Talking Horses at Royal Ascot 2013: day three – live!

June 20, 2013 by  
Filed under Wind Energy Tips

5.50pm King George V Stakes result

1 Elidor 20-1

2 Space Ship 16-1

3 Bold Sniper 7-2

4 Cap O’Rushes 20-1

Chris Cook: The Queen’s Bold Sniper couldn’t quite give her a fine double at Royal Ascot, running on gamely in the home straight but failing to catch Elidor, an outsider from Mick Channon’s yard. Drawn wide, Bold Sniper was on the outside of the field for much of the race and had too much extra ground to cover. The winner is a six-times-raced maiden who has nevertheless been in the first four for every race apart from his debut. He was last seen chasing home Nevis at a respectful distance in the Lingfield Derby Trial.

5.25pm Tercentennary Stakes result

1 Remote 9-4

2 Shikarpour 7-1

3 Van Der Neer 14-1

Remote has got the champion trainer John Gosden and his jockey William Buick off the mark at Royal Ascot by landing this Group Three. The easy winner of a Doncaster handicap last time, when he cuffed a subsequent Listed winner by six lengths, Remote was settled in midfield before running down the leaders in the straight, winning in the style of a horse who can step up in class.

Shikarpour, a French raider having just his third race, ran on to be second without ever looking like winning.

Indian Chief never got into the argument, having been settled in last until the turn for home by Joseph O’Brien.

4.50pm Britannia Stakes result

1 Roca Tumu 20-1

2 Tarikhi 33-1

3 Queensberry Rules 16-1

4 Wentworth 7-2

Chris Cook: Ireland has managed a seventh winner at Royal Ascot, one less than the record, with Roca Tumu in the big mile handicap for three-year-olds. Trained by Joanna Morgan and ridden by Billy Lee, both winning here for the first time, Roca Tumu was prominent throughout and withstood a sustained challenge from the Godolphin-owned runner-up.

Wentworth, the hot favourite who had been briefly declared a non-runner in error this morning, ran on strongly from an unpromising position to be a never-nearer fourth.

The field converged on a fairly narrow strip of the straight mile course, on the centre to far side. No draw bias was evident, though none of the first four were drawn lower than 12.

4.20pm Gold Cup result

1 Estimate (R L Moore) 7-2 Fav

2 Simenon (J P Murtagh) 5-1

3 Top Trip (M Barzalona) 7-1

Estimate raised the roof at Royal Ascot by providing the Queen with victory in the Gold Cup.

Trained by Sir Michael Stoute and ridden by Ryan Moore, the four-year-old filly become the first horse owned by a reigning monarch to win the two-and-a-half-mile showpiece.

The 7-2 favourite was challenged strongly inside the final furlong by Simenon and French raider Top Trip, but Estimate stuck her neck out gamely for a famous success.

Estimate won at the meeting last year in the Queen’s Vase, returning to action this season with victory in the Sagaro Stakes, after which she was promoted towards the head of the Gold Cup market.

Despite the bookmakers fancying her chances, Stoute had always urged caution, suggesting her form did not entitle her to be favourite and that her position in the betting owed more to who owned her rather than her actual chance.

In the perfect position throughout, Moore tracked last year’s winner Colour Vision into the straight before striking for home. Simenon, twice a winner at last year’s fixture, looked to be coming with a race-winning run under Johnny Murtagh for Willie Mullins but could never quite draw level with Estimate, while Top Trip tried to force his way between them. Showing incredible guts and determination, Estimate won by a neck.

Estimate is bred to win the race being a half-sister to 1999 winner Enzeli.

Moore said: “We’ve always had this race in mind, she won well. It’s fantastic to ride a winner here for the Queen and in the Gold Cup, it’s very special. She was holding them.”

Stoute said: “She had to show a lot of courage as she had to beat one and then stave off another. He [Moore] always had her in a good position and she switches off so well. I really felt it was a seriously tough task for her, I couldn’t be confident at all taking on the boys that are proven over this trip and she can be a pain in the backside at times.”

Asked what it meant to train a Gold Cup winner for the Queen, the trainer said: “It’s a great honour and a tremendous thrill. We know how much she loves this game.”

3.20pm Ribblesdale Stakes result

1 Riposte 9-2

2 Just Pretending 9-2

3 Elik 9-2

Chris Cook: The Cecil yard have got their winner and there will be emotional scenes in the winner’s enclosure following an impressive success by Riposte in this Grade Two for fillies. It is a race that the late Sir Henry Cecil won five times, most recently in 1997.

Sir Henry died on Tuesday last week after many years of dealing with cancer and was hailed as one of the greatest trainers there has ever been. His long career was crowned by Frankel, who retired unbeaten last year.

Now Cecil’s widow, Lady Jane, has taken over the licence at Warren Place in Newmarket and has had instant success, largely, to this point, following plans laid down by Cecil before his passing.

The winning jockey, Tom Queally, said: “It’s been a tough, tough week and a lot of people are struggling, emotionally” but this will be a filip for all involved.

Interviewed on Channel 4, a visibly moved Lady Cecil said: “I really don’t have the words for what I’m feeling but I’m sure you can imagine.”

2.45pm Norfolk Stakes result

1 No Nay Never 4-1

2 Coach House 9-4 Fav

3 Wind Fire 16-1

Chris Cook: Wesley Ward is a winner at Royal Ascot once more as No Nay Never (4-1) put up an astonishing performance. He missed the kick, shot to the front, was restrained by Joel Rosario, appeared to be beaten, then ran on strongly to win with some comfort. M’former colleague Will Hayler says it touched 129-1 in running.

Coach House was a good second and Wind Fire third.

1.25pm Alive Ailve Oh no

Chris Cook: Alive Alive Oh is out of the Ribblesdale Stakes, withdrawn by connections because of fears about the fast going. It is a great pity, given that she is so exciting, but there should hopefully be other days.

The Ribblesdale has been seriously undermined by withdrawals today, as The Lark was already out.

12pm Wentworth: he’s out, he’s in, our heads are in a spin

Chris Cook: Confusion was sown this morning when the ‘news’ broke that Wentworth was a non-runner in today’s Britannia Stakes at 4.25, for which he had been a well supported favourite. That was widely bandied about on Twitter for about 20 minutes before it emerged that in fact the news was bogus and he is still running.

The uproar was caused, it seems, by a phone call from a Weatherbys clerk to the declarations clerk here, passing on the claim that he was a non-runner because of the going. But the Press Association was suspicious enough not to pass on the claim through its wire service, even though Racenews handed out a flier to everyone in the press-room declaring that Wentworth would take no part. That was quickly retracted.

The superstitious will regard this as a boost to Wentworth’s chances. Horses wrongly reported to be NRs have a nasty habit of winning.

11.20am Today’s races, by Chris Cook

2.30 Norfolk Stakes

A Group Two for two-year-olds over five furlongs, this is a version of Tuesday’s Coventry (six furlongs) for horses who are all about speed. It was won last year by Reckless Abandon and other winners in recent times have included Dutch Art, Johannesburg and Mind Games.

Johannesburg has been Aidan O’Brien’s only winner to date but he has a fine chance with Coach House, who has progressed through three races and won the last two. Bred for speed, he seems versatile as to ground and was at one stage favourite for the Coventry. O’Brien ended up with the winner and the third in that race, so his juvenile squad seems especially strong this year and Coach House should be hard to beat.

No Nay Never is another bullet from the gun of American trainer Wesley Ward, who trained a pair of winners over five furlongs at Royal Ascot in 2009. The fast ground this week should be ideal for Ward’s speedsters and his Sweet Emma Rose looked all over the winner of Wednesday’s Queen Mary until tiring close home. No Nay Never looks all speed and will surely hit the front at some stage.

Coulsty represents the Richard Hannon/Richard Hughes combination that is so effective in juvenile races, though trainer Hannon has now gone more than two years without Royal Ascot success. He won his only start to date, on fast ground at Leicester, and the form is working out.

Sayyerr is two from two and represents the trainer William Haggas, who won this three years ago with a colt who followed a similar route.

3.05 Ribblesdale Stakes

A sort of Oaks consolation, this is a Group Two over a mile and a half for three-year-old fillies. The roll of honour is a little short on famous names, though Princess Highway certainly impressed with the way she stormed home last year. Ireland is seeking a hat-trick in the race, following the success of Banimpire in 2011.

Alive Alive Oh, from Tommy Stack’s yard, should be a warm order to keep the Irish run going. Unbeaten in two this year, she really took the eye with the way she quickened to win a Listed race at Navan last time, hacking up from a horse who has since gone close in a Group Three. She looks a real prospect and may be a second winner of the week for Fran Berry, who was on Well Sharp on Tuesday, though this is the fastest ground she has raced on.

The Lark is on a retrieval mission after meeting trouble in running when third in the Oaks. At that stage, her stable (that of Newmarket-based Michael Bell) was just embarking on a losing run that has now stretched to 29 days and 51 runs, so there will be great relief from connections if she’s up to this.

Winsili has The Lark back in third when landing a Listed race at Newbury on her seasonal return. There was a slight suspicion that that race worked out well for her, tactically, but her trainer, John Gosden, won this five years ago and two of his older fillies have run well in Group Ones this week.

Aidan O’Brien runs Just Pretending, who has excellent form at a mile, having been third to Just The Judge in the Irish 1,000 Guineas. Her stamina must be in doubt for this longer trip, though the fast ground gives her half a chance of lasting home.

3.45 Gold Cup

A marathon Group One that is really more fun than significant. Yeats won it for a record four times to 2009, while Royal Rebel, Drum Taps, Sadeem, Gildoran, Ardross, Le Moss and Sagaro have all won back-to-back Gold Cups since the mid 70s.

Colour Vision, last year’s winner, seeks to emulate them but has been beaten on all five starts since his big day and appears to have an attitude problem. Cheekpieces didn’t seem to make any difference, so Godolphin try a visor on him today.

The Queen’s Estimate is the likely favourite, having won a fair trial for this on her reappearance. She also won at this meeting last year, in the Queen’s Vase, and is a half-sister to the 1999 Gold Cup winner, Enzeli. Her pedigree is full of stamina but she has yet to win on good to firm and could be vulnerable to anything with an ounce of pace if no rain arrives.

Rite Of Passage won this in 2010 and returned from a 17-month absence to score here on Champions’ Day in October. That was an astonishing training performance from Dermot Weld but it will be still more amazing if he can get this ageing crock to win this again. Now nine, he’s older than any winner since WWII.

Saddler’s Rock is among the most frustrating horses in training. He certainly has the talent to win this and looked a shade unlucky when a close third last year but it has become hard to trust him.

Earl Of Tinsdal will probably find the ground rather lively for his taste but his fellow German raider Altano should cope well and appears a stout stayer. His form looks progressive and, given the recent successes for his compatriots in major European races, he appeals as each-way value at 20-1.

4.25 Britannia Stakes

One of the week’s impossible handicaps, this is a version of Wednesday’s Royal Hunt Cup, but restricted to three-year-olds. John Gosden had the winner four times from 1996 to 2001 but is without a runner this time. Sir Michael Stoute and Richard Hannon are other trainers with more than one win.

Hannon’s Wentworth is a justifiably warm favourite, having won two of his three starts last year and been really unlucky on his reappearance at Newbury, when unable to get a clear run. The extra distance should suit him and there appears to be nothing wrong with the yard’s form, despite their frustrations this week. Is possibly drawn on the wrong side in stall 30, following two races on Wednesday that suggested the far side is favoured.

Cape Peron is unbeaten this year but would probably prefer some ease in the ground and will be lucky to get it now. This will be run at a much stronger pace than the race he won last time.

Maputo, from Mark Johnston’s yard, is on a run of three wins and the step back in trip actually looks a positive for him, at least in a strongly run race over a stiff mile. He should be battling on at the end.

Homage will have his fans and has been aimed at this but his effort appeared to give out over a shorter trip last time. His trainer, Jeremy Noseda, may have a better shout with Prophets Pride, prepped on the all-weather but likely to be fine on turf and with some scope to be better than his present rating. He wears cheekpieces for the first time and is drawn on the apparently favoured far side.

5.00 Tercenteary Stakes

A 10-furlong Group Three for three-year-olds, this race has been going since 2002. The only trainer with more than one win so far is Aidan O’Brien, who won it in 2004 and 2005. Last year’s race became the first in the history of Royal Ascot to be won by a German-trained runner.

Chopin will attempt to make it two in a row for Germany. When last seen, he was seventh in the Derby and could be better than that, as he was held up off a slow pace and ran into trouble. The step down in trip is not certain to suit.

O’Brien runs Indian Chief, who missed the Derby after running only third when favourite for the Dante, a key trial. That form now looks pretty respectable, given that the winner was a strong-finishing second in the Derby, while the runner-up has run well twice. He wears a hood for the first time.

Remote is the favourite after bolting up in a Doncaster handicap. The runner-up, beaten six lengths, has since won a Listed race, but he was giving 9lb to Remote at Donny. Remote now returns to 10 furlongs, the distance at which he won his maiden, and is clearly going to be a contender.

Shikarpour is an unexposed French raider who was a fair fifth in the French Derby on just his second race.

5.35 King George V Stakes

A tricky handicap over a mile and a half for three-year-olds, this is sometimes won by pretty classy animals, like Dandino and Brown Panther in recent years, as well as Moon Madness a bit further back. The draw wouldn’t normally play a major part in races over this distance but those drawn wide in this big field face the familiar dilemma of whether to drop in and risk traffic problems or use up too much energy to get a decent early position.

That is potentially the issue facing Ryan Moore on the fancied Bold Sniper, drawn 16. Lightly raced, he owes his reputation to the defeat of five rivals in a Leicester handicap. The runner-up won last night at Kempton.

Eshtiaal is better drawn in one and has improved for the step up to this sort of distance. He hacked up from a small field at Yarmouth, when the third was stuffed out of sight, and the runner-up has since beaten 14 rivals at Newbury. Eshtiaal was fourth in a good maiden at Newmarket on his reappearance and needs to be a fair bit better than that now, because hewas behind Space Ship and meets him on worse terms.

Space Ship is drawn wide, though, and his only success from seven starts was in a Chester maiden, albeit a good one. He can be forgiven his Epsom defeat on his handicap debut, when little went right for him.

Soviet Rock has won both his handicaps this year but is not certain to appreciate the extra two furlongs.

11.15am Market movers

Chris Cook: For all the reverent attention we give to news about what’s being backed, it has to be admitted that the information has so far proved of no value this week. Partly, I feel that’s because market movers are so often prompted by tips from one or two sources who are having a bad time to this point.

Anyway, here goes with some movers from William Hill and Victor Chandler.

The Queen is in for a good day according to punters, who have backed Estimate for the Gold Cup (6s from 7s with Hill’s) and Bold Sniper in the last. Biographer and Lost Train have also attracted money in the big race.

Coach House is a very strong favourite in the opener and has now dropped below 2s with Hill’s, though Chandler’s still go 9-4. Wind Fire has been supported at bigger odds.

The Ribblesdale market appears quiet but there is “small money” for Riposte, from Lady Cecil’s yard.

Wentworth, already a short price in the Britannia, still has his backers and is 4s from 9-2 with Hill’s. Maputo and Queensberry Rules are popular alternatives.

The Tercentenary favourite, Remote, is Chandler’s best-backed horse of the day and is 11-4 from 7-2 with Hill’s.

11.10am Weather and going

Chris Cook: At the start of this week, some forecasts were predicting 18mm of rain for Ascot on Wednesday. In the event, nothing came and the place has remained dry overnight.

It remains overcast and muggy and we are told there is a threat of showers through the day, but they seem unlikely to amount to a great deal, if they materialise at all.

The going is therefore good to firm and likely to be too lively for quite a few runners today. Chris Stickels, the clerk of the course, will be wishing he had stuck down a few millimetres from the hose this week.

Stickels said: “There is a chance we might water tonight. If it does stay dry today, and if there is only a risk of small scattered showers tomorrow, then we will probably put a bit of water on after racing.”

Already we have two non-runners because of the state of the going: Granell in the 4.25 and, significantly, The Lark in the Ribblesdale. She was third in the Oaks last time and would have been fancied.

Ladies’ day at Royal Ascot

In case you haven’t seen it, here is the Racing Post’s front page for Gold Cup day at Royal Ascot. It’s inspired by the fact that the Queen owns the favourite for today’s big race, as well as another favourite later on the card.

I don’t wish to seem ungenerous and I’m sure we can all have feelings of goodwill towards a sweet lady of advancing years. But I’m annoyed by this assumption that we’re all delighted whenever the Queen wins something.

The question of how I feel about the outcome of a race tends to be determined by my betting. There are quite a few trainers and jockeys who make me smile when they do well, whether I’ve backed them or not. But the identity of the owner matters hardly at all to me and to others I’ve asked about this.

Even if it matters to you, I’d hesitate to assume that you’ll welcome every Royal winner. Why should it be more wonderful for the Queen to own the Gold Cup hero than for the prize to go to some small-time owner-breeder who lavishes their relatively limited resources on the cherished animals?

This idea that we all revere royalty seems to me to hark back to a time when we were much more accepting of the social structure and our place within it. I wish the Queen well, as I wish most people well, but I’ll be darned if I’ll cheer for her horse just because she was so ludicrously fortunate as to be born into the world’s most privileged family.

Estimate is the beast in question and she certainly has potential but I’d say he also has a bit to prove on the bare form of his few races so far. There are 18 runners in today’s Gold Cup, an unusually high figure, caused by the fact that there are no really outstanding candidates.

Bold Sniper, the Queen’s favourite for the closing race, has a better chance. The horse he cuffed last time won last night at Kempton.

Raiders from Ireland have won the opening two races on both Tuesday and Wednesday and it may be the same story today, as Coach House and Alive Alive Oh look really strong favourites for the Norfolk and the Ribblesdale.

Among the trainers opposing the Irish in the second of those races is Michael Bell, thrust into the news yesterday when it emerged he had pushed the jockey Hayley Turner out of his stable door after a 13-year association. Bell may in part be feeling frustrated by a losing streak that has carried him towards the top of the Racing Post’s cold list but The Lark has a chance of getting him off it. Jamie Spencer rides.

Turner, meanwhile, has a single ride on the card, You Da One in the Britannia. She is the most successful female jockey this country has ever produced but hasn’t had a winner at Royal Ascot and would be the first woman to ride one since Gay Kelleway in 1987.

Chigun rather let the Cecil camp down by pulling so hard in the Duke of Cambridge yesterday. This time, the survivors of the late, great Sir Henry will rely on Riposte, a maiden winner in the Ribblesdale, so the odds are that a most popular victory will have to wait for now, possibly until Joyeuse tomorrow.

My tipping preview is here. Think you can do better? Enter our tipping competition, below.

Stan James tipping competition

You could win a £50 bet from Stan James by proving your tipping prowess on today’s races. All you have to do is give us your selections for all of today’s races at Ascot.

As ever, our champion will be the tipster who returns the best profit to notional level stakes of £1 at starting price. Non-runners count as losers.

Please post all your tips in a single posting, using the comment facility below, before the first race at 2.30pm. There are six races at Ascot today and you must post a single selection for each race.

Our usual terms and conditions, which you can read here will apply, except that this will be a strictly one-day thing. If we get a tie after all the races have been run, the winner will be the one who posted their tips earliest out of those with the highest score.

If you don’t win today, don’t despair. We are running an identical competition on each day of the Royal meeting, up to Friday.

Congratulations to shears39, who won Wednesday’s competition by dint of being the only one to find Belgian Bill, the 33-1 winner of the Hunt Cup. He also had Duntle (100-30) for an all round storming success.

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