Saturday sees Enable take her second step towards her Arc defence when she contests the King George. Ripp Orf looks the pick in the International Stakes, while Get Knotted bids to win the race named after him at York. I think Golden Apollo looks the one in the Dash and Regal Reality will take all the beating in the Tork Stakes if reproducing his Eclipse run.
This race is restricted to two-year-old-fillies with the most high profile of recent winners being Fair Eva. The pick among them this year would appear to be the twice-raced and unbeaten Summer Romance. Charlie Appleby’s charge has looked good on both starts and was a six-length winner of a listed race at HQ most recently and that form makes her the one to beat.
Good Vibes has progressed nicely in three runs and was a staying on winner of the Marygate last time out. The step-up in trip should suit and she is the each-way value in the race.
Ultra Violet put in a very taking performance at Newmarket when winning impressively on debut. She had been left at the start that day and showed a smart turn of foot to sprint away from her rivals. She could just be anything with improvement expected.
It’s very eye-catching that Jessie sends Punita Aora over from Ireland for this race but I think the form of her maiden victory is weak and she may struggle to land a blow.
Selection: Good Vibes – E/W
The dead-eight go to post for this handicap and it’s the unexposed Motakhayyef who heads the betting having comprehensively beaten the re-opposing Flashcard last time. Oisin Murphy’s mount has a six-pound pull with that rival but I don’t think it’ll be enough to reverse the form.
Wings Of Time has only run four times so far in his short career and showed that inexperience when drifting late on when winning at Newmarket. He has scope to improve off his current mark and must be considered.
Most people just look to see what Frankie is riding rather than looking at the form on a Saturday. Beatboxer trained by John Gosden is his mount here but I don’t see much excuses for his Royal Ascot run and must improve.
International Stakes Handicap
This looks like a fiendishly difficult handicap to pick apart. When the rain arrived many people including myself rowed in behind Raising Sand in the Royal Hunt Cup and although he ran well he proved no match for the winner Afaak. Jamie Osborne’s gelding runs off the same mark here but the quick ground would put me off.
Ripp Orf loves it here and actually finished in this last year off the exact same mark. He’s yet to hit the frame this season but this looks like an ideal opportunity and looks sure to run well.
Mark Johnston’s horses just always seem to improve and Vale Of Kent is no exception. He produced a career-best when winning the Bunbury Cup under Frankie and it’s noteworthy that Frankie retains the faith.
Burnt Sugar hit a real purple patch around this time last year and won this race off the same mark twelve months ago. He’s not been in the same vein of form this year but if reproducing his old form, he’d have a huge chance.
Anyone who regularly reads my blog will know how much I like Zap and although his mark keeps dropping I think he needs another two or three pounds off before re-entering the winners’ enclosure.
Selection: Ripp Orf
King George & Queen Elizabeth Stakes
John Gosden and Sir Michael Stoute have taken the last two runnings of the race and it looks very likely one of them will be winning again with Enable and Crystal Ocean to two main protagonists this year.
We all know about Enable this year and I don’t know of any neutral racing fan that doesn’t want to see her land the Arc treble. She looked good on her only start this season and took this race two seasons ago, so I see no reason for her to get beaten.
Crystal Ocean stepped up to take his first Group 1 in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes and although he’ll run well I can’t see him being up to beating Enable.
We mustn’t forget about the Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck who represents the classic generation. I think everyone can agree that they gave the winner to much of an easy lead in the Irish Derby so aline can be put through that run. Three-year-olds have a reasonable record in the race and he’s not without a chance.
Defoe has taken a real step forward in recent times by winning the Coronation Cup and Hardwicke. Some might say he was slightly lucky to get home in the Hardwicke put it still represents good form and may continue to improve at the age of five.
Selection: Anthony Van Dyck – E/W
“Get Knotted” Handicap
This race is all about Get Knotted who has the race named after him following his three victories in a row in this very race. He has unsurprisingly been the subject of an ante-post gamble and although he hasn’t shown much in the way of form this year, he loved the place and is five-pounds lower than last season’s victory.
For the non-romantic among you and want a proper form pick then Penwortham may be the horse for you. Richard Fahey’s inmate has been consistent all season and put in a fine display to win at Chester when last seen. He’s got a six-pound penalty for that victory but comes here in good form.
Champion jockey leader Danny Tudhope partners Medahim for the shrewd Ivan Furtado. He was previously a smart horse for Richard Hannon and showed plenty of enthusiasm when finishing fourth on his second start for new connections. He’s now only one-pound higher than
I quite like Tommy Taylor as an individual but I think that he’s a better horse over six furlongs and can be looked over here.
Selection: Get Knotted
The “Dash” will be fast and furious as the speedballs power down the York straight. There are some very familiar faces in here with the likes of Growl, Flying Pursuit and Tomily, all of which old chances but need to improve to feature.
Gulliver won a course and distance handicap in good fashion most recently having previously looked like more of an all-weather specialist. He’s five-pounds higher now and may be vulnerable.
Darragh Kennan claims a valuable five off top-weight Encrypted who wasn’t disgraced in a Group 3 last time and is a course an distance winner last year off much lower but look capable off this mark too.
The one I’ll side with is Golden Apollo who hasn’t won for nearly two years but tends to run well at York including when runner-up in this last year. Tim Easterby’s string has been running well lately and off four-pounds lower than last year he can gain that elusive win.
Selection: Golden Apollo
This is one of the most recent Group races on the calendar and has been won by the likes of Time Test and Twice Over in the past. Only six go to post for this Group 2 contest with Regal Reality bringing the highest rating and best form into the race. He’s still quite unexposed and put in a career-best performance to finish third in the Eclipse behind Enable and a reproduction of that might just suffice here.
Elarqam finished third in this last season behind Thundering Blue and has won twice at listed level this season. He has some work to do with Addeybb on their Wolferton meeting, William Haggas’ charge comes here the fresher horse and should confirm the form.
Of the others, Bangkok is obviously talented but was comprehensively beaten last time out at Royal Ascot behind Japan. Forest Ranger is a solid horse but has to give weight away to his rivals and Knight To Behold has work to do if to trouble these.
Selection: Regal Reality