17:00 Royal Ascot Wed 20 June 2018

Scheduled
  • Royal Hunt Cup (Heritage Handicap) (Str) (Class 2)
  • 1m, Good to Firm (Watered)
  • 30 Runners
  • Winner£108,938.002nd£32,620.003rd£16,310.004th£8,155.005th£4,078.006th£2,048.00
  • Surface: Turf
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1
(2)
59-10OR: 108CD
Produced a career best effort to win this race last year and returned with a fine effort over 7f last time. Nudged up 2lb for that run though and may find life tougher from a an 8lb higher mark than last year.
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2
(1)
49-8OR: 106
Kept busy this year and confirmed the promise of an excellent second at York with a win at Goodwood in May. However, he's disappointed twice since and there's very little chance of an easy lead in this race, particularly with a pace rival drawn low.
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4
(13)
69-8OR: 106D
Won nine races when trained in France but has disappointed in two runs for this yard last month and may need more relief from the handicapper.
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5
(14)
49-7OR: 105BFD
Highly progressive last year winning his last four starts of 2017. Returned with a promising effort at Keeneland on return and while well beaten in a Group 3 on Polytrack at Arlington Park last time, he will have been primed for this.
6
(5)
69-7OR: 105D
Useful on his day and won a valuable York handicap last year but struggling off revised mark since and not a consistent sort. Starts out for new yard and others preferred.
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7
(21)
59-5OR: 103D
Progressed well on AW this winter but disappointed on return to turf at Haydock last time and very little chance he can dominate from the front in this field. Others preferred.
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8
(23)
49-5OR: 103D
Progressive last year and finished third of 29 over C&D in the Britannia last year. Struggled on two starts this time around though and needs to improve for the fitting of first-time blinkers.
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9
(20)
49-5OR: 103D
Produced something close to a career best when placed in Listed company last time but possible he may find the ground a bit quick for him here, particularly over this trip.
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10
(17)
49-5OR: 103D
Impressive winner at York over this trip on fast ground last time and has only been raised 6lb for that. The re-opposing runner-up won next time out and his form has a solid luck to it. Should run well.
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11
(15)
79-5OR: 103D
Produced a career best effort when winning over 1m on fast ground at Meydan this winter. Gets similar conditions here and he's sure to get a solid gallop to aim at. Will be doing his best work in the finish and not ruled out.
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12
(31)
99-5OR: 103D
Running well of late at pattern level but still hasn't got his head in front since 2016. Handicapper due to put him up 4lb so can't be dismissed with in form jockey in the saddle but likely to find a few too good.
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13
(3)
Saltonstallt24(ex 5)
49-5OR: 98D
Got his head back in front at the Curragh last time over 1m on fast ground. 5lb penalty may be enough to stop him in a stronger race though.
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14
(27)
69-4OR: 102D
Progressed well on AW this winter but looks up against it from his revised mark now back on turf. Yard had a big priced winner here on Tuesday so not ruled out but likely to need relief from the handicapper.
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15
(29)
Repercussiont21(ex 5)
59-4OR: 97D
Had a couple of these in behind when justifying favouritism at Nottingham on soft ground last time but there's a suspicion he will struggle in what's a deeper race from a higher mark. May want faster ground than this.
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16
(18)
59-3OR: 101D
Not won since landing a Listed race in 2015 and while he ran some fair races in defeat last season, he's been very disappointing in two starts this term and probably wants softer ground than what he will get here.
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17
(26)
69-3OR: 101D
Not won since winning a valuable handicap at York in 2016 and he's disappointed in three outings this year. Handicap mark is on the slide and form figures of 223 at Ascot offer some encouragement but others would appear to have stronger claims.
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18
(25)
49-2OR: 100BFCD
Improved from his maiden to win over C&D last year but only seen sparingly since. Wears first-time cheekpieces on second start since wind surgery after a below par run at York last time and needs one of those factors to spark a revival.
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19
(9)
69-2OR: 100CD
Saves his best efforts for this course and has won twice over C&D. Two excellent efforts in defeat over 7f last year certainly encouraging and should come on for his reappearance; every chance he will get a strong pace to aim at.
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20
(10)
49-2OR: 100CD
Won the Britannia at this meeting last year but his two runs since have been well below par and barely beaten a rival home. Has questions to answer at present.
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21
(22)
49-1OR: 99D
Looked progressive on AW at Dundalk this winter and warmed up for this with a respectable placed effort at Leopardstown last time. There's a suspicion he's well handicapped and can't be ruled out.
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22
(8)
69-1OR: 99
Bounced back to form with a win in a valuable Leopardstown handicap last year but has largely struggled in three runs this year and probably needs to improve for the step up in trip if he's to play a part.
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23
(16)
Escobar6(ex 5)
49-1OR: 94D
Gained a first win since winning in Listed company at the start of his career at Haydock last time and due to go up further for that when handicapper has his say. Likely to keep on progressing for this yard.
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24
(28)
49-0OR: 98D
Two wins from 10 starts and generally consistent. Ran well again when last seen when fourth of 14 at Goodwood and a return to quicker ground could suit.
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25
(19)
49-0OR: 93D
Consistent sort who has been running well in some competitive races this year. Forced to carry a 5lb penalty for his success last time out though and needs first-time cheekpieces to eke out more.
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26
(32)
48-13OR: 97CDWS
Produced a career best effort to gain a narrow success here over 7f when last seen. Has had wind surgery in the interim and entitled to need this run on his return. Crowley prefers Afaak.
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27
(11)
48-12OR: 96BFD
Recorded a hat-trick last summer and seemingly doesn't know how to run a bad race. Only narrowly beaten last time out when runner-up at Sandown and not ruled out with a less exposed profile than many of his rivals.
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28
(4)
68-12OR: 96D
Produced a career best to win at Newmarket last time and stays this trip fine but this is a tough ask from 6lb higher in a much deeper race.
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29
(7)
48-12OR: 96BF
Won twice last year and returned with a promising effort at Newbury two starts back. Perhaps unsuited by the drop in trip last time and has claims here back at 1m for a yard in form.
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31
(33)
48-12OR: 96D
Has won three of his first five starts but handicapper has seemingly caught up with him since and draw unlikely to be ideal. Others preferred.
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32
(30)
Seniority7(ex 5)
48-12OR: 91D
Won three of his last five starts, all on AW and seemingly thriving back down at 1m having been tried at longer trips. Carries a penalty here but due to go up further when reassessed and not ruled out.
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Non-Runners

3
(12)
Mubtasim39
49-8OR: 106
T: W J HaggasJ: Non Runner
30
(6)
Wahash32
48-12OR: 96
T: R HannonJ: Non Runner

Last Year's Winner

DRAWHORSEAWGTSP
26Zhui Feng49-025/1Full Result
T: Mrs A J PerrettJ: M Dwyer

Betting

Forecast

Saltonstall (8/1), Seniority (10/1), Keyser Soze (12/1), Afaak (12/1), Settle For Bay (12/1), Firmament (14/1), Escobar (14/1), Raising Sand (16/1), Cape Byron (16/1), Bless Him (16/1), Kynren (16/1), Gabrial (18/1), Zhui Feng (20/1), Medahim (20/1), Master Merion (20/1), Tricorn (20/1), Flaming Spear (25/1), Archetype (28/1), Burnt Sugar (33/1), Mukalal (33/1), Arcanada (40/1), Hors De Combat (40/1), Mountain Rescue (40/1), Tony Curtis (40/1), Repercussion (40/1), Love Dreams (50/1), What's The Story (50/1), Surrey Hope (50/1), Goring (80/1), Circus Couture (150/1), Wahash (SP), Mubtasim (SP)

Verdict

A typically competitive renewal of this race in which Zhui Feng is trying to go back-to-back but he faces a tough ask from his revised mark here and it's likely there's better handicapped runners in the line up. AFAAK is an interesting runner after an impressive win last time and he gets the vote of retained jockey Jim Crowley over the reappearing Mukalal. Hors De Combat gets his optimum conditions and what should be a good pace to aim at. US raider Master Merion is a fascinating contender after a return to form last time and he couldn't be ruled out for Wesley Ward.
  1. Afaak
  2. Master Merion
  3. Hors De Combat
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Calyx

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T: M Meade

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F: 1-11

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