Day 2 of the Royal Ascot meeting saw us finish with a bang; firstly Tactical (13/2) landed a gamble to give The Queen a win in the Windsor Castle Stakes, before Fujaira Prince (9/2) then bolted up in the Copper Horse Handicap. That left us +13.7pts on the day! Fingers crossed we can pick up on Day 3 where we left off, to continue the good run of form. Best of luck if you’re getting involved, and be sure to give me a follow on Twitter @JakePriceRacing for updates throughout the day, including a link to the Day 4 Preview once it goes live!
13:15 – Golden Gates Handicap (Class 2) 3yo 0-105 – 1m2f
A Godolphin Horse who I’ve had down to follow this season is Global Storm, who ran some really nice races as a Juvenile last season; 2nd to subsequent Group 3 winner Valdermoro (106) on debut at Doncaster over 7f, before then finishing second on the All-Weather at Chelmsford on his first start over a mile. Global Storm finished third to recent Listed winner Miss Yoda (102) at Sandown in September, but connections decided to give him a Gelding operation shortly after. This Gelding operation has seemingly done wonders for the Horse, as he made his Handicap debut at Newmarket over 1m1f in November and stayed on to win by a comfortable two-lengths under Cieren Fallon Jr. Although that rider took off 3lbs, Global Storm still managed to defy an opening mark of 82 nicely, with the second Horse It’s Good To Laugh rated 90.
Global Storm made his seasonal reappearance at Newmarket on the 7th June, stepped up in trip once more to 1m2f. This Night Of Thunder Gelding was raised 5lbs for his Handicap debut win, but he defied his new mark of 87 under Cieren Fallon once more. Global Storm looked as if he was going to absolutely romp home that day, but Authorian Fable made him really work for victory, just hanging on at the line to win by a short head. The form was actually boosted on Wednesday with Authorian Fable (86) finishing a really close-up 5th in the King George VI Handicap, and I think there’s further improvement to come from Global Storm – who wont mind any rain that falls (having won on Heavy in November). Raised 6lbs again to a mark of 93, this Godolphin Horse is actually 1lb well in as he runs under a 5lbs penalty (not that it means all too much) in the Golden Gates Handicap. William Buick jumps aboard for the first time.
13:50 – Wolferton Stakes (Listed) 4yo+ – 1m2f
He might be a bit of an obvious selection, but the unexposed Fox Tal looks the bet here on the basis of his Champions Day form. This Horse finished 3rd in the Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud on his final start as a Juvenile, just behind Sydney Opera House (109) and ahead of Norway (111). Despite showing considerable promise however, Fox Tal had an issue which meant he missed the first part of his three-year-old campaign, not returning to the track for 319 days until September 2019. Running in a 1m2f Class 2 Conditions Stakes at Doncaster, Fox Tal won extremely easily under a hands and heels ride from Oisin Murphy, to beat Elwazir (103) by two-lengths. That run set Fox Tal up nicely for a tilt at the Group 1 Champions Stakes at Ascot in October. Despite his inexperience, Fox Tal ran an absolute cracker, travelling nicely up the inside running rail and eventually being nabbed on the line for a not-too-distant fourth. The form of that race is fantastic however, with the winner being the brilliant Magical (122), the 2nd subsequent Prince Of Wales’s Stakes runner up Addeybb (122), and the 3rd Nassau Stakes winner Deidre (115). With such strong form to his name over course and distance, Fox Tal should relish the drop in class to Listed Level, and won’t have any penalties to carry. The Andrew Balding yard continued their fine run of form with Tactical yesterday, and I’m hoping for more of the same on Thursday.
14:25 – Jersey Stakes (Group 3) 3yo – 7f
Jim Crowley has been in Supreme form at Royal Ascot this week, and Molatham looks to have a great chance of giving him another winner in the Jersey Stakes. This Horse has brilliant Juvenile form to his name, starting off when a neck second to Mums Tipple (113), with another useful Horse in Man Of Promise (90) back in third. Molatham set the record straight stepped up to 7f on his next start, when beating Celtic Art (101) by a neck – staying on strongly in the closing stages. With two strong runs to his name, Molatham went to Doncaster in September to run in the 7f Listed Flying Scotsman Stakes. Once more keeping on strongly under a good Jim Crowley ride, Molatham ran a stormer down the center of the track to beat Wichita (118) by half-a-length; that rival going on to win the Group 3 Tattersalls Stakes before finishing 2nd in the 2000 Guineas. The 3rd placed Berlin Tango (106) has also boosted the form; winning the Group 3 Classic Trial at Kempton before finishing a good 3rd in the Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes at Ascot on Tuesday. Molatham signed off his Juvenile campaign by running in the Group 3 Autumn Stakes at Newmarket, stepped up to a mile for the first time. Travelling down the center of the course wasn’t the place to be that day, as the two Horses who came down the stands-side rail pulled well clear of the remainder – but it didn’t seem like Molatham stayed the mile trip, especially on soft ground. Despite finishing fourth, the form of the race is another to look quite strong, with the winner Military March (113) a good 4th in the 2000 Guineas. Dropping back to 7f at Ascot for the Jersey Stakes, the classy Molatham should go extremely close – especially as he is a half-brother to Perfection, a Listed winner over 6f and Group 3 placed over 7f.
15:00 – Chesham Stakes (Listed) 2yo – 7f
I have absolutely no opinion on the Chesham Stakes, and will be leaving the race well alone.
15:35 – Ascot Gold Cup (Group 1) 4yo+ – 2m4f
Unless there is a huge downpour (Which could bring Technician into this), then Stradivarius will take some beating in this below-par renewal of the Ascot Gold Cup. This John Gosden charge had the perfect prep for the race when finishing third to Ghaiyyath in the Coronation Cup at Newmarket, and he should make it a hat-trick of Ascot Gold Cup victories. Clearly at the prices, I won’t be getting involved.
16:10 – Britannia Stakes (Class 2) 3yo 0-105 – 1m
He’s much shorter in the betting than I would’ve liked, but Finest Sound is going to take some beating in the Britannia Stakes. This Simon & Ed Crisford charge ran three very promising races as a two-year-old, starting off by finishing third to Palace Pier (109) on debut at Sandown in August. He followed that effort up with another third placed finish at the same track, before then running in a hot Novice Stakes at Newmarket. The impressive winner that day was Ralph Beckett’s Kinross (105), who’s since finished 5th in the Vertem Futurity Stakes and 6th in the 2000 Guineas. The second that day Raaeb (97) has placed in Listed company since, with Finest Sound in third. The Horse making his debut back in fifth that day was Aidan O’Brien’s Vatican City, who’s since won a Maiden before finishing 2nd to Siskin in the Irish 2000 Guineas last weekend.
Finest Sound has the kitchen sink thrown at him over the Winter, first being Gelded in January before then undergoing a wind operation in March. With a first time tongue-tie applied, Finest Sound went to Haydock on the 8th June, making his Handicap debut from a mark of 82. Travelling well into the race, Finest Sound absolutely bolted up by five-and-a-half lengths – making a complete mockery of his opening Handicap mark. The Handicapper has since raised this Gelding by 12lbs to an official rating of 94, but Finest Sound gets to run in the Britannia Stakes under a 5lbs penalty, meaning he is 7lbs ‘well in’. This Handicap obviously contains much better Horses than he faced at Haydock, but he clearly has a lot left in hand.
16:40 – Sandringham Stakes (Class 2) 3yo 0-105 – 1m
Speaking of Horses being ‘well in’, John Gosden has played an absolute blinder to get African Dream into the Sandringham off a mark of 80, despite now being rated a massive 16lbs higher thanks to finishing 2nd to Stylistique at Newbury on Thursday last week. She’s no price in this race however at 7/4, so considering there are 5 Places on offer, I’ll take her on with another Filly who caught my eye last week. Ralph Beckett’s Declared Interest only ran twice as a Juvenile, with her debut effort coming at Newbury in September when a good third to Raaeq (87) and Establish (87). Stepped up to 1m for her next start at Kempton, Declared Interest once again ran with significant promise, this time finishing second to Oriental Mystique (88), a Filly who was deemed good enough to run in the Listed Abingdon Fillies’ Stakes at Newbury last weekend. The Horse who finished behind our Filly in third that day was Saeed bin Suroor’s Dubai Love (101), a Listed winner in Meydan since that Kempton run. Declared Interest was getting 7lbs from Dubai Love that day at Kempton, but due to this Godolphin Filly’s new rating, our selection will now be receiving 19lbs!
Declared Interest stamped her claims for he Sandringham at Chelmsford last week, making her Handicap debut from a mark of 77. Setting off from the front under Harry Bentley, Declared Interest put in a really impressive performance to go on and win by two-lengths, beating Rideson (81). This Filly showed a really nice attitude that day to keep on under pressure, and has since been raised 9lbs to a mark of 86 for that victory. Although clearly not as ahead of her Sandringham mark as the favourite African Dream, Declared Interest does get to run here under a 5lbs penalty, meaning she is 4lbs ‘well in’. Whilst she might not quite be good enough to beat the favourite here, with 5 places on offer, she’s well worth chancing at a nice price.