Most of our Royal Ascot team want rain for next week
It was great to see our 2019 bet 365 Sandown hero Talkischeap bounce back to form with a brilliant second in the Sam Moreshead Gold Cup at Perth on Sunday, but, inevitably now our thoughts start pointing towards Royal Ascot next week.
However, the weather omens, though favourable for those ladies looking to enhance sun tans in their summer frocks, do not look too encouraging for Trueshan‘s chance in the Gold Cup.
Alan has an early look at his likely runners for next week in today’s Racing Post – if you haven’t seen it yet, I can highly recommend what would be an excellent read after supper this evening – but he stresses that the ground would need to be good at least for last year’s Long Distance Cup winner to take his chance.
“Trueshan has shown he is much better on soft ground, and, while good would be ok, I’m not sure I’d risk him on good to firm,” revealed Alan, adding “you can’t be sure he’ll stay the two and a half, but he wasn’t stopping at the end of two miles on Champions Day.”
Alan has virtually worn out the tape of last year’s never-to-be-forgotten three winners at the Royal meeting, but, as was his pre-race wish 12 months ago, he says he’d gladly take one winner at what, together with Cheltenham in March, is his favourite meeting of the entire year.
Others who would not want the ground to dry up too much are Who Dares Wins, who attempts to retain his Queen Alexandra Stakes crown in Saturday’s finale, and our Ascot Stakes hero Coeur de Lion, who will also be trying for the back-to-back double.
In fact, looking down his likely lads for next week, Alan said that “most will want a bit of juice in the ground,” with that certainly applying to On To Victory, who was runner-up in the mile and a half handicap last year but now goes up in trip for the Copper Horse, and Raymond Tusk, who produced a fantastic run to finish second at York’s Dante meeting and, granted decent ground, would have a choice of either the Copper Horse or the Duke of Edinburgh Handicap.
Scarlet Dragon has also been pencilled in for the Duke of Edinburgh, with Alan observing “he loves coming through horses, so the faster they go the better his chance”, while Tritonic, who blew the cobwebs away after a break when fourth at Chelmsford, might be another heading for that race.
Last but not least, we have a possible two-year-old Royal runner in Asymmetric, who knew his job when winning first time out at Goodwood last week. He’s a possible for the Coventry, but Alan accepts that the race comes up pretty quick after the colt’s trip to Sussex, so he’ll wait until the week-end before making a decision.
Alan will be watching with particular interest the two-year-old debut of Four Notes at Haydock on Wednesday, the filly being a half-sister to Primitivo, who gave Alan his first Royal Ascot winner when capturing the King George V Handicap in 2016.
Primitivo was later sold for a reputedly huge sum to Hong Kong, where he did very well under the name of Gold Mount.
Also in action at Haydock on Wednesday is another juvenile debutant, Tuddenham Green, a Nathaniel colt, whose owners include Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, Twilight Twist, who looked smart when winning at Wolvehampton last November and has since been gelded, and recent Nottingham winner Oceanline.