Frankie Dettori winning The Artemis Goodwood Cup last year on Opinion Poll Image Credit: Rex Features


Opinion Poll raced nine times in 2011 and was only once worse than third position. He was beaten twice by the Irish star Fame And Glory, and Opinion Poll himself won two prestigious races over two miles (3,200 metres). He beat another horse representing the boys in blue, Lost In The Moment, by a head to win the Goodwood Cup (G2) in July. Three weeks later, he travelled to the big York meeting, to contest the Lonsdale Cup (G2). The competition was tougher and many also wondered how Opinion Poll would keep his form, after tough races in the summer. Prior to his win at Goodwood, he had been second to Fame And Glory in the Gold Cup (G1) at Royal Ascot. These events had not dented his enthusiasm, however. As always, Opinion Poll looked an absolute picture in the paddock at York. Duncan, who went on to win a Group 1 on his next start, proved a stern rival but Opinion Poll held him by ¾ length. In the autumn, Opinion Poll had to settle for second twice, at Doncaster and Ascot (behind Fame And Glory), and he was runner-up on his seasonal debut at Meydan, when Fox Hunt beat him by 2½ lengths in the Nad Al Sheba Trophy (G3). Opinion Poll may have needed the run last time and he could well bounce back to winning form on World Cup night. Frankie Dettori has chosen him over Fox Hunt.

Globeform: 119


Fox Hunt has managed something not many other stayers have — namely to beat Opinion Poll. He did so when they met in the Nad Al Sheba Trophy (G3) over 2,800 metres at Meydan on March 1. Ridden by Dettori, he kicked for home some 400 metres from the winning post. Opinion Poll, partnered by Mikael Barzalona, was settled at the back of the field. He advanced easily to get into an attacking position but Fox Hunt had got first run on him and kept on well to score by 2½ lengths, while Opinion Poll took second. Can Fox Hunt come out best again? Of course it's possible but the longer trip favours Opinion Poll and the fact that Fox Hunt had already had a run this year prior to the Nad Al Sheba Trophy is also worth bearing in mind. Opinion Poll had not raced since finishing second to Fame And Glory at Ascot almost five months earlier, and he was in need of the run.

Globeform: 115


Mikhail Glinka won the Queen's Vase (G3) over two miles, approximately 3,200 metres, at Royal Ascot in England as a three-year-old, when trained by Aidan O'Brien. He has since joined Herman Brown, and also had spells with Gary Moore in England, and this son of top-class stallion Galileo is interesting in the Gold Cup. He has come back to form at the right time, that's for sure, as he won the Dubai City Of Gold (G2) on Super Saturday. Mikhail Glinka went straight to the lead in the 2,400-metres contest, and that's where he stayed, until passing the winning post a solid length ahead of Cavalryman. In top form, and being a proven stayer, he is likely to make an impact here.

Globeform: 114