It’s Sunday, so naturally the only chance of some decent racing is the Emerald Isle. Palindromic Navan provides the venue, and this is an uncompromising test, with an uphill finish sufficiently severe to warrant setting up a base camp at the 3f pole.
The Vintage Crop stakes (1625 BST) is a Group 3 stamina test over 1m6f. In most circumstances this would be an exercise gallop for Group 1 winner, Ascot Gold Cup winner, and Arc 3rd Order of St George.
However, master trainer Aidan O’Brien isn’t a master of winning mid-Summer Group 1s by flogging his horses at home in April to have them cherry ripe for a Navan Group 3. If Order of St George is to be beaten then first time out has to be the most likely time.
That would leave us with a neat puzzle as the next 3 in the betting, Torcedor, Twilight Payment and Forgotten Rules finished 1-2-3 at Leopardstown last time.
There is a slight change in the weights in favour of Twilight Payment, and he looks likely to be suited by these race conditions and can reverse the form with Torcedor.
Forgotten Rules could improve in a race named after a famous inmate of the same stable, but he may still struggle to beat Twilight Payment.
Recommendation: Twilight Payment, (1625 Navan), 11/2 generally available
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