Ascot – King George Day 2022!

Princess Margaret Keeneland Stakes

Can anything beat Lezoo?

Kinta, Glenlaurel, Palm Lily and Royal Charter are all unbeaten and you could argue they have the potential to be very classy but how good were their maiden/novice wins? Let’s break them down

Kinta is 2 from 2 having won at Lingfield and Kempton on the AW. You could argue that is plenty of reason to take her on as how well is she going to cope on the turf? Sioux Nation progeny have definitely started better on the AW than they have the turf. Kinta followed up her debut effort by winning at Kempton but that was a poor race. Those in behind Kinta are 1/10 with the only win coming in a Nursery off a mark of 74. Tomorrow’s rivals for Kinta are MUCH better and you couldn’t be confident she will be good enough to beat Lezoo

Glenlaurel was a comfortable winner at Thirsk (who goes to Thirsk with a smart horse?). Those behind are 2/10 since but these wins were Nurseries off 55 and 65. Anything average would have won the maiden Glenlaurel did and in the style she did so again you can’t be confident she will be up to this level.

Palm Lily won at Kempton but again the form looks very moderate and all of these in this race would have won it comfortably. Previous form wasn’t good 576 and subsequent form doesn’t look any better 02455 with the horse who finished 2nd being beaten by a horse who went off 28/1 (clearly not showing much at home)

Royal Charter probably the best of those who are unbeaten although we might be basing this on Pureness who we think is better than her mark (although she’s only got 77). Pureness finished 5th behind Royal Charter and has been beaten twice since whilst 3 others have been beaten since. In fact of those who ran in the race against Royal Charter, they are 0/11. Not really suggesting the race was up to much

Interestingly in the last 10 years, only 2 Fillies to have won this race were unbeaten (Fair Eva & Under The Stars). Fair Eva went off 4/6 whilst Under The Stars went off 25/1.

So what about Lezoo, how good is her form?

Lezoo beat Cuban Mistress on debut, who although she’s only finished 2nd twice they were behind Miami Girl and last time out behind Rocket Rodney in a Listed race at Sandown (3rd was Eddie’s Boy). Cuban Mistress had won on 2nd start. This straight away looks stronger form than those above. Lezoo then went to Newmarket for a Listed race and was very impressive. Malrescia has since finished 3rd in a Listed race, whilst Miss Jungle Cat who was back in 7th has since won a Nursery off 78.  Lezoo was beaten last time out in a Group 2. Sent off 15/8 favourite she was beaten ½ length by Mawj (had smart form including at Ascot) and this came after she was very keen in a messy race. She over-raced and if Kinta goes forward here again and makes it a better run race then I would be surprised if Lezoo didn’t win here

Longines Valiant Stakes

Stepping up or stepping down?

I narrowed this down to Jumbly and Zanbaq (not very original). I felt Novemba wanted softer conditions whilst I’m not sure the others are up to this just yet.

Jumbly (not to be confused with Jumby who runs in the next race – check your spelling!) won 3 of her first 4 races including a Listed race at Newbury (on soft/heavy going) as a 2 year old. She returned this season finishing 2nd in a Group 3 at Newbury behind Wild Beauty (9th and 5th in Group 1 races since). Jumbly herself has finished 8th and 6th in Group 1 and Group 2 races respectively. This arguably suggests she’s not up to Group 1 standard and Group 3 is her level. That’s fine but could Zanbaq be better than that?

Zanbaq has only had 4 runs in her career. After winning on debut, she finished 3rd in a Listed race before returning as a 3 year old at Haydock and winning comfortably as you would expect. She then ran in the Sandringham and finished a close 2nd to Heredia who was very well supported suggesting Heredia was ahead of her mark. The Sandringham has worked out quite well with Cigamia, Fresh Hope and Morgan Fairy all winning on their next start. Heredia has been beaten in a Listed race at Sandown but was beaten by the way the race panned out (you didn’t want to be held up). I think Zanbaq is a pattern horse and is improving still and can improve past Jumbly

Moet & Chandon International Stakes

A clear run and he goes close, but who’s that at a big price?

Jumby (yes not to be confused with Jumbly!) is a horse that I am confident will win a handicap like this before going on to Group races IF he gets a clear run. At Ascot 2 runs ago, he didn’t get a clear run and had to keep checking his momentum and still finished 3rd. Last time out he went to Newmarket and again finished 3rd, this time after not getting a clear run under Christophe Soumillon and then drifting right across the track. As soon as he gets a clean run at things, he will win off his current 105 mark. Drawn in 6 you would Hollie won’t meet too much trouble in running, it’s whether he’s on the right side but I think he’s that good and ahead of his mark that he can overcome this.

If Jumby does run into trouble or the draw does beat him then who could be interesting at bigger prices. Rhoscolyn if he bounces back after a poor run at Newmarket, Chiefofchiefs after a good 4th at Royal Ascot but I actually wonder whether he prefers 6f and one at an even bigger price…..Accidental Agent, again for Eve Johnson Houghton. Accidental Agent wants this very fast going and he could be nicely drawn in 19. Generally those down the nearside on fast ground fare best especially if they get right across to the rail and that’s similar to how Accidental Agent ran 3 runs ago in the Victoria Cup when a close 2nd to Vafortino. He was then stepped back up to Group 1 company at Royal Ascot and finished last of 7 before coming back to handicap company at Newmarket when finishing 7th in the Bunbury Cup. 7th wasn’t a bad effort but I think it can be marked up as when Charles went to make an effort he drifted over to the far side which was not the place to be that day. Finishing 7th wasn’t a bad effort and if he had come near side I feel he would have finished a lot close. Off 112 again, I think he can certainly improve his 7th position from last time out and if he gets the breaks down the nearside and get a ride similar to Rohaan received in the Wokingham then I think he’s overpriced at 25/1

The King George – Clash of the generations

What’s the record for 3 year olds?

Let’s have a look at some of the trends and records for this race to narrow down our shortlist. If you are not a fan of analysis and just want a name (please don’t do that, any ‘tipster’ who is just giving a name shouldn’t be followed!) then skip to the final line of this analysis for this race.

Aidan O’Briens record is very poor in this race. Love and Broome were beaten last year. Sovereign, Japan, Idaho, Highland Reel (in 2017), Magician, St Nicholas Abbey were all beaten in this race. Highland Reel did also win this race in 2016 when sent off the 13/8 favourite. Generally thought Aidan doesn’t have a good record in this race. I also thought Broome got a soft lead in the Hardwicke Stakes and wasn’t beating fit Group 1 horses like he will have to here.

3 Year Olds that have genuine chances

(let’s look at less than 10/1) in the last 10 years reads 1231421716

So it’s a pretty good record with 4 winners from 9 and 4 from 7 races. Can we excuse some of the beaten horses, I think we can Lone Eagle wants softer going, Anthony Van Dyck (trained by Aidan), Wings of Desire had only actually won a Dante. I know some of this is now looking back at it, but the form was not strong enough. When you get the very good 3 year olds, they can win this like Enable, Nathaniel, Taghrooda and I think Adayar will also put himself in this category when he comes back and encounters the fast ground again.

Any we don’t like in this?

Pyledriver, I just don’t think he’s good enough. Has he beaten genuine Group 1 horses? Al Aasy, Harrovian, Highland Chief, Arthur’s Kingdom, Sound of Cannon’s & Great Ambassador, they are the horses that have finished 2nd when Pyledriver has won his races. These would all be massive prices for this race and Pyledriver is the rightful outsider of the field.

Torquator Tasso, has won on very soft/heavy & good to soft. He’s finished 2nd and 6th on good ground. When 2nd he was narrowly in front of Walton Street who would be 33/1+ for this. On this ground, he’s going to be outpaced.

What are we left with at the moment?

Mishriff, Emily Upjohn and Westover.

Mishriff is 0/3 from Ascot on ground he has won on and was arguably outstayed in this race last year when giving away the weight like he will have to again this year. He’s quality but if we have any question marks over the Adayar form from last year, I can’t believe that Mishriff will be able to beat both of the 3 year olds this year. If we do like the Adayar form (I do) we can still look at Mishriff and suggest he got outstayed which is more than possible again this year.

So we are left with the 2 3 year olds which is good as we have highlighted above how good their record is in this race when they actually have a chance.

Emily Upjohn finished an unlucky 2nd in the Oaks behind Tuesday having won the Musidora but that Musidora was terrible. Form since for her rivals that day is 5607693. These have ranged from Group 1 to Listed company but they were not even winning the Listed events. Let’s look at the Oaks itself, Nashwa has won since but she did beat a horse who had previously been beaten in a Listed race. Tuesday who beat Emily Upjohn has finished 4th beaten 10 lengths by Westover.

Westover as mentioned has beaten (comfortably) the horse who beat Emily Upjohn. He gave Tuesday 3lb and will give Emily Upjohn 3lb so there’s no difference there. Westover finished 3rd in the Derby at Epsom (when potentially unlucky as well. Changingtheguard (Group 2) and West Wind Blows (Novice Stakes)  have won since. Westover then went to the Curragh and won the Irish Derby by 7 lengths. 6th placed Boundless Ocean has come out and at least won a race (albeit only a Group 3).

I know there’s a lot of analysis there to end up with the favourite but I think he’s the right favourite and the definite one to beat.

Flexjet Pat Eddery Stakes

Future smart horse

Let’s start off talking about the race history and looking at some of those to run here. You don’t always have to win this race to end up being the best!

Angel Bleu – 2nd on the day, went on to win a Group 2 and 2 x Group 1 races

Cachet – 3rd on the day went on to win the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket and finished 2nd at Longchamp in the French 1000 Guineas.

Chindit – won this race went on to win 2 x Group 2’s, a Group 3, a Listed race and finished 3rd in a Group 1

Naval Crown – 3rd in this race, went on to win  a Listed, Group 2 and Group 1 race and finished 2nd in a Group 1.

Subjectivist – 6th in this race, went on to win a Listed, Group 3, Group 2 and 2 x Group 1’s

Frankuus – 3rd in this race, went on to win a Group 3

Kodi Bear – won this race, went on to win a Listed, Group 3 and Group 2.

Muhaarar – 3rd in this race, went on to win a Group 3, Group 2 and 4 x Group 1’s

Safety Check – 5th in this race, went on to win 4 x Group 2

Toronado – won this race, went on to win a Group 3, Group 2 and 2 x Group 1’s

Trumpet Major – 2nd in this race, went on to win a 2 x Group 3’s & 2 x Group 2’s

So 3 winners have progressed well whilst 7 of those beaten went on to be the best horse from the race. There were a couple of years that none of them were that good but I hope and think this year could be a good year.

An interesting observation from the above is Richard Hannon trained 3 of these in Chindit, Toronado and Trumpet Major. Both Chindit and Toronado came into the race off the back of just 1 run which was a win.

In fact Richard Hannon has sent the following here off the back of 1 run and 1 win:

Chindit , Tigre Du Terre , Manaafidh , Peacock , Toronado , Pearl Charm

3 of these ended up being very good whilst 2 were average. Tigre Du Terre was last seen winning a handicap off 98 and would be unfair to out into either ‘very good’ or ‘average’ groups.

That doesn’t really help but it’s worth keeping an eye on the Hannon runner Bajan Bandit. It’s only really Naval Power that I’m interested in and unsurprisingly he’s favourite here. (due to form and potential, not because I always pick favourites, I don’t…honestly) .

Naval Power has followed a route that Charlie knows well, his debut win at Yarmouth was in the same race as won by New Science (won this race last year) and then won a Novice event at Leicester won by Private Signal last year (he was subsequently tried in a Group 2!). I think this year instead of rushing like they may have done with Private Signal last year, they are taking in this Listed event in the hope of winning it and gaining more experience before stepping up in class again.

Porsche Handicap

The ride that saw Frankie ‘replaced’?

When Frankie was temporarily replaced /dropped by John Gosden (the media made a bigger deal out of this than was necessary) , all talk was about his ride on Stradivarius however his ride on Saga was arguably just as bad as he appeared to stop riding mid-race on Saga potentially looking for a gap before finishing best of all for 2nd (would have won with a clear run and going for It a bit earlier). The winner has subsequently been sold to Hong Kong whilst the race has worked out well with Koy Koy, Claim The Crown and Jimi Hendrix all winning since whilst others have also run well.

In this race however Saga and Thesis were arguably a cut above the rest and the fact those in behind are still good enough to win since bodes well for the chances of Saga.

Saga did go up 8lb for that 2nd place finish but Benoit takes off a useful 5lb and with this smaller field than at Royal Ascot you would hope he doesn’t run into trouble here. With a clear run I would be disappointed if Saga didn’t win this in good style.

John Gosden has won this race for the last 2 years with Guru and Tsar who had very similar profiles whilst Pealer finished a neck 2nd back in 2017. Von Blucher was the only recent disappointment in this race for John Gosden but he wasn’t as unexposed as Saga/Guru/Tsar.

Garrard Handicap

The Smart play

I think this race revolves around the re-match between Mountain Peak and Bond Chairman and I think Bond Chairman reverses the form this time. Bond Chairman had to run mainly solo last time out at Ascot whilst Mountain Peak was able to get across to the nearside Golden highway. Bond Chairman eventually drifted across towards the nearside but I would be confident that if they were drawn next to each and ran together Bond Chairman would have won.

This is the case tomorrow, Bond Chairman is drawn in 7 and Mountain Peak in 8 whilst Bond Chairman is also 1lb better off. I imagine the pair will go forward again with the others waiting in behind but I think both will hold off the challengers and the still improving and unexposed Bond Chairman can finally get a win after 2 very good runs recently over CD.

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