Ascot selections Saturday 19th June
The final day at Ascot and winner finding has been difficult though not impossible this week. Today the Golden Jubilee takes centre stage and trainer Archie Watson has a great chance of compensation for the disqualification of his Commonwealth Cup winner with Glen Shiel bidding to repeat his course and distance win on Champions Day. I have selections in four races on the day.
We found Quickthorn as a winner yesterday (advised 9/2) with Dream Composer placed (advised 8/1).
Ascot 3.40: Ilaraab
The Hardwicke field has been decimated by non-runners but we still have solid each-way betting and ILARAAB can maintain the strong form of William Haggas improvers this week by taking the step up to group class in his stride.
He made it six wins in a row by landing a classy handicap at York last time out and that confirmed his stamina for 12f in the process. He comfortably saw off Raymond Tusk that day, who gave the form no harm by finishing second here in the 12f handicap yesterday. Ilaraab is already fully proven on a soft surface too having won twice in deep ground last season and I am not convinced there are any Group 1 horses up against him today.
Ascot 4.20: Glen Shiel
This group of horses have largely been taking each other on – and beating each other – over the last twelve months, so my angle is to plump for the one horse most likely to run his race today. That one is GLEN SHIEL.
For a 7yo he is only just getting going over sprint distances and he proved himself to be top class over 6f last season. Once he got on a soft surface in the autumn, where his stamina came more into play, he was able to chase home Dream of Dreams at Haydock. Then on this more undulating track, he saw off allcomers to make most in the Champions Day Sprint. Conditions are therefore in his favour today. He looked in need of the run when fading into fourth at the Curragh last month, but that will have done its job of getting him ready for today.
Ascot 5.00: Kings Lynn & Ropey Guest
A smaller than usual field for the Wokingham due to the changing ground, but the draw could still be a factor. On the evidence of last night’s 5f race a high draw is still a big help. Interestingly though the market leaders are all drawn quite low. In the circumstances I am taking one on each side.
There are rumours the Queen might be in attendance for the first time this week and this could be down to having her best chance of a winner in KINGS LYNN. He ran a fine seventh in the Group 1 Kings Stand Stakes on Tuesday, and is already rated 107 after a recent Group 2 win on testing ground at Haydock. Because this is an early closing race he is 7lbs well in today and whilst he has not had a conventional prep for this, he is so well in that in-form trainer Andrew Balding lets him take his chance here. The ground is in his favour and he shapes as if 6f will bring about more improvement. Hopefully there is enough pace low – definitely from Raaeb, that the far side horses will be able to stay in contention.
ROPEY GUEST is building up a solid record at this track and whilst he is difficult to win with, 6f on soft ground might just bring out his very best. He also ran here earlier in the week, finishing fourth on his side of the track but on quick ground. He was sixth in the Victoria Cup though on softer ground in the spring and was second and third in Group 3’s as a juvenile on testing ground. He is also drawn near to the stands rail after all the withdrawals and whilst getting his head in front has proven almost impossible, I will be disappointed if he does not at least run a place.
Ascot 5.35: Foxes Tails & Seasett
Our final handicap of the week and I have two fancies who will go well on soft ground.
FOXES TAILS appears to be the rejected King Power runner for Silvestre de Sousa, but has a great replacement jockey in Oisin Murphy. He was not quick enough to cope with a listed race around Chester last time, but stayed on well and had earlier landed a Newbury maiden which usually takes some doing.
Whilst he has not run on ground this soft before, his dam Starfish has produced plenty of progeny that go on soft ground, notably stablemate Fox Chairman, a listed winner on soft and second in similar conditions at the 2019 Royal meeting.
SEASETT is already fully proven on a soft surface having finished a game second on bottomless ground in Haydock’s Silver Bowl. He had three sitters under quicker conditions in novice races, but made a mockery of his initial mark of 72 when hacking up on soft going at Nottingham. He stepped up considerably on that at Haydock and whilst he is up another 7lbs, that seems fully justified.
This will be his first try beyond a mile, but he has been off the bridle before staying on of late and he might well cope better at 10f where they go that bit slower early. Progeny of Wootton Bassett generally seem to stay better than he did himself, with the likes of Ilaraab, Almanzor and Audarya staying 10f and beyond.
1pt each-way – Ilaraab – 3.40 Ascot – 9/2 Paddy Power
1pt each-way – Glen Shiel – 4.20 Ascot – 13/2 Bet365 (1/5 odds 1st 4)
1pt win – Kings Lynn – 5.00 Ascot – 4/1 general
1pt each-way – Ropey Guest – 5.00 Ascot – 10/1 Bet365 (¼ odds 1st 5)
1pt each-way – Foxes Tails – 5.35 Ascot – 7/1 Paddy Power (1/5 odds 1st 5)
1pt each-way – Seasett – 5.35 Ascot – 11/2 general (several bookies 1/5 odds 1st 5)