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Some decent shots to break my Royal Ascot duck

16 Jun 2016

What a great week at Royal Ascot so far and some unbelievable performances. I actually sat on Lady Aurelia for Wesley Ward last week and thought that she was a pretty special filly – but I was not expecting her to put in a performance like that!

I’ve still yet to have a Royal Ascot winner, so it would be great to get that off my back. I have a few decent shots in the next couple of days, though, and all I need is for one of them to win!

I kick things off on Friday with Bletchley in the Albany Stakes and we’ll be disappointed if she doesn’t acquit herself well. We thought that she would have probably needed the race on her debut, despite showing plenty of zip on the woodchip, but she belied her odds of 25/1. You’d expect her to progress from that and this isn’t possibly quite as strong a renewal as it can be.

La Rioja was disappointing on her return, travelling well for a long way but then falling in somewhat of a hole in the final furlong. However, she galloped with Twilight Son at Newbury recently and felt great. She’s not ground dependant, having won on near-heavy as a two-year-old, and if she’s back on song, then she’s very possibly been overlooked in the Commonwealth Cup.

The race looks very strong again and is a great initiative to help bring along our younger sprinters. La Rioja’s Haydock conqueror, Quiet Reflection, will be tough to crack if in the same form, though.

I then switch from sprints to the stayers to partner Goldmember in the closing Queen’s Vase. He probably wants faster ground but wouldn’t be without a chance if he handles conditions.

On Saturday I’m reunited with Simple Verse in the Hardwicke Stakes and hopefully things will pan out better for her here than they did in the Coronation Cup at Epsom. They hacked around that day and then sprinted down the hill, so it developed into a seven-furlong race and we all got caught napping a little by the sudden change in pace. That didn’t suit her and I looked after her as a result once her chance was gone.

Hopefully, she’s in the same order as she was before that race as she was flying at home. She’s the highest-rated filly in the race and I’ll be disappointed if she’s not bang there.

I don’t have a ride in the Diamond Jubilee but it looks like being a cracking renewal despite only 10 runners lining up. Magical Memory has been the standout sprinter this season and will go on the ground. However, if I was to get the leg-up on one it would have to be Twilight Son.

You can’t underestimate how much I think he will have improved for his reappearance. He’s quite laid back, will have come on a ton and I’m sure Ryan will be able to get the best out of him.

I’m in action in the following Wokingham and can’t wait to get back on Absolutely So. He’s moving well, is drawn in stall 6, which hasn’t been a disadvantage this week, and is the ideal type for this race. He has class, goes on the ground and is a strong traveller. He’s also a course and distance winner to boot.

Havisham is my mount in the Royal Ascot finale and I’ll certainly be having my Weetabix on Saturday morning as it will take a quite a bit of driving over two miles six furlongs!

He’s the most beautiful horse and will hopefully be able to redeem his expensive purchase price as a yearling. All he does is stay and will be doing his best work late on.