Friday, June 21, 2019

Royal Ascot 2019 - Day 5

Godolphin, or more precisely Charlie Appleby, hold a strong hand on the last day at Ascot.

Pinatubo and Space Blues are among the market leaders in the first 2 races and it seems they will battle it out with the Ballydoyle contingent for the win. Blue Point has an outstanding chance of doing a 'Choisir' and be a dual winner of the Royal meeting but the main question is whether 4 days rest is enough for him.

Masar is an intriguing favourite in the Hardwicke Stakes. The Derby winner is making his seasonal return after over a year on the sidelines and the vibes from the connections could not be more positive. It is however certain that the son of New Approach will not be at the peak of his powers and will need the run. His class might be enough to get him through but there are a few others that might give him a race.

Defoe was the surprise winner of the Coronation Cup. The son of Dalakhani looked to have lost his way over the past year but seemed to have regained his form when winning convincingly at Epsom on Derby day. If he reproduces that form, he can be considered a major player.

Salouen can be a danger if the ground stays soft but his chances will evaporate as it gets drier.

Lah Ti Dar was a major disappointment in the Coronation Cup as I expected her to be among the main protagonists. The connections believe she did not like the cambers of Epsom. If that is the case, then she might be ripe for redemption at Ascot. There is still a doubt though about her; maybe she is not as good as what she let transpired early in her career.

Mirage Dancer is the dark horse of the race and without a doubt the best-bred as well. There cannot be many pedigrees beating the blood of Frankel and Heat Haze in the stud book! He comfortably won at the distance in his seasonal return and seems to be on an upward curve. Trainer Michael Stoute is a master at getting these older horses right and quite interestingly won the race last year with Crystal Ocean.

Lastly, Southern Image seems to be well backed on the basis of his last race where he went toe to toe with Stradivarius. I feel the 12 furlong distance might be somewhat too sharp for him.

If Masar comes out firing on most cylinders, he very well could win this. I see him petering out in the last furlong or so. At current odds, there might be value taking confidence in Mirage Dancer as an each-way prospect.

Each-way: Mirage Dancer


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