15 weeks at Number 1 for the Wet Wet Wet version of the Troggs original, which leads us in to the undoubted highlight of today’s televised racing, the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes which takes place at Ascot at 3.35.
The eponymous filly is favourite for the race at 15-8, having pouched 4 Group 1 contests in succession, the latest being a hard fought victory in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at the Royal meeting.
That was Love‘s first run since last August and over 10 furlongs rather than her preferred 12, so she is probably a worthy jolly.
However she is up against some pretty powerful opposition this afternoon, not least the Derby winner Adayar, who tries to be the first horse to come on from Epsom to land this prize for 20 years. Stats can be misleading, though, as only three horses have tried it.
The other four runners are by no means out of this either, with three of them already Group 1 winners and the fourth beaten just a neck by the mighty Hurricane Lane last time out.
This is one of those races that sets the old pulse a-racing and we are content to just watch.
Having taken over half a page to say “no bet”, we’d better get to it.
Action starts with the Princess Margaret Keeneland Stakes at 1.50, which sees Desert Dreamer installed as 9-4 fav after a seemingly unlucky second at Newmarket and another second behind Sandrine, again at HQ.
Winner in the first race was System, having just her second race and likely to have found more improvement since. We think this is the value to confirm the form and recommend a win bet at 7-2.
We also think that another potential big improver is having a quick lurk in this race, so we also advise an each way bet on Delmona at 8-1.
The Porsche Handicap at 2.25 has a field of just six and here we give Fantastic Fox a chance to prove his Royal appearance all wrong.
A close third to two subsequent Group winners and a facile Maiden victory by half the track meant an opening handicap mark of 94 going in to the Royal meeting but a suicidal pace and an extra two furlongs on soft ground did for Roger Varian‘s charge in spades.
Calmer waters today, better ground and back to a mile should do the trick and we should take the 5-2 on offer.
The statutory impossible handicap takes place at 3.00, this one called the Moet & Chandon International Stakes, which has a field of 21 over the straight 7f.
We hope to get a run for our moolah with each way bets on Star Of Orion at 7-1 and Aldary at 9-1.
Three races are on telly from York, beginning with the 2.05, a 5f sprint for ‘Jump Jockeys’ – would you believe.
Bit of a farce, if you would like our opinion, but the last time this race was run, Nibras Again won it off the same mark as today. We have absolutely no idea how Jonathan England will get on, but at 5-1 its worth an each way dabble.
The Sky Bet Dash Handicap at 2.40 has 15 runners over 6f and, in this, we rely on course specialist Gulliver to emerge from the shadows and put this race to bed for its 5th CD win. Have an each way bet at 8-1.
We also think Typhoon Ten is vastly overpriced at 14-1 so an each way ‘saver’ is in order.
That just leaves the Group 2 Sky Bet York Stakes at 3.15, which would appear to be at the mercy of Mohaafeth. Bit of a shorty, perhaps, but has to be done. Have a decent bash at evens.
Something ‘glorious’ is happening next week – see you then.
System 1.50 Ascot 3pts win @ 7-2
Delmona 1.50 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 8-1
Fantastic Fox 2.25 Ascot 4pts win @ 9-4
Star Of Orion 3.00 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 7-1 (6 places)
Aldaary 3.00 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 9-1 (6 places)
Nibras Again 2.05 York 1pt e/w @ 5-1
Gulliver 2.40 York 1.5pts e/w @ 8-1 (5 places)
Typhoon Ten 2.40 York 1pt e/w @ 14-1 (5 places)
Mohaafeth 3.15 York 6pts win @ evens