We have three runners on day one of Royal Ascot
The weather has again been unkind to the mud-loving Trueshan, who for the second time looks like missing the Ascot Gold Cup because of fast ground as temperatures at this week’s Royal meeting are predicted to be heading towards the high 20’s.
However, we have three runners on day one, when horses might enjoy the best of the ground, with Who Dares Wins having another crack at the Ascot Stakes and On To Victory and Raymond Tusk both being aimed at The Copper Horse Handicap.
Who Dares Wins, who finished third in this same race five years ago, is now 10 years of age, yet he has dropped to his lowest Flat mark for two years, and this has been the plan since he ran over hurdles at Haydock last month. Tom Marquand, who knows the old boy so well, again takes the ride.
Henry Ponsonby, who, together with his syndicate, owns Who Dares Wins, has been knocking on the door in this marathon for several years as, besides this fellow’s brave effort in 2017, the owner also went close with Tiger Cliff and Lieutenant Miller.
Ponsonby also has hopes for On To Victory in the mile and six furlong race, in which he will again be ridden by Jim Crowley, who was aboard when On To Victory ran on well to finish fifth on his seasonal reappearance at York, having been forced to come from a long way back after completely blowing the start.
Also in action in the Copper Horse is Raymond Tusk, who will find this opposition much more suitable than those he took on in the G2 Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket.
Raymond Tusk was entitled to have a shot at that race as he had previously only just been beaten in the G3 John Porter Stakes at Newbury, so back in handicap he looks interesting.