Two darts at the Wokingham with 25/1 and 12/1 shots recommended each way
The prospect of thunderstorms hitting Ascot on the final day of the Royal meeting seem to be rescinding with the latest forecast suggesting any significant rain is likely to hit the track well after racing. Conditions are likely to remain fast for this afternoon’s card.
Alfred Munnings is impossible to oppose in the openingChesham Stakesfor Aidan O’Brien who has saddled the winner of the corresponding race four times in the last six years. He is short enough in the betting at a best price of 5/6, however, and I hope to see ALZAHIR run a big race for the Gosdens having been beaten a short head at Yarmouth on debut.
The third horse home at Yarmouth has subsequently been beaten, but I felt the Gosden horse was compromised by the slow early pace, and he gets the vote in the market without the Ballydoyle colt who made such a favourable impression when scoring at Leopardstown over today’s 7f trip on debut.
It goes without saying that the Gosden/Dettori axis have had better weeks – this is being written before racing on Friday but Thursday was a bitterly disappointing day.
Recommendation: Alzahir in market without Alfred Munnings at 4/1 with William Hill
Noble Truth heads the market for the Jersey Stakes having done us a favour when making all to score at Newmarket in listed company last month. He is reported as being a real handful on the home gallops and has been gelded since that latest success. He looks a worthy market leader, but DUBAWI LEGEND gets the each way vote for Hugo Palmer.
The selection finished runner up in the Group 1 Dewhurst last season to Native Trail and that is the best form on offer. He was too free in the Breeders Cup subsequently and in the Guineas on his reappearance, when he was unruly in the stalls and finished last having pulled like a train in a first-time tongue-tie.
The aid is left off today and we will probably know our fate quite early in the piece. If he settles, he can run a big race with the drop back in distance a positive; if he refuses to settle, he won’t get home. I would suggest he should drop his head, or the next time he sees the track he will have had the same cut that Noble Truth was given last month.
Alfaila looked smart here in handicap company on his reappearance and is another to consider but I do feel Dubawi Legend looks overpriced.
Recommendation: Dubawi Legend EW at 11/1 with William Hill 5 places
HURRICANE LANE cannot be opposed having lost just two of seven races as a three-year-old last season finishing third in both the Derby and Arc. His five wins included two classics, three Group 1’s and the Dante. He is a class apart from today’s opposition and he escapes a penalty for those successes in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes.
If he brings his A game to the track today the rest are just playing for places.
Recommendation: Hurricane Lane at 5/6 with 10Bet
The Wokingham is one of the biggest betting races of the year and SILVER SAMURAI has taken his form to a new level in recent weeks and the flashy grey can land the hat-trick for Marco Botti who has already tasted success at the Royal meeting this week.
The 5-y-old is 10lbs higher than when third over today’s C&D back in the spring but his subsequent wins at Newbury and Haydock have shown his to be a most progressive sort. Jockey Ben Curtis faces a stiff task trying to weave his way through on this confirmed hold up performer, but he looks sure to go close with a strongly run race, seemingly, guaranteed. He is drawn low in stall five which is a slight concern, but they have been congregating towards the middle this week and the grey gets an each way nod.
Fresh keeps knocking on the door and heads the market, but he always seems to find at least one too good and a bigger danger might be LAMPANG – drawn in 20 – who is my second each way recommendation in the race.
Trained by Tim Easterby the 5-y-old looked a reformed character when scoring at Ayr on his reappearance and that was his first start since being gelded over the winter. He has been raised 4lbs for that win but is only 1lb higher than when scoring at Hamilton last summer and I like the booking of James McDonald for the sprinter.
Recommendations: Silver Samurai EW at 12/1 with william Hill 6 places & Lampang EW 25/1 at Boylesports7 places
The two renewals of the 10f Golden Gates handicap have been won from stalls 13 and 16 but the each way vote goes to the Gosdens’ ALDOUS HUXLEY who will come out of stall one for Benoit De La Sayette who takes off a valuable 5lbs with Frankie Dettori on board recent Sandown maiden winner Honiton.
The selection finished runner up in a listed contest over slightly further at Goodwood last time on soft ground having previously been brushed aside by New London at Newmarket. The latter disappointed at Chester on his sole subsequent start on soft ground but, after just three career starts, Aldous Huxley remains open to significant improvement and this faster ground will suit.
In US Open week Missed The Cut will be popular, and George Boughey has already saddled a winner this week. He has won two modest races with the minimum of fuss in recent weeks, is drawn high in thirteen and has the assistance of James McDonald. He is considered the main danger.
Recommendation: Aldous Huxley EW at 11/1 William Hill 5 places
The likelihood is that Trueshan will miss the concluding Queen Alexandra Stakes and the each way vote goes to last year’s runner up CALLING THE WIND who can reverse the form with winner Stratum on this faster ground. The selection goes well on soft ground but is no mudlark and David Egan again takes the ride.
Willie Mullins has saddled the winner three times in the last decade and Stratum was a convincing winner 12 months ago, but I hope to see Calling The Wind strike gold in the longest race on the flat racing calendar.
Recommendation: Calling The Wind EW at 14/1 with Boylesports 4 places