The horse to beat is Catapult (#6) given the expected pace scenario, which places long shot Pirellone (#4) on the lead in a situation favoring the frontrunner. Catapult figures to be in a good tactical position stalking that one, whereas his main rival, Strike Midnight (#3), prefers to come from a bit farther off the pace as he did when rallying from last place to get up for second in the English Channel last time.
That day, TOUGHEST ‘OMBRE (#8) also rallied from the back of the pack, but I’m expecting him to be placed much closer to the pace today given his penchant for using his tactical speed.
While the pace of the English Channel did largely fall apart, Strike Midnight was with the race flow, as he was able to get outside and rally around horses. That was not the case for Toughest ‘Ombre, who got stymied down inside and lost momentum coming to the top of the stretch as the fading frontrunners backed up in his face. Toughest ‘Ombre has occasionally run well enough to suggest he can win a race at this level, and he should offer better value than the other two.
Exacta Key Box: 8 with 3,6