WITH the first two days having flown by we’re quickly into third day of the royal meeting where the big race is the Gold Cup.
Ballydoyle had a successful day yesterday landing two of the group contests and they will be hopeful of landing the big one on day three also as last years winner Fame And Glory lines up for the second year running in a bid to go after stable legend Yeats’ record. Elsewhere we have some speedy two year olds, majestic fillies and some ultra competitive handicaps which all in all makes a great days racing. Bring it on!
It goes without saying the Qatar Racing operation have an outstanding chance of taking this contest and for me the pair Cay Verde and Ahern were very difficult to split. However, Ahern made a massive impression on his debut in demolishing a tough field to be taking on at the first time of asking. He was a little slow from the gates but recovered well and showed plenty of speed to race up with the pace in what looked a strongly run contest and he came right away from his pursuers in the final ½ a furlong and looked reasonably comfortable in the end. I think he’ll improve a lot for the experience and he looks the speedy type for this race and must have a massive chance.
Kailani shouldn’t be over looked in the Ribblesdale. She didn’t appear to enjoy herself around Epsom last time out and it’s a track you have to be prepared to forgive horses a run and given the promise of her previous win at Newmarket when romping home by 7 lengths I think that theory applies to her here. There is the likelihood also conditions will come for her by post time and back on this more conventional track she will have a good chance to get back on track and confirm the early promise she has shown on her first two appearances.
I would also advise in the same race giving Shirroco Star a chance. I don’t think it was any fluke she finished in front of The Fugue at Epsom, she cruised down to 2 out better than anything else in the race and I don’t think The Fugue was good enough to go past her and see no reason to suggest the form will be turned around. She may just be a bit of sexy mover as she similarly cruised through the contest when just beaten narrowly by Momentary but given the steady run nature of the race I think Darryl Holland misjudged things somewhat and let the winner get away from him. She improved for the step up in trip last time out which was no surprise and I think she still has more to come and has been under estimated at 6/1.
The Ascot Gold Cup has been at the mercy of the Irish, or to be more accurate, Aidan O`Brien for a considerable amount of time now and they will have a strong chance of winning the race again in Fame And Glory. There isn’t though many better stayers behind him than Opinion Poll and having come back from a break after Meydan and winning very easily he looks as good as ever. I can’t have that he ran right up to his best when beating by Saddlers Rock in the Doncaster Cup and whilst Colour Vision has more to come yet I would still give Opinion Poll the nod ahead of him despite them not being separated by much on champions day. The ground has been drying out over the last two days but importantly with a lot of rain to fall before racing starts on the third day it won’t take a lot for conditions to change and any easing of the ground will suit him and could even hinder those around him so I’d be mighty surprised if he isn’t amongst the shake up.
Having hit the board yesterday in the Hunt Cup hopefully Chapter Seven can land us another big handicap race success. I thought he won with a little bit more to spare than what it might initially look last time out. Held up off the pace he was looking for a run from 2 out and had to wait for it to open up and didn’t get a run until the final furlong where he was hampered for a second time but once he was finally clear he took his chance and went on well. He should be the ideal type to come from off the pace in this big field and the rain around over night should only help his chances. His runs between wins are easily forgiven and I think he is still improving and should run well in a tough looking contest.
2.30 – Ahern
3.05 – Kailani/Shirroco Star
3.45 – Opinion Poll (ew)
4.25 – Chapter Seven