NAP OF THE DAY: Coeur De Lion, (1700 Ascot), 2pts win, 8/1:
This marathon handicap seems to be on the slow degrade. This year’s addition looks particularly threadbare and Alan King’s in form stayer Coeur De Lion can provide the proof. Last year’s race looked better quality and this fella was a little unlucky not to be closer than 6th. He comes back 2lbs higher, but arguably in even better form after a good win at Chester. A repeat of last year’s effort should have him go close, he is well drawn and his apprentice takes off a useful few pounds.
RACE OF THE DAY: Too Darn Hot, (1620 Ascot), 1pt win, 2/1:
The highlight of day 1 is the St James Palace Stakes, and with due respect to some decent milers notable King Of Comedy, this should be between old rivals Phoenix Of Spain and Too Darn Hot. Phoenix ran away with the Irish Guineas but the suspicion is that Too Darn Hot was the better horse last year and we may not have seen his best this season. He was rushed back from a setback to debut over too far in the Dante and was chasing Phoenix just 9 days later. He has had a break now and trainer John Gosden has few peers at targeting this week.
REST OF THE CARD:
Le Brivido, (1430 Ascot), 1pt win, 13/2: Mustashry brings the form but won’t want too much of the forecast rain. Accidental Agent and Lord Glitters could go well having fought this out last year, but 2017 Jersey winner here Le Brivido makes most appeal. He won despite being on the wrong side of a draw bias that day. Hasn’t won since, but new trainer Aidan O’Brien has been bringing him to the boil gently and he looked to be bubbling under when a little unlucky in the Lockinge.
Arizona, (1505), 1pt win, 3/1: pace here looks likely from Monoski in a low draw. That can set the race up for neighbour Arizona for Aidan O’Brien who does so well in this event. He left his debut well behind as his stable runners do, when sauntering to an easy win last time. Bred to be best at this trip and may have too much for leading U.K. rival Threat.
Mabs Cross, (1540 Ascot), 1pt win, 8/1: favourites Battaash and Blue Point were 1-2 last year. Battaash is a class act on his day, but not one to trust, whilst Blue Point comes here from a busy Dubai campaign. Last year’s third Mabs Cross was close up then, may have improved, and looks sure to run closer than her odds suggest. 3yo Sergei Prokofiev is very interesting but may not be able to match mare Mabs at this stage of the season.
Elarqam, (1735 Ascot), 1pt win, 9/2: last year’s Guineas 4th is potentially better than this company. He didn’t live up to those heights afterwards but has looked better this season and never more so than when a smooth winner at Goodwood. Is drawn nicely and could have a race position advantage over our idea of main rival Riven Light.
The Daily Yankee:
Le Brivido – Arizona – Too Darn Hot- Coeur De Lion
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