A decent start to the meeting particularly for our Community Members with Ulysses doing the business at 4/1 and Thesme placed at 12/1. But my ante-post tip Venice Beach wasn’t in the same county as Cracksman, although landing the place money ante-post at 12/1, and Barney Roy wasn’t good enough on the day, not helped by being set up to race too early by Cliffs of Moher and then Churchill. There was a deluge of rain although it didn’t affect results adversely, and with a dry night the ground should ride with a bit more zip although it couldn’t be considered fast; That said, the soft elements may well be gone for tomorrow and the rest of the week.
Class prevailed in a fantastic Juddmonte International yesterday and Juddmonte themselves will feel very disappointed if they can’t get in one the act with the star of the summer, Enable, in the Yorkshire Oaks (3.35). Stunningly impressive in the Epsom and Irish Oaks, she was faced with a big test in the King George but rose to the task in magnificent fashion, putting down a sensational display of power to get away from Ulysses and eventually leave him, Idaho and Highland Reel more than 4 and a half lengths behind her.
She’s a rightful favourite for the Arc, and the strength in depth of that King George was shown again when Ulysses was an impressive winner of the Juddmonte International yesterday, and she should be too good here. The issue may not be taking success today, but how another race in fairly quick succession affects her with a mind to the rest of the season, given that she has now had five runs so far this year, and three tough Group 1 tests back to back in short fashion all before the end of August. She’s too short to back anyway, so from a betting point of view this is all about the runner up spot.
Nezwaah has taken a huge leap forward this season, winning impressively ay Ayr and then smashing her previous career best when she thrashed the opposition in the Pretty Polly Stakes at The Curragh, always travelling best when held on the inside and making very short work of her rivals when getting a gap to win by three and a half lengths. Based on that evidence this trip ought not to be an issue.
She is probably racing Queen’s Trust, third in this last year, for second. She was a disappointment at Goodwood when she never got into a very tactically run Nassau that was run on ground that will be far more testing than the surface she faces today. Before that she was a very creditable fourth in the Price of Wales’s Stakes when she should have been a good deal closer and the form of that has been underlined succinctly by results since with stablemate Ulysses winning two Group 1’s. With more time to find her full stride she can be the runner up today although it could pay to remember the shocks that have come in this race – remember Taghrooda? – and back her each/way.
Coronet should have been closer to Enable at The Curragh when the steady pace did not sit well with an effort to try and come from the back of the field and this small field might actually suit her more. Alluringly was a fine second to Enbale at Chester and a then a good third at Epsom but she was sixth in the Ribblesdale and Irish Oaks and her recent win came in Listed company. Abdingon is a good four year old but she has been beaten in Group 1’s the last twice and must improve a lot.
The Lowther (2.25) is fiercely competitive and it is very hard to pick between Madeline and Actress but the former just gets preference. The pair were fifth and sixth in an Albany that is working out very well there and she hit the front early in a well run race there. The pair have been very good since, with Madeline winning the Rose Bowl in fine style at Newbury when grinding out a victory over Natural and Actress taking the Anglesey Stakes before finishing third in the Phoenix Stakes only eight days ago.
Madeline gets the vote on account of the fact that a fast surface isn’t imperative to her, and also the fact she’s had a handy 34 day break since Newbury which makes this look like the target.
Happy Like A Fool was one of the gambles of the meeting at Royal Ascot and the giant daughter of Distorted Humour was a hugely impressive figure at Ascot. She ran a good race to be second in the Queen Mary but is it considerably the weaker of the two juvenile fillies contests at Royal Ascot this year and it remains to be seen how she copes with an extra furlong and this slower surface.
Threading, a deeply impressive six length winner at Glorious Goodwod, is seen as the main threat and she was even more appealing when the rain was thundering down onto the course yesterday. She deserves her chance her and should go well. It’s notable that William Haggas doesn’t have any runners in the big sales race but does also run Special Purpose, who has been most impressive in winning 5f novice events at Lingfield and Beverley and is the other one to make the shortlist, with the rest of the field looking overmatched.
Great Prospector ought to take a lot of beating in the opening Goffs Premier Yearling Stakes (1.55). A taking winner on his debut at Nottingham, he stepped forward from that notably when he was a fine third in the Superlative Stakes to take third. He was flattered by his proximity to Gustav Klimt there but that form is still standout here and he has been generously treated at the weights.
De Bruyne Horse took a decent Listed race at Vichy and ought not to be too far and those looking for a bigger price ought to focus on Tangle, who won really well off 77 in a strong Nursery at Newmarket, and Alba Power, who was fifth in the July Stakes and then ran well in soft ground when third in the Winkfield Stakes last time. The latter makes appeal here back on a decent surface here with the form of the July Stakes working out alright and should go well at 12/1.
Godolphin didn’t take big race glory with Barney Roy yesterday but they have had a successful summer as far as big meetings go and they’ve had plenty of handicap success amongst that number too. They have two of interest in an incredibly tricky Clipper Logistics Handicap (3.00). Blair House ran a blinder on his return in the Royal Hunt Cup at Ascot when he was making his return and he didn’t back that up on his return in the Betfred Mile on soft ground but he’s worth forgiving here and if running to his Ascot form, can go well.
G K Chesterton has more to explain but he was carried across the track when disappointing in the Hunt Cup and if one is generous enough to forgive those then he’s not badly treated off 99 and the form of his first three runs is working out very nicely.
It would be appropriate if Mori can take the Galtres Stakes (4.15) seeing as she’s a daughter of Franke and she ought to take the beating for Sir Michael Stoute. She did very little wrong in the Ribblesdale when caught by Coronet in the last stride and there looks to be nothing of that wuality here. Curlew River is progressing fast but rated 11lbs inferior and Aljezzera is one of interest, having stayed on nicely when upped to 10f on her seasonal comeback at Newbury in the Fillies Trial Stakes. She could be the each/way angle whilst nothing makes appeal in the closing British Stallion Studs EBF Fillies’ Handicap (4.50).
2 pts Great Prospector, 1.55 York (7/2 Bet365)
1 pt win Madeline, Lowther Stakes (2.25 York 3/1 general)
1 pt each/way Queen’s Trust, Yorkshire Oaks (10/1 general)
2.5 pts win Mori, 4.15 York (5/6 general)
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