First televised race of the day is not for me an interesting ballot of entries, two that caught my attention was Karl Burke’s Glenalmond and Kevin Ryan’s Al Khan.
The fact that Al Khan has been left the wide berth from stall 10, tends me to be more positive towards Burke’s GLENALMOND.
The yard are still looking for improvement from their runners this season, but the fact that he now gets his fast ground is more encouraging. Fifth in a Class 2 Handicap over course and distance last July when caught flat footed, but made the best of his way home to go behind by only three lengths, 7lb lower coming into this now off 87 gives him a real live chance.
Moving on to the Listed event the Dee Stakes, which is over the extended mile and a quarter. The biggest improver could come from the Ballydoyle second string HOUSESOFPARLIAMENT.
Beautifully bred by Galileo and full brother to Foundry the entire pedigree is based around middle distant stamina, even though his only win came on the all weather when short in the market to land his maiden.
He has showed signs for me that he retains some ability, big fan of the jockey booking of Seamus Heffernan this afternoon and the plum draw in stall 1 could give him serious claims to land this event. Major adversaries look to come from stablemate Cook Island.
The ground probably did not suit in the Ballysax’s recently, heavy ground not his wanted pedigree, live chance dropping back in Class.
Only pattern race on the card comes in the Ormonde Stakes, interesting contender is Wicklow Brave of Willie Mullins. Last seen on the level when finishing third behind Flying Officer and Clever Cookie in the Long Distant Cup last year, comes into this off a 1lb higher mark, but apposable for me.
Michael Stoute’s Dartmouth sets a serious standard after his facile success in the John Porter Stakes at Chelmsford last month. One at a price could be Mark Johnstone’s ORIENTAL FOX who seems to be very versatile on any going.
He would probably want further than this after winning the Queen Akexander Stakes and just denied in last seasons Cesarewitch, but if getting a good honest pace I would expect him to be on the premises.
Oriental Fox (WIN)
Nothing really has taken my eye in this contest, but if EL ASTRONAUTE can produce his second over course and distance from last year he would be the one to beat in this,
John Quinn has his yard in fine fettle and would not be displaced back in the winning enclosure with his three year old. Best of the rest could Kevin Ryan’s Mont Kiara who has been recently gelded and is probably far better than his current mark suggests, but I will give just a tentative vote to the selection.
El Astronaute (WIN)