Here are my Royal Ascot Eyecatchers and where I think they should be targeted at!
Golden Horde – 5th in the Coventry Stakes over 6f
Golden Horde ran a great race for 5th despite looking very green. He tracked the early pace on the far side set by Monoski who faded back to 16th but drifted left and right and required some sharp straighteners from Adam Kirby. The front 3 are all likely to be smart with the hot favourite and TOP RATED Arizona winning suggesting the form should be strong. Golden Horde looks like he will be stepped up in distance sooner rather than later.
Potential Target: 7f Superlative Stakes at Newmarket (July Course) on Saturday 13th July
Time To Study – 3rd in the Ascot Stakes over 2m3f 210y
Time To Study has looked well handicapped for a few runs but ran over too short at Lingfield before finding the heavy ground at Chester not to his liking but ran a great race here for 3rd beaten only by stablemate The Grand Visir and the Willie Mullins trained Buildmeupbuttercup who had been aimed at this race. Having sat mid-division for most of the race he made a big move with 3 furlongs to go and hit the front going best of all but was eventually run down by the stronger stayers. If this was over 2m he would have arguably won in good style and a drop back to 2m looks on the cards.
Having finished 6th in this race last year off a mark of 108, his mark of 96 looks very workable! He needs 5 to drop out although 1 of these is another Ian Williams trained horse that he didn’t suggest runs. He’s currently available at 50/1 for this race!
Potential Target: Northumberland Plate at Newcastle on Saturday 29th June.
Symbolize – 4th in Windsor Castle over 5f
Symbolize was both well away and prominent and arguably drawn in the wrong place with the front 3 all coming down the near side. Symbolize who was very strongly supported also had to weave past a couple and potentially run onto the even slower ground but was still only beaten 3/4 length by the winner back in 4th place. I would argue that drawn near side he would have taken all the beating and as such is one to look out for next time he runs.
Summer Sands – 6th in the Windsor Castle over 5f
Summer Sands also caught my eye in the Windsor Castle Stakes when finishing well for a staying on 6th place. He took a very similar path to Symbolize having come out 2 to the horses right in stall 9 but was never travelling as well as Symbolize. He was nudged along for most of the way and didn’t look to run completely straight and yet wasn’t beaten far and there arguably isn’t much between him and Symbolize. It looked to me like a step up in distance will suit Summer Sands and I thought it was very interesting to see he holds an entry at this stage in the Redcar 2 Year Old Trophy. The Fahey/Cool Silk Partnership combined last year for 3rd with Kodyanna and I think we will end up seeing Summer Sands running bidding to go 2 places better. The just shy of £100,000 1st place prize money is surely going to be worth aiming at.
Target: 5f 217y 2 Year Old Trophy at Redcar on Saturday 5th October
Ventura Rebel – 2nd in over 5f in Norfolk Stakes
Ventura Rebel ran a great race for 2nd and was only narrowly denied by A’Ali. This would have seen Ventura Rebel make it 3 from 3 and he is clearly very talented. When he beat Lady Pauline there were some question marks about this but maybe he did this on merit. Travelling well alongside the eventual winner he wasn’t able to get going as early as A’Ali and was a couple of lengths down by the time his jockey was in full riding mode. Coming through strongly the horse hung into the favourite Sunday Sovereign which arguably cost him a bit of momentum. After being straightened out he fairly thundered home and was only beaten a neck. He looks a horse with huge potential and I think the more he races the better he will be. Richard Fahey could well aim this one at a lucrative pot as well and the Super Sprint at Wetherby over 5f could be a target. The winner of that race wins a huge £153,000 (nearly 3 times the amount for winning the Norfolk Stakes!)
Target: 5f 34y Super Sprint at Newbury on Saturday 20th July
Awe – 4th in the Britannia Stakes over 1m
Awe caught my eye for finishing best of those drawn low in the Britannia Stakes with the front 3 coming from 29, 22 & 18 with 31, 3, 24 being the next 3 places. If we took out the first 3 who were all high drawn then Awe would have won very nicely and this came off the back of winning at Newmarket when my NB. He beat RTR 2 Blown By Wind that day and the form looked strong. This effort at Ascot also looks very good form and with that run under the belt of Awe, I expect him to play a big part next time out. There’s a race back at Newmarket that looks the obvious target particularly as the owners had 2nd placed Curiosity last year!
Target: Bet365 Mile Handicap at Newmarket (July) on Saturday 13th July
Coral Beach – 4th in Sandringham over 1m
Coral Beach was well supported close to the off and has run a great race to finish 4th. After being drawn in 28 she was out on her for a bit before joining the group on the nearside wing. After 3f she was last and 1 length off the 2nd to last Hotsy Totsy. She was manoeuvred out wide to come around the pack rather than getting a run through the group which I don’t think helped but she picked up well and was arguably closing all the way to the line. The ground she gave away at the start and coming around the field arguably cost her from being even closer. I think she was ridden with restraint in order to help her get the 1m trip as her previous best form including winning a Group 3 had come over 7f or shorter. I think we may see her dropped back to 7f next time and if she can be found a lucrative handicap, I think she can win one even off her high handicap mark.
Fujaira Prince – 3rd in the Duke of Edinburgh over 1m4f
Fujaira Prince finished 3rd in the 1m4f Duke of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot but you would have been forgiven for thinking he was going to finish unplaced with about 5f to go as he was already been pushed and cajoled along. He’s still very lightly raced and having started off at 1m2f he was clearly thought of as a horse who needs much further in time to come into his own. I feel he may have been suprising and pleasing his connections with his efforts to date but having now been beaten the last twice he will step up in distance. His last 2 efforts he’s been beaten by smart horses in Baghdad and First Eleven (BOTH TOP RATED winners) and I feel Fujaira Prince is the perfect type for the Ebor back at York where he ran a great race for 2nd behind First Eleven. Last year a rating of 102 got you into the race and after his 3rd at Ascot this could be his new mark (would need a 3lb rise). It’s possible that he’s even better than this over this 1m6f trip and he could be seen next at Newmarket.
Target: Bet365 Trophy at Newmarket on Friday 12th July
Byron Flyer – 8th in the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes over 1m4f
Byron Flyer was drawn out widest of all which wasn’t ideal for a horse who likes to go forward and despite Barzalona trying he wasn’t able to get in until nearly 4f had surpassed. He gave away ground and was never able to slow it down from the front. Despite this, he turned into the straight still in the lead and actually looked like playing a big part in the finish at the 2 pole where he was about 1 length clear of the field. His earlier exertions however came to the fore late on and he faded back to 8th in a race that I think will work out really well with likely Group winners and hopefully the Ebor winner in front of him. There looks to be a perfect race for him back at Haydock (he finished 2nd here on his last run at the track behind The Grand Visir) and if he can get to the front easier then I think he will take all the beating.
Target: 1m3f 175y Old Newton Cup Handicap at Haydock on Saturday 6th July
Tiz Marvellous – 2nd in Wokingham over 6f
Tis Marvellous has to go into my NagMe as in my opinion he was beaten by a Group horse and a good one at that. TOP RATED Cape Byron won the race and looks to be still improving at this distance and Tis Marvellous has run a great race for 2nd behind him. Tis Marvellous appears to save all his best form for Ascot and it would be no surprise to see him come back a few times more this season. A winner over 5f at the Shergar Cup meeting last year he could try this distance again but in July as the £62,000 1st place prize money for my target looks worth winning.
Target: 5f Betfred Heritage Handicap Stakes on Saturday 13th July
Corelli – 7th in Queen Alexandra Stakes over 2m5f 143y
Corelli had previously only raced up 1m4f and had been running some very big races including finishing 2nd at Newmarket to subsequent DUAL Royal Ascot winner Baghdad. It was therefore somewhat a surprise to see him run over this extreme distance and even more so how he was ridden. Settled in mid-division, Frankie made a sweeping move 5f out and was just about leading still at the 2f pole. He faded back to 7th but this race was full of promise if he’s now dropped back down in distance. I am wondering if connections feel he is a Melbourne Cup horse and a drop back to 2m would suit. He would however need to go up in the handicap to get in and would be of serious interest in any handicap ranging from 1m5f to 2m2f next time out. The race that could be perfect however is at Newbury late next month
Target: 2m 110y Marsh Cup Handicap at Newbury on Saturday 20th July