Catching Pigeons: Royal Ascot gossip and tips

Our Catching Pigeons column returns with tips and gossip ahead of Wednesday at Royal Ascot.

Jack Hobbs managed just the two runs last season, ending with a second third-placed finish in the QIPCO British Champion Stakes in October having pulled up on his reappearance in April. 

He probably ran to a similar level of form when winning a Group One at Meydan on Dubai World Cup night in first time blinkers and his work since returning from Dubai suggests that he's the one to be with in the Prince of Wales's Stakes.  

Always an enthusastic worker, he seems to be back in a good place at present and can gain a third Group One success.

Gosden could already be on the scoresheet on day two courtesy of Chessman who is better than his bare form suggests and could reward a speculative punt in the Jersey Stakes

Gosden has higher rated horses contesting this race, but he has always thought highly on this son of Acclamation. He looked a little unlucky on both his outings so far, and the fact the old master is running him in such a tough race, suggests he is expecting an improved performance.

There have also been good reports for stablemate Gymnaste who should appreciate stepping back up to a mile in the Sandringham Handicap after finishing second at Kempton over seven. Josephine Gordon has been booked for the ride.  

However, there is also a strong word for another lightweight in Queen Of Time who could provide Henry Candy with a welcome boost before Limato's run in Saturday's Golden Jubilee. 

She has progressed with each of her two victories so far this season and her smart turn of foot should hold her in good stead in this tough fillies only event, even though she is a little out of the handicap.

Heartache should give connections good cause to be happy with a bold display in the Queen Mary Stakes

Clive Cox has produced a number of juvenile winners during the first half of the campaign and few have been more impressive than this daughter of Kyllachy, who came home six lengths clear on her debut at Bath last month. 

The form was upheld when the third won at the same course on Saturday, and Heartache has done everything to suggest she has progressed for the exertions in her recent work. Ground conditions were fast for that initial success and that will stand her in good stead for what she is likely to experience underfoot here. 

Ballet Concerto is on great terms with himself at the moment and should put an unlucky run behind him in the Royal Hunt Cup. Sir Michael Stoute's charge made a great start to the season with his win in the Spring Mile at Doncaster in April, but things have not gone his way on both his subsequent starts. 

Ryan Moore has been partnering him in his work and Ballet Concerto is always at his most effective in this type of race. He should be staying on when many are calling enough, and hopes are high he can at least grab a place at a working man's price.

That is no longer the case with ante-post gamble Abe Lincoln whose chances were flagged up in this column a couple of weeks back and he again caught the eye in his work on the Trial Ground last week.


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