Will Johnston's filly bring Ascot joy?
The final day of Royal Ascot is today’s racing highlight and the card opens with the listed Chesham Stakes for 2-year-olds over 7f.
I thought Mark Johnston’s filly Natalie’s Joy (13/8 at BetVictor) would be aimed at the Albany Stakes over 6f after her impressive 6l success at Goodwood on debut in a very fast time.
The selection is the one to beat but didn’t look to be crying out for an additional furlong on debut and an each way alternative is another filly Beyond Reason (2.30) representing Charlie Appleby. The selection was beaten by another of today’s opponents New Winds at Newmarket on debut over six furlongs but was staying on strongly on that occasion as befits her pedigree. She was a facile winner at Kempton again over 6f earlier in the month and at 5/1 with BetVictor I will be disappointed if she doesn’t make the frame.
Only five go to post for the Hardwicke Stakes and it is hard to oppose Crystal Ocean (3.05) for Sir Michael Stoute and Ryan Moore given the colts facile win in the Group 3 Aston Park Stakes – albeit not a strong renewal – at Newbury last time.
Moore could have ridden Idaho – who won this corresponding race last year – and I feel you can put a line though his last run in the Coronation Cup as he cannot act on soft ground. Idaho is taken to follow home BetVictor’s 4/7 market leader.
I am sure there is more to come from the maiden World Order and at 33/1 he might be a shade overpriced in the Windsor Castle Stakes which is, arguably, the weakest of the meetings juvenile contests. As with the Chesham, however, I hope to see a filly take advantage of the 5lbs sex allowance she receives and Queen Of Bermuda (3.50) gets the vote for William Haggas.
The filly has won two of her three career starts and impressed when defying a penalty at Thirsk last time when making all under the stands’ rail. The selection is 13/2 at BetVictor and is the each way recommendation – note 1/5th odds four places on the race.
I still feel a bit of a Charlie for backing Blue Point – who won the King’s Stand Stakes over 5f on Tuesday – for the Diamond Jubilee antepost rather than wait until Charlie Appleby confirmed running plans. For what it is worth I believe he would have won this race if turning up in the same form as he did to get past Battash midweek.
I know Harry Angel (4.20) has a poor record (0 from 4) at Ascot but I thought his win at York when giving weight and a beating to Brando and Sir Dancealot was out of the very top drawer and at 11/4 with BetVictor he is taken to put the record straight.
Trainer Clive Cox has not had a winner, at the time of writing, since June 11th which is a more of a concern although a number of his string have run well in defeat. There are many who think the Aussie sprinter Redkirk Warrior – who began life winning his first couple of starts in Britain over 10f for William Haggas – will put it up to BetVictor’s 11/4 market leader, but I feel the biggest danger might be French raider City Light (14/1 with BetVictor) who won over the minimum trip at Longchamp last month.
Few horses have impressed me more than Dreamfield (5.00) who looked a potential sprinting star when making most over today’s C&D back in May when backed as if defeat was out of the question. That was his first start for nearly 600 days and this unbeaten son of Oasis Dream looks a Group horse in a handicap albeit the Wokingham is one of the most competitive races of the year.
The selection is 4/1 with BetVictor who are paying each way six places on the race. Yes, that is a short price but this colt could go off a similar price for the Group 1 July Cup if he wins this with a bit up his sleeve. John Gosden looks to have had this race as the target for some time and I really do feel he could be a different class to his rivals.
The finale is the longest race on the flat calendar (2m 6f) and Thomas Hobson finished runner up in the race 12 months ago and is the most likely winner to give Willie Mullins the Ascot Stakes/Queen Alexandra double, but he is Evens with BetVictor and that looks short enough.
Mullins’ great Irish rival Gordon Elliot saddles Pallasator (5.35) and I hope the return to fast ground will suit the 9-y-old who has only 3lbs to find with the favourite on official figures. The recommendation is 7/1 with BetVictor and can reward each way support.
Despite having the worst of the draw, the nap is History Writer (8.45) in Haydock’s finale for David Menuisier and Franny Norton who could have a very good night at one of his local tracks.
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