Past Winners » Opinion Poll


I am backing Opinion Poll here. He really has a lot in his favour. He is a lightly-raced three-year-old, highly progressive, and he has the appearance of a horse who has been laid out for this race by Michael Jarvis, who knows how to do that kind of thing. His penultimate run at Haydock, when he stayed on well on the soft ground to beat Distant Memories, looked very good at the time, and the runner-up proved as much by winning his next two and rising by 24lb in the ratings as a result. Opinion Poll is only 7lb higher today than he was then. He was a bit disappointing on his only subsequent run in the King George V Handicap at Royal Ascot, but he raced wide for a lot of the way that day, and the fast ground would have been all against him anyway, so you can forgive him that fairly easily.

Jarvis put him away after that to wait for easier ground, and he will have that today, if perhaps not as soft as he would ideally have liked it. The booking of Frankie Dettori for the Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum-owned colt is a positive (even though Philip Robinson rides another Jarvis horse in the race) and I actually like his draw in stall one on the outside over a mile and a half. Dettori is as astute a jockey as there is riding these days, he rides Ascot better than anyone, and he will have enough time to get in as far as he wants. Statistically, over a mile and a half at Ascot, probably because of the trouble in-running that goes on on the inside, you are better to be drawn on the outside than on the inside.

The last three winners of this race carried between 8st 10lb and 8st 13lb, and two of them were three-year-olds, so Opinion Poll fits the stats as well. I can see him running a big race, and 8/1 is too big.