Yesterday was a poor day in honesty but thankfully Ibn Malik and Battle Of Marathon hit the frame at double figure prices to make a bit of money.
Lady Aurelia had to be the highlight turning a tight race to call into a procession, while it was good to see Clive Cox and Adam Kirby win a second Group 1 in as many days with My Dream Boat.
The P/L stands at -0.19 for the opening two days.
Today is Ladies Day and here is what to look out for on the track.
14:30 Norfolk Stakes
The opening race on Ladies Day at Royal Ascot is a Group 2 contest for two year olds over the flying five furlongs.
Global Applause was behind Mehmas two starts ago but then reversed that form at Sandown in a Listed race. Mehmas was second behind a good type in the Coventry Stakes on Tuesday, which gives this juvenile leading claims in the form book. This colt is by Mayson, whose offspring have a low sample size on slow ground but he won the July Cup on heavy ground, so you’d expect Ed Dunlop’s charge to go on this surface.
Silver Line put in a taking performance on debut by the way he put the race to bed and justified his place at the head of the betting that day. Godolphin had a treble yesterday but with different trainers. This grey is a son of Dark Angel and his progeny are versatile on the ground. You have to expect some improvement for that first effort and looks to be involved in a finish.
Two of these have won over further. They are Legendary Lunch, who won on Oaks Day at Epsom when getting up on the line to deny Danielsflyer. Richard Hannon is having a quiet meeting but on this sort of track and if getting a strong enough gallop could be able to mount a late challenge. The other victor over six furlongs is Peace Envoy for Aidan O’Brien. This son of Power won the Roachestown last time out at Naas and looks a bit of value in this race. He should enjoy a stiff test over five furlongs and drawn in six gives Ryan Moore the chance to go down either side.
Advice: Peace Envoy (0.5pt Each-Way 8/1)
15:05 Tercentenary Stakes
This Group 3 over one mile and two furlongs is a tight little betting heat and Irish 2000 Guineas third Blue De Vega is second in the betting.
Michael O’Callaghan’s charge was behind Awtaad and Galileo Gold, who went to battle in the St James’s Palace Stakes where Galileo Gold reversed the form. He won’t mind getting his toe in and on pedigree the extra trip should suit considering his dam placed over this trip in France plus he is related to some stouter stayers over longer distances.
Abdon is the potential improver in the field on the back of his second in a Listed race last time won by Hawkhill, who is also in this field. The Al Shaqab racing representative did well to win on debut when running green then pitched into a Listed race ran with credit showing he has plenty of ability. If this is run at a good even gallop then it should suit this son of Cacique.
The one worth chancing is Prize Money for Saeed Bin Suroor in the Godolphin silks. His two races this year have suggested he has promise and could have more to offer. He tried to make all last time at Newmarket but was beaten by a horse that went on to run seventh in the Derby. He’ll handle cut in the ground and this race is a contest where he should get cover, which may help he switch off and show his try talent.
Advice: Prize Money (0.5pt Each-Way 7/1)
15:40 Ribblesdale Stakes
Another Group 2 this time for fillies over one mile and four furlongs on the round course where the race looks to be about Architecture.
The question is about her wellbeing just 13 days after that top effort behind Minding in the Oaks. Frankie Dettori had her in a good position that day and she got first run on the favourite but it was Minding who showed her true quality to speed past this Zoffany filly. That will have had its effects on her and this race with a couple of potential improvers may come too soon. If she runs like she did in the Oaks then she should win in all honesty.
Even Song swerved Epsom and got off the mark last season when comfortable winning a Leopardstown maiden. She is a half-sister to Simple Verse, so is all about stamina and the extra two furlongs today should suit. At Newmarket on her reappearance she was third, a place behind Chicadoro, and did well to claim that position after getting in to a bit of trouble in running. She should handle this ground and test, so looks one to bring into the equation.
Sir Michael Stoute has been in good form of late but hasn’t yet notched a winner at this meeting over the past two days. He had a couple that ran well to hit the frame yesterday but today could be his day with Queen’s Trust. She caught my eye on her return to the track at Newbury when staying on over ten furlongs and Stoute’s usually require a run. The form of that run already is taking shape with the fifth winning next time and the seventh running second in another Listed race on her next start. On pedigree she’ll appreciate this extra trip meaning she is still open to improvement. Olivier Peslier is an interesting jockey booking – he has three winners at Ascot plus he is 1 from 2 for Sir Michael.
Advice: Queen’s Trust (0.5pt Each-Way 10/1)
16:20 Gold Cup
This race revolves around whether the favourite Order Of St George stays the two and a half mile trip. He is trained by Aidan O’Brien, who knows how to win this race having won six of the last ten renewals. He won with authority at Leopardstown on his return in a Listed race where he was a cut above his rivals. He handled soft ground when winning the Irish St Leger last season and has the strongest form in the book. Like I said if he stays he is the most likely winner but his odds are prohibitive for the niggling stamina question mark.
Flying Officer wouldn’t want the ground to get any softer because his one poor effort came on heavy ground. He shaped with promise on his return when giving weight away and will have come on for that when third behind Mizzou and Clever Cookie. A lightly raced six year old, who steps into a Group 1 for the first time. If he doesn’t get worked up like he did at York then he is a player.
At his price then Clever Cookie would interest me. He loves getting his toe in and is one of the more likely to see out this trip. He was a 2l fourth behind Estimate in the Doncaster Cup in 2014 when staying on late. This grand old horse won the Yorkshire Cup when the quick ground was said to be against him and he just kept galloping that day, so does look one of the more solid options in this big field.
I wouldn’t rule out last year’s Doncaster Cup winner Pallasator. He can be buzzy and get worked up before his races but he does have huge potential and is a big brute of an animal. He won the four runner Henry II Stakes at Sandown on his return when shaping like he’d be able to go further. He has form on ground with cut in it, so has to be respected.
Advice: Clever Cookie (0.5pt without the favourite @ 6/1)
Pallasator (0.25pt Each-Way 16/1)
17:00 Britannia Handicap
A 30-runner Handicap over the straight mile is a nightmare for most of us and previous winners have returned 10/1, 14/1 and 20/1.
One that I’m keen on in this contest is Folkswood for Charlie Appleby. He looked a stout stayer when winning on the Rowley Mile at the end of April. Despite the 9lb rise there looked plenty more to come from this son of Exceed And Excel but seemed to handle cut in the ground that day. The second from that Newmarket win, Dolphin Vista came out to win by over 3l at Ripon on his next start to give the form a boost.
Fighting Temeraire is one that races at the back then comes home with a strong turn of foot only to be beaten by one. He’s done that twice already this season over seven furlongs, so the fact he is stepping up to a mile has to be a positive. He won his maiden at Windsor with cut in the ground, so that shouldn’t be an issue and he represents a stable that is six from 22 in the past two weeks. He ticks plenty of boxes.
The other I’m putting up is Richard Fahey’s Garcia. The Yorkshire based trainer had a winner yesterday with Ribchester and can have another with this genuine type. He’s now on a four-timer after just getting up at Haydock to beat Chief Whip. This son of Paco Boy looks to gallop and gallop with the way he got the job done on the last day but whether the handicapper has yet got a grip on him shall be revealed here. He won’t mind the ground and if this does turn into a bit of a fight he is one I’d want on side.
Chief Whip followed the aforementioned Garcia home at Haydock when just getting collared close home. This may have been the overall target for this son of Giant’s Causeway, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go close. There is some strong form from his four races that he’s already contested and he’d need to run up to the best of it to win.
Two at bigger prices to give favourable mentions to are Michael Bell’s Taurean Star, who is two from two at Ascot. He sprung a 25/1 surprise when winning here 41-days ago on his return. He’s gone up just 6lb for that but with Daniel Muscutt able to claim 3lb looks well treated on the back of that. The change of jockey from Jamie Spencer may be a slight negative. He recorded a good time doing that and has form on slower surfaces. The other to mention is Speed Company, who is dropping back in trip. A strongly ran mile is likely to suit and he won on his reappearance at Newmarket under Ryan Moore. He doesn’t look badly treated and if Edward Greatrex wants to make use of his stamina then he is a good judge of the fractions at a young age.
Advice: Folkswood (0.5pt Each-Way 12/1)
Garcia (0.5pt Each-Way 14/1)
17:35 King George V Stakes
This isn’t the sort of race I’d be getting too involved with in all honesty. Godolphin has won this race for the last two year’s, so their runner is worth having a market check – Lovell.
The ones that would interest me at the bigger prices would be:
Harrison was eighth of 12 in the Group 2 Dante at York, which isn’t his level. That effort wasn’t too bad and the handicapper hasn’t touched his mark for his return into a handicap. This son of Sixties Icon won’t mind cut in the ground after winning his maiden and shaping well in a handicap on good to soft. Mick Channon won this race back in 2013, so he is one I’d keep an eye on.
Guy Fawkes makes his handicap debut after getting off the mark in good style at Redcar at the end of May. On the back of a maiden win he is the hard one to weigh up but it was a good professional performance in what was probably a weak race. The extra trip in this race should suit William Haggas’ charge and an opening mark of 88 looks about right.
The one I’m putting up for small stakes is Midhmaar. This gelding by Iffraaj has placed second on his last three starts but some of that form is looking useful, especially the run two starts ago behind Czabo, who has since won a Listed race, and today returns to ground with some cut in it. He was beaten by Primitivo last time despite travelling strongly and being in the best position when kicking for home. He just didn’t have the necessary gears to go with the winner that day, so the extra trip looks a positive, especially on breeding. The stable has been dreadfully out of form, which is a slight negative however.
Advice: Midhmaar (0.25pt Each-Way 16/1)