At the time of writing, it was unsure if racing would go ahead at Ascot on Thursday with the fourth day of the Royal meeting in jeopardy because of the deluge that hit the track.
Conditions look sure to be no better than soft for Saturday’s card which starts with the listed 7f Chesham Stakes for juveniles. Aidan O’Brien has saddled the winner of this corresponding race three times in the last five years and Point Lonsdale (2.30) was a fluent winner on yielding ground over today’s trip on debut at the Curragh. This race was immediately nominated as his next target – 13/8 with BetVictor – although he is a son of Australia and his ability to handle today’s terrain must be taken on trust.
Andrew Balding’s Masekela made a winning debut on soft ground over six furlongs and he looks the main danger to the market leader. The 6s available first thing looked too big and he is 4s with MansionBet at the time of posting.
In the Group 3 Jersey Stakes I expect to see Mutasaabeq put behind a moderate effort in the Guineas when he was well held on ground which may have been faster than ideal. The colt drops back to 7f this afternoon and had looked smart when landing his two previous starts including on heavy ground at Newmarket in October.
The each way vote, however, goes to Khartoum (3.05) who was hugely impressive when landing a 7f handicap at Naas over a mile last time on soft ground coming from last to first under Ryan Moore in the manner of a horse who is well up to this grade. The ew recommendation is 7s with Boylesports 4 places.
The ground has come right for Wonderful Tonight (3.40) who is taken to make a winning reappearance for David Menuisier in the G2 Hardwicke Stakes. The selection’s record on soft/heavy ground reads 31111 and that includes two Group one contests at the end of last term. This is, arguably, a better race than she has contested to date, but she looks sure to be spot on for her reappearance and she gets a bit further than today’s mile-and-a-half. Her stamina should be an asset when push comes to shove inside the final couple of furlongs. She was 8s on Friday morning but is 4s with 10Bet at the time of posting.
The Gp 1 action is the 6f Golden Jubilee and Dream Of Dreams (4.20) landed the Sprint Cup on soft ground back in September – beat Glen Shiel – before finishing fourth – behind Glen Shiel – over today’s C&D on Champions’ Day. I am not convinced the market leaders Starman and Nahaar will be as effective under today’s conditions and Glen Shiel does have a run under his belt – albeit a moderate one at the Curragh last month. The selection is 3s with Boylesports.
The big betting race of the week is the Wokingham and Fresh (5.00) ran a cracker on his sole previous start on soft ground over C&D and gets the each way vote – 9s with BetVictor 5 places – for James Fanshawe who landed this corresponding race a decade ago with one of my favourite sprinters Deacon Blues.
I am convinced only the ground can stop Alfaadhel who looked a group horse to my eyes when scoring at Lingfield on polytrack last time. The ease with which he picked up Sir Rumi was very impressive, and he has little to fear from the runner up on 4lbs worse terms – if he copes with conditions.
The each way vote, however, goes to Seasett (5.35) who looks sure to appreciate the step up to 10f for the first time having got going too late when second at Haydock last time. The winner – Raadobarg – did little for the form on fast ground midweek but Seasett – despite a 7lbs rise for his latest run – should enjoy both underfoot conditions and the additional quarter of a mile. The 10s went on Friday afternoon and the selection is 5s at 10Bet at the time of posxting.
I am not convinced facile Chester Cup winner Falcon Eight will enjoy underfoot conditions in the concluding Queen Alexandra Stakes and my each way recommendation is Stag Horn (6.10) who improved on soft ground at the end of last season including when making all to score at Pontefract on soft ground over 2m 2f beating The Grand Visir who is 9lbs better off. The 4-y-old is 11/2 with MansionBet.