6.10pm Tuesday. Prices for Wednesday and todays Lucky 15 updated.
John Ferguson has announced his resignation as Godolphin chief executive following Monday’s revelations that his relationship with the operation’s longest-serving trainer Saeed Bin Suroor had broken down.
Ferguson told the Racing Post his parting with Sheikh Mohammed’s global racing and bloodstock superpower was “best for everyone”, admitting his employment within the organisation had become “untenable”.
My CV is on its way!
Royal Ascot: Are these favourites Bankers or Blowouts? sportinglife.com June 06 2017, 13:40
Ian Ogg and Ben Linfoot look at five of the hottest favourites for Royal Ascot and ask whether they are bankers or blowouts.
Ribchester – Queen Anne Stakes. 10/11 (NRNB)
Ian Ogg: Top class three-year-old who won the Group One Jacques Le Marois as well as placing in the Guineas, Sussex Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. Slightly disappointing when only third at the Dubai World Cup over nine furlongs but impressive back over a mile in the Lockinge at Newbury. A winner of the Jersey Stakes at last year’s Royal meeting and hard to see what’s going to beat him in the curtain raiser. BANKER.
Ben Linfoot: Ribchester’s superb win in the Lockinge was a clear hint that he’s ready to win more Group One races in the Godolphin blue this summer and he could well do so in a Queen Anne Stakes that is lacking star quality beyond himself. Perhaps Lightning Spear could reverse the Newbury form on faster ground, but he has been beaten on four occasions by Ribchester now, while Qemah might be better going around a bend. BANKER.
Churchill – St James’s Palace Stakes 4/6 – non-runner no bet
Ian Ogg: Undefeated in seven races since finishing third on debut, adding the Irish 2,000 Guineas to his victory at Newmarket in the English version this season while last year’s run included victory at this meeting in the Chesham Stakes. The horses that chased him home in both Classics are likely to re-oppose and although Thunder Snow looks to have something to find, connections of Barney Roy will be more than hopeful that they can bridge the gap. BLOWOUT.
Ben Linfoot: It took me a while to believe in Churchill but it seems to me he’s one of those top-class Ballydoyle horses that just gets the job done without doing anything spectacularly. His last win in the Irish 2,000 Guineas was a career-best and the way he finished off his race powerfully suggests those that followed him home off a slow pace in the Guineas might have just as tough a task if the gallop is stronger at Ascot. He’s versatile when it comes to ground, he has the course form from the Chesham. I’m a believer, now. BANKER.
Order Of St George – Ascot Gold Cup, 5/4 (NRNB)
Ian Ogg: Sent off at 10/11 when winning last year’s renewal, the seventh time that Aidan O’Brien has saddled the winner in 11 years with Yeats making the race his own between 2004-09. Order Of St George was beaten on British Champions Day but that came just two weeks after he had finished a fine third in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. He lost again on his reappearance but obliged at cramped odds last time and he’s a fair price to better old rivals that he has the beating of. BANKER.
Ben Linfoot: A resolute stayer going for his second consecutive win in this contest, Order Of St George will be a banker for many but there is word of caution for those having a go at skinny prices. He sweated up markedly before two of his four consecutive defeats at the end of 2016 and the start of the current season, while he proved vulnerable off a steady gallop in the Long Distance Cup at Ascot on Champions Day when only fourth. Vazirabad would be a very interesting rival should the ground (wouldn’t want it fast) be deemed okay for him to take his chance, too. BLOWOUT
Caravaggio – Commonwealth Cup, Evens (NRNB)
Ian Ogg: Brilliantly fast juvenile who steered an unusual path to victory in the Coventry Stakes last year. Suitably impressive in winning two starts since and could be a sprinter out of the very top drawer. Has a couple of likely looking sorts in Harry Angel and Blue Point snapping at his heels but that does mean that his price has held up and it’s one worth taking advantage of. BANKER.
Ben Linfoot: This is a really tough one. I’m very much a big fan of Caravaggio but I really like Harry Angel as well and Blue Point shouldn’t be dismissed, either. This is shaping up to be the race of the week and I just hope the big three all get there fit and healthy as this could define the sprinting division for the rest of the year. You fancy the winner of this could easily go and beat his elders in the July Cup. On balance, I tend to agree with Ian that the depth of the race is holding up Caravaggio’s price quite nicely, so, for that reason… BANKER.
Winter – Coronation Stakes, 4/6 (NRNB)
Ian Ogg: Like stablemate Churchill, Winter completed the Newmarket / Curragh Guineas double and it’s hard to see why those behind her on either occasion should reverse the form. However, French handler Jean-Claude Rouget has saddled the last two winners and the runners from the Poulains could pose the main threat. Winner Precieuse could be supplemented (she also has the Prix de Diane as an option) while runner-up Sea Of Grace is in the mix along as is Fred Darling Stakes winner Dabyah who was Group One-placed last season. B…, just hold your horses until the opposition is clear!
Ben Linfoot: With Rhododendron likely to go the 10-furlong route in the Pretty Polly and the Nassau the door has been left open for Winter take this before perhaps taking on the colts in the Sussex Stakes or QEII, or both. Highly impressive on fast ground in the Guineas and yielding conditions in the Irish version at the Curragh, she can light up Ascot in the Coronation Stakes just as her dam, Laddies Poker Two, did when landing a huge gamble in the 2010 Wokingham. BANKER.