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Bahrain Trophy preview

Welcome to the blog Sam Evans, @samevans20, a talented young writer taking a look at today's opener.

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1.20 Bahrain Trophy

A race that has been kind to the more fancied horses in recent years, with only one of the last 10 winners being priced in the double figures and only one of the last 6 being bigger than 3/1. Unsurprisingly as a Group 3 contest for 3yo's over 1m5f this proves to be a good trial for the St Leger, with last year's winner of this race, Masked Marvel, going on to win the oldest Classic. Trainer of that horse John Gosden saddles Shantaram in here, who starts as favourite. There is surely a doubt of his participation though, as the soft ground was what was blamed for his more-than-workmanlike maiden victory here back in June, and with those conditions prevailing again today, that would surely be a huge concern.

Valiant still looked as green as grass when winning a York handicap under a superb ride from Ryan Moore. He should have learnt plenty from that, and with the extra three furlongs bound to suit and the champion-elect (if he wants it) jockey back in the saddle he may stretch his unbeaten start to his career to three.

Rewarded has, well, rewarded connections with consistent performances throughout his short career. He's also stayed on well on his last two starts, both over a mile and a quarter, suggesting this step up in trip should suit, though he may now prove susceptible to one of the less exposed rivals.

I backed Yazdi at Royal Ascot and he led for much of the way before tiring late. This smaller field over shorter should suit, but I will steer clear him for the while. [that probably means he wins by 6 lengths hard held].

SELECTION: VALIANT (9/4)

You can read more of Sam's work on his blog.

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