Two major races for us this afternoon at York and Ascot respectively. Good to Firm at both courses and watering has taken place. There is a common theme in both races – a reversal of form from that experienced in the testing conditions endured from a few weeks back. Most notably at Royal Ascot and at the Sandown Eclipse meeting. As we have already seen recently, some of that form can have a line drawn through it now we are back to more customary mid-summer ground.
3.35 York Sky Bet York Stakes (Group 2)
Although Time Test sets the standard on the best of his form, odds of 2/5-4/11 are prohibitive. Ground conditions weren’t suitable in the Eclipse, but that was still a disappointing run. A return to the imperious Royal Ascot form of 2015 would be worth the admission money.
As his trainer Roger Charlton reported: “He’s come out of Sandown well and he’s in good form,” His best performances have been on fast ground and he hasn’t really had it like this since Royal Ascot last year. We take each race as it comes but the Juddmonte would be a natural follow-on from this race.”
Commenting on stablemate Countermeasure who set the pace in the Eclipse and lines up against Time Test today: “Countermeasure has always run from the front and he’ll do it again at York. A good pace is important for Time Test, but then it is for all of them. It’s a small field and we don’t want a messy race.”
With only 5 runners I can’t see any great betting angle into this race.
I price the race as follows:
Time Test 1/2
Air Pilot 10/1
4.30 Ascot King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Sponsored by Qipco) (Group 1)
Despite sweating up before the start of the Hardwicke, racing arkwardly and Seamie Heffernan dropping the whip, Highland Reel was just held by Dartmouth in a duelling finish.
I expect Highland Reel with Ryan Moore now on board to reverse the Ascot form. Heffernan takes the ride on AP O’Brien’s other entry, Sir Isaac Newton.
Wings Of Desire ran well to finish a creditable fourth in the Derby and can progress.
Erupt caught the eye on latest start at Saint-Cloud, where never nearer than at the finish in a slowly run race.
Just on £700, 000 to the winner alone and prize money goes down to sixth place.
My prices are:
Highland Reel 5/2
Wings Of Desire 9/2
Sir Isaac Newton 10/1
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