OPENING day at Royal Ascot and it will all be about one horse with Frankel kicking things of in the Queen Anne and there couldn’t be a better way to start the card than watching the best race horse in the world.
I will be watching the race with pleasure rather than with any financial involvement and the rest of the card could provide some better opportunities to get stuck into.
3.05 The Kings Stand
A big field and a tough contest, I originally nailed my colours to the mast with Sole Power envisaging a lot quicker ground by now but I will stick with him. I will put my neck out and say I think it will pay to race stands side and with double figure drawn speedsters like Masamah, Hamish McGonagall and Amour Propre he will certainly have things run to suit and so long as the gaps come he will be involved in the finish. I thought Sole Power didn’t quite get the best of trips in the Temple Stakes and on a day where it seemed to pay to be close to the pace he just had a bit too much on to get to Bated Breath but the pair pulled right away and the form looks strong. Wizz Kid could be a big danger, she looks to have improved significantly on her latest outing in the Gros-Chene and Ortensia obviously had the beating of Sole Power in Meydan in the Al Quoz sprint but a long time has passed since then and off the back of a strong run in the Temple Stakes he looks a little over priced at 10/1.
3.45 St James Palace Stakes
Power was a comfortable winner last time out when winning the Irish 2000 and won with plenty in hand against an ordinary looking field but he should still be the one to beat, had he been pushed harder that day you get the impression he would have been able to pull out more. Down the field that same day Hermival didn’t bring the form to the race he did when 3rd in the English 2000. That was a cracking performance when first home in a group of 4 on the far side and I think he’s worth another chance here to show his best, of the English, Irish and French 2000’s the English looks the strongest on paper and Hermival is worth another chance.
It’s hard not to look towards Richard Hannon in these 2yo contests and Sir Prancealot was a very impressive winner of a listed event last time out at Sandown racing back at the minimum trip running out a wide margin winner. He also has two more unbeaten colts in the line up in Olympic Glory and The Taj and it’s the former that looks worth giving a chance to. He couldn’t have been any more impressive on his maiden debut at Goodwood stalking the field with ease and when being asked to quicken he did so instantly and was eventually eased down winning by 3 1/2 lengths. He has to come forward a lot more on that run here but he gave the impression he is very smart and though he has been abandoned by Richard Hughes he comes with conditions in his favour and looks to have been a little under estimated.
5.00 Ascot Stakes
This is often a race that suits the in-between jumpers but in Al Khawaneej there is an improving and potentially very classy flat type that could take some stopping. Last time out at Goodwood though the race turned into a bit of a dash from 2 out he was well on top at the end of the race and looked fairly cosy winner come the line. He is a brute of a horse and was competing the hat trick last time around after making a mockery of his previous OR and with just a 4lb rise after his latest victory he could yet prove well ahead of his handicap mark and has a massive chance here.