The weather looks like it’s finally going to brighten up for Ladies Day at Ascot and hopefully the rain stays away. Wednesday was another washout, no winners and we got a proper soaking – I got a helicopter to Chelmsford in the evening and it was pouring with rain there too so will take me a few days to dry out.
As for the action on the track on Wednesday I thought both two-year-olds ran really well Multiply By Eight ran well in the Queen Mary, she’s still learning her game but is a nice filly for the future. As for Rayong he was running a cracker in the Windsor Castle but was crunched when coming through with a challenge and would definitely have finished closer than 10th.
On paper Thursday looks like my strongest day of the week in terms of decent chances and it’s very exciting to have a big chance in the Gold Cup with Dee Ex Bee. Anyway, more about him and my other five rides below ….
MISTY GREY 2.30pm Norfolk Stakes
I start off aboard Misty Grey for Mark Johnston in the opener and he showed blistering speed over six furlongs in the Woodcote at Epsom last time before running out of steam. The drop back to five furlongs looks ideal and if the ground dries out a bit we could well surprise a few of these. Looking at the rest of them and Irish raider Sunday Sovereign looks the obvious one on the back of a couple of nice wins. He beat Tuesday’s Coventry Stakes winner a few starts back so is obviously smart.
FOX CHAIRMAN 3.05pm Hampton Court Stakes
Things didn’t go to plan at Chester last time with Fox Chairman on only his second racecourse start when we got caught in traffic. However, he is a colt I really like and he gave me a lovely feel when winning his maiden at Newbury. He has proven he handles cut in the ground and he is one of the rides I have been most looking forward to this week. It’s a competitive race like you might expect with Cape Of Good Hope, Sangarius and King Ottokar all smart types.
QUEEN POWER 3.40pm Ribblesdale Stakes
I ride another really exciting three-year-old here in the shape of Queen Power for Sir Michael Stoute. She showed a really nice attitude to peg back Lavender’s Blue in a Listed race at Newbury when last seen in action and deserves a crack at a prize like this. She will have to step up again both in class and in distance here but is a lovely filly. The ground is obviously the big worry and I suppose we have Aidan O’Brien’s Fleeting to beat as she ran so well at Epsom.
DEE EX BEE 4.20pm Gold Cup
One horse who won’t mind all the recent rain is Mark Johnston’s Dee Ex Bee (pictured) in the Gold Cup. He has really impressed me since stepping up to two miles winning here at Ascot before following up at Sandown in the Henry II Stakes. He often races a bit lazily, but just keeps finding for pressure and the step up in distance and rain should only help his cause. It’s difficult to be confident when you are in against the likes of Stradivarius, but my horse is a relentless galloper and looks to have a huge chance. There is also Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter to consider, but this will be the softest ground he has ever encountered.
HERO HERO 5.00pm Britannia Stakes
Only the 32 runners in the Britannia Stakes and hopefully I can win the race for a second year running! I ride Hero Hero for Andrew Balding who was an easy winner for me at Chester recently. Whether he quite has the experience for a race of this nature remains to be seen, but he is a nice type. Another plus is that he seems okay on all sorts of ground having run well on the soft.
FOX PREMIER 5.35pm King George V Stakes
Final ride of the afternoon is aboard Fox Premier who we thought was the best of the two-year-olds last season, but he disappointed on a few occasions. He looks a different proposition now he has had time to mature and has won both starts this season. He looks worth a try at this trip, although he has been done now favours with the draw (2) and the soft ground is an unknown. There are dangers all over the place including Sinjaari and the progressive Sir Ron Priestley.
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