Day 1

Still no luck with the horses.  Bea Menace ran ok and would have been placed but for being squeezed in the final furlong.  Tikka Masala ran no sort of race – Richard wasn’t able to get her tucked in from his wide draw and the race never panned out for us.

On to Ascot;

I’ve been on the phone all morning, and I can’t remember a day when I’ve been so heavily in agreement with all my correspondents on the days racing – we’ll either all be right or all be wrong.

The Queen Anne feels like the most interesting race of the day.  Gladiatorus might be a superstar, and drawn nine of nine it’s possible he could blaze a trail down the rail, slip the field early and win by a number of lengths.  I’ve got more questions than answers though, and I can’t have him.  Paco Boy has talent but a mile on this ground may not be his ticket.  With lines through most of the remainder I’m left with Main Aim to justify Michael Stoute’s faith in him – Alexandros to take second.

In the King’s Stand I’ve heard Scenic Blast is a warm order – he’s been working with Pete Chapple-Hyam’s string.  Backing Australian horses at Royal Ascot has been a licence to print money in recent years so I’ll stick with the strategy.  In the St. James Palace I’ll side with Intense Focus, who at least has conditions in his favour.  In the Coventry I can’t get away from Canford Cliffs, but I’ll have a saver on Rakaan who is a forgotten horse after two defeats but may have more scope to improve than most in this race.  I’ll leave out the Ascot Stakes, which is a funny race that I never get right. 

In the Windsor Castle I’ll go confidently with Angel’s Pursuit, who gets the nap vote.  Richard Hannon has incredible strength in depth in his 2yo string this year – if Angel’s Pursuit was with any other trainer he’d probably be having a go at one of the group races, but Hannon has them covered with the likes of Canford Cliffs and Monsieur Chevalier.  Angel’s Pursuit, an imposing specimen and clear 2yo type, pitches in at listed class – he might be a cut above in this race.

I have a runner tonight.  Pansy Potter goes in the last at Yarmouth – she should have a chance at least and she’s a decent price.