The final part of my Royal Ascot debrief. Inside you will find an eyecatcher from each of the five days and a Thursday selection from the Curragh. Which hopefully can go one better than Groveman did yesterday.
Tuesday – Day 1
Fairyland, trained by Aidan O’Brien, hadn’t been disgraced when 5th of 15 in the 1,000 Guineas. She failed to see out the mile that day and at the Curragh in the Irish version. Last years Group 1 Cheveley Park winner was dropped back to 5f in the King Stand Stakes and she shaped with in finishing 5th, beaten about three lengths by Blue Point.
The drop back to the minimum trip was always going to be a big ask for the 3-year-old and she was a little outpaced but she made some notable headway in the final furlong or so. She just didn’t have the pace of the likes of Blue Point and Battaash. It’s worth noting she was only ¼ length behind the third. The step up to 6f will suit the filly and next month’s July Cup could be an ideal race for her and the 25/1 available with Paddy Power would look value if connections decide to send her to Newmarket.
Wednesday – Day 2
Almost Midnight, trained by David Simcock, was a winner on his racecourse debut back in January before finishing runner-up at Newcastle. The 3-year-old returned from a short break to win a minor 1m 4f race at Thirsk last month. He was thrown into the deep end in the Group 2 Queen’s Vase but wasn’t disgraced in finishing 7th.
Sent off an unfancied 50/1, hold up tactics weren’t suited by the way the race panned up and his effort can be marked up.
The colt’s run hasn’t been ignored by the handicapper who put him up 5lb for this effort. If he returns to handicaps, he should remain very competitive even off his new mark. He should have a nice pot in him before the year is out.
Thursday – Day 3
Roseman, trained by Roger Varian, ran well in finishing 5th in the Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes and I think the form of the race will stand up as the season progresses.
The 3-year-old was only having his 4th career start. A winner at Nottingham on his second start back in April. He had run well to finish runner-up to subsequent St James’s Palace Stakes second King Of Comedy at Sandown last time.
Slightly impeded at the start. He then seemed to struggle in the rear in the early stages of the race, out a bit wider than you would like. The son of Kingman still seemed a shade green and was doing all his best work at the finish of the race. This was a better effort than his final position suggests and there was enough in his performance to think he could be a decent horse by the end of the season.
Friday – Day 4
Fujaira Prince, trained by Roger Varian, had put in an excellent performance when finishing 2nd in a valuable York handicap on his previous start and arguably put in just as good an effort in finishing third here. He didn’t get the best of passages through the race and had to be switched twice in the straight when trying to make his effort.
Lightly raced for his age. The 5-year-old the gelding is now 3 wins from 6 starts and he might not have finished his progress just yet. I will be disappointed if there are not more wins in him this season.
Saturday – Day 5
Perfection, trained by David O’Meara, had won a Newmarket Listed race on her final start for John Gosden back in October. Owners Cheveley Park kept the filly in training as 4-year-old but moved her to David O’Meara.
A promising second in a Group 3 at Lingfield on her stable debut, before running poorly 14-days later at Haydock. That race probably came too quick after a hard race on soft ground. A much better effort from her in finishing in 7th of 26, finishing less than two lengths off the runner-up. Indeed with a clearer passage would surely have gone close to finishing second.
There’s a good sprint handicap in her when all the cards fall right which they didn’t here.
6:45 – Ming – The 4-year-old remains open to improvement over today’s 1m 4f distance. Twice a winner at Gowran Park and Navan last year. He returned from a 113-day break to finish 6th of 18, here over 1m 2f. He was doing his best work at the finish last time and looks worth a go at today’s distance. His best form so far has come on good to firm ground so the sounder the surface the better his chance.
Ming – 11/2 @ Bet365 & Paddy Power