We are well versed watching Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott trade blows on our screens, but not usually in top hats and finery amid the confines of Royal Ascot.
Day five of the Royal meeting has a wealth of action to savour, not least Harry Angle’s bid to arrest his Ascot hoodoo in the Diamond Jubilee, but we start with the battle of the jumps rivals.
Pallasator 8/1 – Each Way – Queen Alexandra Stakes
Pallasator was a smart stayer in the care of Sir Mark Prescott, his highlight coming with Doncaster Cup success and as recently as last summer he was competing in Group-race company.
Over the winter he made the switch to Gordon Elliott’s team in Ireland and landed himself a Grade 2 win over hurdles earlier in the spring at Fairyhouse. Given his Flat form last term, it isn’t a big shock to see him coming here for this conditions contest over 2m5f, and he looks the value shout at 8/1 as an each-way prospect.
The favourite is Mullins’ Thomas Hobson, runner-up in this race last year and benefiting from Ryan Moore’s services here, having had Martin Harley 12 months ago. He’s the form pick and is priced according at 6/4. Jamie Spencer, so calm winning with a late winning burst on Agrotera on Friday, is the ideal man to deliver Pallasator late.
The Tin Man 15/2 – Each Way – Diamond Jubilee Stakes
So much hangs on Harry Angel here. Just four defeats in his career, each of them coming at this track. There’s no clear reason to suggest he can’t win here, but he might be vulnerable late on over this stiff six furlongs. I’m a big fan of Clive Cox’s star although he’s opposable today.
The Tin Man won this event 12 months ago and should run well again. Conditions are perfect for him and James Fanshawe’s charge is three from three over C&D on good ground or faster.
He looked to be in good order last month when starting his campaign with a win at Windsor in Listed class. He should be cherry-ripe now for what is surely his big summer target.
Dreamfield 4/1 – To Win – Wokingham Stakes
A handicap plot to round off our Royal Ascot action. John Gosden’s Dreamfield maintained his unbeaten record in returning from 569 days off with a smooth success over C&D last month.
His in-form trainer has predictably given him some time to recover and this race was inked in the calendar thereafter. He’s been raised 8lb for the win but there are likely bigger and better things ahead of Dreamfield, who looks to have Group-race potential.
He could prove a blot on the copybook in handicap company here and James Doyle has a perfect opportunity to enhance his excellent strike rate for Team Gosden in 2018 – he’s already boasting a 38 per cent win rate for the yard.
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