01:33 - Royal Ascot Preview & Tips
A field of nineteen go to post for the final race of the day on Wednesday from Royal Ascot, see our King George V tips and betting preview below.
IN SUMMARY: Winning his maiden when running into a different post code, MASTER SINGER proved he was a useful horse in the making when taking that Newcaslte contest and he should take another giant stride forward on handicap debut after not taking up a Group 2 entry this week. A mark of 96 on handicap debut looks generous as he should improve massively for the switch back to turf and with far more to come from this son of Giant’s Causeway, it’s impossible to look past him. Of the remainder, Atty Persse is interesting upped in trip in headgear and Sofia’s Rock would be dangerous to give a lead to.
1 HOMESMAN – Not a straightforward sort for Aidan O’Brien but he proved his class when winning a Group 3 at the Curragh on his latest start, keeping on strongly over the 1m 2f distance to land the spoils by a head. Into handicap company off a mark of 104 does however demand rapid progress and he isn’t one who can be relied on heavily. Conditions are to suit and Ryan Moore takes the ride so he’s hard to rule out entirely, but off this weight he’s likely to find at least one too good.
2 SOFIA’S ROCK – Front runner with a progressive profile for Mark Johnston, making all in tenacious style to win a Haydock handicap on his latest start and as a result he’s up six pounds in the ratings. He’s thoroughly proven on the trip and the ground, with further improvement more than likely based on her profile. Johnston has won this race five times and Jim Crowley retains the ride, so he looks sure to play a leading role for connections.
3 TWIN STAR – Lightly raced son of Tagula who produced a career best run on only his fourth start to finish around three lengths behind Homesman in Group 3 company at the Curragh last month. This step up in trip looks certain to suit him as he was staying on all the time and he meets that rival on four pound better terms, so he may well have been forgotten in the market. Fascinating contender and looks worthy of giving this a good go.
4 UTAH – Another for Aidan O’Brien who is the pick of Seamie Heffernan, returning this season with a creditable effort in the Group 3 Gallinule Stakes back in May behind Homesman. Step up in trip is clearly in his favour but a turn around with Homesman looks unlikely, with Moore agreeing and opting to retain the ride on his stable mate, which does temper enthusiasm. Possible place contender if a a strong pace is set, but likely to just miss out.
5 MASTER SINGER – Held a Group 2 entry this week which cannot be of too much surprise as he quite simply blitzed a maiden field on her third start for John Gosden, winning by fifteen lengths with the minimum of fuss. A mark of 96 seems generous on handicap debut as he should improve for the step up in trip and the retention of Andrea Atzeni is another big plus. Ground conditions will be his optimum and he looks tough to beat if taking another step forward.
6 MAJORIS – Has been below form this season for Hugo Palmer, well beaten on his last two starts in pattern company for connections and more is needed dropped back into handicap company. Plenty to prove upped in trip with the blinkers now added and he seems destined for a struggle with how poor he has been of late.
7 TARTINI – Headstrong son of Giant’s Causeway who pulled his chance away when third at Lingfield in the Derby Trial on his penultimate start, though he finally settled better when last seen at Epsom on handicap debut, finish fourth in that competitive contest. That effort gave him hope that he’d stay this 1m 4f trip, but there has to be risks attached as he’s already proven on multiple occasions he can pull his chance away. Possible each way contender but perhaps vulnerable at the finish.
8 GOOD OMEN – Produced a career best on his latest start to smoothly win a four runner Classified Stakes at Doncaster nineteen days ago, though this will be his first taste of a big field handicap and this good to firm ground is a worry as he’s tried to avoid it for most of his career. Connections are in form and a mark of 93 should see him competitive, but with doubts he’s likely placed at best.
9 FIRST NATION – Has finished second on two of his last three runs, with a poor effort at Newmarket sandwiched in the middle of those runner up spots. He is still lightly raced for Charlie Appleby and he came home strongly on his late start over the 1m 1f distance, so a step up in trip looks firmly in his favour. William Buick takes the ride and with conditions to suit, he looks a lively contender for the ‘Boys In Blue’.
10 BIN BATTUTA – Won on his first start this season when narrowly beating First Nation at Doncaster in April, but he has been poor in two subsequent runs and the first time headgear needs to spark a revival. He was beaten around 17 lengths on his latest handicap start at Newmarket 46 days ago and he remains on the same mark, with stamina concerns for this far. Looks set to just miss out for placings.
11 DROCHAID – Posted a career best on his latest start at Epsom when winning a competitive handicap at Epsom, pushed out for a neck success despite being keen early in a good effort. That keenness however is a worry in this as a step up to 1m 4f will not allow him to do so and get away with it, especially as he’s unproven at the distance. A five pound rise makes this tougher and there is likely to be other days for him.
12 ATTY PERSSE – Son of Frankel who has won two of his three starts for Roger Charlton, winning on handicap debut at Sandown in the Esher Cup on his second start. Raised 4lb as a result, he was gallant in defeat when second in a Haydock handicap and he’s worth a go at this new distance with headgear employed by connections. Likely main player under the in form Kieran Shoemark and should give his all.
13 SHYMKENT – Lightly raced son of Pivotal who clearly benefited from the emphasis on stamina to win at Carlisle when last seen, keeping on strongly and all out to defend his advantage close home. Step up in trip is likely to suit him immensely and the return to better ground is no problem either, though a five pound rise demands more. Not discounted for placings under Harry Bentley but it’s hard to see him winning this.
14 REACHFORTHESTARS – Step up to 1m 2f worked wonders on his latest start when finding gamely under pressure to win at Haydock twelve days ago and as a result he’s up four pounds in the handicap. That rise could be negated by the fact this step up in trip should help him massively, but this better ground is a question mark. Shane Foley takes the ride and if handling the conditions, he couldn’t be ruled out for the placings by any means.
15 MISTER MANDURO – Inconsistent performer for Mark Johnston who was another to benefit from a bigger stamina test on his latest start, keeping on to finish fourth in a competitive heat at Musselburgh on his latest start. He is up another two pounds which makes things tougher but he should have more to offer at this sort of trip and Silvestre De Sousa can pull a rabbit out of a hat at present, so a bold run would be no surprise.
16 JANSZOON – Early days for this thrice raced son of Dubawi but he needs to show more than he did on handicap debut at Haydock on his latest start, finishing last and some way behind Sofia’s Rock. Far more on his plate here and the return of the blinkers will need to work wonders if he’s to feature in this. Too risky for us and likely best watched with others having far sounder claims.
17 OASIS CHARM – Ran three times in eighteen days this spring for Charlie Appleby, debuting at Newmarket when second in a maiden and running a third race at the same venue when only sixth last time out. He was well beaten on that handicap debut and behind Bin Battuta, who looks likely to miss out on the placings which doesn’t help this geldings chances. Would be a very surprising winner given what he showed last time.
18 NEVER SURRENDER – Made all on his latest start at Chester, keeping on strongly in a race that he was allowed to dominate. That is unlikely to happen this time around and a mark of 88 looks very tricky back in handicap company. He isn’t assured to appreciate this step up in trip and there are more doubts than positives, so he’s likely best watched on this occasion.
19 BEAR VALLEY – Won a competitive Nursery at Goodwood back in July but his career went off the rails until his return this season when second at the same venue over the 1m 1f distance six days ago. 1m 4f could suit him and he’s an interesting contender on the best of his two year old form, though there has to be a suspicion one will be too progressive for him as he does look relatively exposed.