It was a productive day for us yesterday with four of the six winners including the winner of the last which was advised at 20/1.
It wasn’t a particularly tough day for punters with some well fancied chances landing but there was the obvious disappointment of Churchill. I can’t believe that was his running, others may have progressed and caught up with him but he was so below par it might just be that the Irish Guineas on softer ground took too much out of him. Declarationofpeace also disappointed after being heavily backed, but I think it is too early to judge if it is anything more than a bad day at the office or if it is an overall drop in form from the O’Brien stable.
On to day two selections and let’s hope the good run can continue.
2:30 Jersey Stakes (Group 3) 7f
The Jersey looks like a very competitive field without a real standout in the line-up; I doubt there is another Ribchester lurking in there. I’m going to stick with my original ante-post selection and get behind DABAN, who will surely appreciate the drop back in trip today. There are others who could be dangerous stepping back in trip with the French Guineas placed Le Brivido the most notable threat.
3:05 Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2) 5f
HAPPY LIKE A FOOL has the profile of a typical Wesley Ward Royal Ascot winner and it is hard to look anywhere else for the winner of thi. With a short priced favourite there is some each way value out there and the most interesting for me are Chicha La Habana, Treasuring and Out Of The Flames, with preferences narrowly for the latter.
3:40 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes (Group 2) 1m
It looked very competitive at the head of the market before the late defection of Laugh Aloud with just the two French contenders now vying for favouritism. Usherette and Qemah were both winners at the meeting last year and look ahead of the remainder, and my preference goes for QEMAH who can peak ahead of her closest rival.
At a bigger price in search of some each way value, Turret Rocks could grab a place.
4:20 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (Group 1) 1m2f
This could be my heart ruling over my head, as I love this horse, but HIGHLAND REEL can bag another Group One prize here. It doesn’t look the strongest of races for a Group One so with his consistency and liking for quick ground Highland Reel can win. The biggest dangers for me would be an improving Ulysses and the underrated Decorated Knight. I’m not the biggest fan of Jack Hobbs as it is but just can’t see him figuring under the conditions.
5:00 Royal Hunt Cup (Class 2 Hcap) 1m
The first big handicap of the week and like many others run here the Royal Hunt Cup is fiendishly difficult to find the winner of. I do sometimes feel you’d have a better strike rate just closing your eyes and sticking a pin in the paper.
There are too many contenders to mention here so I’ll skip straight to the selection who is FASTNET TEMPEST. He might be one of the more obvious ones but he has the profile of a progressive horse who could be a bit better than a handicapper and will have no problem with conditions.
There is plenty of each way value out there if you can find the right one and our choice goes to Hors De Combat. He is a regular in these big handicaps, has course form and if he runs to his level could figure at a decent price.
5:35 Sandringham Handicap (Listed Race) 1m
This looks a very tough one to crack and isn’t one I have a great deal of interest in, so I won’t pay too much attention. The speculative pick goes to PRESENT TENSE who will need to improve but given she is still potentially unexposed and is well-bred, being a sibling of Kingman, there could be more to her than we’ve seen so far.
2:30 Daban @ 7/1 (Bet365)
3:05 Happy Like A Fool @ 11/10 (Bet365) & Out Of The Flames e/w @ 16/1 (Bet365, ¼ odds first 4)
3:40 Qemah @ 9/4 (Bet365) & Turret Rocks e/w @ 25/1 (Bet365, ¼ odds first 3)
4:20 Highland Reel @ 5/2 (Bet365)
5:00 Fastnet Tempest @ 10/1 (Paddy Power) & Hors De Combat e/w @ 20/1 (Ladbrokes, ¼ odds first 5)
5:35 Present Tense @ 22/1 (Bet 365)