Royal Ascot: Ed Chamberlin gives his picks for the week
Last Updated: 12/06/14 10:28am
This looks set to be a vintage Royal Ascot.
The long-range weather forecast looks good; there will be a sporting feel-good factor with the World Cup underway and England still in the tournament until Ladies Day at least.
Plus, the racing looks spectacular with Treve providing some proper stardust. She will be the star of the show but here are my six horses to follow over the week…
His brother, Pisco Sour, won at the Royal meeting in 2011 and I'm expecting this lad to do the same. He holds a Group-race entry but I much prefer his chances in one of the handicaps, as he remains attractively weighted, despite an 8lb hike for last month's easy Newbury win.
Already a winner on soft and good to firm, he's a versatile type and will be difficult to beat if he continues on his steep upward curve. Trainer Sir Michael Stoute also knows how to win a handicap at Royal Ascot and should have a big week in that sphere.
Her sales price rose sharply when she was bought by David Redvers at the breeze-up sales for a hefty 340,000gns. However, she is worth every penny and a lot more going on her five-length debut success at Carlisle recently, when there was no second.
Connections have two options, the Queen Mary or the Albany Stakes, and I have hunch we'll see her line up for the latter. She oozes class; her sire, Exceed And Excel, does well with his Ascot runners, and David Barron's chestnut rates one of the best bets of the meeting.
Don't Bother Me
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Ex-Irish. Ran a good race for a big outsider in last year's Jersey Stakes and I get the impression he has been trained with a Royal Ascot handicap in mind. Ran an eye-catching third over 6f at Newmarket last time, suggesting his Wokingham entry is far from fanciful and at the current 33-1, he is well worth a small each-way interest.
The downside to that is Don't Bother Me might be at his very best over 7f and he would be one of the standouts if he were to take in the Buckingham Palace Stakes.
Disappointed behind stablemate, Kingfisher, in the Dee Stakes at Chester. He failed to handle the track that day and if you watch a replay of that race, you will see him running on strongly at the finish. I would have fancied him to run a big race in the Derby and, stepping up to 1m4f for the first time in the King Edward VII Stakes, I fancy him to get his season back on track in a big way.
Soft ground has definitely been against him on his last two starts and confidence will go through the roof if he gets his favoured good ground.
Finished plum last in the Oaks and there must be a big doubt about her making the Coronation Stakes after such a disappointing display. That said, she was a clear non-stayer and if she shows no physical drawbacks after Epsom, I think they should let her run.
She proved herself a top-class filly on more than one occasion last season (missed the 1,000 Guineas due to an infection) and she remains a tasty prospect dropping back to a mile, on a track that will suit.
Gordon Lord Byron
Failed to run his race when fourth in the Golden Jubilee last year, and I don't see how he can be out of the frame if he turns up with his A-game. Connections have been globetrotting with him of late, enjoying Group 1 success in Australia along the way. Things didn't go his way in Sha Tin last month, but we can excuse him that run and in what could be a below-average renewal of the race, I reckon he rates sound each-way value at around 10-1.