Day 3 saw the blog come alive for the first time with winners at 6/1 and 13/2 (9/2 and 17/2 SP) while 2nd’s at 50/1 and 16/1.
2:30 Albany Stakes
Newfangled was an extremely impressive winner of her maiden at Newmarket but is priced accordingly to that and it’s always risky taking such short prices in these races. The form hasn’t been tested but Richard Hannon will have a good idea of where Tassel stands with the stablemate who Newfangled beat that day. Richard Hughes was quoted in saying Tassel was the most impressive 2yo in the early stages of the season and after winning her debut, form of which is working out really well, she was a bitterly disappointing last behind Judy In Disguise at Salisbury as if something amiss. She was clearly not right that day and it may be worth giving her another chance solely on prices. Agent Allison is well worth a chance here after winning her maiden at Pontefract 11 days ago in great style from a solid yardstick. The Gold Cheongsam is the one that has come in for money. The two she was behind that day are smart types and she was also well backed to win that day so she must be showing something. However Jeremy Noseda has failed to have a 2yo winner so far this year. Sandreamer was well priced too as the form of her maiden win is good and Mick Channon’s have come on for the run. Connections won this with Samitar last year though that is the trainer’s only winner at Royal Ascot for a good few years. Irish juveniles have shown to be on a good par with ours this year and SENDMYLOVETOROSE is worth chancing in this for Michael Oliver. The maiden she won possibly wasn’t the strongest but she thrashed them in the soft ground. She is drawn nicely and up with the pace and her trainer shouldn’t be underestimated. If she was trained by a big trainer, she’d be half the price she is. The form of Kosika possibly isn’t as strong as it first looked though Amazonas has the potential to run into a place. It wouldn’t surprise if Equitania and Light Up My Life ran well being Hannon second and third string.
Advice – Sendmylovetorose 1pt e/w @16/1 Ladbrokes
3:05 King Edward VII Stakes
Astrology is a strong favourite but i’d definitely be taking him on. He sets a nice standard with his third in the Derby but that’s not special form and he may have also got the run of the race. He won a poor Chester Derby Trial on soft but still needs to prove as effective on better ground in this grade. Thought Worthy represents John Gosden though now Shantaram is a n/r. He beat NOBLE MISSION in the Fairway Stakes before that over 1m2f but Frankel’s half-brother looks in desperate need of 1m4f and he gets it here for the first time. Thomas Chippendale adds another dimension to the race and was a good winner last time but more will be needed and Tom Queally chooses Noble Mission. Initiator completes the field that has been reduced to five due to ground and is interesting but has to step up significantly on his maiden win.
Advice – Noble Mission 3pts win @9/2 generally
3:45 Coronation Stakes
The arrival of rain will suit Homecoming Queen down to the ground (no pun intended) and this will well and truly show us if her Guineas romp was a fluke or not. At the prices though I wouldn’t be backing her as my suspicion is it was. The race was one of the strangest i’ve experienced and I backed her that day but she was average in the Irish 1000 Guineas last time, won by Samitar, though that race has been boosted by Ishvana winning the Jersey. Many know how much of a fan I am of LAUGH OUT LOUD and she ran a superb race last time in France from the front. More may be needed but she is third best on ratings and the front two have question marks. She looks the most solid contender and can’t be ignored. The Irish 1000 Guineas didn’t look the best of races on paper and added in with very fast ground, whether Samitar can run as well on this ground is a worry. Mick Channon says he can’t split them but both seem very different types and there’s no doubt today’s conditions will suit Laugh Out Loud more. Cardigan has come in for money but must be pretty good to take this off just one start. She showed plenty of speed when beating the 87 rated Riot Of Colour over 6f but this is a totally different kettle of fish. Starscope returns to a mile after a bitterly disappointing run last time. She looked all over a middle distance filly though and has it to prove now. Fallen For You hasn’t lived up to original expectations though strangely is the one Wlliam Buick rides. Bugie D’Amore has form to find with Laugh Out Loud but it’s worth putting IRISH HISTORY on your side too. I was really taken by her debut victory and she was unlucky in the Heron last time when not getting a run. This ground could be right in her favour and she remains a filly with a lot of potential. Russeliana has to build on her modest 9th in an average Nell Gwyn while this is very tough for Intense Pink on her first start at a mile.
Advice – Laugh Out Loud 3pts win @5/1 Ladbrokes
Irish History 1pt e/w @16/1 Ladbrokes
4:25 Wolferton Handicap
What a cracker of a race. Although a Listed one, it’s amazing this race is a handicap. Gatewood is up 7lb for his win at Epsom but that could still be very light as the fact he even won that day showed how good he is. He came from far too far back but got up easily on the line and he is well up to running big races in group company, no doubt about it. But all his runs have been on good ground and he would need to prove his effectiveness on soft. Roger Varian has said Mijhaar is his best chance of the week and he should come on for his third behind Fury at York last time, boosted by the runner-up Prince Of Johanne taking the Hunt Cup on Wednesday. He ran okay in last year’s King Edward VII but he always seems underpriced due to how well he’s regarded. Maybe he fulfills it here but it’s still a question mark and he also doesn’t really convince on softer ground. I don’t really have to explain why I’m going with QARAABA (Horses to follow List 2012) as many know how much I love this horse. But she will go on the ground and she looked as good as ever winning thrashing her rivals at Doncaster. She’s off 101 now though. Her only defeat was at the hands of Danadana but she gets 3lb after that rival has since gone in again. Danadana has never convinced with cut in the ground, with form on anything described as soft in the description of 358 while form on good or better reads 1211. Those four should fight this out though Godolphin have two decent rivals in Retrieve and French Navy. Both their form dipped near the end of the season but that means they’re not on bad marks if bouncing back. Luca Cumani has Kirthill along with Dandana and he never got into his race when behind Gatewood and could surprise a few. Ottoman Empire ran well behind Gatewood last time at Epsom but that rival should frank that form again. The rest have it to find in a hot race.
Advice – Qaraaba (Horses to follow list 2012)
5:00 Queens Vase
This is a poor renewal of what is usually a pretty nice race. Athens is best on ratings so far but his form just doesn’t inspire and although most are in the same brand, he is going to need to improve for the marked step up in trip. Estimate has a good chance for Her Majesty The Queen and was a good winner of a 1m4f maiden last time out. YAZDI was third in a really strong maiden behind Model Pupil and Shantaram and then thrashed his field in a Thirsk maiden next time over two furlongs. He should stay the trip and improve for it but he wouldn’t have to be extra special to take this anyway. Minimise Risk has been down the field in the Chester Vase and Derby but should take to a test like this. Macbeth has shown his best form on soft ground over 1m3f+ so this stamina test should suit. It may not suit Perennial though who doesn’t strike as a type for this after disappointing this spring. Ed De Gas could be interesting back on turf and he can probably be excused for his Derby Trial run in a race where it paid to be close to the pace bar the obviously smart winner.
Advice – Yazdi 2pts win @6/1 generally
5:35 Buckingham Palace Stakes
Lightning Cloud is out of the race now and he was my strong fancy. Global Village won that day and is still progressive though is now 6lb higher and has a high draw. The in form Primaeval now runs off the same mark he has on the a/w and more may be needed to take this off 100. The handicapper was very fair in putting Emilio Largo up just 2lb in an okay Ripon handicap and the ground should be fine so he could go nicely. Tariq Too seemed to have no excuses in the Victoria Cup but has won a weaker race since. 7lb extra makes it tough though the very good Harry Bentley takes 3lb off. Haamaat put up a career best over 6f on good to firm last time out in listed company but this race is totally different and the handicapper has taken no chances. Noble Citizen was a notable eyecatcher behind Primaeval at good when seen last however he was well beaten off 3lb lower in this last year and looks better on good ground. The 7yo Imperial Djay has been in as good a form as ever in winning his last two. He likes cut in the ground and stays well so he should run well but this is a career high mark and it will be tough. DOCOFTHEBAY has still been in top form this year and ran good races on a sound surface in between the Pontefract race where it has been wise to follow everything that had to race wide and basically had no chance. He was runner-up off 1lb higher at Doncaster on soft over 7f in November and a repeat of that brings him right into play. Belgian Bill ran a good race in the Hunt Cup but just 2 days to overcome that means the edge may have been taken off him. Decent Fella was fourth in this last year off 9lb lower and this time has no run to come on for, though he did win his reappearance last year. Castles In The Air looks too inconsistent albeit very talented and he does have an eyecatching jockey booking but he was well beaten last year in this. Although off a career high mark, Directorship has been in great form and he bumped into the very progressive Highland Colori at Sandown latest. But all his form is on good ground or faster. GOSSAMER SEED is a group 3 winner this year but is weighted accordingly. She is fine with testing ground but whether a draw of 30 is good remains to be seen. My suspicion is it’s the wrong side but it may be worth having a saver over there as the Hunt Cup winner and last year’s first four home were all on the stands side. David Marname is a shrewdy when it comes to these UK handicaps and Jamesie ran back to form on his first try at 7f since September. He is still fairly well handicapped and has a more likeable profile than many. Money for MIA’S BOY would be significant and he is on one of the lowest marks he has been on for a long time. He ran well on the a/w last time though, form which regularly transfers to turf. His last two tries at 7f on turf saw a win and a close run behind Edinburgh Knight here on Champions Day. He hasn’t tried soft for quite a bit but he has gone fine on it before and may be well drawn on the far side. The Rectifier has come in for support early though has never tried ground worse than good yet. Imperial Guest had a good draw last time and ran well but isn’t handicapped to win at the moment. Advanced is not a bad e/w price as he should run his race once again and conditions will be fine, while his draw is ideal while Thunderball has draw 1 but is best at 6f, albeit on ground that he should get here.
Advice – Docofthebay 1.5pts e/w @20/1 generally
Mia’s Boy 1.5pts e/w @33/1 Coral
Gossamer Seed 1pt e/w @22/1 Sporting Bet