I’m hoping to get off to a winning start on Ladies Day and Santry gets my nap vote. It’s trainer Declan Carroll’s only runner here this week and he brings a perfect 100 per cent record in to the contest after winning at York and Doncaster. Jockey Jim Crowley thought this Group 2 was the logical choice and it looks that way at this time in his career. He should not be underestimated.
Mirage Dancer swerved the Derby after running a cracker at Chester when fourth to Derby second Cliffs of Moher. He didn’t get the best of runs that day and Sir Michael Stoute’s patience can be rewarded with this classy son of Frankel. His main danger looks to be Godolphin’s Derby fifth Benbatl. They boys in blue have made a great start to the Festival but this is a big ask, just 18 days after his Epsom run.
Mori has a pedigree to die for and after running very green on her first start at Newbury. She followed up with good wins at Ascot and Goodwood, the latter at Listed level. She’s up in class again to a Grade 2 and the nine-times Irish champion jockey Pat Smullen is in the saddle. She can continue her progress through the ranks.
Simple Verse is already a Classic winner having eventually been awarded the 2015 St Leger after losing it in the stewards room at Doncaster. She’s one of a handful in here who have not raced over the extreme distance of 2m 4f but her trainer Ralph Beckett has indicated that he’s been itching to try her over this trip. If her stamina holds out in what looks like being a strongly-run contest, she could just have too much finishing ‘kick’ for this line-up.
I’m all over Gilgamesh to give his young rookie handler, George Scott, a first Royal Ascot success. He has been placed to win four consecutive races and is much better than his handicap rating of 92 suggests, as it looks nowhere near his ceiling. Jamie Spencer is on board and no doubnt will be giving him a typically patient ride. Fast ground and the mile trip in a big field looks tailor-made for him.
Big Johnny G’s Master Singer fairly bolted up in a maiden up at Newcastle by 16 lengths! He’s been aimed at this handicap as a stepping stone to better races and has some flashy entries. Expect to see him in Group races before long and should get very competitive here before going on to better things.