One of the worst meetings i personal feel takes place on Saturday at Ascot, The Shergar Cup seems to devalue horses that tend to run well above their marks and win and throws all the statistics all out of the window.
It is a meeting i tend to avoid like the plague every year, so you will not see any of my hard earned qua being played at Ascot this afternoon. So what is left out there to get involved, well we have the Group 3 Sweet Solera Stakes at headquarters which has attracted a relevantly good field.
You could questionably give a few a chance in this, Richard Hannon won this back in 2005 with Nasheej and saddles Nations Alexander who got her first win when landing the Listed Empress Stakes over 6f here on the July course. She failed to show that turn of foot when finishing behind Roly Poly in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes, the quick ground saw her out on the day and she should be on the premises once more but is likely to find one to good.
Richard Fahey is not really re-known for big Group successes, but did win the Jersey Stakes this year and saddles Belle Meade. The daughter of Roderic O’Connor won on her race course debut at Pontefract when winning with something in hand over stable mate Right Action.
She is bred well enough to get this afternoons step up in trip, but once more is up against some useful looking juveniles. Willie Haggas has hit form at the right time fifteen winners in the past two weeks and saddles the interesting On Her Toes.
She has done nothing wrong this season winning three of her four starts with her only defeat coming at Yarmouth on her race course debut. Since then she has really progressed nicely and stepped up into Listed company well last time at Sandown when landing the Listed Star Stakes,
she had Grizzel a length behind her that day and there looks no reason why that form would be reversed, she is a danger to all in the contest. The one I feel they all have to beat though is Godolphin’s EASY VICTORY. She impressed me on debut when comfortably winning here at Newmarket over 6f. The runner up Tropical Rock has since franked that form as has Glitter Girl who has won twice since. Its hard to assess though just how good this daughter of Dubawi is, she is probably rated around the shallow 90s for this, but is open to much improvement.
Last but not least Charles Appleby’s Grecian Light who won over course and distance on debut last month, and did it well recording a half a length defeat to Godolphin’s Voice of Truth, the third Blending as franked that form on her return to Newmarket six days ago, so she would have to be respected.
EASY VICTORY : (Win) @ 3/1 Bet365 (BOG)
Seven runners have turned up for the Group 3 Rose of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock with Charlie Appleby’s Scottish heading the market. The recent 365 Stakes winner probably won with plenty in hand that day at Newbury when easing clear inside the final furlong to record a one and three quarter length win. With only a 2lb rise entering this he deserves to be favourite for the race, William Buick has
been in fine form this season with five winners from nine mounts and is a jockey on fire.
FIRE FIGHTING won nicely at the Goodwood meeting when landing the Exchange Stakes Handicap when beating Star over the Sea by just under two lengths, that form was boosted this week with that third winning the main event at Pontefract.
The ground is very much dependable for this five year old and has to be respected i think on this quick ground, he finished third in this last year when off a three pound higher mark and one I feel can trouble the favourite. As for the rest Sir Michael Stoute and John Gosden’s yards are in blistering form and are well represented here with Arab Spring and Royal Artillery.
The latter has not really shown the promise i thought he would have, he is one of my transition horses to follow this season, but has been put in the deep end here taking on his elders. He has not been beaten that far on all of his three starts which included running fifth in the Group 3 Tercentenary Stakes at the Royal meeting and has not been seen since. He would be an interesting candidate if he has come on form that Ascot run and definitely will be suited by the firm ground.
Stoute’s Arab Spring would be an amazing training performance to see him win after a 436 day lay off, the Group 3 John Porter Stakes winner has been off the track over fourteen months, he was unlucky not to land the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes on his last encounter when just denied by Western Hymn, but that form is looking very exposed now.
FIRE FIGHTING : 1pt each way @ 10/1(Paddy Power) (BOG)
Royal Artillery : 1pt each way @ 16/1 (Bet365) (BOG)
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