Gm Hopkins did the business for us in the Royal Hunt Cup and I cant believe that James Doyle, who I rave about, never switched his stick through and got our nap, Always Smile beaten in the last. Still, as they say that’s racing.
By the way, I know we were on GM Hopkins but people who think they can ride should watch Ryan Moore in that race, he is simply amazing. he never makes a mistake. His patience in that race was what won him the race and I know some would say, well he was travelling so what was the problem? Knowing when to push the button, that’s the clever bit and following the ones that wont fall back in your face. Just ask Jamie Spencer, who got The Grey Gatsby beat for us earlier.
Anyway on to Day 3 and more great racing
I have only been really dogmatic at Royal Ascot about one horse so far and that was Always Smile and somehow that got beat. Well I’m all in again with this one. King of Rooks from Richard Hannons in form yard is the real deal. Everything he beats wins or finishes second next time out – case in point – Buratino. I really cant make a case for Jazz Legend or Zebstar or Log Out Island, unless they have improved loads at hoe and I am not privileged to that information. I always say you are entitled to an opinion if you have put your money down and this is mine and I will be. Join me in our festival banker.
We have to start with Time Test in this race. He was ultra impressive winning at Newbury in may beating Dissolution who runs as the favourite in our last race today.He looks nailed on to run a big race. Nafaqa shouldnt be underestimated from Barry Hills yard, who showed his horses are no back number with the running of his horse in the first on Wednesday. Disegno seems to be getting better each run and his conqueror, Not So Sleepy has to be respected as well. I have always liked Cape Clear island who has been highly tried and will prefer this fast ground and Maftool looks a good horse who is maturing.
Its hard to be overly confident about anything beating Time Test so sometimes you just have to go with the obvious
3.40 Ribblesdale Stakes – Group 2 Fillies 1 mile 4f
Jim Bolger is very confident of his horse Pleascach after her performance winning at the Curragh and beating Found and Devonshire. Curvy brings even more good Irish form to the table for his trainer David Wachman and John Gosden isnt one to tilt at rainbows with his once raced winner Gretchen who was ultra smart winning at Newmarket on good ground over 12f. Wedding Vow is the only Aiden Obrien entry but there is just a question about stamina with this one for me.
Its not where we like to be but again I can’t see past the favourite
4.20 Gold Cup Group 1 2m 4f
Can Trip to Paris simply keep improving. He has an outstanding turn of foot for a distance horse and if they dawdle he could take a hand but he has to improve about 7lbs to win this on what we have seen from the others. I’m not sure Tac de Boistron will like the trip or the ground but I do like him. Havanna Beat has some class for Andrew Balding, will he stay the extra 4 furlongs – maybe this time, he appeared not to last year. Kingfisher comes from the man who knows more about winning this race than most – Aiden O’Brien and what about Mizzou from Luca Cumani who seems to have been forgotten about despite having won already around here over 2 miles and only needs to improve slightly over the longer trip to take a hand. Scotland was Baldings 12f hope in 2014 and he did nothing wrong when just 2l behind Australia and if he stays has class. Of course there is Forgotten Rules for Dermot Weld, Day 2 conqueror and bringing an unbeaten stayer who looks the real deal. Then there is the French raider Bathyrhon who has taken all before him in his home country and stays this trip.
Whoever wins will usher in a new era of stayers and a series of races that could be genuinely exciting. My two against the field are :
5.00 Britannia Stakes Class 2 Hcp 1m
I love Bow and Arrow, I keep backing him and he keeps winning and so do the horses he beats. That makes him top of my short list even if he is now off 96 and started his campaign of 80. He has had the break that refreshes (49 days) and he will have improved again. Im drawn to Capel Path who finished second staying on over 7f and has the extra furlong in this race to find his feet. He also has Graham Lee, who never panics. War Envoy should be a better horse than this race but he has a lot of weight to carry. I can also make a case for Ed Vaughans horse Bartel who also keeps improving and is at the right end of the weights. He should stay the 8 and in fact improve again with this trip.
Our three in this 30 runner field are
5.35 King George V Stakes Handicap Class 2 1mile 4 f.
For me this race boils down to 2 horse and one of them will look a whole lot better if Time Test hacks up in the first, that being Dissolution. He is the favourite and rightly so. Against him I like Scottish who on his handicap debut might just prove to be a well handicapped horse against this more exposed company.