Royal Ascot Day 3 – Tips and previews
Race 1 –
Ajaya and Shanghai Glory are of mild interest at double figure prices for those looking to play each way in the hope of finding one to upset the Hannon pair but in reality King Of Rooks and Log Out Island look to set a very tough standard. KING OF ROOKS gets a firm nod as it is impossible to get away from his emphatic success in the National Stakes where he readily accounted for subsequent Woodcote and Coventry winner Buratino. That form looks far in excess of anything his rivals have achieved with the exception of Log Out Island, who also slammed Buratino on his debut and has bags of potential. But his last run was in April while his stable companion has been much busier and has compiled an impressive record.
Race 2 –
Difficult to get away from Time Test but although he looks set for a big run his price is skinny enough in what looks a pretty open affair. I am going to take him on with CAPE CLEAR ISLAND whose overall form is within a pound or two of the best of these and who looked a little unlucky when he lost his place on the bend in the French Derby. The stiff gallop which looks likely today will benefit him and he has definite each way claims at an attractive 14/1 at time of writing.
Race 3 –
Pleascach is the clear form pick based on her Irish 1,000 Guineas success but the bookmakers have her at a very short price and with an extra half mile on the agenda today I am going to take her on with John Gosden’s GRETCHEN. It is a huge step up in class for this filly but she is following the same path as 2013 winner Riposte and has already shown she relishes this trip. A strong gallop looks fairly assured and the premium on stamina will strongly suit this daughter of Galileo.
Race 4 –
With ground doubts over Forgotten Rules (who would be a firm selection on easier going) this looks an open contest and I am going to take a chance with FOREVER NOW. His fourth behind Vent De Force in the Henry II Stakes at Sandown leaves him with only a couple of lengths to find against the fancied Hughie Morrison trained contender but Forever Now looks certain to be suited by an even stiffer test and this son of Galileo out of a Darshaan mare may be one of those, along with Kingfisher, who will come into their own over this marathon trip. Forgotten Rules sets the standard and will be tough to beat if coping with the conditions but Dermot Weld’s urgings for Ascot to water seemed to hint that the drying ground will not be in his favour. With a fine, drying day in prospect he is worth taking on.
Race 5 –
This looks a minefield with any number of progressive types. Portage will surely progress from his seasonal debut and I wouldn’t put anyone off the likes of Mutakarez, Sahaafy and Malaf if they take your fancy. Don’t underestimate David O’Meara’s Hail The Hero at a big price either. But the two that interest me most are the Mark Johnston contender Resonant and Charlie Appleby’s Bow And Arrow. Resonant put up two good front running displays when winning at Newmarket and Goodwood, showing that a stiffly run mile is well within his comfort zone. What is more of an issue is his tendency to run freely and with competition for the lead likely today he may find it tough to last out from his stand side draw. So, preference is for BOW AND ARROW, who has racked up a hat-trick of handicap wins. Although the overall level of his form is a little behind some of his rivals, he’s shown a good turn of foot on several occasions and has been brought along steadily. He’ll be given maximum assistance from James Doyle and at 33/1 is worth taking a chance on.
Race 6 –
Mark Johnston has a fantastic record in this and in YORKIDDING he has a horse who can make a bold bid to further strengthen his success rate. Favourite Dissolution is solid enough, Time Test’s performance earlier in the afternoon will give a clue to the strength of Dissolution’s recent second to that animal. Stoute’s other runner Dartmouth should not be discounted either and with several powerful stables multi-handed it looks a tough affair. But tough affairs are usually right up the street of a Johnston trained stayer and coming in off a defeat is no barrier to stable success in this race. 20/1 looks big and I’m hoping he can grind his way to a rousing finale for us on day three.
This looks a tough old day but in the big race I have a feeling a shock result could be in store and I think FOREVER NOW could be the one to provide it.