Mike de Kock believes Soft Falling Rain has enough ability to make his presence felt in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot today.
The four-year-old lost his 100% record when beaten by Gregorian in the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury, but he got back on the winning track with a smooth win over Montiridge in the Joel Stakes at Newmarket last time.
“I think he’s good enough to be competitive but against those top milers, it remains to be seen,” the South African handler told At The Races.
“I don’t like to get too involved with tactics. Paul Hanagan’s the jockey, we’ve got to have faith in him and he must make the decisions pretty early from leaving the gates. Races aren’t run on paper, you can have all the theories about pace but it’s never that simple, so I leave it to the jockeys.”
Jonathan Pease is looking forward to saddling sole French raider Maxios, who has solid claims on the strength of his convincing success at Longchamp last month, when he beat Olympic Glory by five lengths in the Prix du Moulin.
“He’s well and should be fine. He should like the ground. Hopefully he will run well,” said the British-born Chantilly-based trainer.
The testing conditions persuaded connections of Top Notch Tonto to supplement their mudlover at the confirmation stage.
“We supplemented really because of the forecast, we’ve been promised lots of rain and they’ve been right so far,” said trainer Brian Ellison.
“We know he goes through bad ground and there are plenty of doubts about the others. They say Soft Falling Rain might not want it, Dawn Approach doesn’t want it and O’Brien’s (Declaration Of War) isn’t running because of it.
“If we can finish in the first three, it makes it worth our while because you get �100,000 for third.
“If it was a mile at Redcar in the Listed race, he’d have won by five lengths, and the Group Three at Haydock he won has worked out really well – Highland Knight won the other day, Montiridge has run well since and Tawhid has won. I just hope he runs well.”Read the rest of the story British Horseracing Authority News Headlines