Talking Horses: Fresh can fend off the rain on the last day of Royal Ascot | Royal Ascot
As if the Wokingham handicap weren’t tough enough, the rain that took the Ascot from good to firm to heavy limit in a matter of hours is an added complication when evaluating the biggest betting race of the last day of the royal meeting.
King’s Lynn, in the Queen’s colors, is also a slightly unexpected runner, having finished seventh, on much faster ground, in Tuesday’s King’s Stand Stakes. Whether he can achieve that form on this much softer pitch remains to be seen, but 9-2 is not sort of a prize with so many solid alternatives available.
Fresh (5.00) could be the choice of them. He ran well on Saturday’s track twice and took a trip with a cut in the ground, most recently when he flew to the finish to dethrone Pendleton last month. He’s better off by 5 pounds with this rival here and is open to improvement with just nine races in the book.
Royal Ascot 2.30 Aidan O’Brien hasn’t shot the winners at his usual pace this week and in good shape with Andrew Balding Masekela is an interesting alternative to the probably favorite Point Lonsdale. He denied a pedigree that hinted more at endurance than speed to secure a first six-meter victory, recording a respectable time in the process, and could improve sharply for this stage up to seven.
Royal Ascot 3.05 Another race where the terrain is a question mark for several of the main ones, so Ace Australian is an eye catcher at around 16-1. Jessica Harrington’s colt was within two lengths of Poetic Flare, this week’s St James’s Palace Stakes winner, on his seasonal debut at Leopardstown. That stiff seven might be just what he needs.
Royal Ascot 3.40 Broome failed in five innings in Group 1 company, but he was only a short head from breaking his duck in the Tattersalls Gold Cup last time around and is a tough opponent at a slightly lower level. This return to a kilometer and a half will be appropriate and the heavy terrain gives rise to no fear.
Royal Ascot 4.20 The smooth ride is a big concern for Starman, who was clearly a favorite in this race until the elements intervened. The connections of Glen Shiel, however, will have welcomed every drop and last year’s Champions Sprint winner, on similar ground, must be a great runner at around 8-1. Dream Of Dreams, narrowly beaten in this over the past two seasons, is the obvious danger but it seems to have two ways to run at Ascot and Glen Shiel costs almost double.
Royal Ascot 5.35 Very competitive, but Fox tales deserves a second look with Oisin Murphy taking the reins for the first time. He was uncomfortable on the track in a Derby test at Chester last time around, but showed enough in his young Newbury maiden to suggest that an opening score of 93 could be generous.
Royal Ascot 6.10 Eight Falcon looked better than ever in the Chester Cup last time around and a horse running in Group 1 company four starts ago could easily outperform this area.