Day 5 Royal Ascot Tips and Preview
Race 1 –
It isn’t often that John Magnier is publicly bullish about a horse before they have done it on the track, but he was quite open yesterday when singing the praises of BALLYDOYLE. This filly was named for the famous training yard owned by Magnier’s Coolmore breeding operation and this was clearly no accident. ‘That [her naming] should give you a big hint about what we think of her’, said Magnier, asserting that she was expected to run a big race today. In the light of such confidence, with the yard in sparkling form and jockey Ryan Moore at the very peak of his powers, it’d be a brave man who backed against her and she should form the first part of what I think will be a Ryan Moore treble, on his way to equaling Fred Archer’s all-time Royal Ascot record of twelve winners in a single meeting, a feat most of us thought would never be approached in the modern era.
Race 2 –
The unbeaten Mahsoob has been mooted as a Group horse by trainer John Gosden and if that is correct then he is going to take a bit of beating but he looks a skinny enough price. SENNOCKIAN STAR, on the other hand, can be backed at a general 14/1 (16/1 with William Hill at time of writing) and comes here in top form, having won last weekend at Chester. He is in here off a mark of 98 but won off 101 at Goodwood last year and is 4lbs lower than when fourth in this event last year. He looks capable of a bold showing and is an attractive each-way proposition.
Race 3 –
TELESCOPE is impossible to get away from here and the 7/4 which is available with several firms should be snapped up. Main opposition should come from Eagle Top, a good winner at the Royal meeting last year and entitled to come on from his recent reappearance at Sandown. Telescope is a resolute galloper, ideally suited by Ascot and by today’s ground, and with Moore in the saddle it is hard to find any real chinks in his armour.
Race 4 –
Luck in running is usually essential in this and I have a feeling the home team will need every ounce of it if they are to thwart the crack Australian sprinter BRAZEN BEAU who comes here off a scintillating win at Flemington where he put the southern hemisphere’s top sprinters to the sword in no uncertain fashion. The Irish trained Mustajeeb commands respect as he has potential to be a top player in the sprinting division and is relatively unexposed at the trip while fellow Irishman Due Diligence’s claims are advertised by his second place in this last year. Of the local contingent, Tropics comes here off a win and Pearl Secret looked a little unlucky not to finish closer than fourth in the King’s Stand here on Tuesday. But, provided his travels haven’t taken the edge of him, Brazen Beau looks very much the one they have to fear.
Race 5 –
Describing the Wokingham as a cavalry charge may be a cliche but there is no doubt it will have Light Brigade similarities when they leave the gates for this ultra-competitive handicap, invariably run at a fast pace. Jamie Spencer can be relied on not too hurry one in such circumstances and, provided he doesn’t leave things too late, his mount WATCHABLE looks primed to run a huge race. David O’Meara has had a winner here this week and is very much a trainer on the up. He has plenty to do at the weights against some in-form rivals but has a touch of class. Of the others Robert Cowell’s Intrinsic is worthy of note, as is Gamesome.
Race 6 –
It has been Ryan Moore’s week, no doubting that, and he can finish the meeting on another high by taking the last on WICKLOW BRAVE. Willie Mullins has developed a real penchant for bringing over stayers to tackle the Royal meeting’s marathons and he has won this twice in the past. Wicklow Brave is a fair hurdler but has done very well on his two starts, both wins, on the flat. He should have no difficulty with the trip and his trainer will not have left him short. He is impossible to get away from. Oriental Fox is interesting for those looking for an each way play
NAP – A close thing between Ballydoyle, Telescope and Wicklow Brave for the nap choice as I think all three are good things. But it would be a foolish man to ignore John Magnier’s obvious confidence in BALLYDOYLE and she is taken to get us off to a flyer on the final day.