Sandown stage one of the best evening fixtures of the Flat racing season on Thursday but with ground conditions described as Soft ( Heavy in places ) there is a disappointing turnout for one of the two Group 3 contests on the card, the Cantor Fitzgerald Brigadier Gerard Stakes at 7.50. Named in honour of the Dick Hern-trained champion of the 1970’s the 1m 2f contest invariably provides plenty of clues for Royal Ascot and beyond and if there is one horse in the race who has the potential to finish the season as a Group 1 winner it is the John Gosden-trained Remote, the mount of in-form jockey James Doyle.
Only 5 horses are set to go to post for the first prize of just over £35k including confirmed mudlark Top Notch Tonto although Brian Ellison’s charge has this season looked a shadow of the horse who chased home Olympic Glory in Ascot’s QE11 Stakes last October and has to give 3lb to his four rivals. Hillstar will not fail through lack of fitness having finished second to Brown Panther in Chester’s Ormonde Stakes earlier this month but the mount of Ryan Moore has so far failed to live up to early expectations while Godolphin’s Sharestan and Sheikhzayedroad will have their supporters, but neither has the scope of Gosden’s Dansili colt.
After a promising debut when third at Pontefract 12 month’s ago Remote remained unbeaten for the rest of the season winning a Newbury maiden followed by a most impressive six length victory in a Doncaster handicap off a mark of 89. Stepping up in class for his next start in the Group 3 Tercentenary Stakes at Royal Ascot the horse readily disposed of French challenger Shikarpour with the minimum of fuss. Due to a minor problem the colt was not seen out for the rest of the season but providing fitness is not an issue for his first run for 11 months this potentially top class performer should prove too good for the opposition at the 7-2 available with Betvictor and Paddy Power.