A cracking start to Royal Ascot on Tuesday although I do feel Arcadian Sunrise was unlucky in the Ascot Stakes. We did put up 12/1 winner Coltrane as well, but Arcadian Sunrise lost the race at the start and ran a remarkable race to come widest of all in the home straight finishing best of all. One that got away.
The King George V Stakes is one of the trickiest handicaps of the week and the market is headed by Secret State who would have been the recommendation over ten furlongs, but his stamina is not guaranteed for a mile-and-a-half; he is reluctantly overlooked.
Eight of the last ten renewals of the race have been won by horses drawn in double figures and, while I would still prefer a lower draw for ISRAR, I think he can get the job done out of stall twelve for John & Thady Gosden in the famous Shadwell silks.
The selection defied a poor draw when powering home in the London Gold Cup at Newbury last time when he took all of that long home straight to get up over 10f. He was slowly away at the Berkshire track and cannot afford to be too far back at Ascot where the home straight is just over a quarter of a mile. Out of the Oaks/King George winner Taghrooda this step up in trip should suit and a 6lbs rise for Newbury looks fair.
Having been sweet on the chance of Eldar Eldarov in yesterday’s Queen’s Vase it goes without saying that I give Post Impressionist a leading chance and I will be saving on the William Haggas trained colt who looked sure to appreciate a stiffer test when second to the Roger Varian colt at Newcastle last time. He receives 5lbs from Israr and will be a huge threat with Danny Tudhope – who rode a double on the opening day – taking the ride.
Recommendation: Israr EW 3.05 Ascot at 8/1 with William Hill
Sea Silk Road heads the market for the Ribblesdale for William Haggas after her listed Goodwood success on soft ground, but I think she is vulnerable, and I am slightly surprised that Irish raider Magical Lagoon does not hold that mantle having run a terrific race when second in the Salsabil Stakes at Navan on her reappearance. A Group 3 winning juvenile she must go close for Jessica Harrington who has her string in excellent shape.
The each way vote, however, goes to LIFE OF DREAMS who was no match for Emily Upjohn in the Musidora, but was going all her best work late on at York and she looks sure to improve for the step up to 12f for the first time. She meets nothing of the calibre of Emily Upjohn today and I hope to see William Buick go forward on the Godolphin filly if there is no pace in the race.
Recommendation: Life Of Dreams EW at 5/1 each way with William Hill
The Gold Cup is the feature race of the meeting, and the market is headed by Kyprios for Aidan O’Brien who has stamina in abundance in his pedigree, but today is the day that STRADIVARIUS can enter the record books by winning the race for a fourth time. The selection finished fourth last year when Frankie Dettori was caught out of his ground before meeting trouble in running as Subjectivist shot clear.
The great news is that Dettori has a new pink waistcoat to wear this afternoon information he proudly shared with Jason Weaver in a bizarre interview on Sky Sports Racing aired earlier in the week. Drawn in stall two I expect the Italian to race more prominently this afternoon and, in the likely absence of Trueshan, I expect the Gosden trained 8-year-old to put the record straight and to go off favourite on the day.
The evergreen stayer looked almost as good as ever when landing a third Yorkshire Cup last month and he has his optimum conditions this afternoon. Yeats won the race as an eight-year-old in 2009 and Stradivarius can emulate the feat later today. Make no mistake this is a big day for Frankie Dettori, and he will be feeling the pressure.
Recommendation: Stradivarius 11/4 with Boylesports
The three market leaders for the Britannia are drawn 28, 29 and 30 and I have long thought KING OF TIME held outstanding claims for the race, but I am adding one drawn low and hope to see KITSUNE POWER run a big race from stall five.
King Of Time is unbeaten in three starts; two on polytrack and then an impressive win at Newmarket on his turf debut when he met trouble in running but still won a shade cosily from a 7lbs lower mark. He looks group class to me, and I will be disappointed if he doesn’t run a big race. He is short enough in the betting at 5/1 but I believe he will drift on the day.
Another unbeaten contender is Whoputifinyou who was a convincing winner at Haydock last time when he improved again for the step up to a mile for the first time. The third – Outbox – has franked the form since and the Clive Cox trained colt is much respected, but he must give 5lbs to the selection.
The selection’s stablemate Tranquil Night – who has won his last three – thrashed Outgate on his reappearance but he is overlooked by William Buick. His sole defeat came on soft ground on debut and he is another who is likely to have group race aspirations later in the season.
Kitsune Power has been largely overlooked in the betting but has won two of his three starts so far this term and I don’t want to have all my eggs in the high basket. Ray Dawson has ridden the horse in his last couple of starts and he keeps the ride for Roger Varian.
Her Majesty’s Reach For The Moon cannot be opposed in the Hampton Court Stakes but he is a long odds-on favourite, and it is a race best watched.
Market leader MONTASSIB has drawn stall one in the concluding Buckingham Palace Stakes and would have been a confident selection if you knew a draw next to the far rail would not be a negative. There is no confirmed pace with those drawn low which tempers confidence, but I am convinced he remains well treated despite being raised 10lbs for running away with a Goodwood handicap over this trip on soft ground last time.
Unbeaten in his three starts the 4-y-old is entitled to improve again but that draw in stall one muddies the waters somewhat although I do feel he will win a big race further down the line this season. It might be the Bunbury Cup next month, but I hope it is this afternoon.
Recommendation: Montassib EW 11/2 with William Hill 6 places