25% and a level stake profit of +29.90. This compares favourably to his national average of 19%. The excellent David Egan rides.
Of his rivals
Eagle's Realm is a half-brother to Group 3 winner Regal Reality and is respected on debut, while Future Vision looked in need of further when sixth in a competitive 6f event at Newmarket on debut and is another to note. Knight Salute is a full-brother to a winner and makes more appeal than Eagle's Realm and Hoscar Moss of the newcomers.
DARK LION sets a very high standard on his Royal Ascot performance in the Coventry, He should be hard to beat. Knight Salute is an interesting newcomer who may give the favourite most to think about. Royal Tribute is best of the rest.
The 8/13 looks a great price and more than a 1/2 or a 4/9 shot if the run does not come too quick. Of the three who have run our Pacafi has a RPR of 105 against 80 and 78. For a newcomer to win they have to bust a rating of 105+ because our bet is likely to have optimum conditions.
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