Purposeful support for Changingoftheguard in the Totesport Ebor suggests that he could conceivably develop into a Ladbrokes St Leger contender, but that might prove the case even if he does not beat each and every one of the experienced older horses massing against him at York today. It is hard to conceive of a more different profile, for instance, than that brought into the race by another Irish raider in Deutschland (3.25).
A familiar name over fences, he was last seen finishing an excellent second in the Galway Hurdle. Unbeaten in both starts on the level since joining Willie Mullins, he annihilated his rivals in a handicap at Dundalk in July. He actually has a very decent American Flat pedigree and, as he is a strong traveller, his wide draw may not be insuperable. Mature and streetwise, he is a formidable opponent for the favourite, taking into account weight-for-age.
The Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes is a fascinating race, if a precarious one for betting purposes. The form standard is set by Orpen Grey, beaten only by Arcano at the Newmarket July Festival, while Monsieur Chevalier has now won six of his seven starts over five furlongs despite repeatedly looking as though he might prove even better over a sixth. We shall find out today, but there is a suspicion he faces a special prospect in Showcasing (2.50). He outclassed his rivals for a Yarmouth maiden last time, and had previously run Arcano close in a very strong race at Newbury.
The Weatherbys Insurance Lonsdale Stakes looks the most execrable Group Two race in a good while. The insipid quality of stayers beneath the cream has been painfully apparent since the disappearance of the Ascot Gold Cup protagonists and, in the further absence of the two horses that drew clear in the Goodwood Cup, this is best left to a "promoted" handicapper in Drill Sergeant (2.15). Though stepping up in trip, he could well control the pace in such a small field, and at least his third at Goodwood showed his attitude and his form to be intact – a precious distinction in this field.