All eyes this afternoon will be on the 3.40 at a very wet Ascot this afternoon, when the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes takes place with a field which includes the absolute cream of the Group 1 crop, headed by dual Arc winner Enable, which is as short as 8-15 to triumph.
Described as ‘not right’ for the whole of last season by her master trainer, Enable still managed to win her second Arc and remain unbeaten, so, with the vibes very positive this year, this may be a performance to behold.
This is a case of ‘too short to back, too good to oppose’ so we are content to sit back and watch the action unfold and concentrate our punting efforts on the other televised contests.
The meeting kicks off with the Princess Margaret Keeneland Stakes, a Group 3 over 6f for the youngsters and this race also has an odds-on favourite in the shape of Summer Romance, trained by Charlie Appleby.
6 length winner of a Listed race at Newmarket last time our, this horse has done nothing wrong, but with the form not tested, we are happy to put up a couple of each way bets against her.
Ultra Violet put up a devastating performance on debut, also at Newmarket, being last out of the stalls but ultimately winning by an astonishing 8 lengths and if the phrase ‘could be anything’ ever applies, it applies to Ed Vaughan‘s baby. Have an each way bet at 15-2.
Brian Meehan‘s runner Aroha demonstrated a jolt of improvement when encountering an easy surface for the first time when finishing 3rdin the Albany at the Royal meeting and that doesn’t tell the whole story.
Racing on the ‘wrong’ side of the track, Aroha ‘won’ her race by more than 4 lengths and, with the second on that side going on to be beaten by a short knocker in a Group 2 next time, that performance can be markedly upgraded.
At 20-1, we have to give it a whirl.
The Porsche Handicap at 2.25 has a field of (ho, ho) 8 runners, but in the hope that they all stand their ground, we recommend a decent punt on the bottom weight Prince Of Harts at 15-2.
Rod Millman‘s charge won a Nottingham handicap by an easy two and a half lengths on softish ground two runs ago, beating a subsequent dual handicap winner potless in the process and backed that up with a close third on G/F next time. A return to today’s under-hoof conditions may be the trigger to further success – we hope.
The Moet & Chandon International Stakes at 3.00, a 28 runner handicap over the straight 7f is not worth any detailed analysis, so on the ‘who’s turn is it today’ policy, we recommend minimal each way bets on old faithfuls Raising Sand and Rip Orff at 15-2 and 12-1 respectively.
Cameras are also at the meeting at York, covering the first three races.
First of these is the Sky Bet ‘Get Knotted’ Handicap at 2.05, named after the horse which has won it for the past three years and is in the field again today.
It’s probable that this horse’s 3 runs this season can be discounted as preps so it makes sense to have a modest win bet at 7-2.
If there is a runner which may foil the four-peat it could be Madahim, which looks primed to run a pretty big race, so we also advise an each way bet on this one at 11-2.
The Sky Bet Dash Handicap at 2.40 has been won for the past two years by Flying Pursuit and the 6-y-o lines up again. However, with its trainer also fielding another three with chances and many other dangers, we will give this one a miss and move on to the Sky Bet York Stakes at 3.15.
The pitter patter of not-so-gentle raindrops will be music to the ears of a certain Mr Haggas who runs Addeybb in this. Right back to its very best last time out and the mount of Danny-boy, this could be the best bet on the card and we recommend a bash at 13-8.
Y’all have a good day, y’hear.
Ultra Violet 1.50 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 15-2
Aroha 1.50 Ascot 0.5pts e/w @ 20-1
Prince Of Harts 2.25 Ascot 2pts e/w @ 15-2
Raising Sand 3.00 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 15-2 (6 places)
Rip Orff 3.00 Ascot 0.5pts e/w @ 12-1 (6 places)
Get Knotted 2.05 York 2pts win @ 7-2
Medahim 2 .05 York 1pt e/w @ 11-2
Addeybb 3.15 York 6pts win @ 13-8