Stick with Fitzy as he goes through the top races at Ascot and York
And he's hopeful of picking the winner in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes
What a first weekend to kick things off with the Paddy Power Blog. We may have lost the ante-post fav Postponed from the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot but now it opens the race up for the others.
The Queen’s racing manager John Warren supplemented Dartmouth and that now looks as shrewd as Leicester City signing Riyad Mahrez for 400k!
Sir Michael Stoute’s runner is the co-fav for one of the richest Group 1 races in Europe this summer but it’s hard not to argue that Highland Reel would have beaten him at Royal Ascot when just denied by a head when Seamie Heffernan dropped his stick on the Aidan O’Brien trained runner.
Top jock Olivier Peslier has been around good horses a long time, but he’s worried about this turning into too tactical a race for Dartmouth. But one horse who won’t have that worry is the French-trained Erupt whose connections are never shy at aiming at the big prizes.
Francis-Henri’s charge ran a super race in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe when fifth to Golden Horn last October before finishing sixth in the Japan Cup a month later.
He won the Grane Prix de Paris on decent ground last July in his native France and came from a long way back to be second in the Group One Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud behind Silverware last time out.
Erupt can take advantage of the way the race will be run and win this.
John Gosden’s Dante winner Wings Of Desire is a progressive young horse who will run a big race getting a big weight-for-age allowance. His trainer nearly won this last year with Eagle Top for the same owner.
Cracking each-way bet
The 7f International Stakes (3.55pm) is a big field handicap where Heavens Guest (won it last year & was fourth in 2014) is too good an opportunity to pass up. He is a cracking each-way bet with a good claimer booked in Adam McNamara.
John Gosden’s Von Blucher won with a bit in hand at Newmarket last time and can go in again in the Woodford Reserve Handicap (3.20pm) where the improving bottom weight Pirouette, who has won two on the bounce, is interesting each-way.
The Group 3 Stakes for two-year-old’s is sponsored by Juddmonte and it’s fitting they have a daughter of the mighty Frankel running in it. It may pay to have a saver each-way on the Ryan Moore-ridden How as she looks overpriced.
There’s a competitive card at York and the 7f handicap (3pm) looks a good chance for Swift Approval to carry on his winning streak, while the Group 2 Stakes over 10f is Roger Charlton’s Time Test’s to lose.
The 6f Dash on the card is as competitive as ever but Kevin Ryan’s Lexington Abbey is a decent each-way proposition with Irish jock Pat Smullen booked to ride again after the pair finished third to Royal Birth at Ascot.
Hopefully we can get one or two over the line before the smash up of Goodwood & the Galway festivals next week. Good luck.