'This has always been his target' - St Leger clues on show in Bahrain Trophy
Bahrain Trophy Stakes (Group 3) | 1m5f | 3yo | ITV3/RTV
Godolphin have a firm grip on the St Leger with Irish Derby winner Hurricane Lane and Derby hero Adayar currently topping the market, but it is possible we will see a firm challenger to the Classic-winning pair in the Bahrain Trophy.
Used as a stepping stone towards the Doncaster showpiece in September, the Bahrain Trophy provides three-year-olds with their first test over an intermediate trip of 1m5f. Masked Marvel (2011) is the only horse to do the double, but this year's race is full of staying talent.
Queen's Vase third Stowell is likely to prove popular for John and Thady Gosden. In the news after a questionable ride on his debut, Stowell proved his class by romping home under minimal urgings on his penultimate outing before staying on powerfully at the royal meeting.
Given he was set a tough task behind steady fractions in that 1m6f contest, Stowell can be marked up for his effort. And after three runs, it is extremely likely we have yet to see just how good the son of Zoffany is. With Frankie Dettori booked, this could be the time for Stowell, a current 20-1 shot for the St Leger, to show his credentials.
Despite boasting a rating of 104, Stowell has to improve to beat experienced rivals Yibir (105) and Gear Up (109) according to the handicapper.
Yibir is the most interesting of the pair given his form with Adayar and Lone Eagle – two of the Classic generation stars. Now making his first start after a gelding operation, Yibir has to prove that this dramatic step up in trip will suit. The fact he is a brother to bumper runner-up Wild Hunt offers encouragement.
There are no stamina doubts about top-rated Gear Up and stablemate Dancing King. However, the former seems to have plateaued this year and the latter's winning streak came to an abrupt halt last time out.
Mandoob and Pleasant Man recorded their recent successes at lower levels. The pair boast untapped potential and shouldn't be discounted.
Race analysis by Tom Collins
What they say
Brian Meehan, trainer of Mandoob
I'm very happy with him and he's been doing well since his win at Haydock. This race has always been the target for him and the trip would be no problem at all.
Thady Gosden, joint-trainer of Stowell
He ran a great race considering he was shuffled wide in the Queen's Vase. He shapes as if this track will suit him and he won't mind the ground.
Charlie Appleby, trainer of Yibir
He has some great form in the book this season but has been a bit frustrating, which is why he has been gelded since his last run. If he can return to the level of form he showed at Sandown, it's going to make him very competitive.
Reporting by James Stevens
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