The last horse to do the Derby/King George double was Galileo back in 2001, but Aidan O’Brien confirmed that huis classic winner Anthony Van Dyck would take his chance against Enable and Crystal Ocean at Ascot on Saturday. Trainer John Gosden described BetVictor’s 4/6 favourite Enable as being fit and well ahead of a race he described as “a British version of the Arc.”
I’m not convinced we saw the real Waldgeist at Royal Ascot over 10f on soft ground last time and I feel the French raider will finish a lot closer to Crystal Ocean than was the case last month. At 14/1 with BetVictor I feel he might represent the each way value.
They go at Wolverhampton this afternoon and Harry Bentley takes over on Atletico who was mugged close home at Beverley last month. He must race from a mark 14lbs higher back on the all-weather, however, and he is reluctantly overlooked in favour of the three-year-old filly Engrossed (4.15).
The selection does not have the best of draws in stall eight, but she almost defied stall nine when finishing runner up from a 3lbs lower mark over C&D when last seen back in April. This lightly-raced filly can go well fresh and has a course record of 12. Oisin Murphy is a positive booking.
I’m not convinced this track will suit Canasta, but I felt she ran a very good race at Leicester last time on her handicap debut. A market move would be worth noting. The vote, however, goes to Toro Dorado (4.45) who failed to get home over 10f at Epsom last time but this return to an extended mile will suit Ed Dunlop’s three-year-old who is another mount of Oisin Murphy.
At Chelmsford Vasari is an interesting newcomer representing the yard of Sir Michael Stoute with Ryan Moore booked. The colt is drawn very wide in stall 12, however, and the vote goes to Hector Loza (6.50) who got warm in the preliminaries and pulled hard early but ran a race full of promise when a close third at Kempton on debut.
Stoute saddles recent C&D winner Alkaraama in the valuable 6f Handicap and a 3lbs rise may not prevent him following up. He is 2lbs worse-off, however, with Intuitive (6.20) who was a fast-finishing third last time and would have benefitted from a stronger pace. Silvestre De Sousa takes over in the saddle this evening.
Fiery Mission (7.20) ran a race full of promise when third at Windsor on debut when he was coltish and slowly away but showed he possesses enough ability to win a race. The selection is half-brother to four winners and is another Stoute inmate with a big chance at Chelmsford.
Jonjo O’Neill takes over in the saddle on his dad’s mare Phoenix Rock (5.40) who is improving over fences and can gain a first win at the end of seven. The mare will get further in time and I hope to see her race more prominently than is often the case.
In the finale Theatre Act (8.40) can follow up last week’s C&D win in what was just her second start since moving to Dan Skelton. The yard’s conditional jockey William Marshall takes off a valuable 8lbs and she must go close if in the same mood.