Saturday 23rd July 2022
Author: Jordan Yates (EvRacing_)
Welcome to this week’s Saturday Preview where it’s King George Day at Ascot. I’ll be starting things off with the opener at 1:50 which is the Group 3 Princess Margaret Keeneland Stakes that’s contested over six furlongs. The race is for fillies and I’ve sided with Lezoo here who currently heads the betting at the 2/1 mark for the team of Frankie Dettori and Ralph Beckett. On her penultimate outing, she won the Listed Empress Fillies’ Stakes at Newmarket in impressive style where she then followed up with a second-placed effort at the same venue in the Group 2 Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes, going down by half of a length to the smart Mawj. She was arguably a bit unlucky that day having been carried across the track by the eventual winner, I think she has bags of potential yet to showcase and could prove far too good for her opposition here.
Next up it’s the 2:25 which is more group action for fillies with the Group 3 Valiant Stakes taking centre-stage over a mile. Zanbaq will be a warm order here following her fine effort at the Royal Meeting in the Sandringham Stakes behind Heredia. I’ve gone for an each-way alternative though here as I’ve sided with Kind Gesture who’s currently a 9/1 chance for the team of Roger Varian and David Egan. She’s the most unexposed in the line-up having only had three starts to date, however, her form figures from said three outings currently stand at 211 with her most recent success being a 10-length one at Windsor last month. This assignment requires a sizeable step-up from her, however, it remains to be seen how good she is, and at the prices, I’ll take a chance on her being up to the task.
I’m taking a quick diversion up to York now for their 2:40 which is the Sky Bet Dash, a handicap over six furlongs. This is immensely competitive, however, I’ve taken an each-way chance on Aberama Gold at 8/1 for Keith Dagleish and Billy Garrity. I actually napped him just last week at Ayr where he ran another solid race to finish second of ten, beaten just half of a length in the end. He’s an ultra-consistent horse who’s also a course and distance winner and has won off higher marks than his current rating in the past. Another positive is that he gets to contest this off the same mark as his last run at Ayr, and if getting some luck in the run he’s every chance of playing a part once again.
It’s the 3:00 up next where we move into handicap company as it’s the International Stakes which is a Heritage Handicap that’s contested over a distance of a mile. I’m siding with a horse that I’ve tipped up several times on here in these types of contests and that’s Jumby at 7/1 for Hollie Doyle and Eve Johnson Haughton. Eve had a nice winner here on Friday and I think this fine yardstick has every chance of running a big race once again, as he so often does. He was third here at the Royal Meeting in the Wokingham Stakes and then followed up with another placed effort in the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket on his most recent outing, where he was arguably unlucky not to be closer to Bless Him, who was the eventual winner. For this assignment, he’ll race off just a pound higher mark than those two solid efforts, and as a result, this course and distance winner has got to be considered as a serious player once again.
As is so often the case, the final race of this week’s preview is the feature of the day which comes up at 3:35. This is the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, a Group 1 contest that’s ridden over a mile and four furlongs. Westover currently heads the betting for this year’s renewal of the race, arriving here on the back of a dominant display in the Irish Derby, where he bolted up by the best part of seven-lengths. If he arrives in that form again he’ll be tough to beat, however, I’ve taken him on and I’ve done that with Emily Upjohn who’s currently a 3/1 chance for Frankie Dettori and the Gosden’s. She missed her assignment in the Irish Oakseven lengthsstical problems, and as a result, has been rerouted here. Her connections have had great success in the race in recent years with the great Enable, and I think this could well be another star filly they have on their hands. She was very impressive in her first couple of starts this season, bolting up in the Muisdora at York before being desperately unlucky in the Epsom Oaks, going down by a shoulder to Tuesday after stumbling at the start. I think she could well make amends here, she gets a few pounds off Westover as well as a stone off the older horses, they could find that tough to concede.