Royal Ascot Day 5 – Preview
Another great day’s racing at Royal Ascot, the feature being won by French raider Ervedya nailing Found close home with the running on Lucida back in third – three very high class fillies all running their hearts out, great to see.
Muhaarar was talked up plenty by his trainer, he said he was the horse he was most looking forward to running – having already had a winner, maybe the signs were there – a stunning performace, destroying a high class field, has the world at his feet now.
Illuminate was another one very well talked up by trainer and jockey and she won the first very nicely. They went fast early doors but she quickened and won like a very exciting horse for the future – quotes already being thrown about for the Guineas.
Other winners included Aloft in the finale, holding on from Keith Dalgleish’s Tommy Docc that I mentioned being a big price yesterday when 66/1. The NB Vive Ma Fille led all the way to inside the final furlong where she hung quite badly and Fanning had to stop riding, frustratingly this had enough effect to see her nailed for 3rd close home denying healthy place money at 33/1. Watersmeet had earlier run a good race, but annoyingly finished one outside the places and the 50/1 IWAC ran like a 50/1 shot in all honesty!
On to the fifth and final day.
Whilst Mahsoob looks a potential Group horse, I’m not letting Sennockian Star go off at 20/1 without a few of my hard earned on his back. He is one of the toughest handicappers out there, even by Mark Johnston standards and takes his racing so very well. He has won two of his last three and was only beaten two lengths in this last year. He now races off a 4lb lower mark and sneaks in off bottom weight. Franny Norton gets on particularly well with him, having been successful on three of the four ocassions he has ridden him. Worth also noting he is the only course and distance winner in the entire field.
The re-opposing Collaboration has given him a decent beating a couple of times but he is better off at the weights here and can race under different conditions. Him and the unbeaten favourite, however will be well fancied to run well but this lad has to be in the mix with his usual front running style, on ground he has an exceptional record on.
Cracking renewal of the Hardwicke and Telescope is sure to be all the rage. However, Sir Michael Stoute runners have had a very strange week, three have been pulled up – whether it’s desperate bad luck or something stopping them, I’m not sure. On best form he is the one to beat but I’d much rather side with Luca Cumani’s Postponed who has been crying out for a return to a mile and a half.
He ran a screamer over an inadequate trip in ground conditions that weren’t ideal last time out when only beaten half a length in the Group 1 in Ireland – the form being advertised earlier in the week with the very unlucky Grey Gatsby going down by a nostril in the Prince Of Wales Stakes. He is 2/2 when racing over further than 1m2f and the never out of form yard of Luca Cumani can notch their first success of the week at Royal Ascot here. 7/2 is a very fair price as the rest shouldn’t be good enough unless Eagle Top comes on leaps and bounds for his disappointing reappearance run.
I have to say I rarely back any Aidan O’Brien trained horse – usually because it is underpriced and overhyped but I still think there is a bit of juice in the price of Due Dilligence tomorrow in the Diamond Jubilee. He’s clearly been prepared for this since he was a close 2nd in last year’s renewal and you can totally ignore his reappearance run. Despite the big field and seemingly competitive nature of the race, there are only one or two that really stand out as top notchers and this lad is one of them.
If the favourite is as good as the Australian’s seem to think he is, then we will only be getting place money returns but at 7/1 he is a very solid each way bet here. With the best jockey in the world in the plate and O’Brien horses under him running to form figures of 321161121421 this week, he has to be the play as the favourite is a total unknown.
I’ve been waiting for Huntsman’s Close to run again since his superb reappearance run when short-headed at Newmarket. He has really improved since joining Roger Charlton and he is well up to winning a big handicap like this. He sneaks in off near bottom weight off a rating of 98 which may underestimate him despite this being a career high mark. He won the Silver Cup at Ayr on his final start last year and seems to enjoy racing in big fields.
The Wokingham was a nominated target early in the season and he looks to have a favourites chance with the very talented William Buick in the plate. The trainer had a very nice filly run a close second in a big handicap earlier in the week and he’ll be hoping this lad can go one better. 12/1 available but is 11/1 paying 6 places with one firm so I’ve backed him with them. Of course you need a lot of luck in running but everything looks set for a big run.
15.05 Sennockian Star 20/1 ew (4 places)
15.40 Postponed 7/2
16.20 Due Dilligence 7/1 ew
17.00 Huntsman’s Close 11/1 ew (6 places)
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