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Schedule – November 2015

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Royal Ascot Day Two – Hit or Miss?

Well, day one has passed us by and it was a cracking spectacle. However, those playing on the bigger priced animals won’t have left too happy, with five of the six winners being 5/1 or less and the other being a 12/1 poke in a viciously competitive marathon handicap for the stayers. Today, I’m going to have a quick look at the day two market leaders and see who should be opposed.


2:30 – The 114-rated Muwaary (5/1) currently heads the books for this year’s renewal of the Jersey Stakes and, on ratings, it’s not much of a surprise to see him there. He ran a cracking race to finish fourth in the French Guineas and is clearly a talent, but the form of that event looks far from brilliant and although he may have more to offer, I’m inclined to stick him into the “miss” category now that connections drop the colt back to 7f. Is he quick enough for this test?


3:05 – Wesley Ward sure knows how to fire in juvenile winners at this meeting and the well-bred Spanish Pipedream (5/2) is fancied to hand the American trainer another success. By all accounts, the filly was an impressive winner over 4.5f on her Keeneland debut in April and may well have plenty more to offer. However, in a field of 22 lightly-raced fillies who could have any amount to offer, do you want to take such a short price about a polytrack winner who could, realistically, do anything? There’s no doubt that she wouldn’t be making the long journey to Ascot if there wasn’t some confidence behind her chances, but I’d let her win at that price. If you’re a good judge of juveniles (I’m not!), I say look elsewhere. A tentative miss.


3:45 – Time to look at the wonder filly Treve (4/6), who lines up in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes bidding to gain a fourth success at the top level. She showed last time that she wasn’t unbeatable when Cirrus Des Aigles got the better of her by a short-neck in the Ganay and it’s a pity in ways that the unbeaten record no longer remains intact. There are some talented rivals lining up to take her on this time and if you could have any worries, it’d probably be the ground and trip combination possibly favouring some of the others more than it will her. I have no such worries, however, and, rather unoriginally, she’s firmly placed into the “hit” pile. Hopefully we gets to see the performance of a superstar – which she is.


4:25Integral (3/1) will be setting out to give Sir Michael Soute yet another winner in this Group 2 for fillies and her task is being made all the easier due to the fact that main rival Sky Lantern has to give her a 5lb penalty. The Hannon camp are also suggesting that their filly is going to improve plenty for the run – as one would expect given her long-term targets in Group 1’s – and Integral was good enough to get within a length of that one when they met off level-weights last September. She also has the benefit of a run having made a pleasing return to action at Newmarket last month and although quotes of 11/4 won’t knock our socks off with excitement, she’s another hit for me. There’s plenty more to come.


5:00 – “A Group horse in a handicap” is a line that we hear a lot coming into some big events and the 4-year-old Abseil (11/2) is being spoken of as a likely type to take this race in his stride before going onto bigger and better things. In the long run, any of us who oppose the now 97-rated beast may look a bit foolish, but this is the Royal Hunt Cup, one of the hardest handicaps to win. If he can take this on just his fifth career run and his fifth since making his debut only ten weeks ago, I’ll bow down to the horse. There’s no doubting he’s talented and he won an Epsom handicap in good style last time out but… 11/2 against 30 rivals, many of whom are exceptionally talented? No thank you! I’m prepared to watch him scoot up at that price but shall be opposing happily regardless of what happens. He’s short. Very short. Stupidly short, in my opinion. Miss.


5:35 – If there’s a race to rival the above in the difficulty stakes, the Sandringham is that race. It’s a handicap for the fillies and there’s a massive field lining up, so when it comes to making a final judgement, your guess is as good as – if not better – than mine. Top of the tree, just about, is Muteela (8/1) for Mark Johnston and Sheikh Hamdan. The 95-rated filly is a well-related sort who is 3-3 in her short career to date and has shown a good attitude, one that will surely stand her in good stead here. However, she’s not exactly the most physically impressive beast you could ever see and whether taking on such a massive field is going to be for or against her remains to be seen. It mightn’t matter a damn if she bounces out and makes all as she did last time, but dominating this lot will be hard and I’m inclined to “miss” her as well. At the price you nearly have to anyway. It’s rather short.


Post by James Boyle.


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