Past Winners » Magic Circle 


Weekender has been all the rage for the Henry II Stakes.  He was progressive last season over middle-distances, and he was first past the post in a listed race over a mile and six furlongs at Ascot in October.  He was impressive too on his debut this season at Chelmsford.  But that was not a strong race and he had it all to himself.  He is an interesting horse, but he is not invincible, and four-year-olds have won this race just three times in the last 10 years.

I prefer Magic Circle at twice Weekender’s odds.  The Makfi gelding put up a really impressive performance to win the Chester Cup on his debut this season, his first run for Ian Williams.  He had a wide enough trip from a good draw in stall six that day, he had to go three or four horse-widths wide around the sweeping home turn, but he swept to the front in the home straight and he stayed on very well to come six lengths clear of Fun Mac.

That was just a handicap, and you can be sure that, given that he is owned by Dr Marwan Koukash, he would have been primed for that race.  However, an 8lb hike puts him on the coat-tails of the top horses here on official ratings.  That was a career-best performance on his first run for his new trainer, and he won like a horse who could step forward again.

He is as effective over two miles as he is over two and a quarter, and good ground is ideal.

Red Verdon would be interesting if you thought that he would stay, and Mount Moriah will be interesting if the rains arrive, but Magic Circle is the bet.