It’s been a wonderful week of racing and we’ve managed to land a few nice bets on this column, so a big finish would round things off nicely and we have a mix of two-year-olds, sprinters and dour stayers to choose from on Saturday.
The juveniles are acting as our amuse bouche and the two chosen at the Royal meeting look like going off at very tasty prices indeed. Here’s the best of the action from both Ascot and Newmarket:Embed from Getty Images
2.10 Newmarket (Novice Stakes) – ENTITLE
The name may have already provided a clue of course but for info, John Gosden’s runner is a half-sister to stable superstar Enable and like her close relative she has a reputation already.
A daughter of Dansili and more precocious than Enable, she is ready to run but it’s been a wise move to begin her career over seven furlongs and hopefully by the time they hit the rising ground and most are tiring this one will be doing her best work.
2.30 Ascot (Chesham Stakes – Listed Race) – BEYOND REASON
Not that it always works out and certainly not when we have so little to go on, private ratings here pitch two of these horses ahead of the rest and given the potential involved and the much larger price, Beyond Reason is just favoured ahead of Natalie’s Joy.
Mark Johnston has spoken publicly about how strong his smallish team of two-year-old fillies is and it would be no surprise to see his favourite win this, though having been readied first time up she is bound to find less improvement than the Godolphin one and so we’ll go for the value.
Don’t discount French horse On A Session who has followed the exact same path as last year’s 20/1 Albany Stakes winner and can run a place.
3.40 Ascot (Windsor Castle Stakes – Listed Race) – MUTAWAFFER
Jim Crowley finally landed a big one on Friday for retainer Hamdan Al Maktoum when Ektidaar won the Commonwealth Cup and he could be on for another Royal success with this Mutawaffer, a recent impressive Goodwood scorer for Charlie Hills.
The same connections were a little disappointed to miss out on the King’s Stand with Battaash and the Hunt Cup with Afaak earlier in the week and it may well be that compensation is truly coming in the shape of this son of Kodiac.
He has to step back in trip having won so well over six furlongs in Sussex, however he has tons of natural speed and if anything being allowed to bowl along at a faster clip will be up his street and he may be good enough at a nice price to see off the likes of Sabre, Van Beethoven and flying filly Queen Of Bermuda.
4.20 Ascot (Diamond Jubilee Stakes – Group 1) – D’BAI (each-way)
Godolphin truly hold a good hand in the feature race with the solid favourite Harry Angel bound to go well again despite some being worried that he does not put in his best shifts at Ascot.
There is limited evidence for this but, in a truly competitive race, it’s evidence enough to perhaps not play on a horse so short in the market considering the Australian raider Redkirk Warrior will also carry significant confidence and the likes of Bound For Nowhere and Merchant Navy also looking up to the job at this level.
Our horse though is put up each-way simply because he looks vastly overpriced having come from a different route to the others, all of his best work to date in his career having been done over seven furlongs or a mile.
Last time out at Haydock though (7f) he did look the part and I think managed to win that Group 3 race fairly cosily with a view to him finally going up the racing ranks for Charlie Appleby, potentially at this distance.
He ran OK in the spring over six furlongs in Dubai behind Jungle Cat who has since won a Group 1 over this trip and the trainer thinks things didn’t go right for him then and that he is a different horse now. At 25/1 and over, he looks a great value place prospect.
5.35 Ascot (Queen Alexandra Stakes – Conditions Race) – THOMAS HOBSON
This won’t be a surprise selection for most people, Thomas Hobson looking a class apart on the book at these weights on all known evidence and especially over marathon distances.
His easy win in the Ascot Stakes at last year’s meeting and his impressive second in the Doncaster Cup in September (Group 2) are the highlights in terms of recent or relatively recent form in this line-up and so another valuable win is simple to envisage.
A word has to go however to John Gosden’s charge Glencadam Glory who looked a real prospect last year before things went wrong after which he was put away and then gelded.
He has shown definite signs of improvement since coming back into action and is officially rated 108, 2lbs lower than Thomas Hobson but was given a rating of 110 as a younger horse having finished 5th in the King Edward VII Stakes here last term and of course he carries a pound less than the Irish horse.
Thomas Hobson is the safe play but at a huge price Glencadam Glory has to go on the shortlist for each-way purposes.