Three days down at Royal Ascot and Nick Luck is back to mark the card for Friday, after predicting a nice win for Atty Persse in the King George V!
Looking at Friday’s card and the Albany Stakes can go the way of Aidan O’Brien’s runner Clemmie, a full sister to Churchill no less. This is clearly a great, great name and it’ll be very popular at home, because my daughter’s name is Clemmie!
I’m not sure how much was expected of her on her debut, but I thought she did really well. It’s not uncommon for a well-bred Ballydoyle horse to be defeated on its debut and I think she could go off at a big-ish price. There’s been a slight over reaction to the draw bias so far and we’ve seen, at Royal Ascot time and again, how that bias can turn around as the week progresses, I wouldn’t be too worried with her in stall 2.
Clearly Alpha Centauri is going to be a very tough nut to crack, she does look the real deal but she’s been pretty well found in the market and I’m quite happy that Clemmie has been drawn next to her actually.
King Edward VII Stakes
I’m interested in Crystal Ocean here. If I’m honest, I thought he could have run a bit better in the Dante, but Sir Michael Stoute has always had him in mind for this race and he looks a strong stayer who should act well on the surface. It’s highly likely he steps up plenty here.
Key dangers could well be two that ran in the Derby. Khalidi who I think just bounced off his good effort at Goodwood and Salouen who had no luck in running at all and was value to finish a lot closer. There’s been a little word about for Sir John Lavery, but he really did run quite badly at Lingfield, so he’ll have to take a massive step forward from that.
I know the Commonwealth Cup is being billed as the race of the meeting, and I have huge respect for Blue Point and Harry Angel, but I think Caravaggio is something right out of the top drawer. Given it was only a prep run, I was really quite impressed by how he ran at Naas and from a commercial point of view, I think this race means more to Coolmore than just about any this week.
All things being equal, the Coolmore team should be winning the Coronation Stakes with Winter. She’s been spectacularly impressive in her two Guineas victories and I don’t see any obvious reason to go against her.
She surprised me a little bit in the 1000 at Newmarket. Watching it back since, it’s taking just how impressive she was and she probably didn’t need to better that too much in Ireland to complete the double.
The way she has gone about it so far just suggests she can keep on improving.
If you’re looking for something at a price that could cause her some trouble, then I think the American filly, La Coronel, could run a nice race and I’d say she’s probably a better filly than Tepin was at that stage of her career. Florent Geroux rides La Coronel who is an outstanding turf jockey, so this could be a nice each way bet.
John Gosden’s Stradivarius looks like he might be the one to beat in the Queens Vase. A horse that’s been brought along steadily, has a stout pedigree and should be suited by the test in front of him. Looks likely to go off a decent price and Andrea Atzeni will get the leg up on the three year old for the first time.
Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes
Whilst the world and his wife are all over Mainstream in the Duke of Edinburgh, and I can see why, I think there might be a little more value in having a go at Top Tug who comes out of the same Newmarket race, and is probably a more straight forward horse nowadays.
He used to be one that would have you tearing your hair out – he’s grown up a bit and although he’s joint top weight, this is essentially like a listed contest, a very compressed handicap and he doesn’t really have to give much weight to anything.
He’s in fantastic handicap form this season and if you think Mainstream has a chance, then you must think that Top Tug has a chance as well, even on slightly worse terms. He’s not drawn brilliantly but I don’t mind a higher draw in races of this trip.
He looks very solid e/w to wrap up the card on Friday.
3 For Friday:
King Edward VII Stakes 3.05 Crystal Ocean
Queen’s Vase 5.00 Stradivarius
Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes 5.35 Top Tug E/W
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.