A cracking renewal of this Group 1 contest. Palace Pier was a cosy winner of the St James’s Palace last time but is a very skinny price here considering the ground is an unknown. Persian King has always been held in very high regard but I’m not entirely convinced by his level of form so far this season and I think this is his toughest test so far in 2020. Romanised and Circus Maximus are closely matched on Longchamp form last campaign but fellow Irish raider Alpine Star looks overpriced. An emphatic winner of the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, she was narrowly denied in the Prix de Diane at Chantilly next time. That form is rock solid as the winner won the Nassau Stakes subsequently, the third was the Irish 1,000 Guineas winner and the fourth hacked up in a Group 3 at the start of the month. The ground won’t be an issue and connections won this race with Alpine Star’s half-sister, Alpha Centauri, in 2018.
The top three in the betting are all coming off the back of some really good efforts, as is seasoned campaigner Golden Apollo. Tim Easterby’s charge was sent off favourite for this race back in 2018 but disappointed having been drawn in the middle of the track. Nearer the rail this time and 6lbs below that mark, he’s still feasibly handicapped with a rating of 93 given he’s a winner off 95. Second at York last time, he appears as though he’s hitting form at the right time. Jockey David Allan is the man to have on board at Ripon too, with his 20% strike rate at the venue this season.
Caroline Dale sets a good level form at a higher level than this and Sardinia Sunset is a winner in this grade, but a few of these are more unexposed and could propel themselves much higher given this opportunity. Amor De Mi Vida left her debut effort well behind when making all over 6f at York last time and based on the pace she showed there, shouldn’t have an issue down at the minimum trip. She beat an improver of Richard Hannon’s who was previously just touched off by Isabella Giles, who has form closely tying in with Caroline Dale. Boasting plenty of size, Amor De Mi Vida should continue to improve as time goes on for a trainer who won this contest in 2018.