Outbox is a lightly-raced and progressive sort who looks ahead of his mark, so – at 9/1 with Unibet – looks the one to be on in the 1m 6f bet365 Trophy at Newmarket on Friday (15:00).
This Simon Crisford trained four-year-old made his belated debut a winning one in September of last year when scoring easily by 2 3/4 lengths at Ffos Las.
He then made all to win easing down at Leicester, before rounding off the campaign with a most taking display in a conditions contest at Newbury when beating Elegiac by three-quarters of a length.
Outbox travelled well throughout in the latter and, after making smooth headway three out to track the leaders, stayed on strongly when taking up the running a furlong from home to score a shade cosily.
The runner-up is a smart sort who has since won a Listed contest at Nottingham off an official rating of 104.
Aspetar, who was third, has won a Group 2 at Chantilly and finished a solid fourth to Coronet in a Group 1 at Saint-Cloud last time out to be rated 112.
That gives the form a very strong look in relation to this Heritage Handicap, and Outbox comes into it on the back of a cracking second in a 1m 7f Listed contest at Chantilly last month on seasonal reappearance.
Pattern performer in a handicap
The son of Frankel looked set for glory when taking up the running 1 1/2 furlongs from home only to get chinned in the dying strides and beaten a head by Funny Kid.
However, it was still a fine comeback run after 236 days on the sideline and Outbox is sure to strip much fitter for it.
He is also able to make his handicap debut off a rating of 102 and that could seriously underestimate his ability, judged on his aforementioned success of Elegiac and Aspetar.
Outbox is set to race off 104 in future, so it makes him 2lb well-in at the weights and gives him outstanding claims from a handicapping perspective.
The drop back to 1m 6f also looks sure to suit. Other pluses are that Outbox hails from a yard in fine form and is now reunited with Andrea Atzeni who is 1-1 on him.
He is the proverbial pattern race performer masquerading as a handicapper, so with further improvement assured looks to have the perfect profile to land this valuable prize.
Ben Vrackie weighted to go well
Ben Vrackie ran a screamer when runner-up on seasonal reappearance and looks a big player for the in-form trainer-jockey combination of John Gosden and Frankie Dettori.
That run came in the 1m 4f Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot three weeks ago where this other son of Frankel was arguably an unlucky loser.
After losing vital ground when slowly away as the gates opened, Ben Vrackie finished with a real rattle under Dettori to be beaten just a short-head by Baghdad.
He was gaining hand over first at the finish and, given how the race panned out, it was a superb effort which suggested there were decent prizes to be won with him this season.
That run came off a rating of 104 and, as this race is an early-closer, it means that Ben Vrackie is able to race in it off an unchanged mark.
He is due to race off 4lb higher in future assignments, so like Outbox is well-in at the weights.
Ben Vrackie will also appreciate the step back up to 1m 6f, a trip over which he ran a fine race last season when a 1 1/4 lengths third to Maid Up in a Group 3 at Goodwood.
With his handler operating at an incredible strike rate of just over 42 per cent in the last 14 days at the time of writing, everything looks in place for a huge run and Ben Vrackie heads the betting at 3/1 with BetVictor.
Caliburn appeals each-way in bet365 Trophy preview
In a race where a case can be made for many of the 18 runners, the Andrew Balding trained Caliburn is another well worth considering at odds of 9/1 with William Hill.
This four-year-old son of Derby winner Camelot was a big eye-catcher on return to action at York in May when staying on well from well off the pace to be nearest at the finish and a 3 1/2 lengths fifth of 18 to First Eleven in a hot class 2 handicap over 1m 4f.
The winner is a highly-regarded sort who had previously been placed in Group 3 company, and the third home Corgi has since run very well to finish fourth of 19 to Baghdad in the Duke Of Edinburgh at Royal Ascot.
It gives the form a solid look in relation to this same grade affair, and Caliburn has since scored in good style over 1m 4f at Pontefract when running on strongly to beat Jabbaar by 2 1/2 lengths.
A 5lb rise in the weights for that taking success looks more than fair and Caliburn appeals as the type that will appreciate the extra two furlongs of this.
So, with champion jockey Silvestre De Sousa – who partnered him to success at Pontefract – once again in the saddle, a bold bid to follow-up looks on the cards. Caliburn thus features as the each-way punt and completes this bet365 Trophy preview.