After Glorious Goodwood last week, things are a little quieter and I’m heading to Haydock where I’ve some nice chances for King Power in their feature races. I had been asked to take part in the Shergar Cup meeting at Ascot, but it’s very hard for me to commit to an event like that in advance because of my retainer. Anyway, it’s a really fun event and I wish them all the best of luck and its great to see the meeting back in a post-Covid era. Anyway, I’ll be watching on afar from Haydock and it will be an early start for me setting off from Newmarket on Saturday morning.
FANTASTIC FOX 2.25pm
My opening ride of the day is Fantastic Fox for King Power racing in the London Mile Series Qualifier. Things just didn’t go to plan for him last time at Ascot where the lack of pace cost us and he ran on all too late. I’m hoping that won’t be a problem here and I certainly wouldn’t be afraid of going on if needed here to ensure we go a good clip. He will get further in time but, at the moment, he possesses plenty of speed and a mile is the right trip. The three-year-olds get a healthy weight concession here and he should be very competitive if conditions don’t get too wet.
CHOOKIE DUNEDIN 3.00pm
The first of two rides on the card for me for Keith Dalgleish comes in the seven furlong handicap on Chookie Dunedin. I’ve never ridden this fella before, but he’s had 60 races and has won nine times. The last of those wins came at Wetherby back in April and he is now back to that mark of 76. He seems pretty versatile when it comes to conditions and a return to form looked back on the cards at Ayr last time.
ILLYKATO 3.35pm (Dick Hern Stakes)
Another one I’ve never ridden before is Illykato who takes her chance in the Listed Dick Hern Stakes for Mick Channon. She found Group One company a little hot last time and will find these much calmer waters. She won well on decent ground at Goodwood back in May and she wouldn’t want too much rain to fall. It looks a really competitive contest with the unexposed Potapova looking the one to beat.
FOXES TALES 4.10pm (Rose Of Lancaster Stakes)
The feature race on the card is the Rose Of Lancaster Stakes where Godolphin’s Real World looks to continue his rise through the ranks. He took the step up in trip and class in his stride last time and there is no telling how good he could be. I partner Foxes Tales (pictured below left) who followed his Royal Ascot success with a narrow defeat at Newmarket on fast ground last time. He’s another improving fast and will hopefully give Real World plenty to think about.
GIOIA CIECA 5.10pm
My final ride on the card is Gioia Cieca for Keith Dalgleish again in the finale. He probably didn’t stay the mile in the Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot two starts back but bounced back to winning ways over this trip at Musselburgh last time. He’s another that seems to relish fast ground so any rain that falls will definitely be a worry.