Firstly a quick run down of yesterday’s racing, Strong Suit returned to form after breathing op and was given a masterful ride by Richard Hughes, even though it was beaten, I think Codemaster still made further improvement.
In the Windsor Forest, as I keep going on about, fillies races are not to bet in and this race was a good case in point, not much separating a fairly modest bunch.
The Prince of Wales race has had a lot said about it, as I made the point yesterday I thought So you Think had been well placed to win a couple of moderately contested races and I wouldn’t back him, Frankie gave Rewilding a masterful ride, BUT he broke the rules he hit the horse 24 times, hard or not. Who knows, if Ryan Moore had matched the number of times he hit So You Think, would he have hung on, rules are rules and you CANNOT choose which ones you go by or not, they are there for a reason, if you don’t agree with them you need to get them changed, not blatantly break them because the prize money and horse value will be dramatically increased, I personally think that unless on the grounds of danger to horse or rider the number of times you hit a horse has to be set by the horse racing authorities, jockeys and vets and then after that the jockey automatically gets a three month ban no enquiry, and then if he does it again a worldwide ban for a full season, the horses give loads to our sport and sometimes pay the ultimate price for out benefit, the least we can do is not beat them up excessively.
The Hunt Cup we got right regarding the draw but not much else, Proponent, the selection, was always hanging and gave up pretty tamely.
In the Queen Mary again, as I keep going on about fillies are not the most consistent and can find improvement unexpectedly as maybe happened here again when the fav was pipped.
Another fillies race where my tentative selection Cape Dollar was cruising when getting badly hampered whether she would have won is anybodys guess but she certainly is one to watch next time after looking to be near her best here.
So on to my favourite day, Ladies day, where the fillies are dressed to kill in there expensive outfits and I can only wish I was few years younger and a bit richer to join them for Champers, let’s just hope that the rain that is falling presently doesn’t spoil things for them.
The 2.30 the Norfolk stakes plenty of runners as usual the favourite Bapak Chinta had his form boosted by Frederick Engels the other day but he beat that horse before he started to improve, Frederick Engels improved 20lbs from that form on his next run, so I think the form is a little suspect particularly if using that form as the main guide, plus on all known form so far this week he is badly drawn but will the rain make a difference to the draw…..one thing you can say in this race is that there will be plenty of pace on and I think that you have to stick with those drawn high, there are a lot of horses that could improve considerably on what they have done so far.
3.05 the Ribblesdale again a race to be wary of because they are fillies and as we saw from yesterday’s results, not good betting medium’s. Banimpire is totally consistent but if you look at the form she has been pretty well placed to win some of those races and I think her form is weak, Dorcas Lane must be the apple of Lucy Wadham’s eye, she has improved steadily with every run but will need to find more to take this, same applies to Highest, the two with the best form in the race so far and still improving are Zain al Boldan with the enforcer on board, she didn’t handle Epsom last time so if you forgive that she must have a major chance and Rumh who could be given a typical Frankie front running ride on a course that will suit that, as I keep saying I don’t think fillies races are a betting medium but I will be having a small reverse exacta on those two just to have an interest in the race.
The Ascot Gold Cup one of the races that is close to my heart I remember watching Lester give master classes to the other jockeys in this race when I was much younger on Sagaro, Le Moss and Ardross, but sadly it seems to have lost a bit of its esteem to the trainers and breeders and now generally it is won by horses that didn’t quite make it over the derby trip, todays turn out is fairly moderate for the large purse on offer today of over 150k, but something has to win it, so let’s have a try, like a few other horses I can think of the move to “rookie” trainer David O’Meara’s stable Blue Bajan has been revitalised but even on his best form he will struggle to overturn the form with Duncan who beat him fairly cosily last time, Fame and Glory is not for me and is going to be my place Lay of the day , he has won his last two races under Jamie Spencer but they were pretty moderate races and he didn’t exactly impress, he does not seem to be in the same form as last year when winning the Coronation at Epsom, Holberg has to improve again to turn the form around with Blue Bajan which hasn’t seemed likely, Manighar look like he would struggle to turn the tables on Duncan at the revised terms, the three I like are Duncan, Tastahil, and Motrice, Duncan has to have worry about the trip suiting his front running style, Tastahil is seven now and been here before and got beat but at least you know you will get a run for your money and the filly Motrice who with another winter on her back could have improved again over a trip she will relish, I will personally be having a small bet on Motrice and a small combination exacta with those three plus a place Lay of Fame and Glory, but with too many unknown factors it is hard to be positive about any of the runners.
4.25 the Brittania stakes, a lucky race for me over the last few seasons, so let’s see if I can do it again, Belgian Bill is well drawn but needs to improve plenty to get in the money here, Common Touch has the best form in the race weight for weight and was nearly the selection and would have a chance but got to think the draw bias will scupper his chances, but if it looks from early races that the draw bias has dramatically changed I will be having a saver on him, Sagramor is consistent but I don’t think the colts form is better than a lot of other runners in the race at bigger prices, Captain Bertie is interesting, don’t think he handled the track when beaten at odds on around Chester but is another who looks badly drawn, Chain Lightning is the Hughes pick from the Hannon runners but once again the draw has not been kind, he is still on the upgrade, I have narrowed it down to just four runners that I think have all the attributes to win this but you’ve got to subscribe to find out what they are and what my selection is.
5.00 the Tercentenary stakes Alkimos has been well placed to “ learn “ in a couple of weakish races and has won without looking a world beater, Marksmanship is another horse priced up on connections and what he might be able to do rather than form so not for me to guess, Laajooj is the horse with the strongest form on paper but he looked a bit tricky last time and not one to have big bets on, Slumber is progressive and ran well last time whilst still looking ill at ease on the tight Chester track so not for me, if I were having a bet I would go along with Tazahum who looks the most likely to produce his form again, but a no bet race for me.
The 5.35 one of the hardest races of the week the King George V handicap but usually won by one of the fore runners in the betting, Purification doesn’t look good enough on any form, same applies to the Fallon ridden Danadana and Communicator who at least has form over the trip, Apache is weighted to the hilt and even with J.P O’Brien taking off 3lbs looks to have an hard task, Sud Pacifique struggled to beat perennial 2nd Mica Mica which doesn’t look good enough, Eternal Heart and Charles Camoin both have chances but they will struggle to win form such a high draw on the round course unless they go the Willie Carson route, once again I have narrowed it down to three runners but alas you need to subscribe to find out what they are.
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