Another bumper weekend of Horse Racing and Nick Luck is here to spin through the feature events on Saturday’s cards. Next week it will all be about Goodwood and Galway of course so some excellent action on the way for Racing fans…
3.35pm Ascot – 1m4f King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes(Group 1)
Whilst I would always approach a race as compelling as a King George trying to look for a horse to upset the apple cart it is pretty clear that Enable’s claims are every bit as strong as the market suggests this weekend. She gets the weight for age and fillies allowance whilst her form is by far the best in the field and seems without flaws.
It’s been impressive that she can finish a race out with decisive quality even if strongly run and perhaps the only encouragement to those that wish to oppose her is the possibility of genuinely soft ground.
However her sire Nathaniel won this race and an Eclipse with conditions similar to what she will face today and her dam Concentric was also a Listed level winner on soft ground.
I’ve no doubt John Gosden would feel Jack Hobbs to be her biggest danger in the race and that a softer surface will suit but I haven’t been in love with his efforts this term and if there is an overpriced horse in the field then it’s Ulysess for Jim Crowley and Sir Michael Stoute.
For all that the handicapper doesn’t see the Eclipse as strong form I was impressed with the way he did it and the front two there pulled away from the third horse at the finish.
Any rain would impinge his chances though, so if the word good does appear in the going description I would chance a few quid each way.
3.00pm Ascot – 7f Gigaset International Stakes (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2)
The weather will have an impact on my selection for the big handicap of the day on the same card. Flaming Spear has always been held in serious regard and whilst not achieving the heights that might have been expected after a scintillating debut win at York back in 2014 he is now thriving and absolutely tailor made for these big field handicaps.
The underfoot conditions are clearly crucial to him as they took him out of the Bunbury Cup when seemingly having a very solid chance but we do know that polytrack form, of which his is very strong, does tend to play very well on the straight track at Ascot. He comes with associated risks but not enough to put you off getting involved at the prices.
I would also add Havre De Paix to the calculations too. David Menuisier has his stable in great form now after a quiet spell and this 5yo runs off a mark of 90 which might underestimate the best of her form on soft ground including at Chantilly.
3.15pm York – 1m2½f (1m2f56y) Sky Bet York Stakes (Group 2)
My old friend Hathal is once again on this list this weekend. I was hoping he would win the Summer Mile at Ascot two weeks ago and even though he was beaten it was a good run at probably a trip shy of his optimum. Upped to 1m2f and a bit here and the possibility of more dig in the ground then I think he is still a very fair price.
That’s the lot for the day and don’t forget we have plenty of top quality racing next week to look forward to….
Saturday 29th July 2017
Ascot 3.00 – Flaming Spear & Havre De Paix
Ascot 3.35 – Enable
York 3.15 – Hathal
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.