Royal Ascot Thursday: Great Crack

We took full advantage of generous place terms in the Hunt Cup yesterday with a first 6 places 50/1 for Hors De Combat triggered by 6th place, and a first 7 places 16/1 for Raising Sand triggered by 7th place – finely judged !!

NAP OF THE DAY:  

1700: Britannia Stakes: Crack On Crack On, 2pts win, 8/1 generally available 

Almost certainly madness to nap one in this monster field, but this race has particular demands.  Clive Cox’s  colt has won both runs this season at Lingfield and Haydock looking strong at the finish from unpromising positions.  A rise of 12lbs in total is fair, and this straight mile and strong gallop promises to suit him much better. He has to go really well.  George Of Hearts is the big danger, but Simpson might be the place to go for each way value at a huge price, but they may all be chasing Crack On Crack On.

Rest of the Card

1430:  Norfolk Stakes:  Konchek, 1pt win, 4/1 generally available 

Another tricky 2yo sprint, but with US trainer Wes Ward’s horses eclipsed so far, confidence is waning in Shang Shang Shang.  Instead we look to the traditional UK trial for this, Sandown’s National Stakes.  Vintage Brut won there but was favoured by the draw and the run of the race.  Neither the 3rd, Konchek, nor the 6th, Kinks, were as lucky and both appeal here.  Konchek is the safer pick for a stable going well, but we would put no-one off Kinks as an each way choice.

1505: Hampton Court Stakes: Key Victory, 1pt win, 9/2 generally available 

A truly trappy contest where it may pay to back the boys in blue.  Godolphin run three, but Key Victory looks the big hope.  He has been campaigned like a good one, and although his 8th in the French Derby was two spots behind Hunting Horn, he looked the better horse in a race not run to suit.  Stoute’s Zaaki could be a lively outsider.

1540:  Ribblesdale Stakes: Wild Illusion, 1pt win, 11/4 generally available

An annual clash of Oaks failures and upgraded maiden winners.  The maidens often do well, partly because a lack of strength in depth in the Oaks can mean a placed effort there is overvalued.  That may be a dangerous assumption this year as Wild Illusion has a 4th in the Guineas to add to her Oaks runner up effort.  Those credentials can be too much for the improving maiden winner Sun Maiden.

1620: Ascot Gold Cup:  Order Of St George, 1pt win, 2/1 generally available 

Order Of St George has a win and a close second in this race.  He has been placed in two Arcs and has both obvious quality and proven form over this marathon trip. On running here last Autumn there isn’t much between him Torcedor and Stradivarius.  Torcedor was be a little overpriced, but the youngster Stradivarius is the obvious danger.  He is entitled  to be improving and is tempting, but with as yet unproven aptitude for this trip, he looks a fraction short as a joint favourite against a horse of St George’s proven quality.

1735: King George V Stakes: First Eleven, 1pt win, 13/2 generally available 

Getting lumped with 14lbs extra just before Ascot will undermine most suit-fittings, equally it should undermine a handicap bid.  For First Eleven however it may still underestimate his potential.  His original rating of 77 was gained at shorter trips on softer ground.  His Frankel- Zamindar pedigree screams for a better surface and a trip, and he duly romped home at Newbury when meeting both. He can improve again with a tongue tie and the magic of Dettori.  Downdraft looks the danger, but this could be another for Gosden.

The Daily Yankee:

Konchek – Wild Illusion – Crack On Crack On – First Eleven

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