Royal Ascot Preview – Day 5
It’s the final day of the Royal meeting and the Chesham Stakes looks like a tricky contest to start with. Aidan O’Brien unleashed the classy Churchill back in 2016 an has another smart looking type with Lope Y Fernandez. He cost €900,000 as a yearling being a half brother to Group 2 winner Dark Vision and looked good on debut at the Curragh.
I was very taken with Pinatubo when he powered away from Oh Purple Reign in the Woodcote and the step up in trip should bring about further improvement. All of these point to a big run and he’s my fancy.
Of the outsiders, the very experienced Rose Of Kildare is an interesting contender stepping up in trip for the Johnston/Dettori team. She brings decent form onto the race and is a good yardstick.
Expert Eye recaptured his form in the Jersey Stakes last season and it looks like Space Blues could be a nice prospect in here. Charlie Appleby’s charge beat the re-opposing Urban Icon in a listed event at Epsom last month and I see no reason for the form to be reversed.
So Perfect carries a three-pound penalty for two Group 3 victories and has been twice-placed at Group 1 level. She’s a big player in this field and looks sure to feature.
Angel’s Hideaway doesn’t win enough races for a horse of her ability and was disappointing behind Space Blues most recently. If she reproduces her 1000 Guineas run behind Hermosa she’d be a major player.
Selection: Space Blues
Sir Michael Stoute has a fantastic record in the Hardwicke Stakes winning with the likes of Sea Moon, Dartmouth and most recently Crystal Ocean. He’s represented by Mirage Dancer this year who finished fifth in the Wolferton twelve months ago. He won a listed event on seasonal debut but I’m not sure he’s up to taking this.
The class act in here is Masar who was last seen winning the 2018 Derby. The reports from the gallops have been positive and if reproducing his Derby form he’ll be winning here.
Defoe finally got his ducks in a row when mowing down Kew Gardens in the Coronation Cup. Roger Varian has always held him in very high regard without quite delivering on the track but with that confidence boosting win behind him, he may back up that run.
Lah Ti Dar was disappointing in the Coronation Cup most recently but was twice placed at Group 1 level last season and I can allow her one bad run. Frankie has been on fire and a big run could be on the cards.
Blue Point makes a rare bid to emulate Choisir in doing the Kings Stand and Diamond Jubilee double. Charlie Appleby’s star sprinter beat Battash for the second successive season earlier in the week. He’s got the best form in the race and is the one to beat.
James Tate has really got Invincible Army in fine fettle this season winning both starts. He looked very good in the Duke Of York Stakes and this will be the litmus test for his season.
The Tin Man has a great record at Ascot and actually took this contest back in 2017. James Fanshawe’s charge was also fourth twelve months ago before going on to win the Haydock Sprint Cup. He’s versatile regards ground and has a chance.
It’s quite taking that Aidan O’Brien turns out Le Brivido quickly having being a non-stayer in the Queen Anne Stakes earlier in the week. He took the Jersey Stakes back in 2017 when trained in France and given if Aidan can work his magic, a place could be on the cards.
Selection: The Tin Man – E/W
Jeremy Noseda landed the Wokingham Handicap back in 2010 with Laddies Poker Two and he’ll be hoping to repeat the feat with his final runner Cenotaph. He won all three starts when moving from Aidan O’Brien’s and I’m sure he’s been laid out for the race.
Tis Marvellous was fourth in this race last season before going on to win over five furlongs. He races here off only two-pounds higher than last year and although he’d like the ground a bit firmer, he’ll go close at a nice price.
The most interesting horse in the race is Southern Horse who makes his debt for Jim Bolger. He was a triple winner of 5 furlongs in Argentina and was placed in a Group 1. It’s hard to weigh up his form but Jim Bolger doesn’t send horses over to England too often and considering he has Group 1 entries he could be up to winning this.
Intisaab has some very solid form in big handicaps and is back down to his last winning mark. David O’Meara has enlisted the services of Jamie Spencer and if getting the breaks, he could feature.
Selection: Southern Horse – E/W
The final race of the Royal meeting is the Queen Alexandra Stakes and it’s over the extreme distances of two miles five furlongs. The last two renewals have gone the way of nine-year-olds and it may be a hat-trick with Max Dynamite. He’s always been a smart type and actually ran in the Ascot Gold Cup twelve months ago. The race conditions seem to suit the highest rated in the field and he’s got a decent record when fresh.
Andrew Balding’s Cleonte has a good record at Ascot and ran a cracker to finish third in the Sagaro behind Dee Ex Bee. A line can be put through his Chester Cup run as the ground was atrocious and if showing his Cesarewitch form he can trouble Max Dynamite.
The very lightly raced Corelli showed his well-being when finishing behind Baghdad back in May. He’s stepping up almost a mile in distance and could be the unknown quantity.
Pallasator took this contest last season but he’s been disappointing on his last two starts and may struggle to land back to back renewals.
The ever-popular Black Corton makes his belated flat debut here and is using the race as a prep run for the Galway Plate. The rule of thumb is to take 45 pounds off a horses jumps rating to get their flat rating which would put Black Corton on 114 and make hi, top-rated in here. He could sneak a place here at a nice price.
Selection: Max Dynamite
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