John Gosden’s superstar GOLDEN HORN can continue his majestic march onwards and upwards by registering a second win against his elders in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.
The Cape Cross colt followed up his Derby triumph when successfully dropping back in distance in the Coral Eclipse Stakes at Sandown.
Frankie Dettori was happy to let him bowl along in front and when he pressed the button – as Jimmy Lindley used to say - the response was immediate.
He quickened a couple of furlongs out and kept on strongly to the line having three and a half lengths to spare over that good yardstick The Great Gatsby at the line.
Gosden has kept him ticking over quietly, and I thought Anthony Oppenheimer’s home bred looked a picture breezing up Warren Hill on Monday morning.
Despite his outstanding form, a large number of trainers are happy to take him on with the prospect of some juicy prize money for the lesser places.
Sir Michael Stoute’s supplemented Snow Sky and Telescope will not go down without a struggle, while Gosden himself also runs both Romsdal and Eagle Top.
If you are betting without the favourite, an each-way interest in David Simcock’s underrated fast finishing Prince Of Wales’s Stakes fourth THE CORSICAN could pay dividends, but realistically they all look likely to have to bow their knees in homage to Golden Horn.
David Elsworth’s course specialist SPECULATIVE BID has the ability to seize the lion’s share of the £150,000 on offer for the Gigaset International Handicap on the same Ascot Saturday card.
During the winter, he paid his way with a couple of all-weather wins, which set him up for a tilt at the Victoria Cup over seven furlongs on the Berkshire track.
Jamie Spencer rode him from behind and produced him with a scintillating surge to land the spoils by half a length from Lincoln.
His next visit to the course was for the Royal Hunt Cup, but Lady Luck was not on his side.
Spencer obviously adopted the successful waiting tactics once again but on this occasion he was badly baulked and, although rallying, the winner Gm Hopkins and three other rivals had gone for home and he had to settle for fifth place.
Fortunately, he has come out of the race really well and reverting to his favoured seven furlongs should bounce back, but wait until he is definitely confirmed a runner before backing him.
His trainer tells me he would not risk him on fast ground as he is a horse with a future in Pattern Race company.
Should he eventually be an absentee Ayaar, Zarwaan and Bushcraft would have their admirers, although an each-way interest at long odds on Stuart Williams SUZI’S CONNOISSEUR could bring a handsome return.
At our home meeting on Saturday, follow Roger Varian’s hat-trick seeking SPANGLED in the Adnams Ghost Ship Fillies Handicap and couple her in a double with Ed Vaughan’s speedy PRIMROSE VALLEY in the Adnams Broadside Handicap.
Up at York on Saturday, James Fanshawe’s progressive GALE FORCE should use the Sky Bet Ambulance Handicap as a stepping stone to the big autumn staying races.
William Haggas’s Somerville Lodge team is in good nick, so side with SIRAJIAH in the Irish Stallions Farms Molson Coors Maiden Fillies Stakes at Sandown this afternoon.
The soft ground may have found her out when beaten by Whatdoiwantthatfor at Leicester, but the indications are that losses will be recouped.
Newbury’s evening meeting today gives Chris Wall’s FEVER FEW a clear chance of getting back on the winning trail in the NSPCC Handicap.
Tomorrow, at our evening meeting on the July Course, James Fanshawe’s FRESH KINGDOM strikes me as the pick of the weights for the TurfTV Handicap.
At Ascot’s Friday afternoon session, back David Elsworth’s HIGHLAND CASTLE in the John Guest Brown Jack Stakes, with Don Cantillon’s BARBICAN one to consider as an outsider.
William Haggas will be looking to ROXY STAR to land the Carraig Insurance EBF Stallions Valiant Stakes at Ascot tomorrow.
She followed up her one win at Kempton last backend by completing a hat-trick this year with wins at Nottingham and at Ascot. She continues to improve.
Looking ahead to next week, Glorious Goodwood gets underway on Wednesday and Peter Chapple-Hyam could well grab his share of the headlines with AROD in the Sussex Stakes.
From the time this Teofilio colt arrived in the yard, Chapple-Hyam rated him highly and after a Leicester confidence booster last spring, he went for the Dante Stakes at York.
He flew at the finish to be second to The Great Gatsby and was then again left too much to do when fourth to Australia in the Derby.
This year, the decision to drop him back to a mile has worked the oracle as he made all to win both the Diomed Stakes at Epsom and the Summer Mile at Ascot.
With all eyes on the market leaders, Gleneagles and Solow, I reckon Arod may have crept under the bookmakers’ radar and he is outstanding each-way value at the 16-1 on offer especially if the ground rides fast next week.
n Last week Pin Money correctly came up with Intilaaq, a winner backed down from 9-2 to 2-1.