Horses and jockeys against a Newmarket sunset

29th May 2014

The Cantor Fitzgerald Brigadier Gerard Meeting – Part 2

Now it is time to turn our attention to the  feature race of the evening; the Group 3 Cantor Fitzgerald Brigadier Gerard Stakes which is run over 1m2f.

In previous year the race has been won by Derby, Eclipse, Arc, Derby Italiano, Hardwicke Stakes, Tattersalls Gold Cup & International Stakes winners. Sir Michael Stoute has won it three times in recent years with Carlton House, Workforce and Notnowcato. His runner, Hill Star heads this year’s market, a winner at Royal Ascot last year he followed that up with a creditable effort in the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. On his seasonal debut he was send off 4/5 favourite to get the better of Brown Panther at Chester however came off second best. There is no doubt he has the best form on offer, however he has only managed to get his head in from twice from 10 starts.

His main rival could very well be Remote for the in-form Juddmonte team. A rapid improver last year winning three races, there was talk of Group 1 target before he suffered a setback and we didn’t see him again after his Group 3 Royal Ascot win and he still remains relatively unexposed. The beautifully marked Top Notch Tonto with is four white stockings developed quite a fan base last season, however he is yet to live up to their expectations with two disappointing efforts so far this season although in a higher grade than today's contest. Today is only his second attempt at 1m2f however the key factor is the ground, he loves soft ground.

The final two that complete the line-up are Sharestan for Godolphin and Kieren Fallon. An Irish purchase out of John Oxx’s yard, he was campaigned mainly in the UAE in 2013 bar one run in a listed race at Ayr in which he duly obliged. Sheikhzayedroad is another who has been campaigned in the UAE and although his recent runs have been over further, two of his last three wins have been over this distance. Given the improvement he showed before his setback, Remote would be my selection in the race, he has the potential to progress as many winners of this race have done in the past.

Finally the listed Heron Stakes is run over 1 mile for three year olds. It might have just five runners to look at but a very competitive event. The most exposed is Mister Carpenter for Rod Millman, he finished third behind two subsequent Guineas winners in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury before finishing third in the Group 3 Classic Trials here over 1m2f on soft ground. He is by far the pick on form although he keeps hitting the cross bar.

From the most exposed to the least, Indy has had just one run, a winning debut at Doncaster over 6 furlongs. He was an impressive winner that day and the second has upheld the form since so would be no surprise to see him run well. Petentar was 4th in the Caven Stakes at Newmarket although beaten 6 lengths, the winner ran respectably in the 2000 Guineas although reported to have run flat and the second has come out and won the Dante Stakes at York so the form has substance to it. End Of Line was another to make an impressive debut win at Doncaster winning by 6 lengths. He followed that up with a solid second on soft ground over course and distance before being tried at the highest level in the French 2000 Guineas although he finished 9th on 12 he was only beaten 7½ lengths which was a commendable effort.

The final runner is an Italian import for John Gosden and William Buick, winner of his only start in Italy he clearly didn’t appreciate the undulations of Epsom in the Derby Trial on his first start here in the UK. I don't have a selection in this race but I will be watching with interest.