15:05 Ascot – Queen’s Vase
Mark Johnston has a tremendous record in this race, winning seven of the last seventeen renewals of this, so I’m going to take a bit of a flyer at a massive price with his Lynwood Gold.
On the bare form, he has a bit to find but the two occasions on which he encountered proper fast ground, he bolted up. This will be the first time he gets his ground this season and I can see him being prominent through the race. He will surely try to kick on early to test the stamina of his rivals. If it plays out like that, I’m hoping he can cause an upset.
15:40 Ascot – Duke Of Cambridge Stakes
Tribute Act is a half-sister to Ribbons, who was a Group 1 winner for the same connections. Prior to Ribbons landing her Group 1 win, she was touched off in a handicap at Ascot off a mark of 95.
Interestingly, Tribute Act was touched off last time at Ascot off a mark of 90 and considering how shrewd James Fanshawe is, I think it is worth paying attention to the fact he has supplemented Tribute Act for this. She is open to any amount of improvement, she acts well at Ascot and is worth chancing at an each-way price.
16:20 Ascot – Royal Hunt Cup
Last year’s winner Zhui Feng and Love Dreams are likely to go hard from the front, so it may pay to be drawn low here and track the pace set by those two. While many make each-way appeal, like Keyser Soze, Escobar and Seniority, I’m going to stick with an old friend in Flaming Spear.
He bolted up in a competitive handicap at York last season and runs here off just 4lbs higher. He has switched stables from Kevin Ryan to Dean Ivory and interestingly, Dean Ivory nearly won this race in 2016 with a relatively new recruit for same connections in Librisia Breeze. Flaming Spear is drawn seven, so should get a good tow into the race and if he is ready to go off an absence, he should run a big race.
17:35 Ascot – Jersey Stakes
Headway found the test in the 2000 Guineas all too much but the drop in grade and trip here could see him bounce back to his best and I can see him going very well at a double figure price. His win at Lingfield prior to the Guineas was extremely impressive and we know he likes the track as he was only just touched off the Coventry last season. In a race that lacks a real stand out performer, he looks sure to give his running.