Watson expects Blast to deliver

Archie Watson, trainer

Trainer Archie Watson is confident the undulations of Epsom will hold no fears for Absolute Blast in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes on Saturday.

The daughter of Kodiac has been a model of consistency on the all-weather since the turn of the year, winning twice for Scottish trainer Iain Jardine before joining Lambourn-based Watson in February.

Absolute Blast has continued to thrive and was placed in the Winter Derby and the Easter Classic at Lingfield, with a Listed victory at Kempton sandwiched in between.

She makes her first start on turf for two years since her arrival from France, with Watson confident of a bold show in the Group Three over eight and a half furlongs.

He said: "She has been in great order. We gave her 10 to 12 days off after Lingfield and just had her on the walker and out in the paddock.

"Her work on the grass has been good. She handled the undulations of the straight mile gallop and I hope that Epsom will not hold any problems for her as it is not too different.

"John Gosden's horse (Laugh Aloud) is a worthy favourite, but our mare deserves to be there and goes there with a strong chance."

The Gosden-trained Laugh Aloud, who carries the Godolphin colours, arguably sets the standard after she easily won a Listed contest at Goodwood a month ago.

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"Laugh Aloud continues in good form since her last race and she will go well on Saturday, if handling the track," the Clarehaven handler told www.godolphin.com.

James Tate is hopeful Urban Fox can show her true colours after finishing eighth in the 1000 Guineas.

He said: "She was a bit disappointing in the Guineas, but we decided to follow Rhododendron, who had a troubled passage, which meant we did as well.

"Hopefully you can mark her up for that and we've been very happy with her since.

"John Gosden's filly was very impressive at Goodwood and is definitely a worthy favourite, but with the exception of her, it looks a very open race.

"Funny things tend to happen at Epsom and we're hopeful our filly be competitive."

Mick Channon saddles last year's winner Epsom Icon, who is owned by a locally-based syndicate, and Czabo, who defeated the highly-rated Somehow in a Group Three at Naas on her last start in March.

"I honestly can't split them," said Channon.

"If they got a lot of rain and I had to stick my neck out I'd probably favour Czabo, but there's not much between them.

"Both of them are working really well and go there in good form.

"I know Epsom Icon hasn't really fired so far this year, but she's going really well at home and I think she's ready to fire.

"I'd prefer not to be running the two of them against each other, but they both deserve to be there and both have big chances."


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