ANOTHER good day for Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) on Wednesday, who’s he backing on Thursday at Royal Ascot?
15:05 Royal Ascot | Channel 4
A 10 furlong Grade 3 for three year olds, at first glance this looks a tight affair. Time Test won a hot looking handicap on his return to action a month ago and looks a horse of potential, but he is taking on better horses here and the 5/2 is not for me. Peacock and Disegno hold claims here too but there is a filly in this that I think could be a cut above these.
In my opinion the Irish 1000 Guineas was a hot race. Pleascach and Found are top fillies and I’m sure it will throw up a few good winners over the course of the season.
In that race Bocca Baciata finished fifth, and though she ran a good race she never quite had the pace to trouble the places at the business end of the race. Her previous race was over this trip where she defeated the subsequent Guineas winner and her future lies over further. The step back up in trip here will play in to her hands, and in my opinion she has the best form in the book of any of these. With her fillies allowance added in she has a lot in her favour in this race and I make her another great each way bet at 15/2.
15:40 Royal Ascot | Channel 4
I’ve just said that the Irish 1000 Guineas is hot form, and it’s represented again here by the winner that day Pleascach. She won well and after the race Jim Bolger nominated the Irish Derby as her target. The fact he is even looking at that race for her shows that she is held in high regard. She has top class form to her name and is definitely the horse to beat in this, but can she be opposed?
Curvy has won three on the bounce this season and is a very progressive filly. Last time out she won a Group 3 beating the subsequent Derby fourth Giovanni Canaletto in the process. However I don’t think you can take that form literally as the runner up was making his seasonal debut, but she is still a very good filly. Having said that even with the assistance of the red hot Ryan Moore I still think she will fall short.
Gretchen from the John Gosden yard is pitched in here after winning a Newmarket maiden and she is obviously a filly of immense potential but she would need to be pretty special to win this. Pamona was a beaten favourite behind subsequent Oaks disappointment Crystal Zvezda last time where she was doing her best work close home. I’d expect this Luca Cumani inmate to improve on that but she is another who needs to.
Looking through the field I can’t see anything that can seriously trouble the favourite and I think we will have another short priced winner in the Ribblesdale.
16:20 Royal Ascot | Channel 4
The highlight of the week for many, the Ascot Gold Cup is an opportunity for stayers to take centre stage. The race has been won by some legends most notably four times winner Yeats and there are 15 horses here looking to add their name to the illustrious roll of honour.
Forgotten Rules is the favourite for the race and in my opinion he’s the best horse in this race by a long way. If the ground description was coming up with the word soft in it and he was available to back at 5/2 I would be prepared to put the biggest bet of my life on him winning.
He is an exciting young stayer but Dermot Weld has made no secret that he does not want fast ground. There was some doubt over his participation if the ground was quick, and even though it will be watered overnight it’s still a long way from the ground he experiences in Ireland and it’s enough of a doubt for me to take him on.
Having said that this is not a vintage field for a Gold Cup but there is one that I am willing to back each way. If the favourite doesn’t perform to his best on the ground I see Mizzou as by far the most likely winner.
Trained by Luca Cumani he is a young stayer with some top form to his name. A year ago almost to the day he seen a racecourse for the first time, and in the past 12 months he has progressed into a top class stayer with the promise of more to come. Last time out he won a two mile event on this course, and perhaps most importantly it was on good to firm ground. It is a big ask for a four year old to win this race, but I believe he can do it.
15:05 Royal Ascot – Bocca Baciata each way (15/2 Betway)
15:40 Royal Ascot – Pleascach to win (11/10 888 Sport)
16:20 Royal Ascot – Mizzou to win (11/2 888 Sport)