Day 3 was an unmitigated disaster for us, with not even one of our horses hitting the frame. Nine Below Zero could never land a blow, even after being drawn on the same side as the winner. Tamleek finished well down the field and to add insult to injury his stable mate Benbatl ran out an impressive winner. The saddle slipped on Naughty Or Nice and she trailed in last behind the brilliantly ridden Coronet.
|John Gosden could have another good day at Ascot.
I thought Prince Of Arran ran a huge race in the Gold Cup and 2f out it looked as though he might even win before he faded late on. Keyser Soze ran an absolute stinker, while Twin Sail could never recover after getting a bump at the start. The highlight on Day 4 is the Commonwealth Cup and I think Harry Angel looks an absolute good thing. You can read my thoughts on him and on the Queen’s Vase and Albany Stakes by clicking here
Benbatl franked the form of the Epsom Derby by hosing up yesterday, and perhaps Best Solution can further rubberstamp the form with a big run here. Plenty fancied him to run well at Epsom after a commanding win at Lingfield in the trial but he chased a searing pace set by Douglas McArthur and he simply didn’t get home. I don’t think this race will be run at such a fast pace and that could bring him right into the mix.
His form is amongst the best on offer in this contest and he was far too good for Sir John Lavery at Lingfield. Crystal Ocean stayed on well behind Permian in the Dante and those two are both shorter than Best Solution in the betting. They could still be improving, but I believe that Best Solution will be suited by this smaller field and if he gets his own way up top he could be a tough nut to crack. He is the each way selection at odds of 10/1.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: 15.05-BEST SOLUTION E/W @ 10/1
With only 7 going to post I won’t be having an interest in this race. The filly they all have to beat is dual Guineas winner Winter and favourite backers will be praying that she doesn’t do a Churchill. On all known form she wins this, but that is reflected in her price of 1/2. Hydrangea beat Winter earlier on this season but that filly has been firmly put in her place on the two occasions they have raced against each other since. The fly in the ointment could be John Gosden’s filly Dabyah, but this is a race I will just watch.
Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap
The last race on Friday is the Duke Of Edinburgh and it looks a typically competitive renewal with 19 horses going to post. The Queen’s horse Mainstream is the current favourite, but he has been frustrating to follow and his mark keeps rising without him actually getting his head in front. The one I like at a decent price is the John Gosden trained Cape Cova who comes here after a fine effort over 14f off a mark of 101 at Newmarket beaten 1.5L in 3rd by Jaameh.
He is a pound higher here off 102, but the drop back in trip to 12f and the first time visor could spark the bit of improvement needed for him to get his head back in front. This 4yo son of Cape Cross has had 4 starts at 12f and they have yielded form figures of 3131. His 3rd to Prize Money on his last start at this trip at Doncaster (gd/fm) reads particularly well now, as that horse went on to score in a Group 2 at Meydan. He will be ridden quietly and produced late by Tom Queally so he will need luck in running, but if he gets the rub of the green he should be there or thereabouts at odds of 16/1.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: 17.35-CAPE COVA E/W @ 16/1