1.15 GOLDEN GATES HANDICAP (We pay 5 places)
Another competitive handicap to start day three and the selection here HIGHLAND CHIEF links nicely in with our 18/1 winner from Tuesday Pyledriver. On his debut at Newbury it took this horse a while for the penny to drop and to learn what the game was all about but when he got going he picked up nicely and put in a very taking performance. H
is second run was here last season where he was third in the Chesham behind Pinatubo and Lope Y Fernandez.
That was a very creditable run on his second start and he still looked the unfinished product. His third run is where the form lines really start to collate nicely, he was a 5/1 shot for the Royal Lodge and a much better run was expected.
Kameko has done that form no harm by winning the 2000 Guineas and on Tuesday we seen Pyledriver take his own step forward and land the King Edward VII Stakes.
I think Highland Chief will really benefit from the return to Ascot and the ground and trip should be no issue. He looks a solid each way proposition with one of my jockey Q and A friends Rossa Ryan aboard.
1.50 WOLFERTON STAKES (LISTED RACE)
SIR DRAGONET will really appreciate the step down in class here and on ground he likes he could put in quite a dominant performance. I wasn’t overly disappointed with him getting turned over at odds on at Naas last time as he looked like he would improve plenty for the run.
He led over a furlong from home that day and I think that the fitness gauge just went to empty very quick. He will strip much fitter here and the drop in trip shouldn’t really worry him as Ryan Moore could make plenty of use of him as he did with Circus Maximus earlier in the week.
Numerian who won the race at Naas finished a very good third to Leo De Fury in the Mooresbridge at the Curragh last week and the form was franked even more when the “Siskins” as Jerry Hannon called them, Ger Lyons and Colin Keane landed a nice pot with Nickajack Cave who was fourth at Naas. Sir Dragonet could be very hard to beat and will be my nap on day three.
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2.25 JERSEY STAKES (GROUP 3) (We pay 4 places)
This is probably one of the more trickier races of the week to try and solve and I am going to take a small each way chance on KING OF ATHENS trained by Aidan O’Brien. On ratings he has plenty to find but after watching his last race at Leopardstown I loved the way he travelled through it. He hit the front and looked like he was going to do the business until he was caught close home by the Jim Bolger trained Ten Year Ticket who looks extremely progressive.
His run the time before was in the Patton Stakes at Dundalk where he started favourite but ultimately finished down the field behind Crossfirehurricane who enhanced that piece of form by remaining unbeaten when winning at the Curragh last weekend. The double figure prices that are available on this horse may not be long available. He is just the type that his trainer excels with, he could come on from his last run and really get into contention here.
3.00 CHESHAM STAKES (LISTED RACE)
While Charlie Appleby will be looking to Modern News to emulate Pinatubo from last year in this race I think that the Andrew Balding trained BRIGHT DEVIL could be the one to pay the most attention to. On his debut at Newmarket, the Charlie Appleby team had high aspirations for their colt Magical Land but racing against the rail really paid off and Bright Devil put in a lovely performance.
I remember Oisin Murphy talking about his mounts after racing that day and saying that Bright Devil was a horse with a nice future and was very uncomplicated. He will most definitely improve off the back of that run and while the Appleby team will know what they have I think Bright Devil could be a name going forward that we hear plenty about. The Andrew Balding team have made a flying start to the season and this could add to their tally.
3.35 GOLD CUP (GROUP 1)
The feature of Day Three and it is simply all about STRADIVARIUS and how far he will actually win. Many of ye will know from following my previews that I try and oppose the favourites and find some value but I simply cant see anything that will beat the John Gosden inmate. Over a trip that was well short of his best he ran extremely well to finish third at Newmarket last time and that would have been a lovely prep for this race.
It’s really a race to watch but if you wanted to have a bet maybe have a look at the winning distance market. Frankie Dettori could push the button at the furlong pole and he could grind them all into submission like he normally does. A very unoriginal selection but with Kew Gardens out of the race Stradivarius will be very hard to beat.
4.10 BRITTANIA STAKES HERITAGE HANDICAP (We pay 5 places)
STARCAT ran a race full of promise in the 2000 Guineas and looks to have a solid chance here in what is his first handicap. He was trapped wide most of the way and just faded inside the furlong pole. The most noticeable thing is how well he traveled. This handicap will have plenty of pace so he should be able to sit and travel away. That first run of the season should bring him on nicely and I would expect a big run. His trainer Hughie Morrison is no stranger to success at Royal Ascot as he has had seven previous victories at this famous meeting. A solid each way proposition and should give us a solid run for our money.
4.40 SANDRINGHAM STAKES (We pay 4 places)
Ralph Beckett has his team in flying form and DECLARED INTEREST looks like she will go very close here . She was very impressive last time when she beat Rideson at Chelmsford and has gone up 9lb in the weights for that victory. She looks very unexposed like most of the fillies in the field but her trainer excels with this type and I expect a big run. She has progressed nicely in three runs and I can see a little more progression coming here. She looks a solid each way proposition in a tricky heat
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