Charlie McCann preview’s Ascot’s big mid-summer showpiece
Only one to place to start this weekend’s racing preview and that is with the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot where the dual Oaks winner Enable (3.35) will bid to give the classic generation only a third win in this famous race in the last thirteen years.
Enable is a daughter of Nathaniel, who was the last three-year-old colt to win this race back in 2011, and the recent rain will be a big help to John Gosden’s filly who may not have beat much at the Curragh last time – but she was very impressive.
Enable is 11/10 at BetVictor to add her name to the King George roll-of-honour and, having already backed her for the Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly in October, I would be disappointed if she didn’t take advantage of the significant weight-for-age she receives from the other principles.
I’m a bit concerned with the draw in stall one for Century Dream (2.25) but I cannot desert Simon Crisford’s colt who has done us a favour in winning his last couple of starts. The selection is 5lbs higher than when scoring at Ayr on ground, arguably, quicker than ideal although he made all on that occasion and won’t get an uncontested lead this afternoon, given there is plenty of pace in the race. Ryan Moore takes the ride on BetVictor’s 7/2 market leader although I feel he might drift out a bit on the day given it is such a competitive 3-y-old handicap.
Fastnet Tempest (3.30) didn’t have much luck in running in the Royal Hunt Cup over a mile here at the Royal meeting, but the William Haggas-trained four-year-old showed when winning the Victoria Cup over today’s C&D earlier in the season that he has the ability to handle these big-field handicaps. The selection is 7/1 at BetVictor and I would be disappointed if he wasn’t in the frame. Note BetVictor are paying each way five places in this ultra-competitive heat.
The once-raced Royal Associate (5.20) may have gone off unfancied in the market when making a winning racecourse debut at Doncaster earlier in the month, but there didn’t seem to be any fluke about it and he is taken to make it two-from-two in the finale. Fellow 3-year-old Dark Pearl could be the danger in a fascinating race.
At Newmarket Godolphin’s Don’t Give Up is likely to be all the rage having made a winning debut at Kempton over 7f and today’s additional furlong will suit. He could be well ahead of the handicapper but Roger Varian’s To Dibba (5.05) is sure to be suited by underfoot conditions and is also open to significant improvement. The selection was very well backed at Yarmouth last time, when he hung badly across the track, on ground, which may have been a shade too quick for the grey colt.
Peter Chapple-Hyam drops Working Class (7.30) down to seven furlongs at Lingfield tonight having been tried over further in two runs so far this term. The booking of Silvestre de Souza suggests connects feel they have every chance of going one better than at Yarmouth last time.
The possibility of soft ground tempers confidence behind Sunday’s two Uttoxeter selections and if the ground was good to soft or worse I would swerve Fort Gabriel (3.15) whose recent hat-trick of wins have all been gained on good or faster ground. The form of his latest Newton Abbot win was let down when the runner up flopped earlier in the week but I have been very taken with his recent improvement and his 5lbs rise is negated by the claim of conditional Daniel Hiskett.
No such issues in the saddle with Braqueur D’Or (4.45) who was electric at Stratford on his penultimate start although he was not as impressive at Newton Abbot – that race may have come too soon.
For all your sporting odds check out BetVictor.com