Ruby Walsh: Ascot Stakes runners could answer Mullins’ royal call

Royal Ascot's coming up next week, so we've got Ruby to throw on his top hat and tails for a look at some of the big races and possible runners....

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We’ve five possible runners in the Ascot Stakes. Chelkar hasn’t run for us before, and he’s stepping up in trip from his previous, so it’ll be interesting to see if he stays. Stratum is a possibility, Meri Devie, Whiskey Sour and Lagostovegas make up the five that should get in.

They’re all rated around 91 or upwards, and there’s plenty of interesting ones there.

Whiskey Sour was very consistent through the winter. Lagostovegas ran a blinder in last year’s Cesarewitch over 2m2f so you’d be hoping she’d run a good race here. Meri Devie has been a bit hit-and-miss but has plenty of ability.

Stratum obviously needed the run in Ballinrobe the last day. We thought he was a decent novice hurdler earlier in the season before he got hurt, he looks to be in good order. Chelkar has had a few entries already but hasn’t got the run yet. That’s the plan for him.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – APRIL 08: Ruby Walsh signals to the crowd prior to the 2017 Randox Health Grand National at Aintree Racecourse on April 8, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

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He’s a horse that goes well but it’ll be interesting to see if he makes it round the 2m4f as that’s a huge step up from what he’s done in the past.

Meri Devie’s run in some high-class races in France before we got her. She’s a decent filly. She won a good two-and-a-half handicap hurdle in Punchestown, so the trip won’t be trouble for her.

At the minute they’re all entered, but it’ll depend on how they work Thursday and Saturday to see who’ll go. We’d be hoping to get Ryan Moore if he’s available. He’d be a huge addition.

Thomas Hobson and Max Dynamite are in the Gold Cup for us as well.

Max is also qualified for the Queen Alexander, which he ran in last year too.

Ascot’s handicaps are gone a bit like Cheltenham, you need to be getting higher up the ratings to get in, so that’s about all we’ll have.

Of the rest of the Gold Cup field, Stradivarius is an improving horse, I like him there too.

The Coronation Stakes will be a great race, with Jessica Harrington’s filly Alpha Centauri taking on Richard Hannon’s Billesdon Brook, and, looking at the Queen Anne, there’s Rhododendron. Aidan’s horses always improve through the year so I’m looking forward to that race too.

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