I’m all set for day two of Royal Ascot 2014 and another battle against Paddy. Although the firm took a pounding with four favourites winning – he was a happy man with his family’s Sole Power winning the King’s Stand Stakes in style on Tuesday.
But I’ll try to wipe the smile off his face on day two. You hear me Paddy?
Jersey Stakes (2.30pm)
Dermot Weld won’t have many runners at Ascot this week, but I am hoping he wins the Jersey with MUSTAJEEB (below). He’s got top juvenile form with War Command, and ran a cracker when third behind Kingman in the Irish 2,000 Guineas. It appeared he didn’t quite get home there in testing ground, and 7f on a good surface will be perfect. Big run expected.
Queen Mary (3.05pm)
We have learnt in the past that Wesley Ward’s runners from the US are well worth a second look here at Ascot. Although there’s a bit of guess work involved I am going with SPANISH PIPEDREAM here. The daughter of Scat Daddy showed tremendous pace in her one run at Keeneland and this looks an open race.
Prince of Wales Stakes (3.45pm)
TREVE is one of the world’s top horses and she lost little in defeat (other than the race!) when second to Cirrus des Aigles on her seasonal debut in France. She’s not going to be a great price, so maybe look at a TREVE/MUKHADRAM forecast. The latter is a solid front-runner, and might just lead a long way here before Treve picks him up.
Duke of Cambridge Stakes (4.25pm)
INTEGRAL was beaten 1l by Sky Lantern in the Sun Charriot off level weights back in September – and now meets that rival on 5lb better terms. With the benefit of a recent run that may well make the difference here and she is worth a wager.
Royal Hunt Cup (5pm)
The big 1m handicap of the day and a typically wide-open affair. The draw always plays some part, so I will have one lowish and high and if the winner comes up the middle we are stuffed!
Actually, my low horse is not too far off the middle as I think TRUMPET MAJOR is down to a mark he can run well off in a race like this after a fine effort last time. And of the high numbers have a go with BELGIAN BILL. He is only 5lb higher than 12 months ago and could easily go in again.
The lightly-raced improver ABSEIL has been punted all week into favourite and could land a right gamble in a race where Paddy is paying the first 6 home!
Sandringham H’cap (5.25pm)
Finally, DUTCH COURAGE was stepped up to a mile last time at York and ran pretty well in a tough heat. She has to improve again but could go well at decent odds in a wide open finale.
So good luck and let’s hope to bang in some Royal Ascot Yeeehaaas!