Skip to main content

Royal Ascot Friday preview

Rain rain go away, at least let us have some clarity on the ground throughout the day. Khaloosy did the job for us yesterday at a nice early price, what awaits us today?


                                                     The Palace of Holyroodhouse

Palace of Holyroodhouse
Of all the new races, this one is the race I'm least keen on. Art Power was impressive first-up winning at Newcastle and is clear favourite. Could win quite easily, otherwise it's wide open.

Albany
The Wesley Ward filly Flying Aletha is favourite but how will she fare on soft ground? After being burnt in the Windsor Castle, I'll steer clear of this one. Frankie's sticking with the Gosden filly, Willabell who was just nutted on the line on debut at Yarmouth after trying to lead all the way in a small field. A daughter of War Front, whose progeny excel at Ascot, she'll come on for that run and should benefit from a larger field. Golden Melody won comfortably on debut and looks to be the only one in the field to have experienced softer turf.

Norfolk
The obvious favourite is Eye Of Heaven who finished ahead of Tactical and Get It, first and fourth in Wednesday's Windsor Castle, at Newmarket on debut. The dogs were barking he was pretty handy, starting even money, and were proven right. Lipizzaner hasn't found the front yet for Aidan O'Brien but it's not rare for them to get it right first time on the big stage. The Lir Jet impressed on debut and has since been purchased by Qatar Racing. 

Hardwicke
Derby winner Anthony van Dyck will be close to favourite here but the stable have been quoted as saying soft ground isn't his preference. He hasn't won since that day at Epsom so taking a short price in sub-optimal conditions isn't for me. After going off the rails a bit, Elarqam put it together last year after a wind operation, winning three times. He then resumed at Haydock, beaten a lip by Lord North, who proved pretty handy here on Wednesday. A wet track won't hinder him, he smashed renowned mudder Addeybb in soft going at York in July but his first attempt at a mile and a half could be difficult if it's a proper slog. For an absolute roughie, keep an eye on Alounak. He only finished one length behind Anthony van Dyck at the Breeders' Cup and is two from two on soft tracks in Germany. He was given an easy time late after racing keenly at Newmarket on local debut and might improve sharply.

Commonwealth Cup
The Cox & Kirby combination haven't hit the road running since the resumption but Golden Horde is their beacon of light at the moment. An impressive 2yo, he is said to have really filled out into a rock hard 3yo sprinter. If those reports are to be believed, he's a big chance here. Roger Varian has been racking up the winners this week and Pierre Lapin left a big impression last season winning both his starts to date. 

Queen's Vase
Not excited by any of these to be honest. Big ask for the filly to win this on her third start, don't see how she's been marked as favourite.

Duke of Edinburgh
Durston steadily rose through the handicap last season and looks well suited here - BUT David Simcock hasn't had a winner since the resumption. Six of his last seven runners have finished in the first four though, three of them during Royal Ascot, so he can't be far away from that elusive winner. Deja avoided the firm ground at Newmarket recently and returns after a winter gelding operation. Before pulling hard at Newcastle in his most recent start, he'd won four in a row so connections obviously think there's more to come. Al Mufrih looked pretty promising before slipping in the Old Newton Cup and breaking gear when favourite. He hasn't run since so I assume there was an injury there as well.


With a chance of overnight/morning showers, I'll hold off on getting stuck in until we have a better idea of conditions. Not a day for big confidence but I'll go Eye Of Heaven as the best bet and Alounak as the wild roughie. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

lay the field - my favourite racing strategy

Dabbling with laying the field in-running at various prices today, not just one price, but several in the same race. Got several matched in the previous race at Brighton, then this race came along at Nottingham. Such a long straight at Nottingham makes punters often over-react and think the finish line is closer than it actually is. As you can see by the number of bets matched, there was plenty of volatility in this in-play market. It's rare you'll get a complete wipe-out with one horse getting matched at all levels, but it can happen, so don't give yourself too much risk...

The Melbourne Cup preview 2019

We're back again for the greatest race on turf, the world's richest staying race and the only race in the world which creates a public holiday for millions of locals.




Once again a fine international field has been assembled and it's worth a deep look at the race. So get a cuppa and find a comfortable seat to plough your way through my preview!

--------------------------------

The Lexus Melbourne Cup
Group 1, Handicap, 3200m
AUD 7,750,000
Flemington 1500 local, 0400 GMT
Broadcasters - Network 10 (AUS), Racing.com (worldwide), SkySportsRacing (UK)


1. Cross Counter
Trainer - Charlie Appleby (one previous Cup win)
Jockey - William Buick
Breeding - Teofilo - Waitress
Drawn 5, Weight 57.5kg

Last year's impressive winner who doesn't get the 3yo weight advantage this time. Won first up at Meydan in March but has run fourth, third, fourth in the big set weights staying races in England and Ireland, never quite making it as the next big staying star. While running close behind Stradivar…

Westow Stakes - York 16/5/19

The sun was out for a glorious opening day of the meeting, and races down the straight appeared to have no concerns about draw bias. Thursday's card has a few higher profile races but this 3yo sprint is worth watching closely, tomorrow and for future form.



British Stallion Studs EBF Westow Stakes
£50k, Listed & Class 1, 3yo, 5f
York 1605

Soldier's Call - flying machine, winning four of six starts in Britain last season, running third in the Prix L'Abbaye, beaten a neck at WFA then finished sixth as joint favourite in the BC Juvenile Turf Sprint. Has plenty on these on ratings, but life's rarely that simple with unexposed 3yos early in the season.

Broken Spear - more exposed than most of these and well beaten by Garrus first up. Missed Chester last week, probably due to the rain (or a poor draw). Pass.

Charming Kid - won at this meeting last season but has been a little erratic ever since. Well beaten on AW Championships Day, appears to be a few lengths off these.

Garrus -…