Saturday, 13 July 2013
First July Weekend Preview
It is going to be a beautifully hot day at Ascot today, so plenty of sun cream required. The ground is good to firm and has been watered.
Taajub: sprinter back at his favourite summer spot
We kick off at top speed with the Betfred Mobile Sports Handicap, a sprint handicap over 5f worth £62,000 to the winner.
Taajub loves it at Ascot and won once over this trip last year and twice finished second, including in this race. He ran well at Sandown last time after finding trouble in running, is back to a good handicap mark and must surely go close.
He and Barnet Fair, who beat him in this last year and is another running well at present, meet again and the pair of rivals could fight out the finish once more.
Aljamaaheer can claim a first Group race win
The consistent Aljamaaheer ran a fantastic race when second in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes in June when beaten just three-quarters of a length by Declaration Of War. He meets nothing of that class in our feature, the Group 2 Fred Cowley MBE Memorial Summer Mile (2.30) and can make the most of the opportunity to get a Group race win on his CV.
Mull Of Kinlogh is an improving type and picked up the Group 3 Earl Of Sefton in the spring, unfortunately, he has not really got his ideal conditions here. Guest Of Honour is at the top of his game and has not finished out of the first two in his four starts this season.
Premio Loco ran a huge race in the Royal Hunt Cup here in June and was just beaten by Belgian Bill. If he comes here in the same sort of form, he must have strong chances.
Look out for Autumn
Debutant winner Autumn Lily was posed a big question in the Chesham Stakes and finished down the field, and she might find the Ruddy Fillies’ Nursery Handicap (3.05) over 7f more her level. Royal Connection and Mimi Luke finished second and third over 7f at Chester on good ground in June and both hold strong chances, with the former, a Richard Hannon-trained runner having her first run in a nursery, holding obvious chances on that basis alone.
A hat-trick for Jabhaat?
It is a fillies’ day and the three and four-year-old girls take each other on in the mile Norman Court Stud Fillies’ Handicap (3.40) and the hat-trick seeking Jabhaat will be the likely favourite. Her last two wins came over 7f on firm and good to firm ground, the last victory by an easy 6l. An improving type, she can make the most of her three-year-olds’ weight for age allowance here.
A Bold day for the Queen
After The Queen’s wonderful win in the Gold Cup with Estimate at the Royal meeting, it would be fantastic if Bold Sniper, who ran well when third in the King George V Stakes at the same meeting, could give Her Majesty a third success at Ascot this season by taking the Neptune Investment Management Handicap (4.15), a race for three-year-olds only.
But it looks a very competitive race on paper – trainer David Simcock thinks a lot of Café Society and believes the horse has a big future ahead of him, while London Bridge put in a strong winning performance last time out at Ripon on good to firm.
Go for the Burn
The 1m2f is a significant step-up in trip for Ogbourne Downs, who has won twice from three starts over a mile, and it might prove too big an ask for the Charlie Hills-trained runner in the Tara & Pippa Handicap (4.50). So preference is with Hughie Morrison’s Burnham, a gelding by Nayef who has form over the trip and on the faster ground. Don’t ignore Mark Johnston’s Love Maramalade – the trainer specialises in winning middle-distance races with three-year-olds at this time of year.
Labienus can round the day off
Labienus should be suited by a strongly run 7f, which he should get in the last on today’s card, the 7f Mitie Total Security Management Handicap (5.25), while if Benoni, who likes to come late on the scene, gets luck in running he should be a big threat. At a longer price, Tidentime is one to note in the paddock and at the bookies.