Ten To Follow Update (27.06.2018)
The Flat season is in full swing and what a week we were treated to at Royal Ascot. There were 8 Group 1's and 20 scoring opportunities, with every race of listed status and above worth an extra 20 bonus points.
Tuesday started with a shock has Accidental Agent (33/1) gave Eve Johnson Houghton her first Royal Ascot Group 1 win, with the horses at the fore of the market, such as Rhodedendron and Benbatl slightly disappointing. Next up was the Coventry stakes and was the first big clash of the two-year-olds. Calyx and Sergei Prokofiev were the potential superstars coming into the race and Calyx won the battle. Arguably running on the wrong side of the track, Calyx sauntered through the race and ran out a comfortable winner. The battle of the champion sprinters was next, with Battaash, Lady Aurelia and Blue Point trying to win the crown of the King's Stand Stakes. Lady Aurelia was unable to dominate from the front and Battaash appeared to go off too quickly. This set it up perfectly for the strong staying Blue Point to swoop to the lead up Ascot's stiff finish. The final Group 1 of the day saw Without Parole fulfil his potential and fend off the challenge from Gustav Klimt in a masterful Dettori ride.
Day two started with just as much shock as the previous day as Signora Cabello won the Queen Mary Stakes in a scintillating photo finish. Aiden O'Brien didn't have a winner on the first day, however he got the 1-2-3 in the Queen's Vase as Kew Gardens stormed to victory beating Southern France and Nelson. The Duke of Cambridge Stakes was won by Aljazzi as he showed a great turn of foot to power clear in the final furlong. The biggest shock of the week occurred in the Prince of Wales Stakes as Cracksman was unable to get back to his best and Poets Word made him pay. Cracksman never looked comfortable and was workmanlike the whole way round and Poets Word was there to capitalise. The final race of the day was won in great style by Expert Eye.
Thursday gave Wesley Ward his only winner of Royal Ascot as Shang Shang Shang won the Norfolk Stakes with a battling performance to fend off the late challenges of Pocket Dynamo and Land Force. The second race gave Aiden O'Brien and Ryan Moore their second winner as Hunting Horn produced a great run in the Hampton Court Stakes. It didn't take long for the third winner to arrive as Magic Wand reversed the Oaks form and won easily from the well punted Wild Illusion in the Ribblesdale. The feature race of the week saw the clash of the young pretender Stradivarius and the ever present Order Of St George and it was the former who took the spoils. Always travelling sweetly under Frankie Dettori Stradivarius took it up a furlong from home and was able to fend off the late challenge of Vazirabad in the Gold Cup.
Friday was a tougher day for players as Main Edition, Old Persian and Eqtidaar all took the Group honours. It had been a great week so far but there was one thing missing - a headline performance. Along came Alpha Centauri in the Coronation Stakes. Always handy, Colm O'Donoghue sent his mount to the front two furlongs from home and she just kept on finding and smashed the track record. Trainer Jessica Harrington has now got her Royal Ascot Group 1 win to go with her Cheltenham Gold Cup, a truly remarkable trainer.
The Final day saw Crystal Ocean cement himself as one of the middle-distance horses of the season with an effortless victory in the Hardwicke Stakes. Merchant Navy took the final points of the week in an exhilarating photo finish, to end the week on a high for the mighty Coolmore.
The full leaderboard can be found here.
|Position||Name & Team||Team Score|
|1||David Marshall (3)||270|
|2||Paul Stacey (2)||215|
|2||Alan Wellsteed (12)||215|
|2||Gail Garbutt (5)||215|
|5||Trevor Shaw (1)||210|
|5||Gail Garbutt (3)||210|
|5||Alan Wellsteed (10)||210|
|8||David Marshall (2)||205|
|8||David Marshall (4)||205|
|8||Gail Garbutt (4)||205|
|11||Trevor Shaw (4)||