Well the big week has finally arrived and I am absolutely delighted to announce we will be having our first two runners at the Royal Ascot meeting in the Windsor Castle Stakes (Listed) (Class 1) (2YO only). Any time you can take horses to such a prestigious event gives the whole team a boost and without the whole team’s efforts in recent times we wouldn’t be where we are today.
THEGREATESTSHOWMAN goes there following his win at Brighton earlier this month. He has come out of that race really well and I couldn’t be happier with where we have him ahead of Saturday. He’s a horse who possess bags of speed and the minimum trip of five furlongs will see him to best effect. I have often described him as a â€œpocket rocketâ€. As you would have seen he got himself a little worked up at the start when we took him to France. We will have the â€œhorse whispererâ€ Craig Witherford on hand at the start just to keep him settled going into the stalls.
Like Thegreatestshowman, KAPONO goes there on the back of a win. His win came at Goodwood at the back end of May and he couldn’t have done it more impressively that day. He’s a horse who travels really well and will appreciate a strong pace to track. He has done nothing but impress me at home since then and will head to Ascot in the best shape possible.
Both horses will have a fairly quiet couple of days with just a few light pieces of work before heading to the course Saturday morning.
There’s a whole host of top quality horses heading to Ascot this week and I’d just like to take the time to share with you my thoughts on some of the horses I am most looking forward to seeing.
On the opening day I am really looking forward to seeing BATTAASH in the King’s Stand Stakes. He has been in fantastic form and looks the one they have to beat today. He can get a little bit worked up pre-race but he is electrically quick and I think he could really get the week off to a flyer.
Looking ahead to Wednesday, I can’t wait to see CRACKSMAN in action again. He overcome what looked like an impossible situation at Epsom to get up on the line and I think Ascot will provide a much easier assignment for him. He is top class on his day and providing he is fit and well he should put in an impressive performance at a course he has won at previously.
Friday’s Group 1 Coronation Stakes, sees the return of the 1000 Guineas winner BILLESDON BROOK. She certainly caused a shock that day when she got the better of Laurens who has since gone on to win back-to-back Group 1’s with the most recent of those wins coming in Sunday’s Prix de Diane Longines at Chantilly. If BILLESDON BROOK can confirm that type of form come Friday she will have a fantastic chance of following up her 1000 Guineas success and put the finishing touch to a fantastic story.
The other horse I am excited to see on Friday is SANDS OF MALI who runs in the Commonwealth Cup. I think he’s a horse with huge talent whose improving all the time. He’s very much following the Harry Angel route by winning with a double penalty in France, which takes some doing for a three-year-old. He was very resolute at the finish last time out at Haydock, winning by a nose.
Finally, Saturday’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes. Where we get to see the Clive Cox trained HARRY ANGEL. He’s a sprinter who has continued to impress me, he is versatile when it comes to ground and it is hard to find any real chinks to his armour. Everything looks to be in place for a big run and I am really looking forward to seeing him come Saturday.
That’s it for this week’s blog, fingers are well and truly crossed for THEGREATESTSHOWMAN and KAPAONO ahead of their big week. I am sure they won’t let me down and as long as they return home safely with me on Saturday it will have been a great day. It is my birthday on Saturday and if either of them was to finish in the top four that would be the icing on the cake.
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