There’s plenty of excitement here in Newmarket with the five days of Royal Ascot now within touching distance.
Our stable’s Too Darn Hot is being prepared for what on paper has the potential to be the race of week, namely his re-match with Phoenix Of Spain in Tuesday’s St James’s Palace Stakes (4.20pm).
This should be a superb watch and it’s well documented our lad has enjoyed a better preparation than last time out where it was a rush to get him to the Curragh so soon after York.
Interestingly the handicapper dropped Too Darn Hot six pounds and raised Phoenix Of Spain the same amount after the Irish 2,000 Guineas, meaning they are now dead level on marks of 120. That only fuels the possibility of a great battle.
Riding Whitlock on the grass on Long Hill in Newmarket I led Too Darn Hot in his work on Monday. He looked good there and everyone at the yard is excited to see him out again.
Similar emotions apply to Stradivarius, who will be my highlight of the week when he bids to repeat last year’s thrilling win in Thursday’s Gold Cup (4.20pm).
Looking for a seventh victory on the bounce and his fourth at Ascot this streetfighter of a horse looks in fine fettle.
He loves a battle and has unquestionably become a people’s horse.
This will be very tough, no doubt about it, with the likes of Dee Ex Bee and Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter laying it down to him, but with a CV like his our fella is still the one to beat.
Ascot aside, I got a great spin on Litigious at Goodwood last Sunday, a lovely filly by Lawman who won on debut at the Sussex track a contest which yielded a 1-2 for the yard, with Merry Vale chasing her home.
A half-sister to Chester Cup winner Making Miracles, she’s been something of a slow burner at home, but she hit the line strong in a display which suggests her immediate future will be over a mile and a half.
I’ll be at Chantilly on Sunday to ride Azano in a Group 3 contest, after which it’s straight home and into Royal Ascot mode.
Check back on Monday evening when I’ll have posted the first of my five daily Royal Meeting updates in my FansBet blog.
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