Smart Stat: 2 - Sir Michael Stoute's number of winners in past 10 runnings
Zaaki has showed improved form since switching to Sir Michael Stoute this season, opening his account in a mile minor event at Thirsk in April before shaping better than the bare result on all-weather/handicap debut at Chelmsford last time. He was arguably unlucky not to win, travelling best entering the home straight but unable to get on terms with the front two who were better positioned. A stronger gallop – something which he should get here – would have also suited and he is worth chancing to progress further for a yard who were among the winners yesterday in what looks an open renewal of the Hampton Court.
Smart Stat: £58.01 - Simon Crisford's profit when having one runner at a flat meeting since the start of the 2013 season
As you would expect, this is a very competitive renewal of the Britannia with any number of unexposed three-year-olds on show, but the one who could be worth chancing at double-figure odds is Ostilio. He finished runner-up to the subsequent St James’s Palace winner Without Parole before opening his account in fine style on handicap debut at Newmarket last month, looking well ahead of his opening mark. That performance was backed up by a solid timefigure and a subsequent 6 lb rise looks lenient, so he is expected to go close in a wide-open event.
Smart Stat: 23% - Charlie Appleby's strike rate with horses running over 10f+ since the start of the 2013 season
Charlie Appleby has a good record with his horses running over middle distances and saddles two here, but the one to be interested in is Cross Counter. He lost his unbeaten record at Sandown last time, but he showed improved form, beaten only by a smart prospect, and the feeling is the handicapper has taken a chance in giving him an opening mark of 98. There should be more to come from Cross Counter, who is having just his third career start, and with the yard already amongst the winners this week, he looks the way to go.