The Tercentenary Stakes (3.05) looks a hard race to get a handle on but I’m going to take a chance that Abdon can make significant improvement from his debut run at Newmarket. That was a muddling race pace wise but, given that Frankie Dettori is riding out of his skin this week, I suspect he won’t allow Abdon to be caught flat-footed and will ride him forward to make the most of his stamina. The dam side of his pedigree suggests ease in the ground should suit - his dam Kinnaird was a Prix de l’Opera winner.
In the Ribblesdale (3.40), I think there are plenty who are willing to believe that Architecture’s second in the Oaks was something of an aberration or a fluke, and given her relatively pedestrian pedigree, she’s not necessarily up to stringing together a sequence of wins at a high level, but she travelled incredibly smoothly through the Oaks and sets a clear form standard which is belied by her price. As such, she needs to be backed.
The horse that frightens me is Sovereign Parade who comes here on the back of maiden win at Salisbury. When John Gosden take a punt like this with a horse it pays off more often than not, but I’m going to stick with Architecture to give Hugo Palmer another winner.
Let’s keep the Gold Cup (4.20) very simple – Order Of St George is going to win and probably by quite a long way. He just looks much better than these. If you are after something to run well at a decent price, it may well be Scotland, who ran very well in this game last year and has a hood on for the first time today. That said, I would prefer his chance if the ground was a bit better, as I would with Curbyourenthusiasm who I thought should have won the Yorkshire Cup last time. Keep it simple though, Order Of St George wins.
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In the Britannia (5.00), I’m going to take a chance on Defrocked who was quite impressive at Doncaster last time. If the occasion doesn’t get the better of him – he’s clearly not straightforward – I can see him running a big race. I am hoping he can get buried away with cover and he’s got exactly the right man on board to do that in Jamie Spencer. He’s from a family I like a lot and is bred to be better than his current mark in time. Chief Whip impressed me with his attitude last time and rates a danger, but I think he might need better ground to be seen at his absolute best.
In the King George V Stakes (5.35), I’m all in on Shraaoh, a stoutly-bred colt by Sea The Stars who has been brought along steadily by Sir Michael Stoute. He posted a stylish performance on the all-weather at Newcastle last time and is likely to prove much better than his opening mark of 91.