Good morning all,
There was good news on Royal Ascot yesterday. As it was announced that ITV will cover every race live at next week’s Royal meeting. Its all part of what will be a five-hour show for each day of the meeting. Unlike last year when the meeting was held behind closed doors, we will see 10,000 racegoers attend on each of the five days.
Let’s hope ITV achieve better viewing figures than what they got for last weekend’s Derby Festival where figures were down for both days compared to previous years.
Staying on the Royal Ascot theme. Tomorrow I will be looking at five horses that are worth noting there next week.
Inside today’s main piece. I have a couple of ante post selections for Saturday for you. Plus, I have a couple of fancies at this afternoon's Cork meeting.
The weekend racing prior to Royal Ascot tends to be low in terms of quality. In truth this Saturday is very down market. There are nine meetings on Saturday but the highest-class races are Listed contests at Sandown and York.
It looks like it’s going to continue to be dry for the weekend’s action so we can expect good to firm going across the country.
I have a couple of ante post selections for York.
York – Saturday
2:35 – JCB Handicap (Class 2) -7f
There are a couple that I like for this handicap:
Azano won a Group 3 Chantilly in 2019, when trained by John Gosden. The 5-year-old ran well when a 2 ½ length 3rd of 9 at Thirsk on his first start for David O’Meara. However, he didn’t build on that when well beaten at Goodwood on a return to handicap company. He quickly bounced back to form when a 2 ½ length 2nd of 8 back at Thirsk last time. He looks on a competitive mark off 91 and trainer David O’Meara won this race in 2019.
Golden Apollo has plenty of form at York mostly over 6f but I noticed that the 7-year-old finished a 4-length 5th of 20 in this race in 2019. His last success came over 6f in Ayr’s Silver Cup in September of that year. No wins last season but he went close here over 6f last July off 3lb higher. Likely needed the run on his first start for 252-days when never competitive at Haydock two weeks ago. A return to York is a positive and if he does take his place in the Saturday line-up, he won’t be 20/1.
Azano – 9/1 @ Coral
Golden Apollo – 20/1 – Gen (E/W)
3:40 – Pavers Foundation Catherine Memorial Sprint Handicap (Class 2) – 6f
Charlie Hills has a couple of entries in this Heritage Handicap. However, I’m hoping he’s going to rely on Dark Shift. The colt made a winning return to action at Nottingham (soft) last month. Although the going was testing that day, he had shown even better form when winning on good ground at Ascot on his juvenile debut last year. Handicap debut off a mark of 88 looks more than workable and he’s open to further improvement this season.
Dark Shift – 15/2 @ Bet365.
The best of the action today is across the Irish Sea. It’s Derby Day at Cork although the feature race is the Group 3 Munster Oaks (3:30).
3:30 – Thunder Kiss a winner of 1m 4f handicap at Dundalk off 84 back in March seemed to improve further when a ¾ length 2nd of 7 in a similar race at Naas last month. A return to today’s distance could see her go one better today.
4:00 – The lightly raced Federica Sophia looks set to go off a short price in the Cork Derby after her 4th of 18 on her Leopardstown return last month.
The Names Jock was 5 ½ length further back in that race but it was the 5-year-old’s first start for five months and would have finished closer if he had a clearer passage in the final two furlongs. Fitter for that run and the previous course winner has each-way claims.
4:00 – The Names Jock – 12/1 @ Coral & Ladbrokes (E/W).
Good luck with your Wednesday bets.
John Burke is the tipster behind the long standing Victor Value service you can join him here – https://victorvalue.uk