Charlie McCann of BetVictor.com with Royal Ascot news and tips for Thursday
Leading French handler Andre Fabre yesterday ruled his Prix Ganay winner Cloth Of Stars out of the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot next week. This was the second high-profile Gallic absentee announced in 24 hours with leading stayer Vazirabad out of Thursday’s Gold Cup. The markets have been shaken up as a result with Jack Hobbs now 9/4 from 3s with BetVictor for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and Order of St George 5/6 from 5/4 to retain his Gold Cup crown.
Today’s highlight is the listed Ballymacoll Stud Stakes for 3-year-old fillies over ten furlongs and it is hard to get away from the chances of Guineas fourth Talaayeb (3.05) whose pedigree suggests she will appreciate today’s step up in distance. The selection has only had the two career starts and is open to significant improvement and if she stays, she will win. Her dam finished runner up in the Park Hill (14f) so she could easily get further in time and does hold an entry in the Irish Oaks next month.
In the opener Being There (1.30) makes his debut for Godolphin in the six-and-a-half furlong maiden and it is well documented that trainer Charlie Appleby has a terrific record with his juveniles this term. The selection cost connections 1.4m Euros as a yearling and holds an entry in the Gp 1 Phoenix Stakes later in the year.
Richard Hannon’s juveniles invariable improve for the run and Rogue shaped up nicely on debut when fourth here on soft ground last month – the booking of Ryan Moore suggests connections expect a bold show.
Mutakatif may have run into a decent sort of Tom Dascombe’s when beaten at Haydock on debut and one of the newcomers will have to be well above average if they are to lower his colours this afternoon. Sir Michael Stoute’s Expert Eye has the pedigree to be smart and it is interesting that Dascombe brings Shootingthe Breeze down from his Cheshire base this afternoon.
Hattons Hill has won his last five at his beloved Hexham and must go close to making it six on the spin at Uttoxeter this evening given the handicapper has only seen fit to raise him a couple of pounds for his latest success. I am going to take a chance however on Lovely Job (6.25) who is returning from a 400-day lay-off for Fergal O’Brien.
The selection has been keen and will have to settle if he is to get home but he is a horse I thought had some potential over fences before his break and his yard can certainly get them fit at home. The betting will provide valuable clues as to stable expectations on his comeback and three of his six rivals won last time out – a cracking race but Lovely Job could still make up into a decent chaser.
No Such Number is chasing a four-timer having, like Hattons Hill, made hay at Hexham into recent weeks winning his last three. The nine-year-old is 12lbs higher than when scoring earlier in the month, and has obviously thrived since joining the yard of former Grand National winning jockey Maurice Barnes in Cumbria.
This might go to another National winning jockey, however, with Lettheriverrundry (7.30) getting the vote. The JP McManus-owned gelding looked as if he was getting the hand of fences when finishing second to a well-handicapped rival at Worcester last time, and he is taken to build on that sound effort for Brendan Powell.
At Haydock Lugano looked well ahead of the handicapper when scoring on the all-weather last week over 12f. The 4-y-old has to prove he can be as equally effective on turf and preference is for Zenafire (6.05) who scored over C&D last week and must go close as long as the ground doesn’t dry out too much.
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