13:25 Long Distance Cup — The Boys In Blue
Trueshan proved himself to be a real champion this weekend, backing up his impressive win in the Prix Du Cadran just 14 days later in the Long Distance Cup. This left me wondering about the strength of the staying division heading into next season. Our current champion Trueshan’s wanting for a soft surface leaves you questioning his attendance for some of the big races. He was pulled out of two races this season on account of the ground being too quick, with the Ascot Gold Cup being one of them. Our old champion Stradivarius will likely be sent off to stud as a seven turning eight year old. Also, our could have been champion Subjectivist looks likely to never race again.
It’s a division with plenty of uncertainty but for me the answer is Godolphin. I’ll start with Manobo whose reputation was enhanced over the weekend just for staying at home. He’s gone from strength to strength this season, skipping his 2yr old campaign he started out with a win over Mojo Star. Before winning at listed level and finishing his season with a Group 2 win. In his final start, he managed to stick 3L between himself and Tashkhan who franked the form with his 2nd in the Long Distance Cup. This isn’t exactly a horse who’s gone under the radar, as he’s installed in the Ascot Gold Cup market at 8/1.
This isn’t the only boy in blue who could make his presence felt next season. I think Kemari definitely deserves a mention. A good winner of the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot, a race which has produced Stradivarius and Kew Gardens in recent years. Only a length separated him and Manobo at Longchamp, with Kemari getting done for a turn of foot before staying on strongly. He’s also in the Ascot Gold Cup market at 10/1.
14:00 Champions Sprint — A Royal Ascot Winner For Next Year
Creative Force was an impressive winner this weekend and he showed that when he gets his ground he will be tough to beat next season. I think this race next year will likely be his big target along with the Diamond Jubilee as he’s shown he acts well at Ascot. He has run brilliant races on all grounds this season but it’s hard not to say he’s better with soft ground.
There were a couple of disappointments in the race with both Rohaan and Dragon Symbol running below market expectation. I wouldn’t read into this too much, with the pair having their 20th and 11th run respectively.
I would like to note I think Dragon Symbol is tailor-made for The Kings Stand at Royal Ascot. Despite his best form coming over 6f, this didn’t stop connections from running him over 5f this season as he placed in the King George, Nunthorpe and Flying Five. The Kings Stand is a race where you need to stay further than 5-furlongs as Oxted and Blue Point have proven in recent years. I have got Sky to price up and they’ve offered 8/1.