Past Winners » Twice Over


Best odds of 5/1 about Twice Over is much too big for this in my book, and he is well worth backing at that. The fact that Tom Queally is riding Midday instead of Twice Over is almost certainly a huge contributor to his inflated price, but Henry Cecil said yesterday that he decided on the jockey bookings, that Queally didn’t have the choice, and that Ian Mongan gets on well with Twice Over, so it made sense to allow him ride him, and leave Queally on Midday.

Ian Mongan is a good rider, better than the credit and the rides that he gets, and I rate Twice Over’s chance at least as good as Midday’s, if not slightly better on easy ground. Midday is a rattling top of the ground filly for me, whereas Twice Over doesn’t mind getting his toe in a little, so today’s easy ground should suit the colt better than the filly.

Twice Over is a continually under-rated horse. He is a dual Champion Stakes winner and an Eclipse winner, and he went mighty close in this race last year, getting the better of his duel with Byword – like himself and Midday, owned by Khalid Abdullah – before Rip Van Winkle came and mugged the pair of them on the line.

It has taken Twice Over a little time to find his feet this season after a trip to Dubai to contest the Dubai World Cup, but his latest run over today’s course and distance proved that he was coming to himself again. Held up out the back in a slowly run race that day, it took him a little while to pick up but, once he did, he came through powerfully to get the better of Ransom Note, Dominant and Class Is Class, who was an impressive winner of the Group 3 Rose of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock last Saturday.

Twice Over has to step up again on that if he is to win today, but there is every chance that he will. He has run three times at York, each time over today’s distance, finishing third in a Dante, second in a Juddmonte International, and winning that Group 2 race last time.

Await The Dawn sets a fair standard, but he is priced up on reputation more than on form, and I am not certain that the drop back down to 10 and a half furlongs will suit after he ground out his victory in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot last time over a mile and a half. That race was run on soft ground, but he had always been thought of as a fast ground performer before that, and soft ground at Ascot is different to soft ground everywhere else, so for me, he is still not fully proven in easy conditions.

Ballydoyle have fielded a pacemaker, but there is still a chance that the pace will not be that strong, Windsor Palace isn’t really good enough to be considered a live threat in the race and there is a chance that, if he goes off too fast, the rest of the field will ignore him. It would have been a different story if Roderic O’Connor was still in the race, he would have been too good a potential pacemaker for the others to ignore. If they do go slowly, that will suit Twice Over well. He is the only one of the big three who is a proven 10-furlong specialist. He is value at 5/1.