Ascot Gold Cup 4023
Ballydoyle have owned this race in recent times, winning six of the past ten, and they hold the trump card again this year with Order Of St George. Produced the best staying performance in the world by Timeform's measure in 2015 when romping home in the Irish St Leger and thought the return was very smooth. Didn't need to produce his very best but looked well within himself posting a rating that would make him very interesting here even if we hadn't already seen him produce at a higher level.
Despite the big competitive field the Racing And Sports' numbers land on him being a fairly dominant favourite ($2.25) and the market agrees and then some - if the market looks to take him on (and the layers should have their tails up after A Shin Hikari's flop last night!) he'd be a decent gamble at 5/4+.
Market makes Max Dynamite the main danger but our market hasFlying Officer narrowly ahead of him off a better return run. Max Dynamite should improve sharply on that performance but he will have to. Big York win last season was on soft going which bodes well. Flying Officer meets Clever Cookie and Mizzou on better terms from the Sagaro. Long shown promise. Got going in 2015 stringing three wins together and first up rating points to him being ready to go on with it again in 2016. Looks a couple of twists too big in the current market.
Pallasator has his quirks but has to take up some market space on the back of his Sandown win - clearly outpointed Max Dynamite on the day.
Assessed Odds: Order Of St George; $2.25. Flying Officer; $7.50. Max Dynamite; $10.00. Mizzou; $10.00. Pallasator; $16.00. Clever Cookie; $16.00.
Tercentenary Stakes 2011m
Always a terrific race - as interesting for the rest of the season as it is for having a bet tonight. Prize Money has bumped into a couple of nice horses this prep. Second in fast time at Newmarket then a slow time at Goodwood. Beaten in a sprint home by Algometer who had stretched Midterm in promising figures prior to that. All reads well.
Hawkbill/Abdon ran 1-2 at Newmarket and set up fairly well for this. 24 hours later Prize Money was 7-8 lengths quicker overall at the same course and distance on much the same going. Fast time probably just means we have had a better look at what's under Prize Money's bonnet but like what we see and they have to show that they can go quicker. They probably can but this is a game of probabilities and with the proven speed he appeals.
Good depth beyond that trio. Blue De Vega comes off a Group 1 placing in Ireland and Mulk and Long Island Sound are last start winners for outstanding stables but happy to be gambling Prize Money at each way odds.
Assessed Odds: Prize Money; $3.00. Hawkbill; $6.50. Abdon; $8.00. Blue De Vega; $9.00.
G1 - The Bet365 Celebration Steeple Chase (class 1)
G3 - The Bet365 Gold Cup Steeple Chase (handicap) (class 1)
G1 - Aes Champion 4yo Hdle
Grade B - Setanta Sport H'cap Hdle
Grade B - Palmerstown House Pat Taaffe H'cap Chase