We have a great weekend of action ahead of us with the open looking July Cup the undoubted headliner, where Advertise bids to back up his Commonwealth Cup victory. Beat The Bank bids for back to back wins in the Sumer Mile and Gold Mount could be the answer in the Silver Cup at York.
Ascot Heritage Handicap
I’ve always had a soft spot for Tis Marvellous and I think it could be his turn to grace the winner’s enclosure again. He was second in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot and although he’s three-pounds higher than his last winning mark, I think he can win.
Eeh Bah Gum has been a model of consistency this season but he may need a little more help from the handicapper if he’s to win a competitive handicap like this. Another horse I like is Moyassar who was a runaway winner at HQ two starts back and although he flopped in a listed contest, the well-bred colt still has untapped potential.
Selection: Tis Marvellous
Zaaki has taken his form to a new level this season by winning a listed a Group 3 contest on both starts. Sir Michael Stoute always brings his horses along slowly and the gelding operation over the winter seems to have helped. That being said I can’t see anything stopping Beat The Bank from landing back to back renewals of the race. He finished second in the Group 1 Queen Anne at Ascot and should be winning.
It’s incredible to think that this time last year Matterhorn hadn’t even stepped foot on a racecourse but he really made up for the lost time by winning seven of his nine all-weather starts including on All-weather finals day. He hasn’t yet hit the same heights on the turf but did win a listed event in good style last time out and could surprise a few people.
The other horse of interest is Accidental Agent who started off the campaign by finishing third in the Lockinge which in reality has been his only race of the season given that he refused to race in the Queen Anne. If he comes out of the stalls ok then he has the ability to feature.
Selection: Beat The Bank
Charlie Appleby won this race last year with Quorto and look have another big chance here with King’s Command. He won a hot six-furlong race on debut and could be anything.
Aidan O’Brien’s Year Of The Tiger is unsurprisingly very well-bred and although he was well beaten in the Chesham, he was an impressive winner of his maiden at Naas.
Juan Elcano looked like a smart prospect when winning at Haydock and it will be interesting to see how the Frankel colt fares on this firmer surface. Maxi Boy brings some smart form into the race having won on debut and then finishing just over three lengths behind Arizona in the Coventry.
Selection: Maxi Boy – E/W
Burnt Sugar won this contest off just three-pounds higher twelve months ago and has shown he is still in fine fettle in two runs this season. I’m sure this race has been a target for connections and he should go well.
Roger Varian has his string in great form at resent and has a strong chance with Spanish City here. He rarely seems to run a bad race and dead-heated with Shady McCoy in this race last year. He’ll need a career-best to that’s very possible.
The lightly raced Solar Gold has got an attractive profile and has shown improved form since joining William Haggas by finishing in the places on both starts in listed company. There could be more to come from her with James Doyle in the saddle.
I must admit I’ve got a soft spot for Zap and he’s been coming down the weights nicely since his win at Irish Champions weekend. He won the Bunbury consolation race off three pounds higher and I think he overpriced here having not quite got home the last day and has the addition of a first- time visor.
Selection: Zap – E/W
Advertise put a very disappointing run in the 2000 Guineas behind him with a somewhat surprise win in the Commonwealth Cup. This is definitely going to be a tougher test for Martyn Meade’s colt and it’ll be interesting to see how he fares.
Danny Tudhope had a great Royal meeting and nearly landed the Diamond Jubilee on Dream Of Dreams but the line just came just too soon. The pair reunite in a bid to win the July Cup and it’s hard to find holes in his form this season and holds leading claims.
Another horse that excelled at Ascot was Cape Byron who arguably put in the performance of the week when winning the Wokingham. He looked like the proverbial group horse in a handicap that day and he could be well up to winning this.
It’s too early to write off Ten Sovereigns who was unbeaten in three starts as a two-year-old including the Middle Park Stakes. He was sent off favourite to win the 2000 Guineas and the Commonwealth Cup but came up short on both occasions. There is no doubt he’s a classy individual and it’s interesting that Ryan keeps the faith.
Selection: Dream Of Dreams
Silver Cup Stakes
This is a quality looking Group 3 race with Weekender looking set to jump off as favourite. He won a conditions race at Chelmsford most recently and is now 3-3 on the all-weather. He on;y has one victory to his name on the turf and I’m willing to take him on.
The classy Gold Mount travelled well throughout when winning on his first start for new connections at York. He had Raheen House in behind that day and I see no reason for the placings to be reversed.
Sea The Lion finished third in last season’s Ebor and a return visit looks on the cards for this Irish raider. He ran well in the Curragh two weeks ago on seasonal debut and although he’ll run well, I don’t think he’s got the class to win it.
Selection: Gold Mount
Diamond Jubilee Cup Handicap
Mountain Angel has already had a great season winning his first two starts in handicaps and then ran a fine race in the Wolferton. He brings some very good form into the race and is the one they all have to beat given his current well-being.
The top-weight Afaak returned from an absence to win the Royal Hunt Cup last month and off only five pounds higher now he must go close. Setting Sail is very lightly raced and put in a good performance at Newmarket most recently. A mark of 100 looks within his reach and with spencer on board, he can feature.
For those each-way players out there I think the consistent Exec Chef could be hard to keep out of the places. He was short of room most recently and off the same mark, he holds strong claims.
Selection: Exec Chef – E/W