Jim Bolger has never been a man to call his geese swans but his charge was still allowed to go off a distant second favourite to Holy Roman Emperor in the National Stakes – despite being hailed as one of the best the County Carlow trainer has ever trained.
He never looked in danger of relinquishing his 100 per cent record in that contest, readily quickening clear from the Ballydoyle contender to win by over a length. His main market rival has since scored impressively at the Arc meeting, but that was on a very different surface and there is no reason why he should reverse the placings at Headquarters.
Sir Percy is taken to reward the patience of connections by landing what promises to be a fascinating renewal of the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes.
Marcus Tregoning’s three-year-old boasts an exceptionally strong CV and looked the real deal when coming from an unpromising position to grab gold in the Derby earlier in the year.
He has suffered with niggling problems since that memorable day, although Tregoning is adamant the son of Mark Of Esteem is back in flying form.
While his shrewd handler will no doubt be disappointed that he has been unable to campaign his main weapon more forcefully this year, it does at least mean Sir Percy will arrive at Headquarters a fresh horse.
That could count for a lot – given that many of his main market rivals have endured long seasons – and there remains every chance we have yet to see the best of the Derby hero.
Aidan O’Brien can make a winning start to the day by saddling Art Museum to victory in the VC Bet Challenge Stakes.
He is not one of the yard’s better-known names and faces some proven older performers at Newmarket.
However, he looks capable of more than holding his own in this company.
Art Museum justified cramped odds to make a winning debut last year before following up in a Listed contest that is working out well with three of the next four home all winning in Pattern company this season.
He made an impressive reappearance last month but with that being his first run in over a year, there is every reason to believe we will see a vastly improved performer here.
Punters looking to unearth the winner of the totesport Cesarewitch face an unsurprisingly difficult task but Jamie Poulton’s Theatre should give them a good run for their money. His Ascot victory last time was his first on the level for over three years but signalled he is running into form at the right time.
And with conditions likely to suit, he rates a very sound each-way choice.
He is proven with some cut in the ground, looks an out-and-out stayer and will think he is running loose with just 8st on his back.