1pt each-way Persica 11/1, 15:00 Newbury, Saturday

1m2f Trade Nation London Gold Cup Handicap (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) (3yo)

It’s one of the hottest three-year-old handicaps of the year and often throws up plenty of Group winners. Chantilly sticks out like a sore thumb for Aidan O’Brien, winning for the first time last time out after four previous attempts. Chantilly holds plenty of big Group entries and may well be much better than his current mark of 95. He is feared for a yard that won this last year with a pattern-level performer, but the form of his win looks pretty weak and all of his half-decent runs have been on heavy going (finished midfield on gd-sft before). I’d rather take Chantilly on given how many promising types there are in this race.

King’s Gambit looks like a really exciting prospect, but I don’t like the fact that this is his first start of the season. He could be undone from a fitness angle. You could make a case for half a dozen others, but I really like the look of PERSICA for Richard Hannon.

Persica has already won over 6f and a mile in five career starts, looking better after stepping up to a mile distance. He won pretty nicely on the all-weather to cap off his two-year-old campaign over a mile, keeping on well at the finish and the form of his opening run of this season could hardly look better, loosing nothing in defeat when getting done for pace by the 2000 Guineas winner again over a mile at Kempton. The second in that race, Valvano, had looked very classy on his previous start and I like the way Persica stuck his neck out going to the line. That could be strong form.

Whilst the step up to 1m 2f isn’t guaranteed to bring out further improvement in Persica, he is by New Bay – who has already sired a winner of this race – and at odds of 11/1, I think he’s overpriced in the market and will run a huge race from a nice draw in stall 7.

1pt each-way Persica @11/1, 15:00 Newbury, Saturday (1-4 places, 1/5 odds)

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