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.