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Royal Ascot - Friday

Got killed by the rain yesterday, changed plans considerably and consequently had a poor day. Ignored all the hype about Brown Panther which turned out to be more than justified. He looks a very good type!

Today is tough once again, but that's the beauty of the Royal meeting....

ALBANY STAKES

With Judy The Beauty out, the clear favourite is Teolane. She has won her last two starts well in Ireland but I'm not convinced of her brilliance. Prepared to take her on at the price.

The one I was most impressed with off the tapes was Inetrobil. Really nice turn of foot in a weak Redcar maiden. Highclere Thoroughbreds recognised the potential and bought into a share soon after. Ryan 2yos going well and Makin delivered a winner yesterday.

Hidden Passion might go around at a big price. She was heavily backed on debut but didn't get out of the gates, and then ran on well at Haydock next time. Could be more to come from her. (NON-RUNNER)

Ilaunglauss beat rubbish on debut at Lingfield, big step up here but in good hands.

Lily's Angel has been the best of the Dark Angel progeny so far and went close to Dozy in the Hilary Needler. If you forgive Dozy a little for missing the start on Wednesday, then she's right in this.

Sajwah won well on debut but has R.Hills aboard - instant black mark.

Switcher is a half-sister to Marine Boy who looked a superstar on debut, but then went backwards quickly. Won well on debut, but wasn't explosive.

Keen on Inetrobil but unsure about the ground. I think Bertolini's go ok on it but won't be going in hard. Hidden Passion to be included in the exotics (nope, it's not running now!).


KING EDWARD VII STAKES

Love this race, reckon it's a better field than the Derby - zero no-hopers, everything has a chance, plus it's not on the awful downhill switchback course in the hills!

Nathaniel is the obvious favourite - he has come closer to Frankel (beaten half a length on debut) than any other horse. Big strider, not suited by Chester last start, absolute blue blood on breeding. But - four starts, three seconds - can you really lump on with confidence?

World Domination - high in the market because of the Cecil factor. Well beaten in the Dante when favoured to run well, although the strenth of that form was franked yesterday by Pisco Sour. More experience, more distance to suit, but can't be on him against such a decent field.

Mijhaar - beaten on 2yo debut by Fulgur, then re-emerged this season by absolutely smashing a field at Haydock. Placegetters in that race have since won, backing up the form. Looked a bit green but also untapped. Should handle the ground without any concerns.

Glen's Diamond - won well at Chester and Richard Fahey rates this as his best chance for the week. As a gelding, he hasn't been allowed to run in the classics (stupid rule IMO, as outdated as not letting divorcees into the Royal Enclosure, which was rescinded in 1955) so it's hard to line up the form. Has won his last four,trainer says extra distance will suit - I just don't know.

Genius Beast - impressed by this one at Sandown, though he might have had a chance in the Derby. Since disappointed at Longchamp in a small field, perhaps forgiveable although the RP Trading Post column has made him the lay of the day, for a place.

Fiorente - really impressed with the way he kicked clear at Newbury last start. Distance and rain can only help him.

Fulgur - like the breeding of this chap, a High Chaparral, whose progeny are flying in Aus. Beat Mijhaar in October, wet ground will suit as will stepping up in trip. Pricewise has taken the price though!

Dordogne - liked him earlier in the season but had a shocker at Sandown, probably due to damp ground. If that was the reason, then chances here have to be slim.

Alexander Pope - only Ballydoyle runner, always a chance in these races no matter who they turn up with, but surely improvement is needed to be up to his rivals, and that's without allowing for their improvement.

Glencadam Gold - decent win last time over this distance, not sure that class is up to these, but trained by Sir Henry Cecil, can't rule out completely.

Tough, tough race and won't play my hand until quite late I think because of the weather. Would rank them Mijhaar, Fiorente, Nathaniel, Fulgur, Genius Beast, Glen's Diamond, World Domination at this stage. Probably going with the front two in that, maybe even look at opposing World Domination in the plaec market.


CORONATION STAKES

This is tough and we don't know what the weather is going to do in the next three hours.

Have always liked Memory (backed her here last year) but now she comes with a major query as to whether she feels like jumping from the gates. If you want to back her - do it in-running, the price will be shorter, but at least you'll know... Hannon not keen on the rain for her.

The French horses Immortal Verse and Nova Hawk are very interesting in the wet. This race is on the round mile course, and the track is softer around the back. Both have won in the wet and have shown they are in the mix for a race like this.

More Than Real won the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf on a firm track, beating Together. US horses rarely see wet turf tracks - because they race so regularly at a circuit (several times per week for several months), they don't risk damaging the ground as their turf courses are very narrow - so as soon as it rains, they move them onto the dirt. Hence most US horses won't have wet track form. We are guessing but she is definitely a G1 filly. Pletcher has stated her preparation hasn't been ideal but no comment on handling the wet.

Theysken's Theory is the main danger to the favourite, she has won on the soft. Won easily last start in a Listed race at York.

Together is the form runner, bridesmaid in both the English and Irish 1000 Guineas, and ran a close 2nd to White Moonstone in a G1 here on good-soft last September. Hasn't won over the mile yet (three placings from four attempts - BC Juv Turf 5th was the other). Certainty for a place at least. Can't imagine gate 13 will be a concern if the rain has gotten further into the track.

Might play exotics around Together running a place, several winning chances.


WOLFERTON HANDICAP

Every man and his dog is tipping Green Destiny here. Scratched earlier in the week wanting a softer surface, he's got it today. Curious to see that he will start shorter here than in any of his three latest wins, and this is his biggest test. Not sure they know just how good he is.

The stablemate Shamali has a record of two wins and a second from three Ascot runs (his best turf runs), and has the services of Ryan Moore on top. Might be worth a place-weighted EW bet.

Otherwise staying out of this one.


QUEEN'S VASE

Not overly keen on this one, a lot of unknowns with distance and weather.

Regent Street is favourite but wasn't he a pacemaker for Recital recently? Can't be backing him as favourite.

Solar Sky was lucky to beat Sunday Bess at Haydock when he started at 2/13. Bred to stay all day but can't have him with any confidence either.

Mark Johnston is mob-handed with Eternal Heart, Halifax and Namibian - is it possible to pick between them? The market is struggling to.

Borug hasn't done a lot as yet, but is bred to stay and has the services of Mickael Barzalona aboard - he has to win a race here this week surely?

A couple of Encosta de Lagos in the race too which is a little surprising - he was a miler and his Aussie progeny have followed those traits. Perhaps they're stoutly bred on the dam side.

The one I like a bit in this is Ittirad. Well bred, upward curve, I rate the stable highly, worth a bet eachway.


BUCKINGHAM PALACE STAKES

Not a clue.

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