After a very bright start on day one, with Seamie Heffernan guiding Lope Y Fernandez into second to land the ‘without favourite’ bet behind Palace Pier, thereafter, it all went a little awry.
Masseto (despite being drawn in stall 10 of 17) was still drawn out of proceedings a little, as the stands side bias on the straight track was very much in evidence. While Chindit and Throne Hall were held up well in rear on a day when the straight track seemed to show very little favours to anything not in the front half of the field.
Anyhow, on to day two and the Wesley Ward banker in the Queen Mary, in the shape of Twilight Gleaming. Given the notable bias on day one towards high-numbered stalls on the straight track, she looks perfectly berthed in stall 20. Maybe a couple at massive odds that could play a part, if the track is riding in a similar way, are Coup De Force and Poppy Petal.
The Queen’s Vase is fiercely tricky, as plenty of potential improvers face off, and the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes looks a good opportunity for Lady Bowthorpe to rubber-stamp her Lockinge form with Palace Pier. Perhaps last year’s runner-up Agincourt could be an outsider to note, as she was back to form at Goodwood last time.
The Prince Of Wales’s Stakes is a horrible betting medium, as I would want to take on Love on her seasonal debut with stablemate Armory, but with a couple of classy sorts also in the field of 7, a price of 7/2 and two places makes no appeal really.
The first and only bet of the day comes in the Royal Hunt Cup at 5.00, and with a cavalry charge of 30 runners, I’m questioning my sanity slightly by throwing only one dart at the board. But the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Astro King has enough going for him that I’m happy to pin my hopes solely on him at 8/1 each-way with Boylesports, who offer 6 places.
Drawn in stall 27, on today’s evidence, should be absolutely perfect for Ryan Moore’s mount, and granted a little luck in-running then he should be bang there. A little unlucky with how the race panned out for him in Thirsk’s Hunt Cup last time out, a well run big-field straight mile handicap is probably his absolutely ideal set up.
The only thing we don’t need is for the draw bias to somehow switch itself around, which has been known to happen! So, maybe just hold off until you’ve watched the first few races to check that Astro King won’t be inconvenienced by being on the stands side. As my grandmother used to tell me, patience is a virtue…