As I outlined Animal Kingdom was no banker and never looked as if he was going at any stage. Declaration of War lived up to the Ballydoyle hype at last and acclerated impressively to win. War Command was the most impressive winner of the day and was in theory the third string from Aidan O'Brien.
A blank day for us until Well Sharp won for us at 9/1 having been advised at 11/1 and being available at bigger odds on Betfair. He won very well and looked to have plenty in hand again.
Jersey Stakes (Group 3) (CLASS 1), 2.30 Royal Ascot
Pearl Flute is very good value and I gave a lot of thought to making him the selection but he is very high in the weights after winning a Group 3 in France last time out. I expect that Jamie Spencer will hold him up to come late and that is where I think his weight will be his undoing.
Mutin is another French raider and comes here with an unbeaten record albeit at a lower level. On bare ratings he could struggle but has more scope than most to improve and with Soumillon on board should go close.
The Brothers War is talented but is likely to need more cut than he will get here with the ground drying out. Gale Force Ten is the likely favourite and has beaten our selection; however that was over a furlong further which was to his advantage. I expect that he will be ridden handily or try and make all and hopefully that will play into Garswood’s strengths and he can accelerate past him in the final furlong.
Pat Smullen is a strong booking as he is an excellent tactician and will put the horse in the best position to win.
Duke of Cambridge Stakes (formerly the Windsor Forest Stakes) (Group 2) (Fillies & Mares), 3.05 Royal Ascot
Dancewiththedevil comes out as top rated due to having won multiple Group 1’s in South Africa and this is his European debut for Roger Varian. She is probably too old to win this but will probably challenge for a place.
Dank tends to safe her best for really quick ground and is probably the greatest challenger to our selection if the ground continues to dry out. She is in the able hands of Ryan Moore which is a plus but will probably be out battled by Duntle.
Chigun was supplemented for this on the advice of Sir Henry Cecil and there won’t be a dry eye in the house if she wins this; however she needs to improve several pounds to beat Dank and Duntle.
Duntle won at this meeting last season and is proven at a higher level and seems to be improving with each race. She has conditions to suit and can win this from Dank.
Royal Hunt Cup (Heritage Handicap) (CLASS 2), 4.25 Royal Ascot
Curiously with 30 runners this is the type of race where Cleeve traditionally does well.
The favourite Stirring Ballad is bang on form but is only proven at a lower class and the cavalry charge here could intimidate him out of his stride. He needs to improve a lot to win this and is plenty short considering those factors.
Trade Commissioner would have been a selection apart from having been off course for over 200 days; however John Gosden is adept at preparing horses for these big handicaps.
Excellent Guest won here first time out but has never won over a mile and will get over hauled in the final furlong by those with greater stamina.
Prince of Johanne won this last year and has shaped up well in his latest race and will undoubtedly be spot on for this; however I think he has place claims at best and his age is definitely against him.
Fury is a frustrating animal but when on song is very much capable of winning this. Bet365 paying 5 places is a huge plus and I will be surprised if he is not involved in the finishing stages. Willie Haggas is one of my favourite trainers in these big handicaps and young O’Brien has ice blood in his veins and will wait for a gap to appear as horses tire.
David Livingston is an ex Aidan O’Brien trained horse now with Mike de Kock n South Africa. I read comments from the trainer and he reckoned that this one was in with a very good chance. He has run at a higher level and can bring his class to bear here and the booking of Pat Cosgrave is a plus.
Sandringham Handicap (Listed Race) (Fillies), 5.35 Royal Ascot
Waterway Run has been disappointing since winning a Group 3 race last season and that win makes her top rated. It would be a major surprise if she bounces back to form here.
Hint of Tint has still scope to improve but all her form is with cut in the ground and he is likely to be challenged by the quick going here. Zurigha was fourth in a Group 1 at Longchamp last time and consequently is very high in the weights, which should be her undoing.
Woodland Aria is a worthy favourite and could well be a Group horse, but she is plenty short bearing in mind what she has achieved to date. On breeding I expect her to need further than a mile.
Both our selections have plenty of scope to improve but Mango Diva would be my first choice especially with Ryan Moore up. However Bracing Breeze has scope over this trip and Dermot Weld rarely sends a horse over to England without a chance. (he is being backed heavily so get on quick)
In the other two races we do not have bets but for interest here are the two I like:
Have a great day