Friday 5.15pm Just can’t beat racing on the Knavesmire in the summer. Must get up there in July. Royal Ascot is steaming towards us and for once I’m quite hopeful as home work has gone well and feel up to speed on many form lines. As always I’m quite prepared to be totally wrong but I think the key to a profitable Royal Ascot 2017 can be summed up in three words. John Gosdens Fillies. So I’ve backed big Johnny G (Thanks M.Chapman) at 6/1 to be top trainer. Sorry Aidan who? Daban wins the Jersey, Coronet wins the Ribblesdale (G1 horse in a G2), Dabayah gives Winter a fright, with no Icespire it’s Gymnaste for the Sandringham (and if she does you’d better check out Keyser Soze in the Britannia!) and of course after the Duke of Cambridge we should all be able to Laugh Aloud!
More articles on the way.
Saturdays Lucky 15
Prayer mats at the ready!
Sandown 2.40 BATTAASH 9/1 Ladbrokes + WH 8/1 general
York 3.30 DANIELSFLYER 12/1 PP 10/1 WH 8/1 general
Sandown 3.50 TAUREAN STAR 8/1 general
Sandown 5.35 VUELA 7/4 general
and here’s why
Sandown 2.40 BATTAASH Not my type of race normally, a 3yo Listed event over Sandown’s awkward 5F, but let’s do something different! This will be the selections first run of the season and the form book says he was third to the rapid Mrs Danvers in the G3 Cornwallis Stakes at HQ the last time we saw the gelding last October. That reads well in this Listed event. However it is the fact that ten days ago Charlie Hills said in his Weekender column that Battaash “had done a scintillating bit of work”. Now if one trainer knows his sprinters it is young Charles, Supposedly has the worst draw but I’m not convinced the rail is where you want to be unless you’re leading! It’s 4/1 the field and at double that Battaash may offer some value.
York 3.30 DANIELSFLYER Comfortable winner of a strong C2 3yo sprint at Newmarket on his only run this season he looked just the type for this valuable race. Solid 2yo form, second in the Listed Woodcote Stakes at Epsom, he’s an improver (forget his run over C&D he was drawn 18!), ground, trip and grade are fine, the booking of SDS for Brian Ellison is a definite plus and I’m more than happy with stall 8. Dangers all around but the winner will be in a single figure draw.
Sandown 3.50 TAUREAN STAR This is the horse I was all over for the Victoria Cup over Ascots straight 7F when this hold up horse had no luck as to my amazement and I’m sure jockey Jamie Spencer’s, the whole field, all 23 of them, crossed to the Stands rail! No chance from 3F out but he kept on. Normally runs in a straight line but came round Lingfields bends OK and Spencer will need to box clever from stall 5. Drop him in, not drop him out, then find a seam to come home strongly in the final furlong. The grade and the ground are fine as should be the trip unless he gets lit up. This doesn’t look a strong C2 to me.
Sandown 5.35 VUELA If you only saw the form lines you would have known it was trained by Luca Cumani! He is so patient with these home bred staying types. This daughter of Duke of Marmalade out of a Wildenstein mare was always going to need a trip and I expect further improvement as she steps up to 14F in the hands of the always patient Jamie Spencer. This could well be her last handicap as she will probably go in search of Black type next and I wouldn’t be surprised if something like the Park hill Stakes at York in September is on the radar. The trainer won it in 2014 with Silk Sari.
Fridays Lucky 15
York 2.20 BURGUILLOS 2nd 4/1 (11/2 PP 9/2 general)
Beaten a neck. Not the smoothest passage through but beaten on merit.
York 3.30 GOD WILLING 13th 14/1 (20/1 general)
Nibbled at. Close up, weakened final furlong.
York 4.40 MONJENI 3rd 10/3JF (11/2 general)
Goodwood 7.40 WAR AT SEA 8/1 PP 7/1 general
Royal Ascot 2017
Charlie Appleby picks out 5-star Royal Ascot team Friday 16 June 2017 At The Races
Blessed this year with a with a team of smart two-year-olds and talented older horses, Appleby exclusively reveals five Royal Ascot horses to follow to Press Association Sport:
AQABAH (Coventry Stakes) “He won his maiden at Ascot then went to the Curragh and finished fourth on soft ground there. On his American pedigree that didn’t suit him, but he gained good experience there. He will be suited to a quicker surface and his work has been good since that race. He will now head towards the Coventry.”
FRONTIERSMAN (Hardwicke Stakes) ” He put up a great performance in the Coronation Cup. He has come out of that race very well. All the signs have been good since Epsom with him and the plan is to head to the Hardwicke. His run at Epsom didn’t surprise me as his home-work had been so good. It was a big jump, stepping up from handicap company to Group One company, but his home-work had been good and we went there confident of a good run. That’s why we supplemented him for that race.”
GRECIAN LIGHT (Sandringham Handicap) “She danced every dance last year at the top table and she was always very competitive. I was pleased with her first start of the season in France. She finished third on soft ground which would probably not have been ideal. I purposely put her away for the Sandringham. Her work has been nice and I feel that she is off a competitive mark.”
SECRET ADVISOR (King George V Stakes) “The King George V Handicap is a race I like and we tend to have three or four runners in there. The one for this year could be Secret Advisor. He is stepping up in trip and I think that will suit him. I don’t think he has met his optimum trip yet. He was a winner over a mile in his maiden. He then stepped up to a mile and a quarter at Windsor, where he met a nice horse on the day. We then dropped him back at Goodwood and again he ran a creditable race, but crying out that stepping up was only going to suit him. I feel he is a horse that going up to a mile and a half, he will find more improvement.”
SOUND AND SILENCE (Norfolk Stakes or Windsor Castle Stakes) “He is a horse that broke his maiden on his debut at Newmarket then he finished fourth in the National Stakes at Sandown. He has come out of the race well. He did scope a bit dirty after the race, but that has cleared up well and his work has been good. I feel that he will potentially head towards the Norfolk Stakes at this stage.”
June 16 2017, 10:22 Mirage Dancer is set to contest the Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot next week. The son of Frankel made a successful start to his career in a Doncaster maiden last October and was far from disgraced on his seasonal reappearance when fourth behind subsequent Derby runner-up Cliffs Of Moher in the Dee Stakes at Chester.
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah, said: “I would say he’s more likely to go for the Hampton Court than the King Edward. We’ve always said he’s very much a work in progress. He caught the eye at Chester and that was only his second lifetime start and his first of the year. We hope he’ll improve from that. He’s coming on all the time.”