Ascot is the primary venue for today’s racing, with the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes the eagerly awaited highlight at 3.35.
Strong favourite at 11-8 is the John Gosden trained 3-y-o filly Enable, who has carried all before her this season, winning the Epsom and Irish Oaks, the latter contest just 14 days ago. The manner of her 5+ length demolition job at the Curragh has persuaded connections to throw their hat into the ring again and their risk may well be rewarded.
The last time a 3-y-o filly won this race was in 2014 when Taghrooda stormed clear and Nathaniel was also aged 3 when winning in 2011. Both these horses were trained by, you guessed it, John Gosden, so there is little doubt he knows exactly what is required to take the crown and, at 11-8, there is no reason not to lump on.
The card starts with the Group 3 Princess Margaret Juddmonte Stakes for 2-y-o young ladies and the Mark Johnston trained Nyaleti has been installed as the 2-1 favourite after two honourable defeats at the hands of Ballydoyle at Ascot and Newmarket.
Good as those runs were, today’s softer ground is an imponderable and the value bet against her is Mistress of Venice at a tasty 8-1. Less than a length behind Nyaleti in the Group 2 Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at HQ, this daughter of Bated Breath will relish the underfoot conditions and could cause a surprise. Although there are only seven runners, we suggest a modest each way investment.
The Porsche Handicap at 2.25 sees 12 3-y-os fighting it out over the straight mile and the favourite at 4-1 is Ryan Moore’s mount Century Dream, trained by Simon Crisford. This Cape Cross colt has won his last two handicaps and is now up to a rating of 98. Second to him in the first of his wins was Richard Hannon’s Mustarrid, and with an 11lb pull today, we must recommend a small each way punt at 8-1.
At 3.00 there is a simple 27-runner handicap over the straight seven furlongs, when the Gigaset International Stakes is run. As per, the draw will undoubtedly play a hand and no-one knows which side will be favoured, so this is usually the type of contest we leave well alone. However, there is one horse that is a stand out on form, so we suggest a cautious each way bet on Makzeem at 6-1.
The Woolridge Group Pat Eddery Stakes at 4.10 sees the reappearance of Tigre Du Terre who took apart a potentially useful field over this course and distance on his racecourse debut, winning by 41/2 lengths. Firmly in the ‘could be anything’ category, TDT has the services of Ryan Moore today and the 7-4 on offer is very fair and should be taken. The other runner in the race with the right profile is the Archie Watson trained Ghost Serge, so, for safety’s sake, let’s have a cover win bet on this one at 5-1.
Lady jockeys take centre stage at 4.45 with the annual running of the Longines Handicap over 7 furlongs and we think that Supersta and Hayley Moore should carry our e/w stake at 10-1.
Finale at 5.20 is the Canisbay Bloodstock Handicap over twelve furlongs, with the obligatory NR of the 16 declared already announced. However, provided all goes well in the race, Dark Pearl from Ed Walker’s yard has the appearance of a potential handicap blot and at 4-1 and a quarter the odds, put your faith in Liam Keniry and give it an e/w thumping.
Here endeth the lesson.
Today’s betting summary:
Mistress of Venice 1.50 e/w @ 8-1
Mustarrid 2.25 e/w @ 8-1
Makzeem 3.00 e/w @ 6-1
Enable 3.35 win @ 11-8
Tigre Du Terre 4.10 win @ 7-4
Ghost Serge 4.10 win @ 5-1 (cover bet)
Supersta 4.45 e/w @ 10-1
Dark Pearl 5.20 e/w @ 4-1