17:35 Royal Ascot Sat 23 June 2018
A smart performer on the Flat and over hurdles he does have his own ideas about racing and refused to race on his last hurdles start. His latest two Flat starts have been well below his best and he's one to take care with despite his connections.
Has history in this race (5th last year) and won a Listed race in France over just short of 2m after that. Stays well and has already performed well this season when 2nd in the Chester Cup to a runaway winner; place chance at best.
The second runner for this yard having got back to his best at in Listed grade at Sandown last year after running in the Gold Cup. This is obviously easier and a step down from the Group 2 he ran in last time (demoted to second).
Taken a step forward in his own grade over the past few weeks winning over hurdles and twice on the Flat. Would be a massive shock if he was good enough to win this.
Useful handicapper over staying trips but only lightly raced of late. Ran a decent race to finish 4th over 2m at Goodwood on his last start but even a repeat of that would see him outclassed here.
Very modest under both codes and given the length of his absence and ability no case can be made for him in this.
Useful at his best although hardly seen that much in recent years and well held for this yard on his first run for them. Headgear reapplied now but hard to see him making much impact on this.
Very smart stayer when he was with Sir Mark Prescott and has surprisingly taken well to hurdling for his current connections winning a Grade 2 level. Interesting to see him back on the Flat for a yard that won this two years ago.
Ran some fair races on the Flat when he was trained in France but failed to fire in two starts over hurdles in Ireland with Gordon Elliott. Now with another new yard in a different country and hard to see him winning this.
Form over hurdles and fences is fairly useful but he's never run on the Flat before and the chances are that he will be outclassed.
Strong favourite for last year's renewal (finished 2nd) after winning the Ascot Stakes a few days earlier. Comes here a fresher horse this time having been last seen running a very respectable 6th in the Melbourne Cup; leading chance.
Strong stayer who was runner-up at this meeting last year in the Queen's Vase (1m6f) and not disgraced in the St Leger. Started the year with a win on the AW but has looked a little tripless in Group races since; worth a try in this marathon.
Stepped up to 2m last time for a Sandown Group 3 he's rated as high as 108 and that doesn't make life easy. Sure to run with credit in an event like this but likely to fall short for win purposes.
Formerly with Andre Fabre (won twice at up to 1m4f) in France he got back on the winning trail on his debut for this yard on the AW (1m4f). Upped in trip last time at Listowel he had the run if the race finishing 2nd; not written off up in trip.
Progressing in handicaps and has a good strike-rate (5/10) winning his last two races at up to 2m. Has plenty to do at the weights and this trip will be a test for him as he barely stays 2m let alone this marathon trip.
Listed placed on the Flat in France before she joined this yard to go hurdling and has made up into a smart sort in that arena. The only one of the trainer's quintet that failed to make an impact in the Ascot Stakes; better expected here though.
Last Year's Winner
|3||Oriental Fox||9||9-5||10/1||Full Result|
|T: M JohnstonJ: J Fanning|
Thomas Hobson (11/8), Count Octave (4/1), Pallasator (11/2), Fun Mac (8/1), Nearly Caught (9/1), Glencadam Glory (14/1), Light Pillar (20/1), Uber Cool (20/1), Meri Devie (20/1), Renneti (40/1), Pearl Dragon (50/1), Guard Of Honour (50/1), Tempestatefloresco (66/1), Fort Jefferson (66/1), Le Maitre Chat (66/1), L'Attesa (100/1)
- Thomas Hobson
- Fun Mac
Log in for access to this exclusive content.
The Owen Burrows-trained Wadilsafa is the standout selection at Sandown, according to Nick Robson. He has a tip for every race.
Nick Grant picks out the best bets for Thursday and he has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.
Richard Mann heads to Pontefract for the Sporting Life Daily Nap selection on Thursday and he also has a couple more fancies to take note of.