So here we are. The final day of Royal Ascot and what a record breaking week it has been! Ryan Moore will try and continue his red hot form on Ballydoyle who is favourite for the final two year old race of the meeting in the Chesham. This well named and well bred filly finished fourth on début. That would be usual for Aidan O’Brien horses but based on the price he is overlooked for another Irish raider in the form Tonkinese for Godolphin. He finished third on his first start behind Coventry second Air Force Blue. He then went on to win next time over this distance. He is entitled to come on again for that and should go close. Mick Halfords yard have found there feet after a slow start are now starting to get going. Tonkinese is taken to win.
Dangers a plenty, Love the Kitten of Wesley Ward must be respected with the step up to suit. Palawan is one of our “60 to follow” but will need to improve massively, but the yard are adept at winning two year old races around here.
However the two main dangers come from John Gosdens yard. Cymric was an expensive purchase and is worth a market check. Could struggle first time up and the yards main threat is Force who shaped nicely at Goodwood. However I don’t follow maidens at the track as it is unique over the straight course.
We move onto a listed handicap over ten furlongs. Mahsoob is unbeaten from three starts and could still be ahead of the assessor. He runs off a nine pound higher mark since beating Master of Finance by half a length and while clearly unexposed is worth taking on at the prices. Another in excellent form this season is Collaboration with three wins on the bounce. He has another hike to deal with but the yard are in good form. While Sir Michael Stoute runners have not been running up to scratch Provenance cannot be completely ruled out and may improve from his last run. Senockian Star and Fire Fighter represent Mark Johnston in form yard with preference for the latter. Based on his run behind Trip To Paris in April he must be taken seriously and has to be on my side in this contest. The other horse I am interested in is First Flight for Godolphin. While this Invincible Spirit gelding needs to overturn form with Mahsoob he is overpriced based on these revised terms and has run well at the course before. Both must have live each way chances.
Fire Fighting (E/W)
First Flight (E/W)
One off the feature races of the day and a disappointing turn out with only seven declared. Telescope looks hard to oppose but again he is under priced currently and given the yard form is tough to support. He seems to have stopped improving and is vulnerable to more progressive horses like Postponed, Eagle Top and Snow Sky (same yard). Luca Cumani’s colt is taken to come out on top here. He usually takes a couple of runs to warm to the task and his two runs this season have come at the top level, second to Western Hymn and third to Al Kazeem, if he continues to improve he should give the favourite plenty to do. Eagle Top, I can’t imagine, will not like the more livelier surface while Snow Sky was not expected to win last time out and again the yard form is questionable.
The last group one of the Royal Ascot meeting, this time last year I looked to Slade Power to dig me out of a hole, which he duly obliged in doing. This renewal however maybe lacks a star six furlong horse but it does have some depth. Younger horses have become the norm in this race over the last seven years and the two Australian raiders look to follow in Black Caviares hoof-steps. Its hard to read the form not really knowing what they have beaten. But the fact they are here they must be respected.
Mustajeeb is another who did me a turn last year when winning the Jersey. He ran well for the rest of the year up to a mile but seems to have been a revelation when dropping back to six last time at the Curragh. This horse seems to have a lot in favour so must be on the short-list for DK Weld. Another horse I’m keen to have onside is Tropics. This horse ran probably a career best when winning at Windsor from a bad draw last time and was probably value for wider margin of success. His form line is full of admirable defeats and hopefully can at least make the frame.
Due Diligence represents red hot connections and finished second in this last year. He has had one run since on unsuitable ground so should come on a good bit. Gordon Lord Byron is a stalwart of Tom Hogans yard and will probably be off globe-trotting again this winter. The ground will be against him over this distance.
Now its time for the daily lottery in the Wokingham! With a field of twenty eight and joint favourites of three at 12/1 hopefully we can get a good run for our money at some nice prices. This race on the face of it is hard to get really heavily involved. The key is know where the pace is. In this race it appears that the majority is drawn high.
I’ve picked two to go to war with. The first been Intrinsic. Richard Hughes last year described this horse as a group horse. While that has not materialised he is well drawn and the UK answer to Eddie Lynam, Robert Cowell yard have been in good form. Intrinsic won on reappearance last season and it might be a case that his form just peters out after a couple of runs and know is the time to catch him. Also has course form, albeit in completely different conditions.
The second horse is Rene Mathis of Richard Fahey. This horse while still relatively young by handicap standards is a stalwart of these big field events and really should have more wins to his name. His run behind Muthmir last season is clear stand out form and he has the same racing weight today (while been six higher officially). A reproduction of that run can see him go close.
Rene Mathis (E/W)
The final race and the Queen Alexandra over two mile five and a bit! Willie Mullins and Ryan Moore have already combined for a winner at this meeting and won the corresponding race last year. The have the favourite in Wicklow Brave, in the same ownership as former winner Simenon. He has had two runs on the flat winning easy both times. He is so unexposed on the flat and should get the trip. Given the connections he could go off odds on.
While he is the most likely winner I will continue looking for value. If you took the current favourite out of the race Marzocco would be a very short price. Rated 106 and is on favourable terms. He brings the best flat form into the race. However the interesting contender is Brave Richard who is represented by a shrewd trainer and the jockey booking of Spencer catches the eye. Three from three in National Hunt Bumpers and by Jeremy he should stay and could be overpriced on flat début.
Brave Richard (E/W)