Don’t worry we are returning to action this week!
2:00 Curragh – Battle Of Jericho, US Navy Flag
2:40 Newmarket – Tajaanus
3:00 Newcastle – London Prize
3:20 Windsor – Out Of The Flames NAP
4:15 York – White Rosa
4:40 Curragh – Murillo
6:25 Doncaster – Model
7:25 Doncaster – Loving
Our weekly tipping is back with all you need to know ahead of Monday’s racing.
2:00 Chepstow – Halinka (15/8)
This fine Roger Varian filly has been unlucky not to finally break her maiden, and I do believe today will be that day. The three-year-old should’ve won on the all-weather at the end of last season. She underperformed on her return, before back to her best when losing out in a photo finish when second at Carlisle last time out. She retains that handy mark, and can get a win to her name.
5:25 Kilbeggan – Monarch (Evs)
In the famous green and yellow hoops of JP McManus is Monarch, who should finally gain a win over hurdles after two solid efforts. He was beaten by a very good prospect in Cook Islands before losing by a nose last time out. This is another good oppertunity, and I’m expecting him to run very well.
7:20 Windsor – Fair Cop (2/1)
A nice progressing filly for Andrew Balding is Fair Cop, who returns to Windsor after an encouraging victory here a month ago. She has been given a fair handicap mark, and although this is a lot more competitive she should be able to continue to improve, and if she has stepped up may be hard to beat.
After a tiring week at Royal Ascot, we have just one tip on a tough card from around the UK and Ireland.
5:05 Gowran Park – Titus 2/1
A horse I like a lot is Titus, who won impressively on debut before running okay when fifth in a listed contest at the Curragh. That race was on soft, and he should be much better on a faster surface which he gets today. This is a significant step down in grade, he’s progressive and gets ideal conditions. I’m expecting a big run from him, and he’s one to keep an eye on.
After James Stevens bagged us three Royal winners yesterday, he’s bidding for more success to fill your pockets on the closing day of the meeting. Keep check, we will add more from other meetings later this morning too!
Chesham – September NAP 11/8
Surprisingly she was one of very few who won first time out for Aidan O’Brien, and she looks a filly who could be massively progressive. She won very well on debut, enjoying a lengthy success on debut at Leopardstown. She’s very well-bred and should enjoy the conditions of offer at the Berkshire track. If she improves from that effort then she has to play a leading role. I know she is thought very highly of, there may be a few people singing that Earth, Wind & Fire number to celebrate!
Wolferton – Khairaat 5/1
I was really impressed by Khairaat’s run at Chester on his seasonal bow, and Sir Michael Stoute’s progressive colt should give another good account of himself. He picked up well in Cheshire to win in convincing style, the 13lb rise is fair by the handicapper, and I’m expecting another bold effort.
Ayrad drops down in level and could be in the place money. He’s been running well in top pattern races, and takes his place against a weaker field this afternoon. With Ryan Moore on board he’s got each-way written all over him.
Hardwicke – Idaho 9/2 , Across The Stars 18/1 ew
Idaho is a horse I like an awful lot, and ran very well at Epsom last time in the Coronation Cup. He clearly needed the run but battled on to finish sixth in the Group One contest. He won the Great Voltigeur at York in good style, before being desperately unlucky in the St Leger. Dartmouth would be a popular winner however.
Across The Stars is a huge price, and can surely outrun odds of 18/1. He won at Royal Ascot last year, beating some good types before running well in the Great Voltigeur. His return to the track at Newbury was very below-par but he can’t have liked the conditions. He’s out to prove himself, and is a good each-way bet.
Diamond Jubilee – Limato 13/5 , Magical Memory 8/1 Dancing Star 28/1 ew
Limato is a top-class sprinter who has to be fancied on this fast surface. Henry Candy’s five-year-old was last seen finishing a disappointing sixth in Dubai, but things didn’t go right that day and he should be better on his return to the UK.
“She was the Steward’s Cup winner last year, and has been very progressive for us. She just found the five furlongs in the Palace House a little too sharp, but she ran on well with credit. She got better with each run last year, and I’m very much hoping that she could develop into one of our leading sprinters this year. It certainly wasn’t a bad run at Newbury considering the circumstances. She’s got a couple of listed options, and then the main aim would be then the July Cup. She’d need to run well in her next start to justify that.” – Andrew Balding talking to HTF on his Five To Follow. Read here.
Magical Memory is another who could run a big race, you can read connections thoughts exclusively with HTF.
Dancing Star is a horse who can certainly make the frame in this field. He was last seen finishing a close second in a listed contest at Windsor, but should be better than that. This is a step-up in class but he is a quality horse, and can outrun good odds.
Wokingham – Raucous 12/1, Birchwood 28/1ew
A really high-class colt who hasn’t shown quite his very best is Raucous for William Haggas. He began the year by winning a good contest at Chelmsford, before posting a decent effort in a listed contest at Windsor. There’s a lot more to come from him, and he looks like a colt who has a bit more to offer. He’s drawn well, and should run well over today’s conditions.
Birchwood is a horse I regard quite highly, and could go well in handicap company. The four-year-old hasn’t disgraced himself in two efforts in listed company so far this season, and this drop to handicapping may just bring the very best back out of him.
Queen Alexandra – Thomas Hobson 5/2 , Qewy 6/1ew
It was very hard not to be impressed by Thomas Hobson’s powerful Ascot Stakes victory on Tuesday, and I do fancy him to add further success at this meeting. He battled on very well, and easily, suggesting he may just have a little bit more to offer. It is difficult to win two races at the same Festival but this horse does seem to have that real bit of class about him.
Qewy is good enough to be picking up some prize money at the end. He was fourth in he Melbourne Cup before winning a listed staying race in Australia. He brings some good experience to the race and may be worth an each-way investment.
We finished off the day with a 7-1 winner yesterday to keep our great Royal Ascot form up. Our tipster James Stevens is feeling good as we enter the penultimate day of the meeting
2:30 Albany Stakes – Natural, Clemmie ew
“She is a filly with plenty of speed and the six furlongs should suit her well. She won impressively on debut and I think she is a filly with a lot of ability. She should run a very big race.” – Richard Hannon. Click here to hear his thoughts on his week ahead.
A horse well-regarded by Richard Hannon is Natural. She won very easily on her debut at Doncaster looking like a very classy filly in the making. This is a big step up in class from what was a weak maiden, but she goes into it with a good chance and should be in the mix.
Clemmie is an exciting full-sister to dual classic winning Churchill, who made an encouraging debut and deserves her place in this contest. She has only been seen once but wasn’t beaten far when third, and should benefit from the experience. She could be special, and I think she will be.
3:05 King Edward VII Stakes – Sir John Lavery, Best Of Days ew
A horse I really fancied in the Derby is Sir John Lavery, but he disappointed on in his trial and missed out on the classic. He is the worst rated in the field, but is held in high regard and should be up to winning at this level. To come back from that very poor effort at Lingfield is a big ask, but I rate him a lot on his maiden victory and think he can run a big race.
“He’s the one I’m most looking forward to running again. He won the Royal Lodge last year, and we just ran out of time to get him ready for the Derby because he had a bit of a setback in the spring. We are well on target to have him ready for the King Edward VII (Ascot Derby) at Royal Ascot, and that’s where he will start his season. He’s got a whole load of smart entries, whether that’s the Irish Derby, Great Voltigeur or St Leger we are really excited by him.” – Hugo Palmer on Best Of Days, talking to HTF about his Five To Follow. Read it here!
Hugo Palmer spoke very highly of this horse to us a few weeks ago, and frankly we see why! Best Of Days was a very good two-year-old winning the Royal Lodge when last seen. He makes his first start of the season which is never an easy ask, however he goes well fresh and certainly has the quality to compete in this race.
3:40 Commonwealth Cup – Caravaggio, Bound For Nowhere (without FAV)
I really like Caravaggio, and I am really excited to see him! He’s been so impressive when winning, looking like an absolute superstar sprinter in the process. This race is competitive and he will need to run well, but he is so speedy and talented he is the one to beat by some margin. If he runs his race, he will win.
Away from the favourite Bound For Nowhere could trump some of the leading British runners. He’s unbeaten in two starts, and there have been some positive vibes from connections. He may not be good enough to beat the favourite, but may be good enough to surprise Blue Point and Harry Angel.
4:20 Coronation Stakes – Winter
Winter is another who goes into this as the one to beat. Representing Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore, she’s a dual winning filly who has shown both class and attitude to see of classic fields in very good style. A repeat of those last two runs would be more than enough to win this.
5:00 Queen’s Vase – Stradivarius, Count Octave ew
“He stayed on to finish fifth in the Chester Vase, and we were really pleased with that. He was a little bit uncomfortable on the track until the closing stages. He stayed on really well, I’d like to think he could progress to be a St Leger candidate. He’ll probably go to the Queens Vase at Royal Ascot next.” – Andrew Balding, talking exclusively to HTF. Read his Five To Follow here.
Andrew Balding is thinking big with Count Octave, and on ratings he has got the best horse in the race. He shaped well when last seen in the Chester Vase, running on well at the end and should be better over the extended trip.
Stradivarius is a progressive colt for John Gosden, who should give a good account of himself in this competitive running of the Queen’s Vase. He won very well on his seasonal reappearance at Beverley, before going well at Chester. This is his toughest assignment yet, but he should go there with a good chance.
5:35 Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes – Mainstream, Appeared ew
I do think we could be in from a big royal run at Ascot with Mainstream. Sir Michael Stoute’s four-year-old is on a handy mark, and has enjoyed some good efforts without winning. He was last seen not too far off Frontiersman at Newmarket, who has since gone on to finish second in a Group One contest. He should like the conditions, and I’m expecting a good performance.
Appeared is a horse who won impressively when last seen at this track, and despite a 10lb hike from the handicapper can run a big race for Roger Varian. He will like the conditions, and looks to have enough about him to contest higher graded races in the future.
Big Orange stunned reigning champion Order Of St George, in an epic running of the Ascot Gold Cup.
Michael Bell’s six-year-old led as they hit the home straight, and powered home strongest in a battle with the former winner to win by the narrowest of margins.
The Irish raider challenged late but was marginally touched off in one of the most thrilling finishes to the Gold Cup in recent years.
It’s the globetrotter’s first top-level victory after winning various pattern prizes including the Goodwood Cup and Prince Of Wales’ stakes.
“He’s just absolute superstar,” said trainer Michael Bell.
“He gives his all and he’s got a heart as big as himself.
“I can’t praise his attitude enough; he wants to race and he’s a colossal racehorse.”
Classic woes to Ascot glows, Benbatl and Coronet show class after below-par efforts at Epsom
Favourite backers suffered another narrow blow as Mori went down late on to a fast finishing Coronet.
The daughter of Midday, and son of Frankel gained plenty of support after an encouraging listed victory last time out and looked to pay dividends before John Gosden’s filly pipped her on the line.
It was an improved effort from Coronet, who was last seen finishing well behind stable rival Enable in the Oaks earlier this month.
Derby fifth Benbatl took advantage of his step down in trip to win the Group Three Hampton Court Stakes for Saeed Bin Suroor. It was the Godolphin trainer’s first Royal Ascot success since 2012.
Frankel sired his first Royal winner in the finale, as Atty Persse powered home in the King George VI handicap in impressive style.
Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore won the opening Norfolk Stakes with Sioux Nation.
Bless Him enjoyed Britannia Handicap success for David Simcock, where the first three home raced on the far side of the track.
It’s day three of Royal Ascot and after two winners yesterday we hope to add to our impressive tally of winners at the meeting! With six winners from twelve you’d be crazy to miss our coverage.
2:30 Norfolk Stakes – McErin, Havana Grey ew
McErin was a brilliant winner on debut in America and if this smart colt can reproduce that effort he will have a leading chance. He didn’t run his best when a narrow third at Churchill Downs, however the switch to grass may benefit him. The ground should still be quick, and he should run a massive race.
Havana Grey has established himself as a smart prospect. Following an encouraging maiden he won by five lengths at Ayr on quick ground. He improved once again to win a listed contest at Sandown in good style and should run well again.
3:05 Hampton Court Stakes – Mirage Dancer, Bay Of Poets ew
I think this is the hardest race to select from, but I opt for Mirage Dancer for Sir Michael Stoute. He ran a decent race in the Dee Stakes at Chester, finishing well behind some good prospects. The quick ground, and break should help him and he is still learning about racing. He’s got potential and if he shows his best he will be a big player.
There is plenty in with a serious chance, but an each-way chance can be Bay Of Poets for Godolphin. He’s run well in group races throughout the season, and should run well on the quick ground. It’s a tight contest, with plenty with a chance.
3:40 Ribblesdale Stakes – Mori
I tipped Mori to win last time out and I was so pleased when she delivered in fine style. She’s an improving filly, and certainly good enough to compete at this level. She’s bred to be a superstar, and can run a big race in her first start in group company. The fast ground and straight track should be okay for her. I’m expecting her to really run well.
4:20 Gold Cup – Order Of St George, Torcedor ew
It takes a lot for a horse to win two Gold Cups but I do believe that Order Of St George has that star quality. Aidan O’Brien trained the first three winners home in the Arc, with this horse finishing third. For a stayer that was a massive run, and he’s been going very well since. If he handles the hot conditions he can run a big race.
A Cheltenham Festival and Ascot Gold Cup double, wouldn’t that be an achievement for Jessica Harrington. She runs Torcedor who has been successful on two starts this season, and looks to have an each-way chance. It’s a longer trip but if he stays he can pick up some valuable prize money.
5:00 Brittania Stakes – Son Of The Stars, Afaak
Richard Hannon is well represented in this race, and Son Of The Stars could be the one to win this competitive handicap. He was an impressive debut winner before striking again on the all-weather. He will like the flat track and quick conditions, he wasn’t beaten too far on his first run back and has plenty of potential. His draw is good, and I can’t wait to see him!
I had tipped Afaak to win at Doncaster a few weeks ago at a huge 12/1, and I think he’s got a good chance once again. He’s bred brilliantly well and been impressive when winning his last two starts. His draw isn’t ideal but he can run a big race for Charlie Hills.
5:35 King George V Stakes – Atty Persse, Sofia’s Rock ew
Atty Persse has a similar profile to Son Of The Stars, that profile being he is a lot better than the handicapper says. He won his first two stars, before finishing second at Haydock last time out. He wanted more pace in that race, which he will get today for sure. His mark is very nice and he should take advantage of it in this competitive contest. With ideal conditions, I expect a good run.
A good front runner is Sofia’s Rock, and Mark Johnston’s colt could hold them off. He’s won impressively in handicaps this season, and looks set to give a good account of himself.
Ryan Moore described globetrotting Highland Reel’s victory in the Prince Of Wales stakes as a ‘career best.’
The globetrotter added a sixth Group One prize after wins in America, Hong Kong and now Royal Ascot.
He held a handy position throughout the race before staying under leading jockey Ryan Moore, to see off Decorated Knight and Ulysses.
“Highland Reel has been everywhere and keeps coming back and running well. It was a tough performance at Epsom and he’s come back after not that long a break.
“I’d say it was probably a career-best from him today.
“Fair play to Aidan for getting him back after Epsom.
“He had a difficult day that day and to then come here and win, it is a massive performance by him.”
Qemah and Le Brivido complete French double
Qemah picked up her second Royal Ascot success in the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes.
The four-year-old won the Coronation Stakes last year, and improved from a Lingfield at the Berkshire track.
She won in a good manner to see off 40-1 shot Aljazzi.
In the opener Le Brivido justified favouritism to win the Jersey Stakes, he picked up well to win on the line for Andre Fabre.
His victory came after going down by a small margin in the French 2000 Guineas on his last start.
Heartache provides Hot To Trot an unforgettable day
The Hit The Front team were delighted to see the Hot To Trot syndicate’s Heartache win so encouragingly in the Queen Mary.
Sam Hoskins, part-owner of the team, was confident in her chances as she denied well-fancied favourite Happylikeafool.
Elsewhere Zhui Feng was a 25-1 winner in the Royal Hunt Cup, and Con Te Partiro won the closing Sandringham Handicap for Wesley Ward.
Don’t miss our extensive coverage of Royal Ascot on the website and on Twitter.
Four winners from six isn’t too bad! We enjoyed a dream start to Royal Ascot, capped off by a 20/1 winner in the last. Let’s hope for more of the same!
2:30 Jersey Stakes – Le Brivido (10/3)
French challenger Le Brivido has the best form in the book in this brilliant renewal of the Jersey Stakes. Andre Fabre’s three-year-old was narrowly touched off in the French Guineas, and can go one better in this. The quick ground should be fine for him, and he will appreciate the seven furlong trip.
3:05 Queen Mary – Happylikeafool (5/4), Out Of The Flames (16/1)
When a trainer like Wesley Ward speaks that highly of a horse, you listen. Happylikeafool was very impressive on debut in America and can continue to improve at Royal Ascot. She picked up nicely and looks like a promising sort in the making.
Out Of The Flames is another who can run a big race for Richard Hannon. She wasn’t beaten too far on debut at this track, before stepping up in convincing style at Windsor on her next start. She’s a great filly and should have a bright future ahead of herself.
3:40 Duke Of Cambridge – Qemah (3/1)
This looks a really tricky race to select from. Laugh Aloud steps up and the run is soon, Qemah can get too warm and Usherette may not like the quick ground. I’m going with Qemah who brings a real bit of class into the race. She was very impressive when winning the Coronation Stakes at this meeting and could get a second Royal win.
4:20 Prince Of Wales – Jack Hobbs (10/3)
I think to win this race you need a lot of class, which Jack Hobbs brings. He’s run some solid races at the top level, and was last seen winning in Dubai. He ran well over course and distance in the Champion Stakes and there is no shame in losing to Almanzor and Found. This looks set to be a great opportunity and he should have a competitive chance.
5:00 Royal Hunt Cup – George William (12/1) , G K Chesterton ew (18/1)
I really like George William and I have fancied his chances in this race for quite some time. He ran a really good race in the Victoria Cup where he would be suited by the extra furlong. He’s good enough to win a good handicap and can run a huge race on the quick ground.
I like G K Chesterton and Blair House in this for Charlie Appleby, the foremost ran a stormer at Epsom and deserves to take his chance in this competitive handicap.
5:35 Sandringham – Present Tense (16/1) ew, Grecian Light ew (16/1)
John Gosden’s Present Tense can run a big race on only her third start. She is exceptionally well-bred, being a half-sister to the brilliant Kingman. She was raced at Yarmouth to get her into this race, and that effort was creditable. She should be in good order for this test and has the potential to run a huge race.
Charlie Appleby had a big priced winner in the closing race yesterday, and she has a good chance with Grecian Light. She’s run in some competitive group races, and not been too far away from striking. She was last seen running well in a listed contest in France, and has been awarded a very nice handicap mark. She will be rated much higher than this by the end of the season, she could prove that today.
After a thrilling opening day at Royal Ascot, we look over the highlights. Our tipster enjoyed an amazing day and his tips are up on the site soon.
Barney gains Royal revenge over 2000 Guineas hero Churchill
Barney Roy won the feature St James’ Palace Stakes for Richard Hannon after dual classic winning Churchill could only finish fourth.
The three-year-old hadn’t been seen since failing to handle Newmarket’s undulating track in the first Group One of the year, finishing second to Aidan O’Brien’s former Royal Ascot winner.
He held a good position throughout the race before powering home under James Doyle to win against Thunder Snow and Lancaster Bomber.
“We felt he was unlucky in the Guineas, and if he was unlucky he would win today, and so it proved. We have massive respect for Churchill, and I don’t think he has run his true race today, but we were there to take advantage.
“I’m sure our horse will get further – he’s in the Eclipse Stakes and the Arc. He takes time to pick up and he’s very relaxed, but a horse having just his fourth race, and to beat a Guineas winner, is very good.”
Lady Aurelia lights up Ascot for second successive year
Wesley Ward’s Lady Aurelia claimed her second Royal Ascot winner, as she put in another stunning display at the Berkshire track.
The three-year-old was mightily impressive when winning the Queen Mary at this track by seven lengths, this season she enjoyed another powerful victory in the Group One contest.
Frankie Dettori was booked to ride the American filly but it was John who steered her to an impressive win ahead of last year’s champion Profitable and favourite Marsha.
“That was awesome. Lady Aurelia is a very special filly,” said Ward.
“This is a Group One with some of the fastest horses in the world, and to duplicate what she did last year, she is a once in a lifetime horse.
“She loves it over here. We look forward to a really big summer and then the Breeders’ Cup. The owners are so excited. It is wonderful for American racing.”
Ribchester ‘best miler I’ve ever ridden’
William Buick was full of praise for Ribchester as he earnt his second successive Group One prize.
The three-year-old followed up his impressive Lockinge victory, by adding the Queen Anne Stakes to his CV.
He held a midfield position, before quickening up well under Buick.
“We were worried about the draw [in stall one], but we knew we had the best horse in the race, and that always makes things easier,” said the Godolphin jockey.
“There is no substitute for that, and as I said after Newbury [where he won the Lockinge Stakes] he is getting more versatile. I heard he broke the track record, but I believe he has more to give.
Rajasinghe won a hotly contested Coventry Stakes, giving trainer Richard Spencer and jockey Stevie Donohoe their first Royal Ascot victory
Sound And Silence won the Windsor Castle in good style for Charlie Appleby, whilst Ryan Moore got off the mark as he steered Thomas Hobson to Ascot Stakes glory for Willie Mullins.
After a perfect day of tipping we can’t wait to get stuck into Royal Ascot! James Stevens (JamesStevens180) will be live from the racecourse so make sure you keep an eye out for all the latest updates.
2:30 Queen Anne Stakes – Ribchester (Evs), Ennadd (25/1()
Ribchester oozed class when winning the Lockinge a month ago and on that form deserves to get the verdict in this contest. He won the Jersey on this card last year, and has improved run by run for Richard Fahey. He will be fine with the conditions and should run a huge race.
Ennaadd can run a good race for Roger Varian, he was last seen finishing second in a listed contest but should be better than that. He can out run very big odds with Andrea Atzeni.
3:05 Coventry Stakes – Denaar (10/1), US Navy Flag (50/1)
Denaar was so good on Lockinge day at Newbury and I do fancy him to gain a third straight victory at Royal Ascot. In a competitive Coventry he’s won both starts in a mature style, beating some decent prospects too. He’s got all the makings to run a big race, and I think he can.
I believe there is a lot more to come from US Navy Flag. He has run well in three efforts, but never got his head in front for trainer Aidan O’Brien. He’s bred exceptionally and has the potential to run a big race.
3:40 King’s Stand Stakes – Lady Aurelia (4/1), Washington DC (16/1)
I backed Lady Aurelia last year, but I didn’t think she would have beaten them by that much! She won by seven lengths at this meeting last season, and has posted some good efforts since. Wesley Ward’s three-year-old faces her toughest test yet, but should appreciate the quick ground and strongly run race.
There should be a bit more to come from Washington DC for his Ballydoyle team. I was on him when he won the Windsor Castle on this day two years ago but hasn’t progressed into a star sprinter just yet. He was narrowly beaten by Marsha at Newmarket, before a below-par effort at Haydock. He’s got a big one in him, today could be the day he shows it.
4:20 St James’ Palace Stakes – Barney Roy (9/4), Churchill/Barney Roy dual forecast (1/2)
This is set-up to be a brilliant contest between Barney Roy and Churchill. Not much separated them in the 2000 Guineas, and the same could happen in this one. Barney Roy gets our verdict, he relished the quick ground and flat track at Newbury to win the Guineas in very good style. He didn’t handle the dip and got caught up in traffic at Newmarket, and there looks to be more to come from him. Those two to finish in the top two is a very appealing bet.
5:00 Ascot Stakes – Beyond Conceit (15/2), Yorkidding (16/1)
After finishing a close second in a Grade One hurdle race at Aintree Beyond Conceit returns to the flat and has to have a leading chance for reigning jumps trainer Nicky Henderson. He’s been in good form and should appreciate the quick ground and an ideal trip.
Yorkidding is a consistent type for the Mark Johnston team. He was last seen winning at Haydock, and has the potential to follow that up in this contest. He will appreciate the quick ground, and even though he hasn’t been tested over this trip I have no doubts he will stay.
5:15 Windsor Castle – Declarationofpeace (7/2), Sound And Silence (20/1)
There’s no better way to describe Declarationofpeace’s win as a demolition. He looked so impressive when winning at Dundalk powering clear of the field by six lengths. The form of that race has worked out well, and he does look like a class act in the making.
The well-bred Sound And Silence can put a below-par effort at Sandown behind him. On debut Charlie Appleby’s two-year-old won very well, before not showing his full potential in a listed contest.
The Kennet Valley syndicate are ‘very excited’ as star sprinter Magical Memory targets a first Group One victory for the team in the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot.
On a sodden day at York, he looked as good as ever to finish second in the Duke Of York and launch himself into the Diamond Jubilee picture, where he finished fourth last season.
The fast ground specialist is set to get ideal conditions at the Royal meeting, but faces tougher competition in the form of Limato and The Tin Man.
“He ran a great race in the Diamond Jubilee last year when he was fourth, and he broke a bit slowly and the ground being a bit soft,” said Hoskins, manager of the Kennet Valley syndicate.
“He made a lot of ground up so quickly which was so impressive, and we’re hoping he could run really well this time around.
“Last year he went to Ascot after two runs, this year he’s had a prep run where he ran a great race on ground that was a bit too soft really.
“If he built on that hopefully he can give Tasleet a run for his money, so hopefully he can be very competitive.”
Trained by Charlie Hills, the five-year-old progressed from a star handicapper into a top-level sprinter, picking up the Steward’s Cup and Abernant Stakes at Newbury.
He powered home to win the Duke Of York stakes at the Dante festival, to earn favouritism for the Diamond Jubilee last season.
He finished third at Royal Ascot before two below-par efforts in the July Cup and at Haydock’s Sprint Cup.
On his seasonal bow, he defied long odds, an absence, and unfavourable soft ground to finish second when bidding to retain the Group Two prize at Yorkshire.
“I thought he wouldn’t handle the ground at York, but he showed he can handle a bit of soft,” Hoskins said.
“I think good and good to firm would be ideal, that would go against some rivals too. I think genuinely good ground would be perfect for us.”
Kennet Valley are one of the countries leading syndicates, veteran Tulius has been their greatest servant picking up seven pattern races for the team.
Meanwhile Gateman won multiple races for the team, but Magical Memory could provide them with a first Group One victory.
“It’s amazing really, he cost €35,000 as a yearling which is very cheap considering how good he is now,” he added.
“He’s won the Stewards Cup, Abernant Stakes and Duke Of York so he’s an amazing horse to be associated with.
“There are 16 shares, to have so many people own a horse and be involved is great too.
“He’s a gelding too, so a bit like our old boy Tullius he can carry on going for a few more years. It’s very exciting.”
Sam Hoskins believes the Hot to Trot syndicate are ‘very excited’ about the chances of filly Heartache, who bids to give the team a first pattern victory at Royal Ascot next week.
The two-year-old goes to the Queen Mary with a live chance, after powering clear on her only start.
A daughter of listed winning, and group placed, Place In My Heart she defeated closest rival Fab by no less than six lengths at the Wiltshire venue.
“She’s a lovely filly and Clive (Cox) has always liked her,” said Hot the Trot syndicate manager Sam Hoskins.
“She’s always been showing up nicely and always had. We saw her as a yearling, and she was always a lovely filly. She’s bred to be good, and she’s been working well in the spring.
“I don’t think anyone expected her to go and do what she did at Bath, she just won very easily and Adam Kirby couldn’t pull her up after the race.
“He said straight after the race ‘without doubt she should go to the Queen Mary’ and Clive was adamant she should go, so we have to take their advice.
“Her homework has been very good, and apparently worked very well last week. We are really excited to take her to Royal Ascot now!”
The Hot To Trot Syndicate were formed in 2010, but have begun to build up a good team of horses.
With an exciting debut, the team are hoping Heartache can establish herself as the syndicate’s flagship horse.
“We’ve had fifteen winners so far and seem to be doing really well, but this is potentially the most exciting filly we have ever had,” Hoskins added.
“We’ve got over fifty people planning on coming to Royal Ascot, so it’s a bit of logistical nightmare!
“It’s all very exciting, to have a filly like this. It’s only the start, but she has got plenty of scope and I really think she could be go. The Elite racing club had Soviet Song, hopefully Heartache can be ours!”
She looks set to compete in the Queen Mary stakes over the same distance, but will have to take on leading American raider Happy Like A Fool.
Wesley Ward spoke highly after her maiden win at local track Keeneland.
“Beating Wesley Ward and his sprinters aren’t easy to do, but we can’t be scared,” said Hoskins.
“She’s a lovely filly with plenty of speed and hopefully she should have a chance.”
To find out more about the Hot To Trot syndicate follow the link here.
Sam Hoskins is racing manager for both Kennet Valley and Hot to Trot, two leading syndicates in the UK. With Royal Ascot looking he’s spoked exclusively to Hit The Front about who he should follow.
Magical Memory – A highly regarded four-year-old whose won the Steward’s Cup, Abernant Stakes and Duke Of York stakes. Yet to win at the top level, but went close in the Diamond Jubilee last year. Ran a great race on seasonal bow when second on unfavourable ground, set to go to Royal Ascot with a strong chance again.
“He ran a great race in the Diamond Jubilee last year when he was fourth, and he broke a bit slowly and the ground being a bit soft. He made a lot of ground up so quickly which was so impressive, and we’re hoping he could run really well this time around. Last year he went to Ascot after two runs, this year he’s had a prep run where he ran a great race on ground that was a bit too soft really. If he built on that hopefully he can give Tasleet a run for his money, so hopefully he can be very competitive. He’s a gelding too, so a bit like our old boy Tullius he can carry on going for a few more years. It’s very exciting.”
You can read his thoughts on the Diamond Jubilee Stakes here.
Heartache – A winner on debut at Bath, defeating the field in very good style by six lengths. From a good family, and set to go to the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot.
“It’s all very exciting, to have a filly like this. It’s only the start, but she has got plenty of scope and I really think she could be go. The Elite racing club had Soviet Song, hopefully Heartache can be Hot to Trot’s! She’s always been showing up nicely and always had. We saw her as a yearling, and she was always a lovely filly. She’s bred to be good, and she’s been working well in the spring. Her homework has been very good, and apparently worked very well last week. We are really excited to take her to Royal Ascot now!”
You can read his thoughts on the Queen Mary here.
Golden Salute – Unraced two-year-old filly. Out of decently bred dam, who went close to breaking a maiden in four attempts. A full sister to Commonwealth Cup entry Victory Angel half-sister to listed placed Lordoftheshadows. Trained by Andrew Balding and set for a debut soon.
“She’s an unraced two-year-old with Andrew Balding for Hot To Trot. She’s been showing up nicely, and shouldn’t be too far away from her debut. She’s going well at home, and we’re looking forward to seeing her start soon.
Gorham’s Cave – A beautifully bred unraced three-year-old trained by Roger Varian. Sired by Rock Of Gibratar, and his dam’s a Group Two winner as a two-year-old in France. Siblings include listed winning Indignant.
“He’s an unraced three-year-old with Roger Varian, who has had an issue over the spring. But he has shown plenty of ability beforehand, and he will be interesting when he runs. It’ll be good to see him make his debut for the Kennet Valley team.
Cuban Heel – Unraced two-year-old trained by Clive Cox, and declared for a maiden at Newbury tomorrow. Dam won once as a two-year-old.
“We’re hoping he can make his debut tomorrow at Newbury for Kennet Valley. He’s been going well too, and he’s with Clive Cox whose very good with horses like these. He’s been working well, and doing everything nicely at home. Whatever happens he should improve for the run, but he should still run a nice race. The trainer’s two-year-old’s have been going well too.”
Richard Hannon has enjoyed multiple Royal Ascot successes over the years, with the likes of Toronado, Illuminate and Baitha Alga all recent winners for the Wiltshire trainer. Team Hannon look to have their strongest team in recent years to give them Royal glory.
Oh This Is Us (Queen Anne) – Won listed Spring Trophy before finishing third in the Diomed Stakes at Epsom.
Kool Kompany (Queen Anne) – Fourth in the Diomed, but won listed Doncaster Mile earlier in the season.
“They both had traffic problems at Epsom but both ran very well. The plan is to head to Ascot and off a strong pace they should both be right there. Neil Werrett is coming over from Australia with a load of the guys and this is a very exciting time for them.”
De Bruyne Horse (Coventry Stakes) – Followed up a maiden win by battling out success in Epsom’s Woodcote Stakes on Derby Day.
“He is a progressive sort and won well at Epsom in spite of the track. He has come out of the Woodcote in great form and continues to take everything in his stride. He is a horse that is still learning his trade and should improve again next time.”
Denaar (Coventry Stakes) – Won a Chelmsford maiden, before adding further success in a competitive conditions race at Newbury.
“He showed he was very tough at Newbury and that run will have brought him on a lot mentally. I would expect him to improve and run a big race.”
Barney Roy (St James’ Palace Stakes) – Winner of the Greenham Stakes before finishing second to Churchill in the 2000 Guineas. He was short of room that day, and hopes to turn the form.
“Barney Roy has come out really well from that run and with a stronger pace he would have finished much closer. The mile at Ascot is right up his street and I can see him putting it up to Churchill in a big way.”
Out Of The Flames (Queen Mary) – After a good maiden effort, she won her maiden at Windsor without being asked too much.
“This filly came on markedly, improving plenty from her debut at Ascot. She has plenty of pace and has been working very well since her last start. She should be right there at the finish.”
George William (Royal Hunt Cup) – Won a Nottingham handicap before running well in Newbury’s Spring Cup. Short of room when close second in the Victoria Cup, raised 3lb but looks progressive.
“He has strengthened up nicely this year and has been in great form. He was unlucky not to finish closer in the Victoria Cup last time and back at a track he likes over a mile he should run a big race.”
Son Of The Stars (Britannia Stakes) – Won two races over a mile, before finishing a close second at Newmarket last time out.
The Grape Escape (Britannia Stakes) – Won on debut, but well beaten in a Group Three as a two-year-old. Gone close in two handicaps over a mile this season.
“They are unexposed colts who should be very strong on the line. They have been working well and I am very happy with the hand I have to play.”
Natural (Albany Stakes) – A visually very impressive winner at Doncaster in June, didn’t need much to defeat the field and looks very promising.
“She is a filly with plenty of speed and the six furlongs should suit her well. She won impressively on debut and I think she is a filly with a lot of ability. She should run a very big race.”
Tajaanus (Albany) – Well bred filly who tip-toed through traffic to fly home and enjoy a narrow win at Newmarket on only start.
“She has come on plenty for that run and will be much better back on top of the ground. She did everything wrong at HQ and still managed to win.”
Elysium Dream (Chesham) – Finished fourth at Lingfield on debut, before winning next time out at Windsor in a photo finish over 6f. Expected to do better over a longer trip.
“She did well to win last time at Windsor having just gotten her head in front on the line. The further she goes the better she goes and I think she would have a real chance over the stiff seven furlongs.”
Tupi (Diamond Jubilee or Wokingham) – Impressive four length winner of Cammidge Trophy at Doncaster, before midfield in Duke Of York, rated 109.
“He could either head for the Wokingham or to the Golden Jubilee. I will decide closer to the time but he is in some form and I would expect him to run well wherever we run.”
Hugo Palmer has become one of Newmarket’s leading trainers, despite only gaining his licence in 2011. He’s most famous for classic winning Covert Love and the brilliant Galileo Gold. Whilst the likes of Home Of The Brave, Hawksmoor and Gifted Master have all given Palmer a brilliant introduction to training.
Gifted Master – Six time winning four-year-old, won the G3 Autumn Stakes as a two-year-old, G3 Pavillon Stakes as a three-year-old. Ran well in multiple pattern events, but was last seen finishing well-behind in the Godolphin Mile at Meydan.
“He’s about to come back into training this week, having had a good spell in Dubai. I thought he showed great speed over there in first time blinkers. I think we’ll leave them on him and probably start running him back to six furlongs with him. We might have him ready for something like the Hackwood at Newbury. He’s a high class performer to follow.”
Crimean Tatar – Lightly raced four-year-old who won both starts last season. He finished third in a 1m4f Group Three at Newbury, before seventh in the Yorkshire Cup. Expected to progress over longer trips.
“We definitely didn’t see the best of him in the Yorkshire cup, and there’s more to come from him. Back on better ground, he could be a really exciting stayer to follow. I’m not sure whether we would go to the Gold Cup with him, as we’ve got To Be Wild in there. But he wouldn’t want faster ground than good. The Gold Cup is still an option for Crimean Tatar. There’s not many options, but then we would like to go and run in those big cup races throughout the season.”
Best Of Days – Raced three times winning twice, a maiden at Sandown and the Group Two Royal Lodge at Newmarket. Only other start was second in the Acomb at York. Yet to start this year.
“He’s the one I’m most looking forward to running again. He won the Royal Lodge last year, and we just ran out of time to get him ready for the Derby because he had a bit of a setback in the spring. We are well on target to have him ready for the King Edward VII (Ascot Derby) at Royal Ascot, and that’s where he will start his season. He’s got a whole load of smart entries, whether that’s the Irish Derby, Great Voltigeur or St Leger we are really excited by him.
Fibonacci – Three race maiden rated 85. Finished fifth at Newbury, third at Chelmsford before losing out by a neck at Yarmouth. Declared for Queens Vase and King Edward VII at Royal Ascot.
“I think he’s a good horse to follow this season, he hasn’t won his maiden yet but he’s rated 85 and he’s a very big horse and beautifully bred. I think he could be an exciting stayer both this year and in particular next year. He looks a very exciting horse.
Arbalet – An unraced two-year-old out of Moyglare winner Miss Beatrix. Half-brother to multiple French winner Jelly.
“He’s a Dark Angel colt that I think will run fairly soon. He’s a son of Miss Beatrix, who won the Moyglare. He’s ticking a lot of boxes at the moment, and he should run in about two or three weeks’ time. We are looking forward to getting him to the racecourse.”