14:30 Ascot – Norfolk Stakes
I’m not certain of the strength of the Irish 2-year-olds this year. We saw probably the best horse we have, Sergei Prokofiev, get beaten into third in the Coventry Stakes.
So I’ll go with the American horse down the very bottom here, Wesley Ward’s Shang Shang Shang. Wesley always brings at least one good 2-year-old with him. He has a great reputation and he’s not here to make up the numbers. The horse’s price has drifted slightly, but I’d be willing to give it a chance considering the Norfolk is probably the weaker of the 2-year-old races.
Charlie Appleby’s horse, Key Victory, stands out. He was two from two before the French derby, where he was disappointing in a messy sort of race. He can bounce back here and regain the winning thread.
16:20 Ascot – Gold Cup
There’s a massive head-to-head here with Order Of St George and Stradivarius. But we’ll start with Max Dynamite. He’s in great order and has improved since York, but he has a lot to find and if he can run into the money, it’d be a massive run for him. That would be a career best for him. But overall he’s in good form.
Of the big three, if you include Vazirabad, I like Stradivarius. He’s the young and improving horse. The trip is an unknown but he’s going in the right direction. I was impressed with him at York and the good-to-firm ground is a negative for Order Of St George, as it could also be for Vazirabad.
These horses are all unexposed 3-year-olds, but there was a bit of chat around the place about Ostilio, who’s way down the bottom with Silvestre Da Souza on board. He’s the one I’d be riding.
17:35 Ascot – King George V Stakes
This is a very competitive race, and a low draw is a must over this trip. If you’re drawn wide, you’re goosed – you need to be drawn under 10. I like First Eleven under Frankie Dettori, who’s drawn number seven.