Frank Hickey: Expect Pogo to bounce back at 16/1 in the Britannia Stakes

The top trader and top bloke sorts the wheat from the stuff that isn't wheat on Gold Cup day.



2.30 Norfolk Stakes

Sunday Sovereign will be very popular as his defeat of Arizona (won the Coventry yesterday) looking very strong form now. However, Aidan O’Brien has a decent recent record in this race winning it twice in the past four years and has also supplied a third and a fourth, so he knows what is required. Mount Fuji is the one that Ryan Moore rides and he looks a bit of value at around the 9/1 mark. He was very green on his debut at Cork, but fairly flew home once the penny dropped, to win nicely. He is sure to step forward massively for that experience and if he does, he will be difficult to keep out of the frame in a race where Paddy is paying four places.

3.05 Hampton Court Stakes

This looks a really competitive renewal but I like the chances of the least experienced runner in the field, Fox Chairman. He was extremely impressive when easily winning on debut at Newbury. The second horse that day is nearly favourite for the Britannia Handicap while the fourth home Fifth Position, beat the Jersey Stakes favourite, Space Blues next time out. That’s hot form. He then went to Chester for the Dee Stakes and got very little luck in running where the winner Circus Maximus, and second were gone by the time he got a clear run. Circus Maximus won the Group One St James Palace Stakes yesterday, so that form looks strong also. Everything points to Fox Chairman being a Group horse and he should go very well.

3.40 Ribblesdale Stakes

This doesn’t look the strongest renewal of the Ribblesdale and Fleeting may be able to provide Aidan O’Brien with his fourth winner of this race in the last six years. An impressive winner of the Group Two May Hill Stakes as a two-year-old, she found it all happening a bit too quickly for her in the 1,000 Guineas.

She was very unlucky not to win the Oaks at Epsom when not getting a clear run but stormed home to only be beaten a length and a half in third. That form is miles clear of anything her rivals here have achieved and she really deserves to be clear favourite for this.

She will take plenty of beating.

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4.20 Gold Cup

Stradivarius is a top-class stayer but today’s rain would just make me think twice about taking a short price about him. Cross Counter looks sure to go well also but with the rain getting into the ground I’m going to give an each way chance to Magic Circle at a big price. He really relishes soft ground and looked to have improved for the switch to Ian Williams when bolting up in the Chester Cup last season and following up nicely in the Henry II Stakes.

He was put away for the Melbourne Cup and was only a 6/1 shot for that but unfortunately he bled which explained his below par run. He was very weak in the market on his return at Chester in May, which suggests the run was badly needed and with conditions to suit and stamina assured, he might be able to run into a place at a decent price.

5.00 Britannia Stakes

Migration, King Ademar and Pogo made my shortlist for this race and at the prices and with Paddy paying 6 places I think it is worth having an each-way play on Pogo. He had some really smart two year old form, including finishing second to both Advertise and Main Edition in maidens before later in the year being only six lengths behind Phoenix Of Spain in a Grade 2 at York.

He was a very impressive winner of a handicap at Newmarket on 2,000 Guineas day and that time of that win was very similar to the time that Magna Grecia posted when winning the Guineas. Pogo only got an 8lb rise for that win and the third and fourth from Newmarket have both won since to frank the form. His run in the German Guineas can be excused and with no concerns with regards softening ground, he can outrun his double-digit odds here.

5.35 King George V Stakes

Constantinople could well turn out to be a St. Leger contender later in the season but will need to be winning here to go down that route. However, Sir Ron Priestley would look too well handicapped to ignore here. He was unable to win on his first two starts over shorter trips but his form took off when stepped up to 1m 4f. He hacked up in a maiden at Ripon and the second from that race has won twice subsequently. He showed his opening handicap mark of 86 to be all wrong when winning very easily at Haydock. A 6lb rise would look to be quite lenient and he may capable of giving Mark Jonhston back- to-back wins in this race.

*Prices correct at time of publishing

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What do you think?