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Master Of Reality the one to beat in Her Majesty's Plate as old rivals clash

Master Of Reality: bids for back-to-back wins in Her Majesty's Plate
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Friday: 6.35 Down Royal
Her Majesty's Plate (Listed) | 1m5½f | 3yo+ | RTV

Ratings suggest last year's one-two in this Listed event could be reversed – with runner-up Barbados weighted 1lb better off than strict handicap terms with Master Of Reality – but the 2020 scorer still looks the one to beat on all known form.

Conditions will be much quicker than the soft on offer last year when Joseph O'Brien's stalwart registered a comfortable three-and-a-half length success at level weights, now forced to concede a 3lb penalty while rated 2lb higher than Barbados.

Good ground won't be any concern for the six-year-old, who came within a head of winning the 2019 Melbourne Cup (demoted from second to fourth due to interference).

His close second to stablemate Baron Samedi in the Group 3 Vintage Crop Stakes earlier this season implied he retains plenty of his old ability, although he wasn't at his best when seemingly getting caught up in a strong pace in the Saval Beg Stakes two months ago.

Master Of Reality (white cap, second past the post): ran very creditably in the 2019 Melbourne Cup

Barbados, who failed to stay when upped to 2m5½f in the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot, should be much more comfortable at this trip, with Conor Hoban deputising for Shane Foley, who is travelling to York to partner Alpine Star.

There was plenty to like about the performance of Federica Sophia when second in the Group 3 Stanerra Stakes at Leopardstown last time and this beautifully-bred Moyglare Stud filly has an obvious chance of earning more black type now.

Iowa, representing Aidan O'Brien, needs to step up on ratings but it's possible the return to Down Royal, where he recorded the only win of his career in last month's Ulster Derby, can see him play a role in the placings.

What they say

Joseph O'Brien, trainer of Master Of Reality
He goes there in good form after winning this race last year. He's probably at his best when it's not too quick but has form on all types of ground.

Jessica Harrington, trainer of Barbados
He ran a great race in this last year and is in good form. It looks as though he might be second again but it'd be lovely to get his head in front and we're hoping for a big run.

Ross O'Sullivan, trainer of Springbank
He's ultra consistent and ran well at Roscommon last time where he seemed to handle the good ground. He shouldn't have any problem with the trip but this doesn't look a bad race and we'd be delighted if he could be placed and pick up some black type.

Dermot Weld, trainer of Federica Sophia
She ran very well last time and we're hopeful of getting more black type. She seems adaptable in terms of the ground.

Aidan O'Brien, trainer of Iowa
It took him a little bit of time to learn but he is now and seems to be progressing with every run. He's won at the course before and this will be a step up in trip for him so we'll see how that goes.

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He goes there in good form after winning this race last year. He's probably at his best when it's not too quick but has form on all types of ground
E.W. Terms