It’s been a struggle this week with focusing on both this meeting and the Euros but the results haven’t been up to last year’s standard.
We knocked on the door early on with a second at 7/1 in the Tercentenary Stakes, which split two 4th’s, just outside the places.
Order Of St George was a commanding victor in the feature race of the day – the Gold Cup and could be set for a tilt at the Arc. That was followed by a cracking finish involving Defrocked and Abe Lincoln in the Britannia.
That takes the P/L down again. It now stands at -4.68.
Here is a look at another competitive day in Berkshire.
14:30 Albany Stakes
The action starts with a six furlong race for two year old fillies and Aidan O’Brien has the favourite Cuff, who has won two from three. She sets the standard on the back of her comfortable win in the Listed Fillies Sprint Stakes at Naas last time. She is likely to continue improving and if proving strong in the market closer to the off could well be a good thing.
Value wise then I’m interested in Wesley Ward’s filly Create A Dream. She won a maiden at this course when making all over five furlongs and was pushed all the way by The Last Lion, who was later demoted to third. We saw that horse in action yesterday finishing second in the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes suggesting this filly by Oasis Dream could be useful. Her pedigree suggests she’ll require a mile in time, so this looks a sensible move and if Frankie Dettori can get the fractions right could make all.
Another to like at a price is Grizzel. She is two from two after just catching Clem Fandango close home at Beverley in the Hilary Needler Trophy. We saw Beverley form franked here yesterday with Prince Of Lir & The Last Lion, so she can enhance that once more. When she won that race she beat Clem Fandango, who ran well in defeat behind Lady Aurelia on Wednesday. The extra furlong looks like to suit with the way she has shaped so far, so is worth a each-way play. Richard Hannon is still to have a winner here this week but he won this race last year and looks to have the ideal type.
One to mention at a huge price is Oh Grace. She was a winner of a maiden just eight days ago at Leopardstown on her fourth start. It seemed that the cheekpieces worked the oracle. She is fairly exposed compared to her rivals but she has form behind Cuff in Ireland and could be overpriced. That win came over seven furlongs but is returned to this trip, so a strongly run race should suit. If she is able to settle early on she could be a huge player.
Advice: Create A Dream (0.5pt Each-Way 13/2)
Grizzel (0.5pt Each-Way 9/1)
15:05 King Edward VII Stakes
A tight looking Group 2 where you are left questioning whether the unexposed types could improve past Beacon Rock.
The Aidan O’Brien charge won a Group 3 at the Curragh on the last day and won like an odds-on shot should. Three starts ago he was third beaten by nearly 9l by Derby winner Harzand. This son of Galileo should get the extra trip here and won’t mind the ground. He is coming up against unexposed types, so might be vulnerable to an improver.
Carntop looks the one to take the favourite on with. Ralph Beckett has been in good form of late and his colt was unlucky not to have been victorious in the Derby Trial at Lingfield last month but should come on for that. He was caught close home by Humphrey Bogart, who ran fifth in the Derby and re-opposes here. He is by Dansili, whose offspring go well on soft ground, so this shouldn’t be a problem. This well related type is on that could come to hand in a race of this nature.
Another trainer in form is Roger Varian and he saddles Choreographer in this race. An 850,000gns yearling, who won very nicely on good to soft ground in his maiden hinting at ability. He was thrown into the Group 2 Dante on his second start when beaten by 9l finishing in seventh, which wasn’t a bad effort considering he met trouble in running. He’s a big horse and will continue to improve because he has the scope to do so. In this race he could have more to offer after his two starts and isn’t discounted.
Advice: Carntop (0.5pt Each-Way 5/1)
15:40 Commonwealth Cup
This race has helped to add some quality to the sprinting division, especially amongst the younger age group. Quiet Reflection is one of my antepost bets for this meeting after the way she dominated her rivals in the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock.
She has a high cruising speed and a blistering turn of foot, which she illustrated last time out. On her first start of this campaign she won a Group 3 at Chantilly and the horse that followed her home has since won black type of his own. She’ll handle the ground and she receives a weight allowance from her main rivals, who look to be the males.
Donjuan Triumphant followed her home at Haydock despite Richard Fahey being negative about his chances. He had apparently wintered badly and that was his first start of the season, so it was a good effort. He’ll relish the cut in the ground but does have something to find to reverse the form with Karl Burke’s charge. He will win another big race this campaign.
The French raider Cheikeljack looks an interesting proposition. The form of his Group 3 win has worked out well and that was over seven furlongs. If they go a strong pace then it could play into his lap with the extra bit of stamina. The ground has come for him and could have more to come. One point to make is that Vincent Cheminaud is 0-7 at Ascot.
One more to briefly mention that has gone under the radar is La Rioja. Henry Candy’s yard was badly out of form then he recorded a 25/1 winner. This filly by Hellvelyn won’t mind getting her tow in and will have had to progress from her fifth behind Quiet Reflection. She does need to improve but could get involved at the finish now she is fitter.
Advice: Quiet Reflection (1pt Win 2/1)
16:20 Coronation Stakes
Can Jet Setting add another Group 1 to her shock Irish 1000 Guineas victory? For me, probably not. She upset Minding at the Curragh on similar ground and she showed a good attitude to hang on that day. She went to the sales this week and was brought for a whooping £1.3 million, so she’ll be looking to repay some of that price tag. The key to her is this soft ground, so she should be thereabouts in the closing stages.
I’m a fan of Nathra and she is one that won’t mind getting her toe in. Her three career wins have come with cut in the ground and she has been progressing nicely. When last seen she was finishing a narrow margin ahead of Qemah and Besharah in the French 1000 Guineas. The wide berth in stall 13 isn’t necessarily a negative because this is a fair track. Frankie Dettori will know that she can be given a patient ride because she does have a turn of foot. She looks a good each-way bet in this race.
Nemoralia has placed in a couple of Group 1’s in the USA. She returned to the track at York when cosily winning a Listed race and the manner of that victory throws her into the mix. However she comes from a yard in Jeremy Noseda that I struggle to get a gauge on. This filly by More Than Ready looks to have been laid out for this race so is a player.
Advice: Nathra (0.5pt Each-Way 7/1)
17:00 Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes
A trappy handicap over a mile and a half where Godolphin has the front two in the market.
Elite Army comes here with a perfect record of two from two over course and distance, including winning the King George V Stakes at this meeting in 2014. The latest being in a Listed event here on his return where he looked too keen early on but prevailed by a head. This son of Authorized should get a proper gallop in this race, which will suit him much better, and he could show his true ability. Saeed Bin Suroor is yet to have a winner at Royal Ascot this week for Godolphin.
Rare Rhythm dominated in a Newmarket handicap last time when he looked to have some attitude by the way he hung on the run in. That was a convincing performance and the handicapper has reacted by a 10lb rise, which isn’t entirely harsh. He should handle cut in the ground after winning his maiden on soft. This is his return to the track and he has come on for his first run in the last two years.
For me Tom Dascombe’s Cymro looks a big player. He loves slow ground with all four winning having soft in the going description. This four year old made his 2016 reappearance at Thirsk when he won a 15-runner handicap and looked better than his rivals that day. His next start saw him in the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes at Chester where he was only fourth of five but wasn’t beaten too far, plus he had to switch out after being interfered with by the eventual winner. If in similar form he’s a big player.
Kinema drops in trip after winning at Goodwood over one mile and six furlongs. He has the stamina but had failed to get his head in front previously over this trip, so may find this too sharp. Ivan Grozny comes from a powerful jumps yard and he’ll have stamina aplenty and will handle the ground. If he has the turn of foot to deal with actual flat bred horses is another question.
Advice: Cymro (0.5pt Each-Way 12/1)
17:35 The Queen’s Vase
This two mile race is quite a tricky affair to call with very little form over this trip, so you are looking for the stayers and the improvers.
Ebediyin runs in the colours of Aga Khan, seen carried to victory in this year’s Derby by Harzand. He was stepped up in trip on his last start and he seemed to love every minute of the mile and a half. He seems like one that doesn’t want to hit the front too soon after not doing too much when getting there with a furlong to go last time. This son of Raven’s Pass is from the same family as Estimate and Enzeli, who were top class stayers.
Andrew Balding is a stable in form. Ormito has some of the strongest form in the book on the back of his two runs this season. On his first start he was pitched in deep in the Group 3 Chester Vase when finishing third behind US Army Ranger and Port Douglas. He followed that up with another third when behind Algometer at Goodwood – only beaten a length. He has stamina in the pedigree and won’t mind softer ground. He does seem to tick plenty of boxes and off a mark of 100 could have more to offer.
Twinlight Payment has only had two career starts and will need to improve based on his form. He is in first time cheekpieces but is worth nothing because of connections. He shaped with some promise over one mile and five furlongs on debut when staying on late in the day. He has more on is plate here but one to note. As is Opposition for Ed Dunlop. This grey son of Dalakhani is two from two this season and looks to be progressing nicely. He was a good winner at Doncaster and the form is slowly taking shape. He has shaped like a stout stayer, so enters consideration.
Laura Mongan’s Harbour Law won over one mile six furlongs last time out at Sandown when ridden prominently by George Baker. It’s hard to make all on this round course at Royal Ascot but he is one that should see out the trip. One final one to mention is Gunnery on the back of a second at Chester when just failing to reel in the winner. You could possibly argue that he didn’t handle the Roudee that day, so the return to a more conventional track should suit. He was behind Primitivo at Newbury and Alan King’s charge completed a four-timer by winning the finale here yesterday. There is plenty of stamina in his pedigree, so at a double figure price could be the value.
Advice: Ormito (0.5pt Each-Way 6/1)
Gunnery (0.25pt Each-Way 16/1)