|Kevin Ryan Trains Bapak Bangsawan|
Top Boy, trained by Derek Shaw, is a bonny gelding. This son of Exceed And Excel always caught the eye and he is a good-looking bay. Shaw purchased this horse as a yearling from Tattersalls for 42,000gns. Although a 14/1 shot on debut, he was held in some regard by connection but fluffed his lines that day trailing home last. He went close to winning second start when making impressive headway in the final furlong. In nine races to date he has had a number of stiff tasks at pattern class including the Coventry Stakes (Group 2) & Richmond Stakes (Group 2). The form of the latter race at Goodwood would make these horses look pretty ordinary opposition. At his best Top Boy is a talented horse who should win a race of this nature. Perhaps some would question why he has struggled to find victory, which in many ways is a fair comment. I don't think he is the most straightforward of characters and that does bring concerns when priced odds on. Another crucial factor is trying to assess the fitness of this gelding after completing his two-year-old career in September. Will he make a winning return? At best this will be a walk in the park. However, I would tread careful backing at short odds.
Bapak Bangsawan is drawn on the inside of Shaw's horse and a speedy sort. If there is any jostling for position it might be the case Kevin Ryan's colt has the run of the race. I would be tempted to have an each way bet on Bapak Bangsawan if price allows and a lay in-running at short odds. A fascinating race.
Conclusion: If Top Boy is primed for the day he could win this race in style. However, taking odds on would be a brave choice. Bapak Bangsawan is fit and ready for action and while no more than an average horse should hit the frame and may sneak a win if the favourite is ring rusty on this turning course.
Note: pity to see Green Millionaire a non runner. Just a watching race.