The weather forecast on Friday morning suggested there was the distinct possibility of heavy/thundery showers at Ascot from 3am onwards ahead of today’s King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes one of the highlights of the flat season. Thus, conditions are likely to ease but, at the time of writing, it is impossible to predict the state of the ground come post time. It might to prudent to swerve the meeting.
There is no rain forecast at York where the ground will be on the fast side of good. In the feature Group 2 York Stakes Mohaafeth will be all the rage after his win in Royal Ascot’s Hampton Court Stakes last time, but I do feel he is short enough in the betting for what he has achieved.
Armory carries a 3lbs penalty for landing the Gp 2 Huxley Stakes at Chester back in May and he lost nothing in defeat when a close third in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes last time behind stablemate Love. Mohaafeth, Armory and Juan Elcano (3.15) all ran over 10f at the Royal meeting and the latter’s win in the listed Wolferton Stakes was gained in the fastest time and he might be a shade overpriced at 11/2 with BetVictor. He gets the each way vote.
In the 2m handicap I hope to see Ghadbbaaan (4.25) go one better than when runner up to Goobinator over C&D here a fortnight ago from a 2lbs lower mark. That was his first start over the trip, and he certainly got every yard. He can reverse earlier course form over 12f with the progressive Greengage who has won four of her last five starts but has stamina to prove over two miles. The 4s with 10Bet looks about right.
C’Mon Kenny goes unpenalized for scoring at Sandown midweek when he ran around a bit under pressure and is fitted with cheekpieces for the first time by Ian Williams. He looks sure to go close if over those exertions, but I have been waiting for Reina Del Mar (5.00) since he finished third at Newbury at the beginning of the month.
The selection – 7/2 with MansionBet – would surely have gone very close with a clear run on that occasion and a 2lbs rise looks fair and the form was given a boost when the fifth – who was beaten over 5L at Newbury – went down by just a neck at Lingfield last time.
Beloved is a fascinating contender in the 3-y-o 7f handicap having been campaigned over a mile in all three starts to date. The filly is bred to get further – half-sister to the Japanese Derby winner Deep Brillante – but she is keen enough in her races and looks potentially well treated from an opening mark of 73. A market move would be worth noting.
The vote, however, goes to Pagan (5.35) who looks to have been crying out for an additional furlong having got up close home to win over Pontefract’s stiff 6f last time. A 2lbs rise looks fair especially when you consider the runner up – Macho Pride – was a facile winner at Haydock last weekend. Jim Crowley takes the ride for William Haggas with regular pilot Cieren Fallon claimed to ride a newcomer for Qatar Racing at Newcastle. The recommendation is 11/4 with William Hill.
My Swallow is handicapped to win at present, but I hope to see Third Kingdom (3.20) put behind a couple of modest turf runs on soft/good to soft ground returning to Newcastle – the scene of his impressive 5L win over 7f back in September. Martin Harley takes over in the saddle with David Egan at Ascot for Mishriff and the recommendation is 1lb lower than when third over 7f at Sandown last time when he looked ready for an additional furlong. The 11/4 with 10Bet looks fair.