Trainer Sir Michael Stoute has a tremendous record in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes and, following a fine seasonal reappearance run, Regal Reality looks to hold outstanding claims of further enhancing it with victory in this year’s renewal of the Group 3 contest over 1m 2f at Sandown on Thursday evening (19:35).
The Newmarket handler has won the race a record nine times courtesy of Stagecraft (1991), Opera House (1992), Pilsudski (1996), Insatiable (1998), Notnowcato (2006), Workforce (2011), Carlton House (2012), Autocratic (2017), and Poet’s Word (2018).
In Regal Reality, who can be backed at 7/4 with Betfair to land the spoils in this, Stoute has a typically lightly-raced four-year-old colt that has won two of his six starts and showed progressive form throughout last season.
After shaping as if needing the run when sixth of nine to Without Parole in a Listed contest at this meeting 12 months ago, the son of Intello put in a taking display when landing the six-runner Group 3 Thoroughbred Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.
Regal Reality was held-up off the pace in fifth by Frankie Dettori, before coming with a surging late run down the outside of the field from the three marker to win going away by 1 3/4 lengths from Ostilio.
He went on to round off the campaign with a solid third of five to subsequent Group 1 Lockinge winner Mustashry in a Group 2 at Newmarket, then looked as good as ever on return to action at this venue last month when a 1 1/2 lengths third of seven to Beat The Bank in a Group 2 over a mile.
That run should have blow away the cobwebs and put him spot on for this, while the step up to 1m 2f promises to suit.
Khaadem and Red Impression main dangers
Elwazir is a course and distance winner, so feared most in a competitive renewal in which six are set to go to post.
After shaping with promise in two backend runs as a juvenile, this Owen Burrows trained son of Frankel came into his own when being stepped up to this trip and winning his first two starts last season.
The first of those was a 14-runner novice stakes contest here where he cruised into contention three from home, before scooting clear a furlong out and staying on strongly to readily beat Cross Counter by 2 3/4 lengths.
The runner-up has won four times since, including when breaking the rack record when landing the Group 3 Gordon Stakes at Goodwood by 4 1/2 lengths from Epsom Derby runner-up Dee Ex Bee and capturing the Melbourne Cup at Flemington in Australia – so that gives the form an extremely strong look.
It was a most taking display by Elwazir, and he went on to follow-up in impressive fashion on handicap debut at Ascot when easily beating Extra Elusive by 1 3/4 lengths.
Although he the bombed out when last seen in action and finishing a well-beaten fifth of seven to Teodoro in a Group 3 at Haydock, that run was too bad to be true and something was clearly amiss.
Elwazir looks worth another chance to build on the potential he has shown in previous runs and, after just five starts, should have plenty of improvement left in the locker. He is a tempting 13/2 with BetVictor to make a winning reappearance.
Sangarius can secure double for Stoute
In the Listed 1m Heron Stakes (20:10), Sangarius looks capable of giving weight all-round and a 4/1 fancy with Paddy Power to provide Stoute with a double on the card.
This son of multiple Group 1 winner Kingman was backed off the boards into 11/8 favouritism on debut as a juvenile, before beating now leading Epsom Derby contender Bangkok by a neck on debut in a 13-runner novice stakes contest over 7f on the July course at Newmarket.
Sangarius was produced at the the furlong marker before quickening smartly to score readily under a hands and heels ride.
The front two pulled six lengths clear of the field and it was a most taking display which suggested he needed keeping firmly onside.
That view was confirmed when he landed the Listed 7f Flying Scotsman Stakes at Doncaster in impressive fashion where, after tracking the leaders travelling strongly, he showed a smart turn of foot when taking up the running at the furlong marker to beat Dubai Dominion by 2 1/4 lengths.
Sangarius was then far from disgraced when pitched into Group 1 company and finishing fourth to Too Darn Hot in the Dewhurst Stakes. This represents a return to much calmer waters.
He does have to give 3lb to his seven rivals, but looks the class act in the line-up and is fully expected to get the job done en route to bigger and better things this season.
Greenside the one to be on in Whitsun Cup
Greenside scored in terrific style last time out and looks worth a wager at 100/30 with 888Sport to make light of a rise in the weights to follow-up in the 1m Whitsun Cup that brings proceedings to a close on a cracking six-race card.
This Henry Candy trained eight-year-old was an unlucky loser in this two years ago when getting badly hampered at the start, before flying home late to go down by a length to Laidback Romeo.
The son of Dubawi then gained revenge on that rival next time up over course and distance when running on strongly to score by 1 1/4 lengths off a mark of 94.
Greenside also ran well at Kempton last term when fourth to subsequent Lincoln Handicap winner Auxerre off the same rating, and has looked as good as ever in two starts this season.
After finishing an eye-catching fourth of 26 to Chatez at Newbury, Greenside came from off the pace before showing a smart turn of foot to shoot clear in the last 150 yards and win going away by 1 3/4 lengths at Windsor.
It was a most authoritative display and he was value for more than the winning margin. Despite being 5lb worse off at the weights with the third home Lush Life, Greenside is taken to confirm the form with that re-opposing rival.
The handicapper has also been kind in raising him just 4lb given the manner of the victory, and his revised rating of 94 is the same as when previously successful here.
That gives Greenside major claims from a handicapping perspective of going in again at a venue which clearly plays to his strengths.
History Writer appeals each-way
The aforementioned Lush Life, a four-year-old trained by Jamie Osborne, looks the obvious danger and can be backed at 9/2 with Boylesports to gain his revenge.
History Writer is a course and distance winner though, and looks an each-way player at 5/1 with Bethard. He shaped quite nicely on seasonal reappearance when seventh of 26 to Chatez in the race at Newbury where Greenside finished fourth.
The David Menuisier trained four-year-old is entitled to strip fitter for that outing, has underfoot conditions to suit and a 33 per cent strike rate in the grade.
So, in a typically competitive renewal of the Whitsun Cup, History Writer looks a bit of each-way value to at least make the frame in this historic handicap.