2.35 Ascot: Cumberland Lodge Stakes (Group 3)
This is a pretty poor renewal given that each and every runner faces allot of question marks. It is hard to put much faith into favourite Romsdal, who is on past form the one to beat, but after all has never won over this trip and in fact, despite some high class placings, only won a maiden and an All-Weather listed race anyway. He looks vulnerable.
The only three year old in the race warrants respect, naturally, due to the weight allowance. Star Storm is only a decent handicapper to this date, though, and will need to improve a good deal to win this. He may well do it, but at the given price, I find him hard to fancy.
If one horse stands out in this field it is the filly Queen Of Ice. A multiple listed winner over 1m 4f as a three year old, she has run only twice this year and was a big disappointment in both starts. However she remains generally lightly raced. Tongue tied for the first time today and her low mileage may give her the edge in this race, and at a tasty price, I give her the nod.
Queen Of Ice @ 11/1 VC – 5pts Win
3.35 Redcar: Guisborough Stakes (Listed), 7f
Guineas fifth Celestial Path has an obvious chance dropping heavily in class, given he has shown enough speed for 7f in the past either. However he hasn’t been seen for a long time. It might well be a positive to turn up fresh, but at a very short price I’m happy to leave him alone in the betting.
Much beloved Top Notch Tonto is extremely competitive at this level and has strong form to offer. Despite being a CD winner in the past, this drop in trip may not quite suit him on drying ground. Others are quicker.
So Beloved sets a high standard in my mind. He has top form to offer and loves the trip. But it won’t be easy giving weight away, which opens the door for three year old Tupi, who seems underappreciated in this field.
The Richard Hannon inmate has won two listed races over 7f and 1m earlier this year and was subsequently highly tried, without landing a blow against much too strong opposition. The drop back into listed class will help him surely to be competitive again. With trip and ground to suit, he deserves a crack at this and is overpriced big time.
Tupi @ 12/1 VC – 5pts Win