16:00 Ascot – Victoria Cup The major showpiece race this afternoon sees the annual renewal of the cavalry charge that is The Victoria Cup. 26 horses are set to line up for this seven furlong handicap where the proverbial bridesmaid Kynren currently heads the market. Nobody would be sad to see Kynren claim a well overdue success as he always puts in his best effort but never quite has enough to finish with his nose in front. He’s bound to be in the thick of things but he’s unwillingness to stick his nose in front where it counts is off putting. Eight fellow runners have already got an Ascot victory to their name and my selection hails from this group. The likes of Remarkable is bound to come on for his recent 4th placed effort and certainly enters calculations, as does the Roger Varian trained Cape Byron but as with Raising Sand both may well need a recent run to get up to speed and shake off the cobwebs. At a big price I couldn’t put those looking for each way value off Taurean Star who has the potential to go well at a big price. The above being said however and I’m siding with one of the nine 4 year olds. Blue Mist has been a model of consistency in his career to date having never finishing out of the first four in all of his seven career starts. Some of the races he’s competed in to date, including his maiden success, have worked out well in form terms and although he’s never run over today’s trip before his last win seemed to suggest a drop to seven furlongs would be beneficial. A drop in trip, the addition of blinkers and hailing from a yard who does well in big handicaps here all point towards a bold showing this afternoon. Obviously in a race like this you need a certain amount of luck but Blue Mist ticks the right boxes to go well. BLUE MIST (E/W)
ITV Racing: 13:55 Lingfield – Frankelina (WIN) 14:15 Ascot – Setting Sail (WIN) 14:30 Lingfield – Ranch Hand (E/W) 14:50 Ascot – Barsanti (WIN) 15:10 Haydock – John Constable (E/W) & Project Bluebook (E/W) 15:40 Lingfield – Pretty Baby (WIN) 15:25 Ascot – Red Starlight (WIN)
The Cambridge News – PicksfromthePaddock.co.uk:
14:15 Ascot – SETTING SAIL (WIN)
The Jersey Evening Post – Rory Paddock:
We head up to the North West where, in the fifth race at Haydock, a couple of runners in this seven runner contest are making their handicap debut’s.
Without being cruel to the other four runners it seems to be between Oasis Prince, Politicise and House Of Kings.
The trio all hail from powerhouse stables and for that alone deserve respect.
Politicise finished a credible third last time out in what has turned out to be a decent handicap (1st and 4th have subsequently claimed victory) and a drop down to Class 3 level is also going to help. He will strip fitter for his seasonal reappearance and the Haggas yard are going very well of late. That being said however I just feel House Of Kings may well have a touch of class.
Both House Of Kings and Politicise are sons of Camelot who added another group winner to his list of offspring recently so both should be horses with very bright futures. Never the less it is the latter who comes from an equally in-form stable in Clive Cox who gets the nod. The Godolphin owned runner beat a fellow Godolphin horse in Global Hero who has subsequently won. Of the ten rivals House Of Kings faced in his last race, four from the seven who have subsequently raced, have claimed latter success. The form of his Leicester victory looks very good indeed and although he may not be as fit as some of today’s rivals trainer Clove Cox knows how to get one ready first time out.
I will go as far as to say if House Of Kings wins this race comfortably expect big runs in major handicaps at the likes of Royal Ascot or possibly a foray into group company down the line.
HOUSE OF KINGS (WIN) – NAP
East Anglian Daily Times – Dean Kilbryde:
15:40 Lingfield – PRETTY BABY (WIN)
Norwich Evening News – Chris Connolly:
16:20 Haydock – SUEDOIS (WIN)
Ipswich Star – Matt Polley:
16:00 Ascot – REMARKABLE (WIN)