And so to the second juicy segment of the Royal Ascot tangerine: all fruit, no pith or peel. This week, geegeez.co.uk is featuring guest previews from some trusted friends - and fine judges - starting with the Wednesday curtain-raiser, the...
2.30 Queen Mary Stakes (5f, Group 2, 2yo fillies)
Presented by the "Cleeve Racing" service
The Queen Mary Stakes is a frantic five furlongs for the best two year old fillies in the game.
Got To Love A Grey was very impressive when successful at York, a Karl Burke front-runner is never to be ignored with the yard around 20% strike rate over the last 28 days. She would want to get out again, as being drawn in 15 it normally requires a prominent type to be successful. Got To Love A Grey also won well at Nottingham on soft, hence any juice in the surface should not be a hindrance.
The eye is further drawn to Born To Rock, for Jane Chapple-Hyam; she ran an above par time when winning at Yarmouth, do not be surprised if the two fillies mentioned thus far get out and set the others plenty to think about.
As to stats/trends, the top three in the betting has found eight of the last 12 winners. 10/12 winners won last time out, and that run was within 40 days of their run at Royal Ascot.
Beautiful Diamond, again for Karl Burke, sits atop the market and is shortening in places, she is likely to be held up as opposed to Got To Love A Grey, although the stats and trends would point to the favourite, money in the morning for the latter would be significant.
Relief Rally steps up in trip for the Haggas yard, and is in the mix for 3rd favourite, the yard however is not performing as expected and whilst that can all change in one day, she would not be a horse I would be interested in. That being said, as I type the odds are shortening and the yard have indicated there is nothing wrong with their horses, with rumours about feed swirling about amongst others.
In order as to how I will play the race, I will keep an eye on any significant market movements in the morning to see if any of the Burke runners separate themselves? Will the George Boughey filly, Graceful Thunder, receive support, having won well at Sandown, and being thought good enough to leap from Class 4 straight into Group 2 company? She's another likely prominent type, and the 33/1 available at present looks quite tempting. The same can be said for Princess Chizara, who is as front-running a type as they come, and her win at Brighton was impressive on the eye albeit in Class 5 company.
I will look to back both Burke horses, although will leave Beautiful Diamond if it hardens at the top of the market and goes below 4/1, preferring Got To Love A Grey who at present is around 10's.
It has been a good race for market movers, hence keep an eye on Balsam, ridden by Ryan Moore, who makes her debut in this class. It would be a stat-buster if she won but the booking is significant, and any money that comes late may just highlight her chances.
The pin will further likely land on Graceful Thunder and Princess Chizara at bigger prices and they are certainly both worth further consideration.
Got to Love a Grey 10/1 each-way
Graceful Thunder 33/1 each-way
Princess Chizara 33/1 each-way
3.05 Kensington Palace Stakes (1m, Class 2 Handicap, 4yo+)
Presented by Josh Wright from "Racing To Profit"
This is the third renewal of the Kensington Palace Stakes and, as such, there are no trends to help me along, and no 'trainer race records' to help either. Darn!
It may be worth noting that the first two winners carried 8-2 and 9-1, so it will be interesting to see whether any of the classier types can take this, those near the top end of the handicap, many of whom have some form in Class 1 contests. The first two renewals may suggest that a bigger weight is a hindrance, but it's early days in which to be making such assertions. As with many 'Festival Handicaps' you often need a bit up your sleeve and a progressive profile can help, those making their way up the handicap and yet to have reached their ceiling in conditions. Will class prevail this year or is there a lurker further down the handicap?
As I don't have any trends to help, I've had a look at a few more general trainer pointers, which for those of you who enjoy 'trainer angles' may wish to note down for the future. If trainer stats are not your thing, feel free to jump to the bottom with my race summary!
To start with I've had a look at all those trainers represented and how they perform with 'fillies' (female horses under the age of five). The top two trainers by win strike rate, with all such runners in recent years, are John/Thady Gosden and Simon/Ed Crisford.
The Gosdens operate at a 21.46% SR with all fillies, losing 203 points to starting price, but +243 to Betfair Starting Price.
Team Crisford operate at a 20.42% SR with all fillies, +71 starting price, +418 Betfair Starting Price. There may well be a micro angle hiding within these stats, if you enjoy playing around in the Query Tool.
Sir Michael Stoute, Roger Varian, Ralph Beckett and Roger/Harry Charlton are the other trainers represented who operate at greater than 15% win strike rate with their fillies.
Back to John/Thady Gosden for a moment... if you focused on 'fillies' / Ascot (all meetings) / horse sent off 12/1 or shorter starting price...
127 bets / 32 wins / 61 places (including wins)/ 25% sr / +57 SP / +83 Betfair SP / AE 1.42. (they do best with 3 and 4yo fillies)
There are two potential 'qualifiers' for that angle on Wednesday: Lady Eros (10/1) in this race, of particular interest under Oisin Murphy. And Grande Dame in the following race, under Jamie Spencer, who rides the 'Ascot Straight 8f' better than most.
Before I move on to touching on the horses and where my pins have landed, just a couple more micros to absorb and take away...
Roger/Harry Charlton...with their fillies at Ascot (all meetings) they are: 35 bets / 10 wins / 16 places (including wins) / +29% sr / +17 SP / +23 Betfair SP / AE 2.23
They are 0/5, 1p at the Royal Meeting with their fillies but of course the racing this week is rather competitive! But an angle to note for sure moving forwards. They run Discretion in this race.
Finally on the trainers front, I'll mention Jessica Harrington, who with her Royal Ascot fillies is 13 bets / 3 wins / 5 places (including wins) / +3 Betfair SP. All wins so far have been in non-handicaps but Jessie's fillies are worth noting here this week. She runs Villanova Queen in this.
To the horses...
For those of you who like to focus on horses with course form, those to have won or placed at Ascot include... Crystal Caprice, Mukaddamah, Tarrabb, Belhaven, Don't Tell Claire, Farhh To Shy. Maybe the winner is there, staring me in the face, but I've landed on three others for small stakes interest...
Lady Eros (9/1 - 10/1) - Given the Gosden stats above and her profile, I want her onside at 9-10/1. She arrives on the back of a comfortable success at Yarmouth, making all from a subsequent winner. She's a strong traveller and may well enjoy settling off a fast pace here. She's drawn in stall 1, this race on the round course, and that's a positive if Oisin can get her handy, without too many horses in front. He may need a gap up that rail as they swing into the straight. The ground should be fine and there has to be more to come at some point, especially given connections. She needs to step up, moving up from class 4, but she's open to any amount of progress in handicaps. Her dam has produced four winners already, and they all hit a RPR of at least 99 (some 105+), so here's hoping she leaves behind a mark of OR86 at some point. She's got a light weight which may help also. She'd be my main stab in this fiendishly tricky contest.
At bigger prices, Villanova Queen (16s) and Al Agaila (25s-28s) could be worth some minor EW support. Jessica Harrington's charge could have too much weight here, but she brings a touch of class, having run well in a Group 3 last April before being thrown into the Irish 1000 Guineas. She started this season well with a win over 7f, before soft/heavy found her out, and then she appeared outpaced back over 7f on her latest start at Listed level. She moves back up to 8f here and makes handicap debut - a mark of 99 could still underestimate her, for all it's a tough ask at the weights, but the yard are in great form.
Al Agaila represents the in-form team Crisford, and she needs to leave behind her run at Nottingham, after a break and where they blamed the very quick turf. If she runs like that again she won't be sighted, but she was in fine form on the all-weather before and looked progressive. She's a strong traveller who could appreciate settling behind horses here. She'll need luck from her wide draw but it's not impossible from out there and she could enjoy cutting through up the straight. The fact she stays further may be no bad thing and she may appreciate the expected slower ground here. It remains to be seen whether she's just an 'all-weather' horse but hasn't had many tries on grass. She could well give us a run for our money at a big price.
3.40 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes (1m, Group 2, 4yo+ fillies and mares)
Preview by Matt Bisogno
A mile Group 2 on the straight course, for older fillies and mares, the Duke of Cambridge was first run in 2004. Since then, both John Gosden (and son Thady) and Sir Michael Stoute have won it four times. The Cheveley Park Stud has won five DoC's and is clear leading owner.
Cheveley Park and Sir Michael unite to the cause of Potapova, whose form this year - P5 - looks more like that of a point-to-pointer than a Group-class filly. On her day she's pretty good, as she showed when winning the Group 3 Atalanta Stakes last year; but it's faith in the connections that would be the most plausible route to a wager.
At the top of the shows are Jumbly and Prosperous Voyage. Jumbly has a mile win here, on the round course in the G3 Valiant Stakes last July, where she needed every yard of the trip to prevail. This is a step up in grade but the greater emphasis on stamina that the straight line presents is a positive. She opened her account this season with a career best second in the Group 2 Lanwades Stud Stakes and if stepping forward from that will take the beating.
Prosperous Voyage has greater race fitness, having already run twice this term. A disappointing debut at Newmarket, where she looked to be in need of the run, was confined to the dustbin 18 days ago when she came from last to first under Frankie Dettori in the Group 3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes (Potapova three lengths behind, slightly troubled rail passage). This filly's form is closely pegged to that of Inspiral, who runs in the Tuesday opener. Expect her price to contract if that one wins, and to contract again if Frankie wins the previous race on the card. There is a minor concern that this comes soon enough after her Derby Day exertions.
As well as Jumbly, trainer Joseph O'Brien also saddles Honey Girl, a two-time winner this campaign before disappointing as favourite in the previously referenced Lanwades Stud Stakes. That she was favoured attested both to her form and the regard in which she is held, and she may be able to revert to winning ways albeit that her best races have been run on a softer surface.
Grande Dame, for the Gosdens, ran very creditably when third in the Group 1 Sun Chariot last October but hasn't been seen since; it's a big ask for her to prevail on seasonal bow. She may be ridden prominently, which was one of the keys to Saffron Beach's success a year ago.
Second in this class last time was Rogue Millennium: she was 20/1 there and patiently ridden, cutting through the Middleton field and very nearly catching all six of her rivals but failing to reel in Frankie on the favourite. There doesn't look to be too much pace in this race, with no more than an even gallop expected, and that may scupper her prospects of a repeat performance.
Queen Animatu has never been out of the frame in eight all-weather races, five of them wins; but she's nought from six on turf. There was some evidence presented in a blog somewhere that Ascot rides a little like an all-weather track (though I cannot support that statement here and now, alas) and it will need to for this lass to come out in front. She's not for me, though trainer William Haggas is obviously hugely respected.
Last year's winning trainer, Jane Chapple-Hyam, picked up Internationalangel after she was not sold at 19,000 guineas in August 2021. At that point, the filly was rated 67 having won two moderate contests in her previous three runs. She then went on to win her next five, all away from turf, before running a half length second to Highfield Princess in the 7f All Weather Filly and Mare Final over seven furlongs. Although she's not won since, she's amassed another £57,000 in prize money. Recent turf form has been restricted to just two domestic starts, second in a G3 and fourth in a G2, but she was also third in a valuable conditions event in Meydan on her final spin of three in the Emirates. This trip may stretch her stamina and she is probably not quite up to the level, on turf at least, but she's a fantastic story horse and has a most under-rated trainer.
Random Harvest may bid to make all, as she did when repelling all bar Prosperous Voyage at Epsom last time; but the turning Surrey Downs would be a lot more conducive to trailblazing than this stiff straight piste. Lightship was highly progressive on the all-weather this winter, rising from an opening handicap mark of 67 to her current perch of 100. She was bashed on bottomless at Goodwood on her sole 2023 turf try and was also thumped in her two Irish maiden efforts this time last year; as such the jury is very definitely out on whether she handles the lawns as well as the beaches.
The market looks to have a fairly tight grip on the Duke of Cambridge, with Jumbly and Prosperous Voyage the right favourites. They take out about 60% of the book, which seems reasonable. Of the two, I'd take a small chance on Prosperous Voyage though, in truth, whichever one goes off bigger - and bigger than 5/2 - would represent a sliver of value. Of the remainder, Potapova could be a busted flush, but her owner and trainer have farmed this race down the years and her run last time behind Frankie and Prosperous V was a little better than it looks in the book. She's 20/1 which might be playable for a tiny Hail Mary win single.
4.20 Prince Of Wales's Stakes (1m2f, Group 1, 4yo+)
Presented by John Burke's "Victor Value" service
The Prince of Wales's Stakes is one of the most prestigious Group 1 races run during the Royal Ascot meeting. Contested over 1m 2f, it's open to horses aged four years old and up. The race has a long history, first being run in 1862. Over the years, it's been won by the likes of Brigadier Gerard, Dubai Millennium, Ouija Board, and Highland Reel. This year's renewal has attracted just six runners but, from a quality perspective, it looks like the race of Royal Ascot to me. Five of the six runners are separated by just 2lb on Official Ratings.
The first thing to stand out is the lack of pace in the race. Luxembourg proved his tactical versatility when making all to win the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh last time. I thought he got a peach of a ride from Ryan Moore that day and had enough in hand to hold off Bay Bridge. If there's no pace, I would expect Ryan to go on again, and he could easily follow up.
Bay Bridge was a ½ length runner-up to Luxembourg at the Curragh, but I thought the winner was always holding him. The five-year-old was a bit keen last time, and that could prove to be the case here if there's no pace on once more. A length runner-up in last year's race, he's got to be respected given his liking for the course and distance, but he would want the showers to arrive.
Adayar won the Derby at Epsom and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes here in 2021. His best performance last season came when a ½ length 2nd of 9 to Bay Bridge in the Champion Stakes over track and trip last October. He took advantage of the drop into Group 3 company on his seasonal return when winning the Gordon Richards Stakes at Newmarket last month, with the runner-up Anmaat going on to win the Group 1 Prix d'Ispahan at Longchamp. A smart performer at his best, he looks more than capable of winning a Group 1 over 1m 2f, and we do know he likes the track.
My Prospero was just a nose behind Adayar in the Champion Stakes. The four-year-old had earlier in the season finished a short head third to Coroebus in the St James's Palace Stakes. There was plenty to like about his seasonal reappearance effort when a 2 ½ length 4th of 12 to Modern Games in the Lockinge Stakes (1m). He got outpaced 2f out but was doing his best work at the finish that day, and the return to 1m2f looks a big plus.
Mostahdaf isn't totally without a chance on ratings, and we do know the five-year-old goes well fresh and on quick ground. That said, I will be disappointed if he were to win a race as hot as this.
It's good to see the race has attracted an international challenger in the shape of Classic Causeway. The American-trained four-year-old hasn't been in the winner's enclosure since landing the Belmont Derby last July. He could be a pace angle, and quick ground suits; but even a reproduction of his best American form wouldn't be good enough.
Verdict: Luxembourg should be able to confirm Curragh form with Bay Bridge. Adayar goes well here and shouldn't be far away. That said, 1m 2f on quick ground could be too much of a speed test for him. My Prospero will be suited by the return to 1m2f and the colt can’t be far away from a breakthrough Group 1 success. He’s my selection in the race and looks a bit of value at around 4/1.
Selection: My Prospero – 4/1
5.00 Royal Hunt Cup (1m, Class 2, 3yo+ Handicap)
Presented by Sam Darby's "Winning Post Profits" service
Traditionally one of my favourite races of the meeting, especially when there is a clear draw bias. Unfortunately the draw bias can be very unpredictable. I’ve usually preferred to be drawn high on summer fast ground here on the straight course but it can change from year to year, meeting to meeting, and even day to day.
Both sides have had plenty of success in the past decade. Five winners have been drawn 11 or lower, one was drawn in the middle in 15, and four have come from 21 or higher. Bear in mind I’m writing this before any of Tuesday’s races have taken place so it might be very obvious by the time you read this as to where the bias is, if there is one. My advice would be to hold your bets until after the King's Stand has been run at 3.40pm on Tuesday, at which point two big field races will have taken place on the straight course and you’ll have more draw evidence than I currently have.
In the absence of any evidence from this week’s racing I’m going to use the pace map for the race to help figure out where you might want to be drawn.
It’s immediately obvious that there *should* be a stronger pace on the near side (high numbers) than the far side (low numbers) which would suggest to me that the higher numbers will get a better tow into the race. The other thing that the pace map tells you, courtesy of the heat map, is that hold up performers tend to come out best in this kind of race.
Perotto is the early favourite and I respect his chances, having backed him to win the Britannia Handicap over course and distance two years ago. He’s 3lbs lower now and trained by Roger Varian as of this season. He put in a promising comeback in the Victoria Cup on soft ground, one of the last off the bridle and staying on well into 7th.
Despite winning the Britannia, he’s not necessarily better over a mile than 7f but he is almost certainly better on fast ground so it’s not difficult to envisage him improving. A hold up ride from a very high draw is possibly going to be the way to see a horse run to maximum effect here so he’s very much respected in this. He’s not an awful price but he’s short enough considering he does have to improve on recent showings, for all there are obvious reasons why he should improve.
One I’ve had in mind for this race for a while is Intellogent and if you take a look at the pace map, he should be just as advantaged by the run of the race as Perotto. Intellogent was 2nd in last year’s renewal and that seemed one of the stronger Royal Hunt Cups for a while. The winner went close in the International Handicap next time out, the 3rd won his next three starts, the 5th and 7th won next time out and the 13th and 15th were other subsequent winners from the race. Intellogent returns here 1lb lower than he was in last year’s race.
That Hunt Cup run wasn’t his only strong big field form from last year. He was also a close 3rd and arguably unlucky loser in the John Smith’s Cup, a remarkable achievement given he gave weight to the winner who has now won a Group 1! His form tailed off somewhat for the rest of the season but he’s looked better than the bare result in both runs this season. He traveled really well in the Earl Of Sefton but ultimately needed the run on softer than ideal ground and then he caught the eye at Newbury last time, doing best of those held up after meeting trouble in running. He’s clearly been targeted at this all season and I fancy him to go well.
Another one I’ve had in mind is Astro King. He, too, represents last year’s Hunt Cup form when he was 4th off a 3lb higher mark and it’s worth remembering he was 2nd to Real World in this two years ago as well, winning the race on the near side. He very much caught the eye last time out at York in a decent race that didn’t play to his strengths and he looks primed to strike in what ought to be ideal conditions (a stiff mile and fast ground). The draw is potentially a problem though as he’s in stall 12.
At bigger prices Greatgadian (top price 28/1) could outrun his odds. His Lincoln run was excellent, as was his recent Nottingham effort which didn’t set up for him, and he could run into a place if stall 13 is okay. Orbaan is another who could be suited by this test but a repeat attempt at the Goodwood Golden Mile is probably what he’s being primed for. Outbreak should appreciate the ground and he’s a massive price (50/1) considering he finished in front of Intellogent last time out but he might find himself a bit too close to the pace in this and stall 10 might not be ideal. He’s one I could see going well in that Golden Mile at the Glorious Meeting next month or even the mile handicap at Sandown on Eclipse day.
One last one I want to mention is Ghaly. His win at Newmarket towards the end of last season has worked out amazingly well and, although that came in soft ground, he does handle faster turf. The balance of his form suggests he is better on soft though and it’s also his seasonal debut so I’m not a backer in this but I’ll be keeping a keen eye on him with a view to having a bet next time he gets plenty of give underfoot.
So, in terms of what to back, if Tuesday’s races suggest a strong bias towards lower numbers I’d be very keen on Astro King (10/1 easily obtainable at time of writing) to make it third time lucky in this race. If it looks as though higher numbers are favoured then Intellogent would be my bet (10/1 easily obtainable at the time of writing). If it is looking like only the higher numbers can win I’d also be interested in a reverse forecast on Perotto and Intellogent.
There is a fair chance there is no visible advantage from tomorrow’s races and if that’s the case I’d be having a small win only bet on Astro King and a slightly bigger each way bet Intellogent.
Sam Darby - Winning Post Profits. You can join my private service for just £1 if you click here.
5.35 Queen's Vase (1m6f, Group 2, 3yo)
Preview by our own David Massey
In recent times, you’ve not had to look too far from the top of the market to find the winner of this, with the biggest-priced winner in the last five years just 15/2. Aidan O’Brien has trained the winner twice in that time, with Santiago in 2020 and Kew Gardens back in 2018, so it makes some sense to start with his Peking Opera, a 15/2 chance at the time of writing.
Useful at two, he improved when stepped up to 13f at Naas last time, looking like he needed every yard, and this further step up in trip should bring about a bit more improvement.
You can knock a hole or two in the Naas form should you want to, as all six runners were covered by 2½l and the time figure was nothing more than solid, but you write O’Brien and Moore off at your own peril. Still, he's not for me at the prices.
Gregory comes into this as favourite after two wins from two starts for John Gosden and as the mount of Frankie Dettori, who could steer something that gives the kids rides for a pound a pop on Blackpool Beach at Ascot and the crowd would still back it: Gregory will be supported on the day. He looked a thorough stayer at Goodwood last time out and Rab Havlin had to get stuck into him before he found top gear, but once he found it, he came right away in the closing stages looking a stayer in the process. The worry with him could be a lack of tactical speed in the closing stages; I’d imagine Frankie will be looking for the outside as any check in his run could see him struggling to find that big gear. He will remain of some interest whatever happens here, but if he’s too short, I’ll be considering laying him.
Circle Of Fire was given little chance against Military Order in the Derby Trial last time, trying to come from a poor position to win and got no nearer than a 5½l third. He looks sure to relish the step up in trip, the dam a winner over a mile and a half, but his overall form needs improvement.
Of those at the front of the market it’s Chesspiece that makes the most appeal. I had the pleasure of seeing him in the flesh at York and he’s a really good-looking, tall, well-built type that looks made for staying trips. He ran on willingly after seeming in a spot of trouble at the top of the straight and the extra two furlongs today will be in his favour. For all that Ascot might not turn out to be the track to best showcase his talent, I suspect he’ll be ridden forward to sit behind the likely pacesetters and that should give him first crack at the leaders turning in. He showed some speed on debut when scoring at Newcastle anyway, and that despite greenness. I fancy the York run is strong form and will work out well, and he’d be my main pick for the race.
Of those at bigger prices St Vincents Garden makes some appeal. He’s looked nothing but a stayer from the word go and although he’s got ground to make up on Peking Opera on that Naas effort, the race wasn’t run to suit and he was tapped for toe. In fact, I thought he did rather well to win his maiden at Fairyhouse last time given he was dropped back slightly in trip, and this test will suit him well. The dam was a thorough stayer at 2m (and slightly beyond!) on the Flat and I’d not be surprised to see him outrun his odds.
6.10 Windsor Castle Stakes (5f, Listed, 2yo)
Presented by Gavin Priestley's "Festival Trends" service
Since being upgraded to Listed status in 2004 all 19 winners have been males (just 2 fillies placed from 56 runners) who had run 1-3 times (44 losers had run 4 or more times) and had run in the last 43 days (18 losers had not). They had all finished top 6 last time out with all 19 horses that finished 7th or worse last time out also finishing unplaced here.
Only one winner had their last run on the all weather (from the 34 to have tried) when the maiden Flashmans Papers caused a massive shock at 100/1 in 2008. He had, though, made his debut on turf at Windsor.
Maiden winners aren't that uncommon with, as well as that 2008 winner, the 1997, 1999, 2002, 2019 and 2020 winners all scoring for the first time here. It's worth noting that they had all finished either second or third last time out. The last horse to win on debut was the Sir Michael Stoute filly Dazzle who scored as the 7/2 favourite back in 1996 when the race was run as a Class 2 contest.
14 of the last 17 winners had suffered a defeat at least once in their career with all 3 exceptions coming into the race having won their only start. The last 18 runners to have won both their last two starts have been beaten in this with just two making the frame.
Wesley Ward has won the race twice but all of his other 15 runners have finished unplaced including his last 12 runners (he last won the race in 2014), all of his 10 fillies and 13 of his 14 runners that were 10/1 or shorter in the betting.
Shocks are common in the Windsor Castle with Flashmans Papers at 100/1 and Wesley Ward's Strike the Tiger at 33/1 being the largest priced winners this century. We've also had two 16/1 winners, two 20/1 winners and a 22/1 winner since 2006.
Middle drawn horses haven't fared too well in the Windsor Castle with all bar two of the last 26 winners drawn within 7 of either end of the stalls.
Runners from Sandown's National Stakes have had a good record in the race since 2015 (321214) with both 2017 winner Sound And Silence at 16/1 and 2021 winner Chipotle at 22/1 having run in that contest. In fact, in 2021 the Sandown race provided the 22/1 winner and 4th at 66/1 from just two qualifiers. This year's impressive winner Elite Status goes elsewhere at the meeting, and is a hot favourite, but the 2nd and 3rd are represented.
It really is a very open race and with the recent history of the National Stakes and outsiders doing well I'm simply going to side with the runner up from this year's race, WORLD OF DARCY. He was eased down when winning on debut at Pontefract in early may (runner up was a stable mate and has since won his last two races) before doing best of the field to chase home Elite Status, albeit at a distance of 5 lengths in that Sandown Listed contest. He comes from a stable who does well with their juveniles and should go well from a decent draw.
SELECTION: WORLD OF DARCY 1/2pt EW at 20/1
And that brings us to the two-fifths point of the week, but half way on the geegeez previews with yours true traditionally too cream crackered after going through 28 races to face the Saturday card. It could well be that that comes as a blessed relief by then!