Our horse racing expert Andy Holding has seven tips for today's action.
The form of the Britannia Handicap at Royal Ascot has worked out incredible well in the several weeks that have passed, and having run extremely well to be a creditable seventh, QAADER (best price 4-1) makes quite a bit of appeal in these slightly less choppy waters.
A game winner when making all the running in a small field at Goodwood, Mark Johnston’s colt was asked to try and repeat the same feat at the Berkshire venue two months later, but as we know, trying to see it out from the front over that stiff mile is virtually impossible, so it was no surprise to see him fail in his bid. However, he still managed to finish third of his group of 14 over on the un-favoured far side and, with the likes of Dubai Honour, Emporio, Dinoo, all winning since Gioia Cieca, it’s clear his effort was worth upgrading. Likely to get an uncontested lead here today over a track where it’s quite difficult to make up ground from off the pace, the son of Night Of Thunder can go close to providing his trainer another winner at this meeting.
CENTURY DREAM (best price 13-2) maybe the oldest member of today’s party, but as he showed at Windsor last time, he still has plenty to offer, and he looks poised to go well again at a track where he has enjoyed plenty of success in the past.
Not quite up to Group 1 standard in the Lockinge on his first run of the season, the seven-year-old found life a good deal easier when just touched off in a Group 3 at Epsom next time and he then went place better at the Berkshire venue three weeks later. Always to the fore in that keenly-contested listed event, he impressed with the way he dug deep for pressure to fend off one of today’s main rivals, Top Rank, and in doing so, he ended up clocking a very fast time. Fourth in this race back in 2018 on ground far too quick for his liking, today’s easier surface will suit much better and with some firms offering four places, the son of Cape Cross rates a decent each-way bet at the morning odds.
DHABAB (best price 2-1) was universally excepted as one of the unluckiest losers in the two-year-old department at Royal Ascot and John Gosden’s colt is strongly fancied to show his true worth in this similar contest.
An impressive winner on debut at Leicester, the son of No Nay Never was the best backed horse prior to the Coventry Stakes at the Berkshire venue and if he would have obtained a better run than he ultimately received, there’s affair chance he would have gone close to justifying the money in his direction. A classy-looking chestnut was plenty of natural talent based on what we’ve seen of him so far to date, hopefully he gets a fairer crack of the whip here this afternoon as today’s six furlongs with the stiff climb to the line should really suit.
Away from the most likely winner, MR MCCANN (best price 11-1) deserves more than a special mention in dispatches and he might just be worth a small saver just in case he gets loose on the lead.
A smooth winner of a minor novice event at Lingfield on his second start, Tom Dascombe’s colt was raised in grade to contest a much better race at Haydock last time out and despite being sent off 22-1 and carrying a winner’s penalty, he showed vast improvement to beat a useful field with plenty to spare. Impressing with the way he pointed his toe and quickened at the Merseyside track, he ended up posting some pretty smart fractions and with the strong possibility of more to come, this juvenile with a likable and willing attitude should provide his sporting owners (mainly from Liverpool FC) with another day to remember.
It’s taken a while for connections of PEROTTO (best price 4-1) to recognise he requires further than six furlongs and even though he managed to prove that theory correct in the Britannia Handicap over a mile last time out, it might well be that a well-run contest over today’s trip ends up suiting him even better.
A strong-finishing winner of his previous contest at Goodwood over seven-furlongs, Marcus Tregoning’s gelding was stepped up to a mile for the first time at the Royal meeting and, despite sacrificing a good deal of ground to the field by being dropped out from his middle draw, he still came through from a long way off the pace to score in gritty fashion. Looking at the kind of horses he beat that day, it’s pretty clear his performance was right out of the top draw and providing William Buick ends up following the right side of the pace here this afternoon, there’s every chance his mount will have the qualities to be competitive at the business against these older, more established types.
The trajectory of CREATIVE FORCE (best price 11-2) has very much been of an upward nature since blowing out in last year’s Coventry and with the perceived wisdom for his improvement largely due to him undergoing a gelding operation over the winter, Charlie Appleby’s inmate looks set to take his game to an even higher level.
Winning at the first time of asking this season over on the Rowley mile, the son of Dubawi has remained unbeaten in three subsequent starts, and along the way to the latest of those successes at Royal Ascot, it’s worth noting he’d taken the scalps of the likes of Significantly, Rohaan, and Perotto. On to the Berkshire venue itself, and despite a slight concern over seven-furlongs on soft ground, he still showed all the necessary qualities to capture his biggest success to date and with today’s likely strong pace over a stiff six furlongs almost certain to play into his strengths, he should turn out to be a potent force providing he ends being on the right side of the draw.
Dhushan has missed a few recent engagements on account of soft ground, so supporters of his will need to keep an eye on the weather during the build-up to the race, whereas connections of SURREY GOLD (best price 4-1) will be more than happy with the conditions and, as a result, he rates the percentage call of the pair.
Hughie Morrison seems to have a good bunch of three-year-old handicappers in his midst this season and in this son of Golden Horn, he has a colt as talented as any. Looking in need of the run when runner-up to the useful Albert Camus at Lingfield on his seasonal debut, he then went to Newbury to contest a similar handicap back on the turf and as it turned out, the soft underfoot conditions that day totally transformed his end product. Noted going easily throughout, once he was sent to the front at the two furlong pole he gradually worked his clear of his rivals and by the time he’d hit the line, he’d managed to inflict seven lengths worth of damage. Unsurprisingly raised 12lb in the interim, it’s clear today’s examination will prove a good deal tougher, but as he is also looks the type to improve with more racing under his belt, he may have enough up his sleeve to justify his new rating