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Royal Ascot Saturday preview

 Here we go - the final day and come on the Folio!


Lightly raced 2yos again, virtually all of them stepping up to their first try at 7f. 

La Guarida won nicely at Goodwood at her second start, running away from the field in the latter stages. I'm a big fan of the New Bay breed, she's more likely to sit up on the pace than some of her rivals.

Matnookh was a big run on debut, she completely blew the start and then rattled home late. This is a considerable step up in class but there's underlying talent there.

Pearls And Rubies and Nemonte were both impressive on debut, running on fron back in the field. They won't be far away.


La Guarida, Matnookh, Pearls And Rubies


Covey looks a very good prospect but I'm not diving in to take the price given the number of favourites that have crashed and burned this week. Not convinced the form of his last win is that flash, those behind him aren't winning anything special in their careers. 

Quan Shamar looks highly talented but a bit inconsistent. He won impressively on the AW at Dundalk in April, comfortably beating Unless (fourth in the Sandringham) and then took on Paddington in the Irish 2000 Guineas, trailing him by 4.25L. Dropping back a furlong could be a good move, if he strings it altogether he's a winning chance - but would be needing double-figure odds to take the risk.

Streets Of Gold was unbeaten in five starts as a 2yo, focusing on rich sales races rather than Pattern races. Resuming this season, he flopped in the Greenham but was promptly sent off to see the wind op doctor, and returned with a decent third at Epsom on Oaks Day, behind Olivia Maralda. He didn't appear to enjoy the undulations and unusual camber of the goat track and this could be much more to his liking at big odds.

Zoology beat Covey when the latter made his debut, giving him 7lbs. He finished well back in fourth in the Greenham but has been given a decent break since then. If he has progressed since then, he's another who could be overpriced.


Quan Shamar, Streets Of Gold, Zoology, Covey 


The starting point here has to be the HK sprinter Wellington. He'd be winning just about everything in Honkers if it wasn't for a sensation called Lucky Sweynesse, who rates comparably with Nature Strip. If he's travelled without any issues, he's a huge chance.

American raider Big Invasion arrives with comparable form to Undrafted, who won this race in 2015. Rather than racing like a scalded cat, he likes to come from off the pace, and doesn't need as much luck as Artorius, who has immense talent but loves to find trouble in running. Big Invasion was just beaten last time out by Caravel, who won the Breeders Cup Sprint in November ahead of Emaraaty Ana, Creative Force (dec.) and Highfield Princess. The form stacks up. 

Highfield Princess is tough, she might have won on Tuesday if she wasn't hampered by Bradsell. The plan was always to run her twice, she'll go very close to winning.


Big Invasion, Wellington, Highfield Princess


I couldn't make up my mind whether this was a disappointing field for this G2 or not. Then you look closely and find three proper G1 horses at the top of the market.

Hukum is super-consistent. If it wasn't for his brother Baaeed, he'd classed as a proper star. He's won 9 of 14, and in his last two runs, he has conclusively beaten Pyledriver in the Coronation Cup last season, and then the Derby winner Desert Crown in the Brigadier Gerard after a year off. This is his race.

Pyledriver won the King George last season but keeps having injury issues and missing large chunks of the season. He's first up since winning the cream of the British middle-distance races for the older brigade, but did finish 4.25L behind the aforementioned Hukum the start before.

Free Wind has won six of her last seven, all in female company, and now faces a tougher task against proven Group 1 winners. The Frankie factor (four winners this week) won't help her price, I don't think she's quite up to the best of these if they can race to their peaks. I'll be taking her on but I think she can still run a place.


Hukum, Pyledriver, Free Wind


Bias alert!!

I'm a part-owner of First Folio via the Owners Group microsyndicate, so I have no choice other than to put the mighty grey on top. He gave us a hell of a thrill when he ran a bold sixth in the race last year off the same mark. This time we put the visor on him, and claim 5lbs via the very useful Taylor Fisher. He's drawn nicely in the middle and if you are prepared to forgive his last run (the vet found soreness in his back), then he's in the mix. Personally, I think he needs to go to the front as he lacks acceleration, but he can go pretty quick and keep it going. 

A few others I will throw in some exotics with him:

Duca Di Como - this Swedish runner has some solid form and will no doubt be completely dismissed by most British punters. He's a bit better than Good Eye who ran fourth in the Stewards' Cup last year at Goodwood at 150/1.

Lethal Levi - loves a big handicap on a firm track, just went down to Bielsa last time after hating the softer ground at Newmarket.

Tanmawwy - has two blips in his past three, both on wet ground. Ignoring those, he's been close in his other three most recent runs. I do wonder about his two Ascot failures last summer but I'm prepared to take a risk at a big price with James McDonald taking the ride.

Juan Les Pins down the bottom loves frim ground and can sneak into a place.

I've backed Probe successfully before but am concerned about the surface, needs proper cut in the ground.


First Folio, Tanmawwy, Juan Les Pins, Lethal Levi, Duca Di Como


Can't say much research has gone into this one. Burdett Road won impressively last time and looks a crazy price compared to some of his rivals. Cuban Dawn changed hands a few days ago and was purchased by a syndicate to run for Gai Waterhouse in Australia. He's yet to break his maiden but debuted in a Listed race behind Paddington and went close in his other two runs. Stepping up to 1m2f should suit him perfectly. 

One at a daft price might be Lose Your Wad. Three starts back he beat Royal Cape, who most recently ran second behind Covey who is the prohibitive favourite in the Jersey. Since then he's run at Chester and Epsom and hated both courses. It's a bit of a reach to suggest he'll bounce back here but you get a fair premium on the price for that optimism.


Burdett Road, Cuban Dawn, Lose Your Wad


Surprisingly only 10 in the plodders' race, which makes it easier to process.

Goshen is another of these erratic talents who can be brilliant or awful on any given day but I'm happy to take around 16/1 on those terms.

Run For Oscar won the Cesarewitch last season, he's had numerous jumps runs in winter and then it looks as if he's been set for this. Underestimate Charles Byrnes at your peril.

Typewriter has always promised to be a useful stayer, here's her chance over an extreme distance in a small field.


Goshen, Run For Oscar, Typewriter


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