Wednesday brings a host of interesting races to get stuck into, with the best punting race of the day sure to be the Royal Hunt Cup.
A cavalry charge down the straight mile at Ascot often bring about thrills and spills and you’re sure to hear many a hard luck story on Twitter come Wednesday evening.
Given a mention of hard luck story, the selection does come with somewhat of a warning. Frankie Dettori is very much a ‘marmite’ jockey. You either love him or you hate him – usually dependant on how well he’s timed his ride.
On his day, there are very few better judges of pace and this will be a necessity with EL VIP in the Hunt Cup. Jamie Spencer is on Banksea in the big race, meaning Dettori will be needed to produce the colt on the final furlong, similar to his last performance at Newcastle.
Dettori has only ridden the 4yo twice in seven runs, which is somewhat of a surprise given he’s number one rider for the owner, and both of those returned rather lacklustre efforts at Haydock.
However, his early campaigns over a longer trip didn’t quite go to plan and he was certainly in need of the run at the Merseyside track earlier this year.
He looked a different horse all together come Newcastle recently. He was strong in the betting, travelled ominously well and when the gap came late, he shot through and won well going away.
This effort suggested he would relish the straight Ascot track and being buried behind a wall of horses. He’s obviously a risk factor, given he will need luck to get his run, yet there’s no doubt there’s plenty more to come from the son of Pivotal and at 14/1, he looks worth a second glance, especially given Afjaan no longer runs for the same owners.
Elsewhere on day two, LE BRIVIDO is of huge interest in the Jersey Stakes. Dream Castle looks sure to be suited over this slightly shorter trip, after somewhat disappointing in the Guineas. However, there have to be questions about his willingness to battle it out, should it come to it, following his displays at the tail end of his last two races.
Daban should frank the Winter form by running her race but the French raider stands out on his three runs thus far. A cosy debut win was followed up with a battling performance over six, next time out, suggesting speed won’t be an issue over the seven.
He then ran a huge race in the French 2000 Guineas, only just being beaten by Brametot, who followed up with a French Derby win and is currently second favourite for the Arc. That short-head second, finishing three lengths ahead of Rivet and Orderofthegarter was a solid bit of form and with so much pace in the race, the fact that he definitely gets a mile, will play into his hands over the seven at Ascot.
He will be able to track Dream Castle and when push comes to shove, Le Brivido can repay Andre Fabre’s faith at a nice price.
1pt EW: El VIP (Hunt Cup) @ 14/1
2pts Win: El Brivido (Jersey) @ 4/1