Hillstar in good shape to go one better than last year

Hillstar in good shape to go one better than last year

Hillstar

Hillstar

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Betting Tip: Hillstar @ 13/2 with bet365

This doesn’t look the strongest Group 2 and it appears to offer John Gosden’s Mahsoob an excellent opportunity to take his unbeaten run to five, after making it 2-2 for this season in the Wolferton Handicap at Royal Ascot last time. He had more in hand than the half-length winning margin suggests and is clearly progressing at a rate of knots.

However, he’s stepping up in trip as well as class here and, at the current odds of just 2/1, he is worth taking on in a race that has not been kind to favourite backers, with just one market leader – Universal in 2013 – obliging in the last 11 runnings. Furthermore, horses stepping up into Group company for the first time, like Mahsoob, have a poor record with Arab Spring the latest failure when a disappointing even-money favourite 12 months ago.

That horse is trained by Sir Michael Stoute and it was a rare reverse for the Newmarket handler as he’s won this race nine times since 1996, which marks out his pair of Gospel Choir and HILLSTAR as potential dangers to the favourite. Ryan Moore prefers the former and that’s understandable as he was on board when the gelding won a Listed contest over course and distance on his reappearance.

However, that’s reflected in his odds of 7/2, whereas his stablemate may have slipped under the radar at 13/2. Why? The five-year-old went close to winning this race last year, one of several high-class efforts during his career, and ended the season with a Grade 1 victory at Woodbine. He invariably needs a run or two before hitting peak form, so his comeback fifth in the Hardwicke Stakes represented a decent effort and he’ll be cherry ripe this afternoon.

Betting Tip: Hillstar @ 13/2 with bet365

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