HORSE RACING: With leading pundit Charlie McCann. This week the former Talksport tipster picks out potential winners at Royal Ascot, including the Golden Jubilee and The Wokingham.
The listed Chesham Stakes which opens today’s Royal Ascot card has been won by the jockey/trainer combination of Richard Hughes and Richard Hannon for the last couple of years and they look to have every chance of the hat-trick courtesy of King Torus who made a winning debut at Leicester last month.
At the time of writing Aidan O’Brien hasn’t had the best of weeks but Jackeroo (2.30) is by Derby winner Galileo and ought to appreciate today’s 7f trip which is not something you can say about many of the other runners.
A high draw has been a distinct advantage over the round course this week and if Harbinger had a double figure box he would be something to bet on the in Hardwicke Stakes. Ryan Moore rode a wonderful race in defeat in the King George V Stakes on Thursday from stall 3 and that is the draw for Harbinger (3.05). I am convinced he is a better class than today’s rivals and if he doesn’t get too far back in the early part of the race he ought to take the beating.
The Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes is the feature race on the card and it is a truly international event with runners from France, Hong Kong, Australia and the USA taking on the best of Britain and Ireland.
If they ran the race half an hour later you would probably get a different result there is so little between the runners, but I have long been an admirer of the mare Fleeting Spirit (3.50) who has twice finished placed at Royal Ascot. At first glance she looks to have a favourable draw near the far rail but the likely pace in the race looks nearer the stand rail with American speedball Kinsale King likely to blaze a trail down the centre of the track.
The Wokingham is one of the biggest betting races of the year and we will be betting 1/4 odds 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 places for this prestigious and valuable cavalry charge. Palace Moon (4.25, ew) looked an unlucky loser at Salisbury on Sunday and the horse has subsequently changed hands. In a wide open contest if the stands rail is the place to be he could go close at 20/1 with Kieren Fallon doing the steering. Last year’s Stewards’ Cup winner Genki looks a worthy favourite after a cracking reappearance at the StanJames.com Guineas Festival but he is too short in the betting for such a competitive event.
Away from Ascot, Qanoon (2.25 Ayr) travelled like a decent animal at Newmarket on debut and can maintain his unbeaten record for William Haggas. The nap of the weekend is Rose Blossom (3.00 Ayr ) who lost nothing in defeat on rain-softened ground at Haydock last time behind High Standing who is one of the leading players for the Golden Jubilee. Irish raider Bewitched took the Sandy Lane Stakes on the same card that the selection met with defeat, but that was over an additional furlong. The hope is that she can make the market for Rose Blossom who can make all under the stand rail.