Coventry Stakes (3.05) – A fascinatingly open race with many contenders. War Envoy is strongly fancied by many, and if he was left short at Navan then once can see why the sole representative of the yard that has won this seven times in the last 17 years would be popular and given the impression that he left on his debut, then the case is obvious. However Kool Kompany seemed a winner on merit that day and at the prices makes more appeal of the two.
Adaay may be shortest of all, but that is deserved based on the way that he beat Mind of Madness (favourite for the Windsor Castle) with plenty in hand and it’s hard not to see him going close if he can repeat that form today and he has every chance, being just preferred over The Wow Signal, whose Ayr win couldn’t have worked out any better.
Capella Sansevero holds both on a line through second place Tsocanni, whom he beat well at Naas in the Fishery Lane race that day, and the second since has boosted the form after heavy ground saw a reverse at the Curragh next time out for him. The way that he made his ground when winning a Listed race at the Curragh last time was impressive and suggests that this is likely to be his trip, and out of a 1m2f-winning dam, he’s not likely to lack for strength at the finish and can go well.
It’s hard to ignore Portamento, who left his debut effort behind when slamming his opposition at Goodwood, or Kodi Bear, beaten by the favourite on his debut and going here instead of taking a maiden with ease, but of the bigger priced horses, the impression Kasb made on his debut cannot be forgotten. While he was disappointing at Pontefract last time, front running tactics didn’t work for him and sitting off what’s likely to be a strong gallop could see him show something more like what his debut win at Newbury, the form of which has worked out very well since.
Advice: 1 pt win Adaay (6/1 Paddy Power), 1 pt each/way Capella Sansevero (9/1 general), 1 pt each/way Kasb
Ascot Stakes (5.00) – A fine renewal and a proper handicap to kickstart the weights contests this week. Nicky Henderson, amongst many jumps trainers, enjoys this race and Suraj boasts a fine chance. Disappointing last year, his sixth of 17 at York suggests that he was going to relish this longer trip and if he improves from that run as he suggested then he can make a very bold bid.
Ballinderry Boy, Lieutenant Miler and Domination all make appeal, but one that could well have been overlooked is Agreement for John Quinn. Formerly with Aidan O’Brien, for whom he landed a 1m4f maiden last year, he has subset looked a middling horse over hurdles for Rebecca Curtis but had his moments in a short career that suggests he retains enough ability and while his stamina for this trip is not a given, he has enough potential to be considered value.
Advice: 1 pt each/way Suraj (12/1 general), 1 pt each/way Comissioner (33/1 general)
Windsor Castle Stakes (5.35) – This is one of the strongest renewals of this race seen in a long time and any amount have a chance. It seems conservative then, to go with Mind of Madness, but the way he won on debut at Newmarket suggested he was a class horse in the making and his defeat to Adaay last time out, while disappointing, reads well from a form point of view and it may be that he enjoys the step back to 5 furlongs today. The way that Merdon Castle pulled clear with subsequent Naas Listed winner Kool Kompany at Windsor last time out, going down by just half a length, was also a very encouraging effort, and the 3lbs he was giving the winner that day now looks a lot better after he beat Tosciana and War Envoy at Naas and he too can go well. Hootennanny looks an exciting prospect and can make a bold bid for Wesley Ward, while Four Seasons, Mubtaghaa, and Among Angels are all solid chances. Fulwairt and Commander Patten are recommended to those seeking big prices.
Advice: 1 pt each/way Mind of Madness (6/1 Bet Victor), Merdon Castle (13/2 Paddy Power)