Soft ground a positive for Shadn in the Commonwealth Cup
19 Jun 2020
It wasn’t to be yesterday for Technician – but nobody can serve it up to Stradivarius when he’s in that mood. What a stayer he is! We go again on Day Four where I’ve a healthy book to look forward to.
Palace Of Holyroodhouse Handicap (13.15) – Lambeth Walk
I begin day four with a ride in one of the new races, Lambeth Walk in the five-furlong handicap. There’s no doubt that she hasn’t got an obvious form chance, but she’s got a very good draw in 20, she’s done loads of work and she’s drawn besides the favourite, Art Power. She’s training well and she’s freshened up so it’s with hope she can run nicely at a big price.
Albany Stakes (13.50) – Mahale
She didn’t do too much wrong at all on her debut at Newmarket on June 4. Charles Bishop was on her that day, I was on Time Scale for Ralph Beckett in the same race, and she finished fourth after being a little babyish. I’ve a low draw in stall four besides the favourite, Wesley Ward’s Flying Aletha, so hopefully she’ll get a lovely tow into the race. I’m not worried that she’s drawn away from the stands’ rail and although she’s a big price I think we could get a place.
Norfolk Stakes (14.25) – The Lir Jet
I’ve drawn stall one on The Lir Jet, but in a 14-runner field with Wesley Ward’s Golden Pal in six and Mark Johnston’s Eye Of Heaven, who was very impressive at Newmarket, in five, I’m not concerned. I had a sit on him at Newmarket on Saturday, just a light breeze on the grass, and he felt super. He was lightning at Yarmouth, breaking the all-age track record, and Sheikh Fahad obviously purchased him subsequently so it’s a big day. Hopefully he can run a huge race.
Hardwicke Stakes (15.00) – Alounak
He’s a big price but he actually ran okay at Newmarket last time out before he got a bit tired. We expect him to improve from that run. I’m drawn in stall one so hopefully I can sneak around and finish the race well. Obviously it will be tough, he’s up against it on official ratings, and I was very impressed with Anthony Van Dyck’s run at Newmarket last time out. He’s a player and Elarqam has to be, too, considering he gave Prince Of Wales’s winner Lord North a real race at Haydock two weeks ago. Also don’t forget Defoe. He always seems to pop up when he’s a big price and he probably will be that on Friday.
Commonwealth Cup (15.35) – Shadn
A No Nay Never filly, she did really well for us last year winning two races and I ride for her owner a lot in Japan, Mr Yoshida. She was a Group Two winner at Maisons-Laffitte last October on soft ground, so she certainly wouldn’t mind any thunderstorms in the build-up. Hopefully she can run a good race, but I have huge respect for Pierre Lapin, he’s done absolutely nothing wrong and looks the one to beat.
Queen’s Vase (16.10) – Berkshire Rocco
I won this race for Andrew Balding last year with Dashing Willoughby and hopefully lightning can strike twice as we team up with Berkshire Rocco this time around. He ran a good race at Lingfield in the Derby trial behind English King and we’ve been really happy with him since then. He looks fantastic, I’m sure he’ll relish stepping up in trip and hopefully he’ll be bang there.
Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes (16.40) – Medal Winner
I ride Medal Winner for Archie Watson in this and he’s drawn out in 17. I’m sure readers will know that’s not a bad place to be on the mile and a half course at Ascot and I think the reason for that is you can stay out of trouble running downhill from out wide, whereas on the inside you can get lit up. You can keep it smooth and hopefully slot in before you straighten up after four furlongs. Medal Winner won his prep race at Newcastle and has been training super well, we’ve been looking forward to this race all winter. West End Charmer was very impressive at Newmarket, I was behind him on Good Birthday, and they’d rate two of the main dangers.