This blog always tells it as it is, and we started Royal Ascot well and then banged the door down so many times new hinges are needed! Paddy has survived so far, but let’s try and destroy him on the final day. You hear me Paddy?
So let war begin.
It’s hard to believe BALLYDOYLE isn’t miles better than I saw on his debut at the Curragh, and surely he’ll take all the beating here for the top team of Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore. O’Brien was sure Ballydoyle would improve dramatically for that effort, and I’ll take his words on trust.
What a nightmare. Mahsoob is a serious improver and is sure to be popular, while Collaboration has gone from strength to strength. The one I like is FIRST FLIGHT, who has the perfect draw to race from in stall 1 and can get a good position for Saeed bin Suroor and James Doyle. The selection was not far behind Mahsoob at York last time, and is better off at the weights. Hard to keep out the frame.
TELESCOPE is top rated here on a mark of 120, and while he’s not always the most consistent he has a great chance of scoring for Sir Michael Stoute and Ryan More. Telescope was hugely impressive last time at Newbury, and has fine Ascot form from the past, including a second in the King George.
Massively hard to sort this out with the foreign raiders not helping! The one I like is Irish raider MUSTAJEEB, who brings in Classic form from his three-year-old days. He wasn’t far off the best at a mile, and Pat Smullen is certain this horse has always been a sprinter. He was hugely impressive at the Curragh last time, and while there are strong foreign raiders, he could just be really good for the legend DK Weld.
Well it gets easier here doesn’t it? Not! I will have two against the field in INTERCEPTION, who I tipped on the blog last time, and GAMESOME. The former was given too much to do first time this season but still ran well, and should be finishing off strongly. Gamesome is very lightly raced, but his form suggests a strongly run sprint will suit him. Whether he has the experience for an event like this only time will tell.
We finish off with the marathon! The old boy Times Up would have a great chance on past glories, but he looks a shadow of his former self. Surely the one to be with is WICKLOW BRAVE, who has sauntered home in a couple of races on the level in Ireland. He’s a decent jumps horse, landing the County Hurdle at Cheltenham, and with Ryan Moore booked should run huge. Yeeehaaa!