Royal Ascot day 2 – tips and preview
Race 1 –
Fadhayyil was beginning her effort in the 1,000 Guineas when a loose bandage appeared to cause her to falter. She is respected, along with Sir Isaac Newton, who has always been held in regard at Ballydoyle. However, Gleneagles’ win in the St James’s Palace yesterday underlined the strength of Ivawood’s claims here and, despite a 5 lb penalty today, he looks set fair to make a bold bid. This drop back to seven furlongs looks ideal as he looked to run out of steam in the last 100 yards at the Curragh. Trainer and jockey are extremely confident (‘banker of the week’ says Hannon, while Richard Hughes has suggested Ivawood ‘won’t come off the bridle’) – IVAWOOD is a confident selection. I fully expect him to shorten up during the build up to the race so take the 9/4 which is still available with some firms as it won’t last long.
Race 2 –
As usual the race is packed full of fillies who have the potential to improve. BESHARAH could hardly have made a better start to her career, winning here on her debut in eye-catching fashion before a long odds on win at Windsor where she again balanced early speed with a powerful finish. Stable are in good form and a solid run looks likely.
Race 3 –
Clive Brittain has had Rizeena at her peak for this meeting in both 2013 and 2014 and her wins in the Queen Mary and Coronation Stakes illustrate how talented she is on her day. I expect her to prove the main threat to the selection INTEGRAL, preference for the Stoute filly being made on the basis of the last meeting between the pair, where Integral ended up comfortably on top.
Race 4 –
The Prince of Wales’s Stakes is the richest race of the week but has drawn a slightly disappointing field for this year’s renewal. Free Eagle is lightly raced and his third in last season’s Champion Stakes, where he had Western Hymn well behind, showed that he is a player at this level. He missed his intended prep race with a head cold and his light schedule would suggest he hasn’t been the easiest to keep healthy so I am overlooking him in favour of THE GREY GATSBY. This fellow is tough and while his fourth last time in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh could read better coming into this, I am not entirely convinced by any of the opposition and a widely available 13/2 looks solid value.
Race 5 –
The Hunt Cup has a typically unsolvable look to it. Several of these are on a clear upward curve and are heading up the handicap as a result, while the field also features a number of horses who are proven in this type of competitive handicap. While it’s conceivable that the likes of Bronze Angel, Field of Dream or Chil The Kite could prove that the ‘been-there-done-it’ brigade are still a force, I’m concentrating on the former group of improvers. Speculative Bid, GM Hopkins, Temptress and Spark Plug all fall firmly into that category but preference is for Luca Cumani’s AYAAR. Frankie Dettori rides, as was the case last time at Newbury in the Spring Cup where he traveled smoothly and quickened impressively to beat many of today’s opponents with some authority. He’s gone up 6 lbs but that may not be enough to stop him and he looks the one to side with in this ultra-competitive heat.
Race 6 –
Classic form is represented here in the form of Osaila, seventh in the 1,000 Guineas last month. There was a clear suspicion then that a mile would prove beyond the limit of her stamina and with a straight mile and a strong pace likely to ensure a stiff test today she is overlooked. Any number of these look likely to develop over time and finding which is likely to take a step forward today is no easy task but it seems likely that the Queen’s pair, Pack Together and Touchline, will both have been targeted at the race and I narrowly prefer TOUCHLINE to raise the roof. The Godolphin duo Always Smile and Risen Sun both merit the greatest respect and there is also every chance that William Haggas’s Rive Gauche will leave last month’s disappointing run in a maiden at Nottingham well behind now that she encounters a firmer surface.
Today’s Nap – IVAWOOD looks likely to blitz his rivals into submission in the Jersey Stakes and is a fairly confident nap.