ROYAL ASCOT Day 5
An 8 race extravaganza to finish the most unique of Royal meetings.
12.40 Silver Wokingham
Prediction 1 – Nahaarr 2 – Burmese Waltz 3 – Chiefofchiefs 4 – Hyperfocus
A race for those that didn’t get into the main event later on.
I think Swindler is the best horse in this race and has massive upsides but his draw in 2 scares me a little and I am tempted away from him towards those drawn high. I think the ground should firm up again and we may see the bias from Tuesday and Wednesday reappear.
First up is Nahaarr for the unlucky William Haggas who has been knocking on the door this week without a winner. He also has the likely favourite Aplomb here but this guy ticks more boxes for me and should be better on this ground. Draw & ground in his favour and while he might prefer 7f, this stiff 6 will mean he will be flying late.
Burmese Waltz was a smart horse in Ireland last year and looked good on her reappearance at Kempton. The winter of growing and trainer switch look to be big positives and happy to use her here.
Chiefofchiefs shouldn’t make sense – this is his first run over 6f, but he is a strong traveller and ground should be fine. If he can go the early pace and is within striking distance with 2f to go, like Nahaarr, he will be finishing better than most.
Hyperfocus always needs his reappearance run so comes in here primed for a good run. It may dry up a bit too much for him but price more than compensates.
1.15 Queen Mary
Prediction 1 – More Beautiful (BEST BET) 2 – Mamba Wamba 3 – Caroline Dale
More Beautiful was the most impressive winner in Ireland to date so we were eagerly awaiting her return – drying ground is needed to be more confident being a daughter of War Front but she looks another excellent Coolmore prospect.
Mamba Wamba got in all sorts of trouble and was very green on debut and still managed second to another filly here Pelekai. I think she has plenty of promise going forward and her trainer is confident which I like.
I like the step down in trip for Caroline Dale. She has plenty of speed which will enable her to get a prominent position near the pace. If she can progress like the others from run 1 to 2, she is in with a shot at a huge price.
Prediction 1 – Admiral Nelson 2 – Talbot 3 – Painless Potter
For More Beautiful on the fillies side, read Admiral Nelson! He oozed class last week and looked sensational both physically and in his run, barely asked to run. He is short and I don’t love tipping up short ones but I would fancy O’Brien to be able to get his colt to back up rather than other trainers with fancied runners.
Second, I like Talbot who took a while to warm to his task on debut but looked much more professional in the last furlong and the extra furlong will suit. By Gleneagles, he would love it to dry out a bit more (which I think it will).
Painless Potter is my hunch play from my favourite trainer Alan King who has nailed his entries in Ascot this week (3 runners at Royal Ascot – Coeur De Lion (1st), Tritonic (2nd) and Scarlet Dragon (1st)). His first run wasn’t without promise and I think he will run better than the market expects.
Prediction 1- Quadrilateral 2 – Sharing
This is the hardest race for me to make sense. After going through all the scenarios, I’ve gone back to basics and am looking at the 2 best fillies in the race – Sharing and Quadrilateral.
If Quadrilateral can settle, she will win. She actually did very well to finish where she did with how keen she was in the 1000 Guineas. They are leaving the tongue tie today and hoping that may help and I hope Jason Watson lets her on with things today.
Sharing comes here on a multi race winning and the drying ground should be in her favour. I think she will be ridden very positively and will be first to benefit if Quadrilateral fails to settle. I’m expecting a big run and hopefully she rewards the owners for persisting with this adventure!
3.00 St James’s Palace
Prediction 1 – Palace Pier 2 – Positive
The 2000 Guineas looked a real rough race and there was no hiding place – they raced fast and got going early in a race record time. I don’t think anything that has run since has run well so I am going to oppose all of the runners from it and take some of the newcomers. So I am happy to oppose the 2yo champ Punatubo, 2000 Guineas runner up Wichita and also rans Arizona and Royal Dornoch.
That only leaves 3 runners and of those I don’t think Threat will stay the mile so it leaves me with quietly campaigned Palace Pier who looked good on reappearance at John Gosdens favourite prep track for Ascot (Newcastle). I rate him on top with Positive second. He comes here with a win over 2000 Guineas winner Kameko last year and his trainer in good form and getting horses ready to go off the layoff.
3.35 Diamond Jubilee
Prediction 1 – Speak In Colours (BEST LONGSHOT) 2 – Khaadem 3 – Dream of Dreams
The story of this race is Skeptical, the very cheap Godolphin outcast (gelding by Ward Royal Ascot winner Jealous Again) who has gone on a winning spree in Ireland and looked fantastic 12 days ago. He is usually ridden by a 7 pound claimer but they are not allowed to ride at Ascot this year so they have drafted Frankie in instead. It would be a heartwarming story if he wins but plenty of reasons to oppose him. I think he has been quite difficult to train and 2 tough races in less than 2 weeks is a tough ask for an inexperienced horse plus it will be his first time going proper G1 pace which sometimes takes horses a race or two to get used to..
My top pick is Speak in Colours. He ran last week over 7f on fast ground which looked a nice prep (takes his racing well) but this easier ground and step back in trip looks perfect. He was 4th in this race last year and can go a few places better in a weaker edition.
Khaadem runs for the in form team of Charlie Hills and Jim Crowley. The more the ground dries out the better he will be. He can prove to be a very serious horse on his day. His trainer has been very good in all sprints this week so I would be confident that these connections can do the spring double.
Dream of Dreams beat Speak in Colours last year just failing to reel Blue Point in but subsequently trailed off during the year. He is gelded now making his reappearance but won last year first time up and maybe this is the time of year to catch him.
Prediction 1 – Highland Dress 2 – Gulliver 3 – Angel Alexander 4 – Dazzling Dan
What a puzzle to try and solve!
Bielsa is a worthy favourite but couldn’t touch Kevin Ryan’s horses at the minute with the way they are running. The good news is that it also thankfully rules me out from tipping up Hey Jonesy again!!!
Even though he has been winning and going up the handicap, there still appears to be more room for improvement in Highland Dress – I was really impressed with him the last day and despite being up 6 pounds, he should be fine with it and run a big race. He is my top pick.
Second up is Gulliver. Hasn’t run at Ascot in ages but has lots of decent form all around the UK. Last run was just a pipe opener and David O’Meara is a good man to have on side in these types of races and had the winner of this back in 2017.
Angel Alexander is no stranger to big handicap sprints and won the Ayr Gold Cup on similar going last year. Draw and ground should be fine and after his so-so winter in Dubai (plenty of horses just don’t like it there!) he has dropped back in the weights – he’s primed to run well.
Dazzling Dan is from a small yard well able to land a big race. Clearly in need of the run first time up, he was supported which suggests to me that he thee is talent there and despite being drawn 9 – I give this gelding a good shot at making the frame.
4.40 Queen Alexandra
Prediction 1 – Who Dares Wins 2 – Adrrastos 3 – The Grand Visir
I believe this is the longest flat race in the UK and has mix of all types here. Again, the key is finding a horse that will stay – no point having all the talent in the world if you give up after 2 miles here.
There looks to be 2 stand out horses who will stay – they are Who Dares Wins and The Grand Visir.
Preference is for Who Dares Wins who is by my go to trainer at the minute Alan King and looks fine over any trip from 2 miles +.
The Grand Visir would probably like it softer but he won the Ascot Stakes over 2m 4f at this meeting last year.
Adrrastos is the interesting one. Making his debut on the flat, he is the best of these over jumps and worth a shot at a big price to fill the exacta.
It isn’t the best betting heat to finish the meeting off so I will be treading carefully and using the other races as better betting opportunities.
I hope you enjoyed Royal Ascot 2020, Enjoy the Belmont and see you, please God, back in 2021!