Jamie Spencer is archetypal Marmite jockey, you either love him or loath him, and there are plenty of times when his high-wire-act style of riding aren’t going suit certain situations and that was very much the case with how things panned out when he was on RAHEEN HOUSE (best price 4-1) in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot. In a race run at a sound gallop rather than a breakneck one, Brian Meehan’s inmate found himself at the back of the pack as the field turned for home (seemingly by design) and even though he faced an impossible task of trying to overhaul some pretty smart middle-distance three-year-olds in the straight, he did a fairly decent job by ending up a creditable fourth. Based on that performance alone, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that he either requires a stiffer test, or when he it does become tactical, he needs to be ridden closer to the pace, so hopefully his pilot gets it right this time on the son of Sea The Stars as there’s no doubt his mount has the ability to take a race of this nature and put himself firmly in the shop window for the St Leger later in the season.
Without question, about as tough a three-year-old handicap as one could imagine, but at the same time, BACCHUS (best price 20-1) has one piece of form next to his name that gives him every chance of easily outrunning his odds. The race in question comes via a similar contest at Newbury earlier in the campaign when he accounted for the very smart Chessman and Winning Ways, and surely a repeat of that level of form would see him somewhere in the mix. Making just about all the running that day, the son of Kheleyf fended off a series of challengers, including the aforementioned pair late in the piece, and with virtually every runner out of that race at the Berkshire track going on to frank the form at some stage subsequently, it’s easy to see why connections decided to have a pop at the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot. Although that ambitious project didn’t work out as such, he still ran with great credit to finish ninth (third of the low-numbered runners far side) and now going back into handicap company over a course where he ran well at this meeting last year, Brian Meehan’s gelding can provide his in-form barn with plenty more cheer.
UNO MOMENTO (best price 13-2) showed absolutely nothing on his first start over tonight’s course, but he turned out to be a totally different proposition in the first-time hood at Naas last time out and a repeat of that effort should see him in a much better light on his return visit to the Dublin venue. Last turning for home after a tardy beginning at the Co Kildare track, Thomas Mullins’ inmate impressed by the way he finished off his race from an unpromising position and in hitting the line really hard, he gave out plenty of positive vibes for the future. Although he could have done with a slightly better draw this evening, hopefully he can work his way into the pack from his wide gate and give himself every chance of gunning his field down in the home straight.
BERRAHRI (NAP) (best price 6-4) was heavily involved in what turned out to be an absolute burn-up here last week and if running to anywhere near that level this evening, he surely has a golden opportunity of going one place better. Although only 1-24 on turf, he’s run plenty of decent races in defeat and he continues to thrive based on the evidence of that contest at the Surrey venue seven days ago. Staying on strongly in the latter stages of a race which was the only one on the card tip dip under standard, John Best’s inmate proved that he’s quite at home on the unique nature of the Derby course and given that he’s also quite versatile regards tactics, he should be fine however this race tonight is run.