Posts Tagged ‘Kiyoshi’

Friday’s Selections – Newmarket, York & Ascot

 

Newmarket

2:40 – Qipco Falmouth Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1) (Fillies & Mares) (CLASS 1) (3yo+) 

The Falmouth is potentially a messy race with a lack of a front runner and also the ground going against plenty of them, notably the two standout performers on form. Both Sky Lantern and Integral want better ground or in Integral’s case is unproven on ground as soft as it could potentially be tomorrow. Both in fact may not even run and Richard Hannon came out today to say their filly wouldn’t take part in soft conditions. Even with or without them, I want to be looking elsewhere.

Rizeena is certainly not the answer for me as she won a horribly messy Coronation Stakes last time where she used her smart turn of foot and was the benefit of a great ride by Ryan Moore. All her runs at Newmarket, three of them albeit on the Rowley Mile, has seen her beat and that, plus the ground which she goes on but is definitely not ideal, means she’s readily opposed. PURR ALONG would have been the value fancy without the rain here and the fact that she goes on anything, when he rivals don’t, gives her an even better chance. She was well beaten in this last year but has looked a far better filly since joining Johnny Murtagh and she really impressed when winning on her return at the Curragh.

She was a good third in the Duke Of Cambridge at Royal Ascot when behind Integral but she had to make a lot of ground up in comparison to the front two who were always prominent. There’s four lengths between her and the favourite on that evidence but in a race that will be run a lot different tactically and on softer ground, I think that margin will diminish considerably. I’d have thought Jamie Spencer would have had the chance to choose over her and Kiyoshi so it’s positive he has gone for her as Kiyoshi herself is respected, particularly as connections have always felt a bit of cut in the ground will really suit her. Certify could struggle to settle again and her and Peace Burg have disappointed of late.

Advice – Purr Along 2.5pts win @8/1 generally

 

 

3:15 – Betfred Mobile Heritage Handicap (Bobis Race) (CLASS 2) (3yo 0-105) 

A cracking 3yo handicap and again the ground will influence the result significantly. When the rain arrived today and after looking at the forecast to see there’s more of it CHARLES MOLSON instantly stuck out as the bet of the race. I backed him last time at York when he came to win his race but a mix of how the race panned out, being on the wrong side of the track and the ground was what got him beat for me. I have been waiting for him at this trip on softer ground as he definitely seems to prefer it on evidence I’ve seen. His run in the Coral Sprint Trophy strongly suggested he had a big handicap in him and Henry Candy is a master of bringing these sprinters along. The early prices have gone but 15/2 still seems a fair price.

That York race as mentioned already sees loads of these represented again, though the winner Sea The Sun is worth taking on on this ground and up 7lb. With Gamesome and Eastern Impact now not taking part, i’m going to side with KICKBOXER here for an e/w bet. He beat Golden Steps at Leicester off 85 earlier in the year on soft ground and though that rival looks more streetwise now and is better off at the weights, he still beat him quite convincingly and there shouldn’t be the different in price there is. Sine then he ran third in that York race and won easily at Ripon, while he didn’t seem to see out 7f when last seen at Chester. He could have more to offer, particularly in these conditions and is worth a try at 16/1.

Royal Seal is off a 6lb penalty after winning last week, High On Life goes for a four-timer and Golden Steps is an exciting proposition too who is better weighted and potentially more improved than when beaten by Kickboxer earlier in the season. Greeb wants further for me to be winning off this mark, while Remember is one I’d be really interested in because she won really well here two weeks ago and the handicapper has been lenient, but she ran a shocker on her only soft ground start at the end of last year and that was the excuse used too. Suzi’s Connossieur looks to have a squeak at a price of the rest.

Advice – Charles Molson 3pts win @15/2 generally

                   Kickboxer 1pt e/w @16/1 Coral

 

 

 

 

York

2:20 – totepool Summer Stakes (Group 3) (CLASS 1) (3yo+)

Probably not the strongest of races but plenty of interest, particularly Ladies Are Forever who has won this race twice in the past three years. Gracia Directa won the race for Germany in between those victories and they are represented by Emerald Star this time, whose domestic form is strong and her win at Lingfield over 7f last time was quite taking. The step down in trip is a question mark on this fast ground especially. Joyeuse needs a strong pace to aim at to see her at best over this trip and she got it on her penultimate start at Haydock.

I think she’s better judged on her second at the Curragh last time out. That Haydock race saw PERFECT BLESSINGS finish a really good third considering she set that frantic pace up front. Since then she’s run really well in a race that has worked out very nicely at Sandown, running on for fifth. 6f seems her trip though and she seems versatile enough regarding ground. Her form that includes Evita Peron and Penny Drops seems really strong now and though she comes into it rated just 94, a stone lower than Joyeuse, she can rate a lot higher than that and 25/1 seems a very big price tomorrow.

Advice – Perfect Blessings 1pt e/w @25/1 generally

 

 

3:30 – Groceryaid Chairman´s Charity Cup (Handicap Stakes) (CLASS 2) (3yo+ 0-100) 

This looks all about King’s Fete in all honesty who was a taking winner of a very strong Sandown maiden in which the runner-up also runs tomorrow, the third is a rock solid yardstick and the fourth New Story has won very impressively since. He gets weight all round being a 3yo and the step up in trip should really suit him. That saying it is a big field and a good one at that too and there is little appeal in his price of 2/1 against more seasoned handicappers that are much more used to the test that will be put to them tomorrow.

Mighty Yar is a lot less exposed than most of those and should enjoy this ground more, though both that race and the one at Newmarket on 1000 Guineas day are working out. He looks a bit of a laboured type for me and at the prices I do like SAVED BY THE BELL for the four-timer. He was more than a cosy winner of his last start over C&D, where the pace was very ordinary and I thought he did extremely well to get his head in front there. A 6lb is fair and on the basis of that run shouldn’t be enough to stop him being competitive. Again this could well be a race where the favourite proves all his class but at a much bigger price in comparison, I do like the David O’Meara horse.

A forecast is a fair bet too to be honest and I would really be sweet on the selection if the Stoute horse wasn’t in attendance but he’s a good price at nearly double figure odds. There’s little else in the race I’m worrying about, though Nicholascopernicus is a decent e/w price considering he ran so well at Windsor last time. That race worked out perfectly for him however and this is unlikely to with potential competition for the lead. Lahaag has had his chances while Pearl Castle, up 6lb for his win in the Ladies race here, will like the ground and has a bit more to give.

Advice – Saved By The Bell 2pts win @10/1 BetVictor

 

 

4:05 – Acturis Stakes (Handicap) (CLASS 3) (3yo+ 0-95)

Another really good race and the market is finding it hard to see a standout here, rightly so too. Curragh (and blog) hero Line Of Reason could well get the strong pace and fast ground he relishes again though he’s never run over 5f and it’s always a very different test for these hold-up performers. Another Wise Kid also represents Paul Midgley who is having a great season. He’s a consistent type and simply bumped into one in the bang in-form Robot Boy last time. This is similarly competitive though.

A bit of rain may help Top Boy, a winner here last time in a good race, getting a smart ride by 7lb claimer Adam McLean. Dale Swift is on tomorrow and an all-round 11lb swing with no claim makes things a bit tougher but he’ll definitely be thereabouts. There seems to be plenty of pace drawn high but there’s enough low, particularly with Stone Of Folca and Da’Quonde. Graphic Guest was the fancy here but has been pulled out due to ground. Instead do not be surprised if the old boy BORDERLESCOTT ran well here as it’s the first time since his Musselburgh run that he’s got his ground. He needs it rattling fast these days and he gets it here off top weight, down 3lb from his last run. I honestly think he can run to a mark about 8lb-10lb higher here with these conditions and the 20/1 definitely appeals e/w

Advice – Borderlescott 1pt e/w @20/1 Paddy Power

 

 

 

Ascot

4:15 – Cushman & Wakefield Fillies´ Handicap (for the John Travers Memorial Trophy) (CLASS 3) (3yo+ 0-95) 

Again this is a really good race considering sometimes races such as this can be quite weak affairs. Rewaaya is favourite after winning a maiden last time, building on her fourth here in what was a good race behind Marsh Daisy. She does seem to have a bit of attitude about her (flashed her tail last time) but she is clearly talented and respected. Again Swan Lakes broke her duck last time, definitely in a less facile manner though. She straightforward but this Dalakhani filly already looks in need of further.

I was somewhat surprised to see both those ahead of ARABIAN COMET in the market who herself has looked a bit inexperienced so far but is really improving for her Racing. I was taken by her when she thrashed Sir Guy Porteous over a mile and that horse ran second off 91 today after winning twice since. Arabian Comet stepped up in trip but could only finish third at York, but the winner Connecticut is a potential future group performer in my eyes.

She made her challenge furthest back and widest of all and lost little in defeat. She didn’t go up for that but was due to rise 4lb and more could be to come now upped another two furlongs. There seems plenty of pace in the race, notably from Lady Pimpernel and Nullarbor Sky, and that should suit the selection too. Dangers are Kallisha, a horse who I liked judged on her maiden performance. She was unlucky in an Oaks trial after that at Lingfield. Tioga Pass won well at Goodwood latest though that was a modest race and this is harder.

Advice – Arabian Comet 2.5pts win @6/1 generally

Royal Ascot 2014 – Day 4 Review

2:30 – Albany Stakes

cursory glance

Cursory Glance impressed in the Albany and has the scope to improve into a smart filly

Very little could handle the good strong pace set by the American filly Sunset Glow and Patience Alexander, who had also shown good speed thus far. Both led with a furlong to go but were outstayed in the end by CURSORY GLANCE who put up a really nice performance. She won with a bit in hand at Kempton as she really did seem to need it and visually it wasn’t the most impressive. This was different and I think she could be pretty smart. What I particularly like is she’s bred to improve over time and for further, making her the first real genuine candidate for the Classics next year.

The best horse very much won here. The front two would appreciate a step back to 5f just because of their mid-race speed. I had been impressed with Malabar on her debut and this was a big effort from her considering she also probably wants time and further. A few of these will probably appreciate a race run differently to this though Osaila and Peace And War both ran really good races and I like them both. Bitter Lake didn’t have the finishing kick which she showed on debut while Sexy Legs probably found this a bit of a reality check on very different ground, but she remains a good prospect. This should be a race that works out okay.

 

 

 

3:05 – Wolferton Handicap

Plenty of these looked handicap to their best and relatively exposed but the winner Contributor did this nicely. From a wide draw he had to settle at the back, which considering how big a stride he has and how he has run before may not have been ideal. However he picked up impressively two out and was going away at the line. Soft ground was against him last time and with the yard turning the corner of late, he’s worth keeping on side in lower group contests. Bold Sniper was really well backed after a taking effort over 9f at the Guineas meeting. He stayed on nicely to the line and is worth a step back up to 12f now. Cafe Society meanwhile travelled well as ever and didn’t get the breaks, as usual.

This was his first run for Gai Waterhouse after being bought for £330,000 and obviously he will head back to Australia, where he could really thrive on the fast ground and for a change of trainer. Sennockian Star and Hall Of Mirrors both stuck on well from prominent positions, though a few disappointed. First Mohican was ungainly under pressure and something may have been amiss, even if the ground was probably too fast. Both Saxo Jack and Energizer, coming from Meydan runs, were keen throughout and the former was particularly disappointing considering he was well placed and well supported. Wigmore Hall had everything right and ran poorly.

 

 

3:40 – King Edward VII Stakes

Another well run race and it saw an impressive winner in Eagle Top. The winner sat at the back throughout and though he had to be bustled along before the turn, he picked right up on the bit in the straight and relatively powered away from a fair field. He did appreciate the gallop set by Odeon but also helped by a couple of outsiders and the free going Italian raider Dylan Mouth. Take nothing away from him though as he looks a raw horse with bundles of potential. He did so well to win on debut after getting too far back but was wrong when beaten into fourth in a Leicester handicap last time. William Buick chose him ahead of Western Hymn (non-runner in the end) and by reports he is highly thought of at home.

He looks too classy for a St Leger and the King George back here, if getting a good pace to aim at, which you can get at times in that race, would be right up his street. He does have the question mark of still being a bit inexperienced and also whether he’d go on softer ground. Adelaide gives the form a solid look. An impressive winner himself last time, he stayed the extra distance absolutely fine and was simply not good enough for the winner on the day. Snow Sky was closer to the pace than both which wouldn’t have suited and though probably not as good as either yet, he could well improve for time. Scotland made good ground late on and looks a Leger candidate more than most of them.

 

 

4:20 – Coronation Stakes

rizeena

Rizeena won a messy Coronation Stakes and will do well to confirm this form

A very slow pace set and this is not form to take literally in any way. Rizeena was a Queen Mary winner last year and had been showing up well this spring at home though she never featured in the Guineas (record at the track not great). This was more like it but she was beautifully placed by Ryan Moore and kicked on at exactly the right time. I wouldn’t have her confirming this form, neither beating horses such as Rizeena or Sky Lantern if they met either.

Lesstalk In Paris got a much worse run of things, keen early again she missed the break a touch and Christophe Soumillon definitely didn’t want to get that far back. She was held on to much later as well and was gaining with every stride. On another day she’d have won this and I still rate her highly, with the excuse from the Guineas being that she was in season. Over this trip the Classic fillies have by some way the advantage of our ones. Euro Charline ran a career best to finish third, especially without a clear run and she is without doubt really finding her feet at this level. MY TITANIA could well end up better than most of these. This was her first run of the year due to a setback and he need for good ground but she had to take them along, which meant she was keen. She was still travelling well but didn’t have the finishing kick that was required.

I don’t see her as a miler at all and think she really needs 10f at least already, though her need for faster ground may mean her best chances could be abroad. I would keep her on side. Sandiva and Tapestry ran okay, both showed good form as juveniles but haven’t really gone on from that. J Wonder would have appreciated some more cut, Radiator got stuck too far back but her finishing speed was strong and she could rate higher than her mark of 103 soon. Kiyoshi needed this and can do better, at least she didn’t hang here like last year though Lightning Thunder was a huge disappointment while Lucky Kristale was too keen and probably is worth going back down in trip with.

 

 

 

5:00 – Queen’s Vase

A race that of late has badly lacked depth but has in fact seen the last two Gold Cup winners (1-2 this year). It was no surprise to see this downgraded to Listed level. HARTNELL had to survive a steward’s enquiry but was never going to lose this race and can rate a good deal better than the winning margin for me. Regularly staying races can be decided by a turn of foot, which he seemed to possess here. Even last year I felt he could become a pretty decent stayer and he came into his own at this trip. In hindsight Joe Fanning probably would have held onto him for longer as he idled when tired and did cause a bump to the runner-up Century. I have no doubt the best horse won though.

The St Leger looks an ideal target, maybe the Bahrain Trophy beforehand though there is always a lack of opportunities for a horse that wants this sort of trip bar the Doncaster classic. One would presume you will see him in the Godolphin blue next year. Century ran well and relished the extra distance after he got so badly outpaced over 10f at Chester latest. He also loved the faster ground and can continue to progress. Marzocco didn’t see it out as well, there were mixed signs on pedigree but he still rates a decent horse and his form should work out nicely. Very little in behind inspire a horses that will be better than handicappers.

 

 

 

5:35 – Buckingham Palace Stakes

louis-the-pious-louis-de-sousa-ascot_3161320

Louis The Pious had every go right here to land just his second race in two seasons

As had been the regular theme this week, the high drawn horses dominated with just one single figure drawing coming in the first 17 home. They seemed to go a pretty decent gallop on the near side and most of the runners who fought this out were held off the pace. Louis The Pious got a brilliant ride by Silvestre De Sousa and led home a 1-3 for David O’Meara. This was only his second win in two years but he has run some big races in defeat and deserved a big prize where everything fell right for him. For that reason it’s hard to see him follow up in something like the Bunbury Cup. The less exposed Watchable is still worth keeping an eye on, relishing the extra furlong here. Horsted Keynes came into the race as one of the more exciting propositions and again had a lot go right for him.

You get the suspicion he will be overbacked after this when in all honesty for me he wasn’t that much of an unlucky loser. Santefisio and Jack’s Revenge are consistent handicappers who love these sorts of races but rarely win them. Again BRONZE ANGEL ran a very eyecatching race over a trip probably still too stiff for him. He quickened smartly to hit the front two out but didn’t have the finishing kick to take this. Up to a mile on this ground would make this former Cambridgeshire winner very interesting. Intransigent did a lot better than most who were placed around him in the race and though others are better handicapped, he will pay his way. GEORGIAN BAY ran really well and with sights lowered a touch I think he can win well off this mark.

The visor has worked a treat and with better breaks here he’d have finished a good bit closer, even if no match for the winner. He’s versatile regards ground. A few on the far side are worth another chance, Pastoral Player won on that side and confirmed that he is in pretty decent heart at the moment. He’s always been tough to win with though and I couldn’t back him in these sorts of races. HILLBILLY BOY has been really progressive at this trip and paid for committing plenty early in chase of the other group. Nothing went right for him and he’s well worth keeping on side. He goes fine on this ground but seems a touch better on softer and I know he will be very well campaigned for the rest of the season. Blessington had beaten him earlier in the season over 6f and this highly strung type disappointed here after missing the break.

He has bags of ability but is very hard to trust, even so the Steward’s Cup back at 6f, or even the consolation race as he may struggle to get in, would suit him. Russian Realm found this all too quick on the ground and can rate better at a mile, while the opposite can be said for Blaine who was on the wrong side. He looks to be coming back to form and I was surprised to see him over 6f. I have something at York in mind for him.

 

Eyecatchers

Cursory Glance (1st, Albany Stakes) – A good strong pace in this race but she outstayed the pacesetters late on and she looks a good horse for the future

My Titania (4th, Coronation Stakes) - A very messy race which she made her return in. Too keen up front and looks in need of further. Needs fast ground

Hartnell (1st, Queens Vase) - Good turn of foot over two miles and value for a fair deal further than the winning margin after hanging late on. St Leger a target.

Bronze Angel (4th Buckingham Palace) – Made good headway 2f out but couldn’t sustain it over this stiff trip. A step up to a mile would suit now

Georgian Bay (8th Buckingham Palace) – Didn’t get the breaks here but can definitely win very soon with the visor working the oracle

Hillbilly Boy (12th Buckingham Palace) – Drawn the wrong side but still ran a really good race and unexposed at 7f. Better with a bit of cut in the ground

Royal Ascot 2014 – Day 4 Selections

 

2:30 – Albany Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies) (CLASS 1) (2yo) 

Not a race I want to strongly get involved in as it’s a very good one and it’s tough to really separate one from the rest. Patience Alexander impressed last time in particular when winning at York, inflicting a first defeat on Tiggy Wiggy. That one has run really well since when chasing home Anthem Alexander for the same owners in the Queen Mary. The step up to 6f should be up her street. The American filly Sunset Glow looks one of the better ones this week though Wesley Ward has still yet to win a race over the minimum and she may be held up to get the trip, which has suited these types.

Despite finding one to good on debut, Sexy Legs ran with a lot of promise, travelling really well in a fair race on her debut. She looks a lovely prospect, as too Bazzana, who was really impressive herself last time, not beating too much but the way she did it was extremely taking. That was on soft ground but she’s also well worth her chance in this. Elite Gardens won the Newmarket Guineas maiden, though that race regularly doesn’t work out and the other Godolphin filly BITTER LAKE is worth supporting instead.

I was very taken by her debut, beating Kinematic, a horse who I rate quite highly too. She quickened like a smart one and it seems that she wasn’t really expected to do that by her trainer. The better ground should suit her fine and this half-sister to Lyric Of Light could go very nicely here.

Advice – Bitter Lake 1.5pts e/w @12/1 generally

 

 

 

3:05 – Wolferton Handicap (Listed Race) (CLASS 1) (4yo+ 0-110) 

The race seems full of pretty exposed types who have found their level, though favourite Bold Sniper is not one of them and after such a promising run over 9f, a trip that clearly isn’t enough for him, he is one for every shortlist. 5/2 is very short on him though. CAFÉ SOCIETY was sold for £330,000 in the week to Gai Waterhouse and runs under her ownership for the first time here. He is a horse I’ve always liked but he was weak and backward last year, not getting home after travelling well, the main case being when beaten just by Bold Sniper here in July over 12f.

He won nicely at Windsor latest, not beating much but taking the race in a fair manner and the step back to 10f should suit this stronger travelling type with plenty of front runners in place too. Jim Crowley will need to be at his best but there’s not many jockeys more underrated than he is. If ready from his Meydan exploits, Saxo Jack is respected while Dick Doughtywylie has been freshened up since his a/w runs this winter.

At a big e/w price I like FIRST MOHICAN for Alan King. After his wasted hurdling exploits, it took him a bit of time to find his feet on the flat but he ran a big race behind Mount Athos over 1m5f at Newbury and then didn’t see out an extra furlong at York latest. The step back in trip is what he really needs now and he looks better treated than most of this field, especially with blinkers on and the services of Richard Hughes to boot.

Advice – Cafe Society 2.5pts win @6/1 generally

                  First Mohican 1pt e/w @18/1 BetVictor

 

 

 

3:45 – King Edward VII Stakes (Group 2) (Colts & Geldings) (CLASS 1) (3yo) 

Aidan O’Brien landed a couple of big blows today and Adelaide has a favourite’s chance just because the sky is the limit regarding his potential ability. His 10f win was pretty impressive last time though the form of both that and his French Group 2 race have taken a few knocks and he’s unproven on fast ground. SNOW SKY and Western Hymn met each other at Newbury over 10f earlier in the season and the latter won well that day with a strong turn of foot whilst also looking more match fit at the time as such.

Since then Snow Sky has won the Lingfield Derby Trial in good fashion upped a furlong and in these conditions I have him overturning the form. Western Hymn does not look a stayer at all for me and though he’s a horse I rate very highly and his Derby run can be excused a touch due to interference and also not handling the track, it’s a tough run to overcome under two weeks later. Snow Sky comes in a fresher horse after missing that race due to a setback and for me he’s the one to be on. It was surprising to see William Buick ride Eagle Top instead, who made a likeable debut from well back but was held in a Leicester handicap after that and has plenty to find.

Miner’s Lamp got a canny front running ride at Newmarket latest but settled better over the longer trip the day and for the benefit of a run. He is going the right way. Bunker and Odeon test the Dante form, which has worked out really well elsewhere. The latter is bred to appreciate the extra trip, his full-brother Kite Wood being a stayer himself. He’s got a solid e/w chance.

Advice – Snow Sky 3pts win @6/1 generally

 

 

 

4:25 – Coronation Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1) (Fillies) (Round course) (CLASS 1) (3yo) 

The UK and Irish classic fillies over this trip have failed to inspire though Lightning Thunder has finished runner-up in both Guineas and should appreciate the ground a lot more here than what she faced in Ireland. She would deserve to win this but is vulnerable to some of these who have the potential to show they have a much stronger hand than her. My Titania, by Sea The Stars, makes her belated return but looks in need of further for me. I think this is a nice place to return for her.

Rizeena is in a similar boat to the favourite and I think others will progress past her. Not to forget how forward she was last year. My Guineas filly was Kiyoshi but she missed that race and could improve a touch obviously for this. She had her quirks last year but if ironed out then I think she can really progress away from the fillies that she was closely matched with last year. They include Rizeena, who won the Moyglare, while Tapestry was also in behind that day and got the verdict over Kiyoshi after interference.

Her trainer was not happy how he trained her before the Guineas but my reservation is her dam Rumplestiltskin didn’t progress as a 3yo and it wouldn’t be a surprise if she didn’t either. In all I might give Kiyoshi a small saver though the ground may also be a touch too quick too, but LESSTALK IN PARIS after looking at the race in more depth is a far more logical selection. The French fillies look a notch above ours and she is a horse I’m a big fan of. In fact she was my original big antepost selection for their 1000 Guineas but she faded without challenging that day when favourite, apparently she was found to be in season.

Better ground could really suit her and there is a distinct lack of pace in this. She has a good turn of foot and if firstly settling well, she should be extremely hard to catch, especially with the brilliant Christophe Soumillon back on. I don’t see much else getting into it as they don’t seem that good enough based on form thus far this season.

Advice – Lesstalk In Paris 1.5pts e/w @14/1 Paddy Power

 

 

 

 

5:00 – Queen´s Vase (Listed Race) (CLASS 1) (3yo) 

I’m leaving the Queen’s Vase mainly as it’s such a poor race and the market probably has it spot on. Originally I wanted to be with Hartnell as for a while I’ve thought he was a potential high class stayer in the making, his win over 10f as a 2yo suggested that and he bounced back to form when runner-up to Snow Sky at Lingfield. He has a slight edge over Marzocco who was second in a race that looks likely to work out well at Goodwood latest and again the trip and better ground could improve him plenty.

Century got badly outpaced over 10f last time and this seems a quite dramatic option after that. He is the only other one that looks to have the class to get involved. The last two renewals have been dreadful bar the winners, with the last two Gold Cup winners taking the race, ironically today’s 1-2 Leading Light and Estimate. Only Sir Michael Stoute, O’Brien and Mark Johnston have won this race in the last nine years, 7/1 the biggest price too.

Advice – No Selection

 

 

 

 

5:35 – Buckingham Palace Stakes (Handicap) (CLASS 2) (3yo+ 0-105)

Where to start with this? It’s a rhetorical question obviously as I usually start talking about the favourite. You can tell it’s been a long week. Nearly there anyway. I digress, Russian Realm did well dropped back to 7f last time though on faster ground it’s not hard to see him get outpaced. Horsted Keynes should relish the test though and looks to having a leading chance. BLESSINGTON looks potentially the best horse in the field, certainly if he can build on his 6f win here on his return where he settled in the last but in the end routed a good field.

With the next two including Hillbilly Boy, an impressive winner of his latest start back over this trip and Red Refraction, winner of both his start too, this could be a pattern horse in the making is overcoming quirks. It’s his first try at the trip which is the worry but the ground should suit and at 10/1 he’s worth taking from what should be a good draw. If the ground was softer than I would be all over Hillbilly Boy. Either way he’s going the right way fast and it would be brilliant for the Martin Smith yard to get a big winner here. Above is the video with him on his chances.

Fort Knox ran behind Chil The Kite last time at Newbury and he ran a huge race to back it up in the Hunt Cup but this one doesn’t look as well treated as others. Watchable has a good chance upped to 7f, his run behind Intrinsic and Ashpan Sam is very strong and the saddle slipped last time when a disappointing favourite. Pastoral Player is hard to win with but is on a good mark and showed promise in the Victoria Cup, while Blaine is hitting form and will love the ground, though the trip could stretch him and the draw can’t be a positive.

Santefisio ran respectably in the Hunt Cup on Wednesday but this was clearly the plan as it’s what he did last year too and he could run quite well. Bronze Angel has a win in him but may not be one for this ground, while last time out winner Rene Mathis and perennial bridesmaid Jack’s Revenge have place claims. It’s GEORGIAN BAY who is actually my main fancy in this at what quite frankly is a massive price. He did okay earlier in the year on the a/w but a first time visor worked the oracle when he won at Kempton in really taking style off 93, beating Glen Moss and Ayaar, both who have done well since.

Karl Burke reported he couldn’t believe how well he worked in the visor and though well down the field in the Victoria Cup, he was in the wrong group and was actually second best that side. That doesn’t seem to have been taken into account and the 28/1 on offer, especially with Paddy Power who go 6 places, is a superb e/w bet.

Advice – Georgian Bay 1.5pts e/w @28/1 Paddy Power (6 places)

                    Blessington 2pts win @10/1 generally

Royal Ascot 2013: Two-year-old Review

Coventry Stakes

war command

War Command won the Coventry in highly impressive fashion

The Coventry Stakes is always the best 2yo race of the meeting and the winner usually goes on to prove their class over the next couple of years. This time could be no exception with a highly impressive winner in War Command. He had won just nine days before this race and so the fact they even ran was in hindsight a tip in itself (though it’s also what I wrote on here without giving him enough of a chance). The way he oozed into contention and put the race to bed was taking and though I don’t know his effectiveness on softer, this is a horse of serious ability. It also means we will most like see plenty of War Front progeny over here with Ballydoyle already having a lot of success with Declaration Of War, the Queen Anne winner earlier in the day and Meydan winner Lines Of Battle. This one will be given the typical O’Brien route this year, The National Stakes, Futurity and Phoenix and some of those races, if not all, could be there for the taking.

Parbold, my fancy for the race, ran a cracker for second after not getting a clear run through and this proved his debut success was certainly no fluke. Connections are contemplating the Sales race route which may suggest they are trying to take advantage of this precocious and talented juvenile this year rather than next and wherever he goes, he won’t be disgraced.

There was a lovely run from Peeping Fawn’s first foal Sir John Hawkins who will have no trouble winning in pattern company. His sire won the Coventry too before of course going on to Guineas success and he has the ability to become a top class colt.

Thunder Strike finished closer than Championship (Wahaab also closer) though the former seems the most forward at this stage. Neither gave out the same vibe though of past winners of this race for the yard.

The right horses definitely ended up at the head of proceedings, with favourite Stubbs running a decent race on what was probably the wrong side of the track. Others, including his stablemates, have more scope than him though. One that I will be following this season is MAWFOOR who I noted as one who needed more time and he ran exactly how I thought. I loved his maiden win though he clearly wants another furlong at least but travelled really nicely two furlongs before flattening and running on. He is better than the margin of defeat suggests.

Horse To Follow –  Mawfoor

 

 

 

Windsor Castle Stakes

Plenty of speedy types to analyse here. The winner Extortionist had disappointed at York on his last start but showed that wasn’t his true running and giving Olly Stevens a day to remember. He got the ideal through with the far group possibly going too quick and also getting a beautiful run down near the inside rail where it was possible the ground was marginally quicker. He’s a good horse and will hold his own in good grade over this trip but he’s not the best horse in the race looking forward.

Looking at the race before, I really liked the Beverley Conditions race which saw Supplicant and My Catch finished second and third. That looked really strong form at the time and both confirmed it with big runs. Supplicant will most likely go down the sales race route while My Catch was very unlucky when given too much to do by his rider and he can take a maiden before proving himself again at similar/higher level.

Anticipated ran well though I would put him in the band of the early season types who will now do well to continue to progress. Similar to him is Justice Day who ran a cracker on the far side though the fact nothing beat him on that side suggests that even if the near side were more convenience by how the race panned out, it’s also where the horses to follow are. Fountain Of Youth and Sacha Park finished ahead of him, the former being a foal of Attraction and definitely on to keep on side, the latter likely now to break his maiden tag and most probably another to be aimed at sales races.

A couple I’m going to stick up to follow though, for very different reasons are SLEEPER KING and BEN HALL. I’ll start with the former who showed really good speed to lead the near side group for a long way but in the end he set it up for the others. That speed will show him in good light in plenty of good races and I can see him particularly going well in something like the Molecomb. As a long term prospect, there’s nothing else in the field that caught my eye more than Ben Hall who I loved in the paddock (big, strong, gorgeous stamp of a horse). This 5f was always going to be too stiff for him but he ran a massive race and a step back up to 6f is needed very soon. I will also be very surprised if he doesn’t improved a good deal throughout the year and he’s in very good hands to do so, John Gosden not particularly known for runners in this sphere. He’s a smart prospect.

Horses To Follow – Sleeper King, Ben Hall

 

 

 

Queen Mary

A really good performance from RIZEENA who was my fancy for the race after a very impressive win from the front at Sandown in the National Stakes and this confirmed her as the top sprint filly this year so far. Clive Brittain has done well with similar types in the past and you can see her being well campaigned this year, apparently with the Moyglare and Cheveley Park under consideration. She was done for a little bit of speed early on, just having to be niggled at but stayed on extremely well, also suggesting a step up in trip would be fine or may even bring out more.

Considering they seemed to go very quick here, the performance of American raider Sweet Emma Rose has to be commended as she went off like a rocket and it needed a very good winner to prevent her from taking this. There was a big run from One Chance, who took her form to another level and she is well worth another chance to prove this was no fluke. Fig Roll ran well and Reroute is without doubt a very smart filly in the making, this possibly coming a little too soon for her, just four days after winning her maiden. I hope connections give her a bit of time to recover now as if taken care of, they have a lovely filly in their hands. I also liked the run of SURVIVED who arguably travelled the best of all in behind on the far side but couldn’t kick on. I’m not too sure what to make of the run bar that she may just need a bit more time and a step up to 6f shouldn’t inconvenience her either. Beldale Memory ran a poor race considering she was close to being the form pick coming into the race though may not have been home on the ground. Alutiq came home well on the stand’s side and she should be able to find herself a few opportunities to get her head in front this year. Blithe Spirit struggled to go the pace early on but finished faster than everything other than the winner. She was most likely flattered but can hold her own in lesser grade and 6f should be within her compass, while Ventura Mist ran a solid race but is just not up to this standard.

Horses To Follow – Rizeena, Survived

 

 

 

Norfolk Stakes

no nay never

Plenty of very fast types fought out the Norfolk finish, led by US raider No Nay Never, with Coach House a good second

Wesley Ward struck against Royal Ascot with No Nay Never running out an impressive winner of the Norfolk. As most of his have done so before, he showed a lot of speed though the tank seemed to be running out before he ran on again to score in decent fashion. This may not be the last we see of him over here and connections would have to contemplate the Nunthorpe considering how much speed this horse has (beat track record albeit on what was very fast ground) and the fact the weight allowance for 2yo’s goes ridiculously in his favour in the race. I heard a quote from Richard Hughes saying he’s built like he’s a five-year-old already. It was a canny ride from Joel Rosario who clearly left a bit in the tank at the end and though York would be an ideal race for him, the Morny has been talked as the next step for him after getting him back home

In behind, I really liked the performance of COACH HOUSE who showed bags of speed, his sectional times faster per furlong than the winner bar final furlong, suggesting he may have done a little bit too much too early. Still he’d be a fascinating runner In the Nunthorpe too and with a step up to 6f likely to be no problem either, I think he has a very smart future. Aidan O’Brien won this with Johannesburg ten years ago and though he has a long way to go, the foundations are there for him to become a top rank sprinter next year.

The third Ambiance also has pace in abundance, sticking up with a fierce pace for virtually all the way and still finishing his race well. His speed will hold him in good stead in races at the minimum trip in lesser grade and he’s one I could see being underestimated. There was a big run from Wind Fire who according to his trainer is slightly better than stablemate Extortionist who won the Windsor Castle of course. Her maiden form has worked out really well and there will be opportunities for her. Emirates Flyer is less of the finished product and ended the race off well after sitting well off the pace and another furlong will suit. Royal Mezyan travelled well but couldn’t find that extra kick to challenge, he should win a maiden soon though. Green Door showed plenty of pace and ability while Coulsty didn’t run his race at all and is worth another chance some time as his maiden win was very impressive. Saayerr has impressed me so far but disappointed here and could be worth stepping up in trip now while Eccleston may have not enjoyed the ground and a return to softer could suit.

Horse To Follow – Coach House

 

 

 

Albany Stakes

There was certainly no fluke in the winner here as Kiyoshi won well, travelling the best from rear and despite hanging badly right when on her own out in front, she still won this with real ease. She had hung the other way on her last start at Goodwood in a decent looking maiden at the time (runner-up Ihtimal third in the Chesham) and the form looks solid enough to suggest that she at least at the moment is comfortably the best filly in the field.

Sandiva set the satdnard coming into the race and I couldn’t see her getting beat to be honest, but of course she did. The Naas race she won on her start before, with Heart Focus finishing second, has continues its dreadful record in this. Now winners of that race going on to lose this in the past 10 years include, Rumplestiltskin, Radharcnafarraige, Teolane and You’resothrilling though Damson did win the Queen Mary, Cuis Ghaire won this and Sky Lantern also won the race last year. Sandiva herself ran a good race for the first time in Qatari ownership and she will most probably find an opportunity some time to win a good prize, but her limitations may be about to be found from now. Richard Fahey said the ground may have been too fast for her.

Frankel’s half-sister Joyeuse ran a good race for third despite being very green still and she clearly has a lot of ability, emerging well on top of those drawn far side. Again she is going to come on plenty for that and she is not the easiest customer to tackle but there’s definitely more in her and she is already at a group class standard.

Wedding Ring and Lucky Kristale ran pretty well and WONDERFULLY is possibly one to take out of the field. I wasn’t particularly taken by her debut performance but she is begging for at least 7f where you will see a better horse than at the moment. I don’t think she is top class but I’m only highlighting her for the sole reason that in the long term, she is better than the bare form. All in all though it’s one of the less interesting of the 2yo races at Ascot for me this year.

Horse To Follow – Wonderfully

 

 

 

Chesham Stakes

Berkshire

Berkshire bounding away for an impressive success in the Chesham

The most satisfying and best winner of the week for the blog, with strong fancy BERKSHIRE winning this with ease. His maiden win was there for all to see as he cantered all over a good field that included Richard Hannon’s lead Coventry hope Championship and the fifth in that race Jallota. He oozed up to past the field on the bridle here before quickening nicely despite idling and he was always holding the runner-up. He may only run once again this season according to his trainer and next year he could be a better horse, meaning the 20/1 for the Guineas probably isn’t the worst price ever but at the moment isn’t begging to be taken either.

Therunner-up was favourite Bunker who had been given rave reviews before the race and lost no credit with this run. He took a while to know his job on debut though was more professional here, he couldn’t handle the turn of foot shown by the winner. He’s a good horse who will strengthen and appreciate a good deal further of this.

The consistent Ihtimal still has yet to get her head in front, bumping into some smart types in all of her three starts. She was behind Wedding Ring last time who did not disgrace in the Albany and before that was behind Kiyoshi who won the race. She can go on to win a maiden at around this trip before stepping back up in grade but what you see is what you get already.

Somewhat ran a good enough race for fourth and could well be one to flourish later on this season. It was only 11 days since his impressive maiden win and this was a decent enough run. I’d be disappointed if he wasn’t better than this.

In all honesty there’s not too much else in the field that scream out as needing to be followed. Master Carpenter is definitely worth another go as he didn’t run anywhere near to his form, Autumn Lily and Freedom Square ran flat. Tinga ran a decent race which confirmed her debut promise so she could go on again while Friendship is in the right hands to go better.

Horse To Follow – Berkshire

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