Eldar Eldarov edges a Royal Ascot thriller
Eldar Eldarov could make up into a St Leger candidate

Four fancies following Royal Ascot


Andrew Asquith looks back on Royal Ascot and picks out four horses to be interested in for races later in the season.


Heredia

Falmouth Stakes, Newmarket, Friday 8 July (Top price: 12/1)

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Inspiral ran out an impressive winner of the Coronation Stakes and is rightly a short-price favourite for the Falmouth at Newmarket.

However, the Richard Hannon-trained Heredia also created a big impression when winning the Sandringham at the Royal meeting, and it may be worth getting her on side at double-figure odds.

She did especially well to win on her reappearance at York given she wasn’t as well positioned as the runner-up and she improved another chunk when stretching her unbeaten record to four last week.

Once more, she didn’t get the clearest of runs, but her class shone through when the gaps appeared, again displaying a smart turn of foot in the closing stages and hanging a little once hitting the front, leaving the impression she had more to offer if needed.

There is no doubt that she is a pattern-class filly in the making and, while moving out of handicaps into Group 1 company is a big step, Heredia appears to have all of the tools to handle the task; she looks a good each-way bet at her current price.

Perfect Power

July Cup, Newmarket, Saturday 9 July (9/4)

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Perfect Power was one of the best juveniles around last season, notably winning the Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes, and he justified good support to make a taking return in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury.

Connections were right to roll the dice in the 2000 Guineas afterwards and, though he ran creditably, he didn’t see out the trip as strongly as the principals.

As expected, Perfect Power was much happier returned to six furlongs in the Commonwealth Cup, showing improved form as he stretched clear inside the final furlong.

Muhaarar is the only horse to follow up in the July Cup since the Commonwealth Cup’s inception eight years ago and, while Perfect Power isn’t quite at his level yet, his performance last week suggests he will certainly be competitive up against the established older European sprinters.

The Australian-trained Artorius, who finished third in the Platinum Jubilee, of course must be feared, but the July Course isn’t sure to suit his run style, and Perfect Power looks a solid favourite at this stage.

Candleford

Ebor, York, Saturday 20 August (10/1)

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Candleford was one of the most impressive winners for me at Royal Ascot last week, able to overcome stall 18 on his return from seven months off and still be going further clear of his rivals at the line.

He had caught the eye on numerous occasions last season, and closed the year by beating Coltrane – who also won the Ascot Stakes last week – but he improved a chunk to take a fiercely competitive handicap in the manner he did.

Candleford came widest of all into the straight but made good headway to take up the lead entering the final furlong and powered clear in the style of a smart horse. He surely has the potential to mix it in pattern company on that evidence, but connections will surely be tempted by a crack at the Ebor given the prize money on offer and the fact he shapes like he’ll be even better at a mile and three quarters.

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Eldar Eldarov

St Leger, Doncaster, Saturday 10 September (8/1)

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Eldar Eldarov looked a good prospect when making a winning debut at Nottingham on his sole start last season and he has progressed as expected so far this year.

He was well backed to defy a penalty in a hot novice event which is working out well at Newcastle last month and again attracted support when maintaining his unbeaten record up in grade and trip in the Queen’s Vase.

Eldar Eldarov did well under the circumstances, too, given a patient ride and still having plenty to do on entering the straight. He made good headway and looked like winning with more in hand than he actually did at one stage, finding plenty but only just getting the verdict on the nod.

Connections suggested before the Queen's Vase that they would have liked more cut in the ground for him and the St Leger at Doncaster looks an obvious target for him now. He clearly stays well, remains totally unexposed, particularly at the trip, and prices of 8/1 make appeal for a horse with his profile.


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