Perfect Power would have warranted nap material but drawn in coffin box in stall one

3.05 Ascot

The Commonwealth Cup has quickly established itself as one of the most eagerly awaited races at Royal Ascot, but I am disappointed to see PERFECT POWER has been drawn in stall one for the Group 1 three-year-old sprint.

Richard Fahey’s colt was one of the last off the bridle in the Guineas and did well to finish seventh having travelled so strongly. Connections must have had tomorrow’s Jersey Stakes over 7f under consideration given he landed the Greenham on his reappearance over 7f when he beat Lusail who franked the for when finishing runner up in the St James’s Palace Stakes here on Tuesday.

The selection is a Gp 1 winner at this trip as a juvenile and landed the Norfolk Stakes here over the minimum distance here 12 months ago. He would have been a confident selection only for his draw out on the wing. Flotus looks the only pace amongst those drawn low although there is very little guaranteed pace in the race. Jockey Christophe Soumillon will be desperate to get some cover, but this stiff track should suit, and I am convinced he is a potential champion sprinter; but stall one?

Recommendation: Perfect Power EW 9/2 with William Hill

3.40 Ascot

It would be fair to say that things have not gone according to plan for Frankie Dettori in recent weeks although this is being written ahead of racing on Thursday when he had a couple of gilt-edged opportunities to add to his tally of Royal Ascot winners. Let’s hope so as I believe this will be his last Royal Ascot as first jockey to the Gosdens.

TRAWLERMAN was forced to cover ground from his wide draw at Chelmsford having his first start for almost 12 months but was still good enough to get up close home under James Doyle. Doyle has been in the plate for the gelded son of Golden Horn’s both career successes to date, but Dettori takes over on John Gosden’s Godolphin owned four-year-old.

The selection has been on my radar since winning over today’s trip at Pontefract last spring although he beat a blatant non-stayer in King Frankel in west Yorkshire with a 65-rated animal back in third.

The race is full of horses who are not guaranteed to get this mile-and-a-half although that is not the case with the progressive Contact who is housed out in stall sixteen but do note no horse drawn in single figures has won this race in the last decade. Trawlerman is drawn three but still gets the vote.

Recommendation: Trawlerman EW at 5/1 with Bet365 6 places

4.20 Ascot

We have the winners of the Newmarket and French Guineas – but no Irish Guineas winner Homeless Song – in opposition in the Coronation Stakes but if there is a star on show then it is surely INSPIRAL who makes her belated seasonal return having not come to hand in time for the Guineas back in the spring.

The filly was the best juvenile in Europe last year and finished nearly three lengths in front of Cachet and Prosperous Voyage in the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket back in the autumn. The noises coming out of the yard have not been deafening with regard to her wellbeing and it is possible that she just hasn’t trained on, but she was some way ahead of these as a juvenile and gets the vote for John and Thady Gosden.

French Guineas winner Mangoustine is part owned by the former great – and I do mean great – NBA guard Tony Parker and she got up close home to defy Newmarket Guineas winner Cachet at Longchamp last month. She is taken to confirm the form given Cachet may have to use plenty of petrol to get to the lead from her moderate draw out in stall nine.

Recommendation: Inspiral at 2/1 with William Hill

5.00 Ascot

The unbeaten Heredia did well to overcome a slow start when winning at York over seven furlongs on her reappearance and her breeding and manner of victory on the Knavesmire suggests she will improve again stepped up to a mile. She is a worthy market leader, but I have two each way against the field in the Sandringham Stakes starting with ZANBAQ.

The filly stayed on well when third in what is turning out to be a hot mile listed race against older fillies on her reappearance at Goodwood, before winning cosily back at seven furlongs at Haydock under a penalty for winning her sole juvenile start at Kempton back in November.

This is one of the hottest handicaps of the week and the selection must shoulder joint top-weight of 9st 9lbs and she is not the biggest to be carrying such a burden.

One nearer the foot of the weights is DISCRETION who runs in the colours of Her Majesty the Queen and ridden by David Egan who did us a favour courtesy of Eldar Eldarov earlier in the week.

Roger & Harry Charlton’s filly has won two of her three starts so far this term winning at Beverley over 10f before winning a Carlisle handicap under a penalty dropped back to that stiff mile. She is 6lbs higher this afternoon but remains open to further improvement and I thought she won with a bit in hand last time.

Recommendations: Zanbaq EW at 10/1 with BetVictor 6 places and Discretion 18/1 with William Hill 6 places

5.35 Ascot

The Derby fifth Changingoftheguard heads the market for theKing Edward VII Stakes, but I am keen on OTTOMAN FLEET a gelding who was not eligible to run at Epsom, but this looks to have been the plan since he won at Newmarket over 10f last month.

He stumbled badly coming out of the stalls on that occasion before getting up close home to beat Zain Sarinda with Savvy Victory just a length back in third but looked value for more than the bare margin of victory. He must prove his stamina for the additional quarter of a mile, but he has only had two career starts and is open to further improvement.

Savvy Victory had previously been thrashed by Changinggoftheguard on soft ground at Chester, but the Ballydoyle horse had a tough race at Epsom and Nahanni – finished 2L behind the O’Brien horse at Epsom – did not give his running in the Queen’s Vase here earlier in the week.

Recommendation: Ottoman Fleet at 9/4 with Boylesports

8.10 Newmarket

There are competitive cards at Goodwood and Newmarket this evening and on the July course I hope to see NIZAAKA take advantage of the 19lbs she receives from Stunning Beauty in the 7f handicap for Jane Chapple-Hyam.

The filly has been raised 3lbs for finishing second at Newbury on her reappearance but that is negated by the 5lbs claim of leading apprentice Benoit De La Sayette. The 4-y-old was bought out of Roger Varian’s yard for £50,000 back in December and represents a stable in very good form.

There is one 3-y-old in the field and the booking of Mickael Barzalona for Rock Melody looks significant although the latter was ridden by De La Sayettte on her seasonal reappearance at Salisbury at the beginning of May.

Recommendation: Nizaaka at 11/4 with William Hill   

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