Friday, July 25, 2008

Ascot, York and Salisbury

Just eight runners are declared for tomorrow's King George at Ascot. Three of the eight come from Ballydoyle; Macarthur is entitled to take his chance but stablemate Duke Of Marmalade will go off favourite, with Red Rock Canyon being employed as the pacemaker. Duke Of Marmalade won the Prince of Wales's Stakes at the Royal Ascot meeting five weeks ago but this is his first try at a mile and a half - we don't know for certain whether he'll stay but his style of running suggests he should. Favourites have a good record in this, having won six times in the last decade but at the prices available, I'm going to look elsewhere. The two most likely to upset the applecart are Youmzain and Lucarno. In the Weekender Nick Mordin favours Lucarno but I'm going to side with Mick Channon's Youmzain who was second to Dylan Thomas last year in both this race and the Arc. The use of a pacemaker will suit this horse and if I have a concern, it's that his top-drawer form has tended to come with some cut in the ground; 3/1 is generally available and seems fair.

The big race at York is the Group 2 Sky Bet York Stakes. Dettori rides Ascot better than most but, with the Godolphin operation going through a lean spell, it speaks volumes that his employers send him here to ride Campanologist. That doesn't ring a bell for me though (apologies) as Pipedreamer would appear to have four pounds in hand over his rival on Eclipse form. Tajaaweed was a tad disappointing in finishing eighth in the Derby but he suffered a slight setback a couple of days before the race and poses a live threat here. It's a close call but I note that John Gosden's stable is flying at the moment while Sir Michael Stoute's is particularly quiet - Pipedreamer is top-rated by the Racing Post and gets the vote.

Finally, for those with more money than they know what to do with, Roger Charlton's Oarsman, sporting first-time blinkers, looks the one to beat in the 7.40 maiden at Salisbury.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

A thrilling finish to the King George with 4/6 favourite Duke Of Marmalade fighting back to beat Papal Bull (14/1) half a length. Youmzain (4/1) got into all sorts of trouble but, even with a clear run, in my opinion would have struggled to live with the principals; he finished over nine lengths away in third. Any queries about the Duke's ability to stay were answered in no uncertain terms here.
Pipedreamer (2/1f) landed the spoils in taking fashion at York but 2/1 shot Oarsman was left for dead by Hughie Morrison's 11/10 favourite Palace Moon in the Salisbury maiden; he was five lengths clear at the post.