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The Norfolk Stakes (Group 2)
- Royal Ascot
The Norfolk Stakes is a race for two-year-old’s over five furlongs and will be a race you cannot afford to miss! Our Norfolk Stakes tips and betting preview is below.
IN SUMMARY: McErin will have his supporters as he hails from the Wesley Ward yard and Santry conceded a penalty on his latest start so has to be considered, but this can go to FROZEN ANGEL. He won here over course and distance in comfortable style on his second start and despite dropping to the rear from a prominent position and having traffic problems, he motored home to finish second in the Listed National Stakes at Sandown on his latest start. If building on that run for Tom Dascombe he should be tough to beat with the in form Richard Kingscote taking the ride.
1 BILLY DYLAN – Left an average debut behind to win a fair Novice Stakes at Brighton two weeks ago, keeping on strongly despite a slow start. This, however, is much tougher and conditions are very different to what he has faced the last two times, as he is yet to compete on anything better than good to soft. An unlikely winner and probably best watched unless the market has other ideas.
2 CARDSHARP – Came second in the Woodcote Stakes behind De Bruyne Horse at Epsom and he posted a career best on his latest start to win the Beverley Two Year Old Trophy in impressive style, making all. He is unlikely to have that luxury in this contest, but he remains with potential for connections and James Doyle is really hitting top form at present. Interesting contender and another who needs to be considered.
3 CONSEQUENCES – Finished second to Santry on debut at York in May, he improved on that performance to record a facile success at Catterick in a Novice Stakes there earlier this month, a race that he was entitled to win easily. It’s hard to know where his ability lies at present, but a turnaround in fortunes with Santry cannot be fully discounted as he will appreciate the ground and the yard are currently running well.
4 FROZEN ANGEL – Left a very disappointing debut well behind him when winning a course and distance conditions race easily back in May, subsequently pitched into Listed company. His race in the National Stakes was complicated, dropping to the rear after sitting prominently before storming home late on into second behind Havana Grey, so that effort can be marked up. A turnaround with that rival looks on the cards at a track he clearly likes and he has to be respected under Richard Kingscote.
5 GIFT IN TIME – Showed promise when second at Haydock on debut, but that form is far below the required standard and he faces different ground on this occasion, leaving him with lots of questions to answer. James Given’s yard is in good form – as is jockey Joe Doyle – yet it is hard to imagine him playing a role in this based on that sole run.
6 HAVANA GREY – Has won twice over five furlongs and arrives here off the back of an excellent performance in the Listed National Stakes at Sandown at the end of May. He had the run of the race that day but did well to get the better of some smart sorts, including Frozen Angel who was earmarked as a Royal Ascot horse a fair while ago. He seems to be improving with every run and is a fascinating runner to watch in this given that he will love the fast ground.
7 IT DONT COME EASY – Richard Fahey trained two-year-old who finished a promising fourth on debut at York. He subsequently improved on that performance when winning at Musselburgh, although the form of that run has been let down by the second who was well beaten in conditions company. He does remain with potential however and the ground is certainly to suit. It would not be a surprise to see him in the placings under the in form Paul Hanagan.
8 KODITIME – Debut winner at Doncaster for Clive Cox and he did not get home on softer ground at Newbury on his latest start, travelling well before his stamina gave out towards the finish. Returning to this better ground will obviously be a help and he remains with potential for a top yard. Possible each way contender but others make more appeal for win purposes.
9 MCERIN – Wesley Ward trained runner who arrives here on the back of a third placed effort at Churchill Downs back in May. He was sent off favourite that day having won his maiden by an impressive 7 1/2 length margin. He is going to come on again now facing another fast five furlongs on a track that he should love. The ground should be relatively similar to what he faced in the USA and he will be suited to Good to Firm. He ranks as a big contender for a yard that excel with their two-year-olds at Royal Ascot. Respected.
10 NEW EMPIRE – Has shown enough ability in two maidens to suggest that he will be winning handicaps at some stage, but nowhere near enough to be winning a race of this nature. The form of fourth at Sandown six days ago leaves him with too much to find. Dismissed.
11 NINE BELOW ZERO – Comfortable winner on debut at Salisbury last month, he bettered that run to easily concede a penalty on his latest start at Windsor, going three lengths clear effortlessly when asked. He seems a useful recruit for Ralph Beckett and the ground conditions are perfect, with Pat Smullen an eye-catching jockey booking, making his claims even more interesting. Likely player for a top yard and is another to consider.
12 PILKINGTON – Showed a good attitude to win a Newcastle maiden 21 days ago, but others showed more on debut and he will need to demonstrate significant improvement if he is to be hitting the frame in a race of this nature. Connections are in form, but this looks too challenging on only his second start.
13 ROCK OF ESTONIA – Has displayed a similar level of form on two runs for Charlie Hills, adding a Bath Novice Stakes to his Windsor win on debut. He had to be driven all the way out on that latest start though and the form of those races is not going to be up to winning a race of this nature. Jamie Spencer takes the ride, however that is not enough to tempt.
14 SANTRY – Declan Carroll trained son of Harbour Watch could be a live contender in this. He was bought for a modest €24,000 as a yearling but has won both of his career starts, including an easy 2 1/4 length success in a Class 3 Novice Stakes race at York in mid-May. The form is not worth a huge amount, but the style in which he won suggests that he is smart and he will come on again. However, all of his form is on Soft and Good to Soft ground so there is a slight question mark regarding the likely fast ground.
15 SIOUX NATION – Broke his maiden at the third attempt when storming home at Cork to win comfortably, though it was a weak race and he was entitled to victory. He was well beaten on his latest start in the Marble Jill Stakes at the Curragh last month and this does not appear any easier, which tempers enthusiasm. Choice of Ryan Moore and possible place contender for Aidan O’Brien, but he looks vulnerable for win purposes.
16 TRUE MOON BLUE – Unbeaten in two starts for Joseph O’Brien, winning on debut at Dundalk before improving to win the Listed Rochestown Stakes at Naas in May under today’s rider Donnacha O’Brien. That form brings him straight into the equation, though he will need to step up on previous efforts and the ground is unknown. That said, the yard is in brilliant form and he appears to be a major contender on what we know, considered.
17 VISCOUNT LOFTUS – Won on debut at Yarmouth eight days ago by a nose, showing a good attitude to outmanoeuvre the eventual second. but that form still gives him plenty to find in this sort of company. He could be anything, but he likely lacks the experience to be winning a race of this nature and can only be given place claims on the account that he could improve.
18 POORAULDJOSEPHINE – Retained by her vendor for only £1,000 which does not bode well, this filly looks to have an impossible task on debut. As her pedigree suggests, she will be better over further distances. No chance.