We had a disappointing start to Royal Ascot yesterday although all three selections ran well. Today’s racing is once again tough, but we’ll hopefully eat into the deficit of yesterday. Here’s hoping.
2.30 Ascot – Jersey Stakes
The Ballydoyle team showed themselves to be in good order yesterday and I’m hoping that will continue today with GALE FORCE TEN. Aidan O’Brien’s son of Oasis Dream is now stepping back in to Group Three company after a pair of solid efforts at the top level. In theory, this race should be easier. The quick ground won’t bother him, in fact it can’t be quick enough for him. He proved last season he goes well on the straight track at Ascot when a good second to the speedy and classy Reckless Abandon in the Norfolk. Ideally I would’ve liked him to be drawn a little higher, but fingers crossed he runs well.
1pt each-way Gale Force Ten @5-1 (bet365 only 1, 2, 3, 4)
3.05 Ascot – Duke of Cambridge Stakes
A competitive Duke of Cambridge Stakes where five or six fillies hold real chances of scoring. Like the first selection though, I’m hoping the ease in grade will prove just the treat for DUNTLE. David Wachman’s filly scored in last season’s Sandringham Handicap at Royal Ascot before going on to ‘win’ the Group One Matron Stakes. She was subsequently disqualified and so gets in here without a penalty. Again, like the first selection she is another horse with good form over the course. I felt she made an encouraging seasonal debut in ground that would’ve been too soft where she looked in need of the outing. That should put her spot on for this and the prevailing quick ground will help her. It’s a tough race, but Duntle may just have too many gears for today’s field.
3pts each-way DUNTLE @3-1 (bet365, Coral, Ladbrokes, William Hill)
4.25 Ascot – Royal Hunt Cup
Thirty runners go to post in the Hunt Cup and while it’s a massively tricky race to solve it’s one I enjoy trying to unsolved. Middle to high draws may be the order of the day in the Hunt Cup – it’s where I’m pinning my hopes after looking at the pace in the race and yesterday’s results. We could be here all day trying to unsolved this so I’ll give you the three I like: Fury, Directorship and Moran Gra. All three have solid straight course form in big fields while the latter two mentioned have shown form on the course. It’s three starts, but if one scores we’ll be in profit for the race considering the prices.
1pt win Fury @16-1 (general)
1pt win Directorship @28-1 (general)
1pt win Moran Gra @25-1 (general)
5.35 Ascot – Sandringham Handicap
Day two will end with the Sandringham Handicap and by now, hopefully we’ll have at least got back on a level playing field. It’s a competitive race, but one I like the look of now. I always feel following trainers with a good record with fillies can pay divides in these types of races and with that in mind Dermot Weld’s BRAZING BREEZE will get the nod. Weld is a trainer I like when he travels his horses as they always go there with a strong chance. When travelling his runners they usually compete in Grade Ones and top races, but I do get the feeling Weld has been a Wiley old hand here and laid this daughter of Oasis Dream out for this race. She made a hugely satisfactory debut at debut in a hot maiden before going on to score in an all-weather maiden at the back end. Both those runs came over seven furlongs, but it’s intriguing she made her racecourse debut, this season, over six? She was just ahead of a 111 rated rival (flatters her a little bit), but gets in today off a mark of 96. That choice of trip looks a strange move given her classy pedigree. She’s out of a good race mare called Nebraska Tornado, a French Oaks/Moulin winner, half-sister to smart French/US 7f/1m performer Mirabilis and 1m2f Group 2 winner Burning Sun and by Dansili so this step-up to a mile should suit. She looks to have an outstanding chance and I think she’ll run well.
3pts each-way BRAZING BREEZE @8-1 (bet365 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)