There was not as much rain overnight on Wednesday as forecast but there were further showers predicted during racing yesterday and a more significant pulse of rain due to hit the south on Friday. I believe underfoot conditions are likely to be on the soft side of good for Day 4 of Royal Ascot but I said much the same ahead of Thursday’s card!
I have no strong opinion about the Albany, but I hope to see Title (3.05) reward each way support in the King Edward VII Stakes for Roger Varian. The selection – 9/2 with William Hill – wears a noseband as he has a high head carriage but that did not stop him scoring at Yarmouth last time when he beat a useful filly of William Haggas.
This looks a poor renewal of this Gp 2 contest with the penalised Gear Up beating just one home in the Derby and the market leader Alenquer not certain to appreciate the step up in trip. The Mediterranean looked a thorough stayer when runner up at Leopardstown last time and it would be no surprise if Ryan Moore tried to emulate the tactics he employed on Love and dictate his own pace.
My two against the field in the Gp 1 Commonwealth Cup are Fivethousandtoone and Suesa (3.40) with preference for the unbeaten French filly who looked a potential sprinting star when landing a Group 3 at Chantilly last month. Note all four of the selection’s victories have been at the home of the French Derby and William Buick takes over in the saddle. The selection is 9/2 with BetVictor.
King Power’s Fivethousandtoone travelled well but failed to get home in the Dewhurst when last seen back in the autumn. This drop back in distance should suit and he represents the inform stable of the excellent Andrew Balding.
In the second Group 1 contest of the day, I expect to see an improved performance from last year’s Fillies’ Mile winner Pretty Gorgeous (4.15) who was posted wide and ran too free at the Curragh on her reappearance. She should be more amenable to restraint with that run under her belt, Frankie Dettori takes over in the saddle and her draw in stall five looks ideal. It is possible that she just has not trained on, but I am going to give her another chance. She is 9/2 with William Hill who are betting 4 places.
Primo Bacio would have been the suggestion on fast ground but, if the forecast is correct, she may not be able to show the devastating turn of foot that was in evidence at York last time. She also has a moderate draw to overcome. Classic winner Mother Earth has the best form in the book and sets a decent but not insurmountable standard. Stoute’s Potopova could be anything, but this is a big step up in grade for his unbeaten filly who is another unproven if the rain arrives.
My two against the field in the Sandringham are Glesga Girl in stall ten and Beheld (5.00) who will come out of box eighteen for Roger Charlton. The selection – 20s with William Hill 6 places – wears a hood for the first time and promises to be suited by the step up to a mile having stayed on all the way to the line on both starts so far this term over 7f. She won her maiden as a juvenile on soft ground and David Egan takes over in the saddle with Jason Watson riding at Goodwood this evening.
Aaddeey was hugely impressive at York last time and a 13lbs hike may not stop him land the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes but he is unproven on soft ground, and he is overlooked in lieu of the inclement forecast.
My two against the field, however, are Sam Cooke (5.35) and Tritonic with preference for the former who was far too keen on his seasonal reappearance at York but should have had the freshness taken out of him with the run under his belt. He is closely matched with Jeremiah on C&D running last season and he gets the each way vote at 8s with Boylesports 5 places. Note he went off 7/2 market leader for the November Handicap but never got competitive following a slow start.
Tritonic was a disappointment in the Triumph Hurdle, but the booking of Ryan Moore suggests Alan King means business and I can see him creeping into the race from stall one. Luck will play its part, but it is Sam Cook for me.
Warrior Brave is blinkered for the first time by connections in the concluding 5f handicap and has been raised 7lbs for finishing runner up at Sandown. He can race from his old mark this afternoon and would have been the selection on fast ground.
Marginal preference, however, is for Mo Celita (6.10) who has won all six starts since switching to the yard of Adrian Nicholls and will appreciate any significant rain. The ew recommendation – 9s with 10Bet – is 28lbs higher than when starting his winning spree at Leicester by a nose on fast ground back in April but has thrived since encountering soft ground of late. Oisin Murphy takes over in the saddle.