Despite my bet of the week Canford Cliffs going in, day one of Royal Ascot, was a loss maker for the Major.
What a great days racing. I wanted to get Frankel beaten (but wanted to see him win!) – While he held on, surely they will stop what I consider to be ridiculous riding tactics. Just because Frankel can win when you ask him for his major effort 4 furlongs from home, does not mean you should. Tom Queally is adamant that Frankel was simply idling and that no horse has yet given him a race. Well he was almost chinned on the line today. I don’t understand why they want to ride him in a sort of Secretariat way, he has the cruising pace of the devil and a devastating turn of foot. It feels like that they almost want to get a breath-taking victory, not needed. I am sure the back to back Group 1 winners will take the advice. (THE MAJOR, HORSES TRAINED: 0 OWNED: 0 RIDDEN: 0)
It almost feels like we have had the best of Royal Ascot and getting as excited about Wednesday is hard. Tuesdays opening 4 races were as good as racing gets. The sun shined on Berkshire, I am sure he approved.
2.30 Jersey Stakes Group 3
This is a tough nut to crack. There are a few bits of European classic form on show. I am not sure which is the strongest but suspect that the Irish form of Oracle may hold out well.
Strong Suit for Hannon who was off the mark with Canford Cliffs yesterday is an interesting contender. Clearly there are a few questions to be answered but if Hannon has Strong Suit back to some sort of form, his 12/1 is interesting.
The one the Major opts for though to get the day off to a flyer is lightly raced Western Aristocrat. On form, it has a lot to make up but there is reason to think it can. After winning its maiden easily, it went on to battle home in a class 3 last time out. Nothing too remarkable about that but watching the run, he was hampered and did well to get up on the line.
Fury with the assistance of Fallon does not look good enough for the Major. Perfectly possible that more improvement is to come but so far at the top-level he is wanting.
I am not sure that Codemaster is a worthy favourite at 3/1 – Not one for the Major.
I am finding it hard to pick the class horse. This is why I am opting for Western Aristocrat at 13/2. The yard have taken the Jersey Stakes twice in recent years and this is a versatile looking sort who has scope to improve into the frame. Noseda has booked Murtagh which caught the eye. I would not put anyone off Strong Suit each way.
3.05 Windsor Forest Stakes
Jaqueline Quest, owned by Mr Martin and if I remember rightly named after his late wife, Jaqueline Quest was denied a classic win last year after finishing first past the post in the 1,000 Guineas. No wins since, yet has never finished more that 4l off the winner in any subsequent race. A great each way bet at 25/1 in the Majors view.
Music Show is a horse which the Major was a big fan of yet she has had her chances this year and I am no longer following it with good money!
Basically the race will pan out with Sajjha trying to lead a quick steady tempo from the front and draw the string from the field. I’m a dreamer who won from last to first last time out at HQ will be held up ( as he has been in every race) – Against this quality opposition, I would rather be on Sajjha – 7/2 I’m a Dreamer needs to be extremely good to come from last to first past a horse of this quality.
3.45 Prince of Wales Stakes
Here we go, at last Grade One action, the top notch cuts.
This on the face of it, looks all about So You Think, the Australian superstar resident in the Ballydoyle operation. 4/9 shows what this horse has achieved down under and in two runs this year in Europe, the horse has shown it has translated to the Northern hemisphere.
That said, I have been a big fan of Planteur and think this one has improved if anything. The Longchamp runs look good.
It is a tough call. There are only 7 runners and so looking down the field for value seems unwise.
Overall Planteur offers me enough hope at 4/1 that So You Think won’t make this a procession.
4.25 Royal Hunt Cup
What a terrific handicap. 30 are due to go to post – This is essentially Christmas for Pricewise.
The Major has found a few of more obvious interest. I am interested in those from the high draws given the result of the Coventry.
The two I have settled on are Bronze Prince and Kay Gee Bee at 20/1 and 33/1 respectively.
Bronze Prince gets in to the race at the bottom of the weights. Green Destiny being a drop out. Not fully exposed and of interest with some useful form recorded, I want this one on side.
Kay Gee Bee is just as interesting , I think the York form could work out well and at 33/1 with the assistance of Hanagan, I suggest a slice.
5.00 Queen Mary Stakes
Back to Group action as the fillies line up for a sprint.
There is always a risk in getting stuck into short price favourites in fillies races for juveniles. Yet, the way Shumoos beat yesterdays victor Frederick Engels has to be eye-catching. 11/8 seems more than reasonable and the Major suggests a reasonable bet although my betting resolutions dictate not getting carried away with two year olds. The breeding is a new line from Distorted Humor and is proving very interesting.
Dozy and Best Terms are the risk, both unbeaten. Of the two, probably Best Terms at 12/1 makes the most appeal. The wins look better, this Exceed and Excel filly could be a danger.
Gypsy Robin has not come across the pond for the air yet the Major would want to se a run on dirt previously, not for the Major.
5.35 Sandringham Handicap
If you need a winner at this stage, you might go home in the poor house.
If Western Arisocrat goes in earlier in the day then there will be plenty of support for Rhythm of Light who was 2nd on their last blow out.
The Queens horse, Humdrum, is evidently a player. Having won on the all-weather on its return, the form has been boosted by the 2nd winning next time out, making the 10lb rise looking at best compensation from the handicapper. 9/2 is short enough in this field but real chances.
I am happy to have a pop at another outsider. 33/1 Wrekin Sunset for an in form small yard, I think this one is on the upgrade. It might not be as fashionable as the Luca Cumani, Kieran Fallon ridden sort but is not without a chance.
Good luck one and all.