Another brilliant day of Racing in store today after what was a stunning day 1. The equine star of which was the performance of Solow who put away the very best the world has to offer over a mile and of course, as we flagged up – the best jockey in the world, Ryan Moore riding an amazing treble. On to day two and more fireworks
2.30 The Jersey Stakes – Group 3 7 furlongs 3yo.
This race revolves around Ivawood. Richard Hughes said it is his banker for the week. Hannon said it would be very hard to beat and finishing 1.5 lengths third behind Gleneagles looks the very best form on offer. So lets look for why he could get beat. Firstly the oppositon. I fancied Fadhayyil for Barry Hills in the Guineas and he didn’t look ready to run a big race that day. He hasnt raced since and probably needed the run and the time off. Mick Channon decided on the same course of action for his colt, Bossy Guest who ran to within 3.5l of Gleneagles in the Guineas. He would have to improve by 7lbs to take a hand in this race and who says he hasn’t – only Mick would know and the betting will give you an idea of his thoughts. He could be very good and is physically very impressive. Luck of the Kitten will stay and will probably set a blistering speed for Wesley Ward and Joel Rosario. His second to Hootenanny beaten 3/4l looks a very strong run after that horses win here last year and the run of Devonshire when finishing 2 lengths third to Pleasecach was his best run and looks very strong form. None of these three would surprise me as winners if the favourite doesnt perform. There wont be pilot error, Richard Hughes doesnt make mistakes in big races, the ground wont beat him but he did get closer to Gleneagles on slower ground than the Guineas at the Curragh. So do you want to take 6/4 about Ivawood? We didnt take it yesterday on Solow and it cost us. And I wont be taking it again with this one. My reason – just a gut instinct that there will be one too good today and i would kick myself taking 6/4 with so many good horses in the race.
3.05 The Queen Mary Stakes Group 2, 2 yo Fillies 5 furlongs
Besharah brings some of the best visual clues to this race, her last two performances were very impressive. She needs to relax in the preliminaries and anyone backing her will want her to save her energy for the race. Rah Rah was impressive at Chester for Mark Johnston, when she won and she handled the crowds, the track and the ground with ease. She looks a real professional. Bruised Orange needs to be respected. She is so speedy there is a quuestion about the trip and hill combined but they might just not get to her on this quick ground. Its the same route Ward took with Jealous Again, except this one has had one less run. Will that prove to be important or will the Churchill Downs 4.5f Maiden Special Weight prove to be the perfect prep race for Royal Ascot? There has been a speed bias this week and prominent racers have done well on the straight track – this could suit. Delizia’s win in a listed race at York was very impressive as well and you could see Mark Johnston delivering yet another 2 year old winner this season. Easton Angel is the love of Michael Dodd’s yard after winning the Hilary Needler, although the second didn’t help that form much today. I need to have two against the field in this race and my two are :
Integral won this last year and then followed it up with the Sun Chariot stakes at the end of the season. She also had her prep race this year finishing a very good fourth against the boys in the Lockinge. She looks the real deal as favourite. However no-one made regular money at this game dismissing the opposition without considering who might beat her. Could Eurocharline improve further as she is only four and arguably her best run was on firm ground winning a Group 1 at Arlington last August, the problem is Marco Bottis simply isn’t firing yet. Maybe this one? Cladocera looked progressive to start in Meydan but that stopped and she has her limitations and Bragging was very disappointing at York. Perhaps the trip was too far and for that reason Sir Michael drops her back. So who beats Integral? Maybe Rizeena., she has her ground but she just hasn’t produced that outstanding form for some time now and Integral was too good for her when she was good. It all points to Integral and sometimes you cant get away from that.
Its a group one race but it doesnt feel like one. Maybe a horse will come out of this as a superstar but there isnt one going in to it. The Grey Gatsby is one I want to be that horse but I have this fear that at this trip he is slow and that if he is destined for stardom it is at 12 furlongs. I hope I am wrong. Free Eagle, I simply haven’t seen enough off. You can put a line through his last run as that was on heavy ground and he will prefer this offering and again may be the horse. Cannock Chase has been well beaten by Western Hymm so there is no obvious reason why he should finish in front this time and Western Hymm comes in to the reckoning although I think we would all feel a little flat if he won. Ectot was well beaten in the Arc but that could have been trip or the Treve factor and maybe the drop back is ideal. I would have preferred to see a prep race for this one but he has won first time out. That leaves me with Gailo Chop who every time I look at the form I keep liking more. Just behind Solow at a mile, thrashed Western Hymm – what’s not to like – 10-1 more like my prices.
My two agains the field are
5.00 Royal Hunt Cup Class 2 Hcp 1 mile
With the 30 runners spread right across the track, outside of Ireland there are very few races like this. When you think that the weights range from horses considered Group horses down to those who run in C2 races and win pots of £50,000+ regualrly, its a pretty special gathering. I wont profess to know the answer to this race but I do enjoy it and over the years I have had some success. My 7 for starters are Ayaaar who was convincing at Newbury in the Spring Mile and could kick on. Speculaitve Bid who showed his liking for this type of race winning the Victoria Cup over 7 furlongs here to make it four on the bounce – will 8f be ok? Breeding says yes. Big Baz comes into the reckoning on his 3rd to Ayaar. One of my favourite horses, Gabrial, who I think is an out and out miler and who has been tried over further, was narrowly denied on Saturday at York. Gm Hopkins whose second could be described as unlucky, to Spark Plug and who loves these big field races, as does Bronze Angel who simply never runs a bad race in these type and finally Baraweez for Brian Ellison wo looks like a winner waiting to happen.
You can’t be too bullish but I will back three in the race
5.35 The Sandringham Hcp – Listed Rce for Fillies 1 mile 4 furlongs
This is my day 2 banker. I cant see past Always Smile. I have looked hard at the next 5 in the betting and with the exception of Kodiva, who makes her Handicap debut they all look exposed and lacking the progression to win a race of this type. I will keep it brief. This horse, despite its 11lb rise after beating two subsequent winners, is still well in and will win.