A sensational winning Nap yesterday courtesy of Hollie Doyle on the weaving late run of Scarlet Dragon (adv 40/1, 33/1 SP). Two more good winners thanks to 3yo speed merchants Art Power (5/2) and Golden Horde (11/2), making it 10 for the week. A great day then , and a great day’s racing in prospect on Saturday and a chance to play up some winnings…
NAP OF THE DAY: Swindler (1240 Ascot), 3pts win, 7/1:
We have long fancied Blue Mist for this meeting and he intrigues back down to 6f, but he is hard to win with and Swindler looks the one. He is two from two at this track, his last win coming despite all sorts of trouble and he remains on a viable mark. You can forget his debut effort this year at Newmarket where the undulating firm surface had him all at sea throughout. Back at his beloved Ascot and guaranteed the strong pace that suits – he looks a cracking bet to get us off to a flyer on a wonderful day’s racing.
RACE OF THE DAY: Palace Pier, (1500 Ascot), 1pt win, 4/1:
A fascinating clash for the St James Palace. Many will see this as a head-to-head between 2000 Guineas 2nd and 3rd Wichita and Pinatubo. Pinatubo was a legendary 2yo, but always looked like a horse who could stall a bit as a 3yo as others may have more scope to develop. he ran well in the Guineas and is clearly still a class act, but he has surely slipped back to the pack. We prefer the rock solid Wichita of the two, but that classic form has taken a few knocks this week and we prefer the dark horse here, Palace Pier. Always held in high regard by the powerful Gosden stable, he was too inexperience to pitch straight in to the Guineas, but he was awesome under a weight in a handicap at Newcastle, and although this is a huge step up, he looked like a horse going to the very top and can prove that here by lowering the colours of his more fabled rivals.
Rest Of The Card
Sacred, (1315 Ascot), 1pt win, 6/1:
The O’Brien trained More Beautiful looks plenty short enough at the odds, and with the US raider Campanelle possibly preferring quick ground, this looks a good market for Sacred. Her smooth Newmarket win has been made to look sensational by repeated wins for those beaten in behind her. She travelled well there and quickened up to win nicely. She looks to have an outstanding chance of repeating that here.
Existent, (1350 Ascot), 1pt win, 10/1:
Only third on debut and taking on a number of first time winners in this top 2yo race of the meeting. That said, trainer Gosden wouldn’t be one either to hurry a horse for debut, or to throw it in to the deep end here unwarranted. We expect to see a lot of improvement, and if he can progress, then this race is open enough for him to be a contender. Frankie rides having suggested this race immediately after jumping off him on debut.
Quadrilateral, (1445 Ascot). 1pt win 5/2:
Another Guineas 2nd and 3rd clash with 1000G runner up Cloak Of Spirits re-opposed by the third and beaten favourite there Quadrilateral. There is good reason to expect a form reversal here. Cloak’s front-running tactics are harder to employ at this course, but more Quadrilateral was ridden there as though she needed to press the pace to expose some lesser stayers. She probably ran too freely as a result. She can be given more time in this event, preserving her energy and she should comprehensively reverse that form. Run Wild could be hard to pass if winning the pace battle, but equally could be forced off too fast. Due respect to Alpine Star and Sharing, but this one looks more likely to go to Guineas form and revenge for Quadrilateral.
Sceptical, (1535 Ascot), 1pt win, 9/4:
This leading 6f sprint of the early season has cut up into a smallish field. Hello Youmzain was a consistent sort last year and would have solid claims here to being the top sprinter around in the absence of anything unusual cropping up. Unfortunately, something has, and that something is Sceptical. Amazingly let go unraced by Godolphin for next to nothing he has progressed rapidly from a Dundalk maiden debut third last October, to run up a sequence of 4 straight wins, the last of which at Naas was very impressive. He might just be a sprint sensation in which case he should dominate here under Frankie.
Summerghand, (1610 Ascot), 2pts win, 12/1:
This historic sprint handicap has been robbed of the only unexposed type in the absent Mubakker. Bielsa becomes the new favourite and should enjoy it if the cut stays in the ground. This though can go to a warhorse in the omnipresent Summerghand. 5th in this last year, then 4th in the Stewards Cup, 2nd in the Great St Wilfred and 4th in the Ayr Gold Cup. That’s an amazing run of consistency. His run here was arguably his best, he gets a little pull in the weights with last year’s 3rd Danzeno, and a nice pull with Tinto for chasing him at Newmarket last time. This looks sure to be run to suit and James Doyle is in great form on board.
The Grand Visir, (1640 Ascot), 1pt win, 7/2:
An unusual race but the historic meeting closer. The longest flat race of the year and one where very few can be given a real chance. Mekong is favourite and teh highest rated but he ran his guts out here on Thursday in the Gold Cup slog. That leaves a match up between the 107 rated chaser/flat horse Who Dares Wins and the 104 rated handicap winner here last year The Grand Visir. We think the younger horse can improve enough to win. Nate the Great is interesting but this is a long way for a 4yo and he is rated at least 10lbs below his rivals.
The Daily Yankee:
Swindler – Quadrilateral – Sceptical – Summerghand
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