A brilliant five days of action coming up at Royal Ascot with the likes of Stradivarius, Love, Palace Pier, Campanelle and Starman all seeking to light up the Berkshire venue.
The racecourse will hold up to 12,000 people per day due to Covid-19 restrictions easing in recent weeks and with Her Majesty The Queen in attendance, and set amidst the European Championships plus the upcoming Wimbledon tennis championships, this is a perfect time for the sport to highlight its influence in a congested summer sporting calendar.
As for a couple of Royal Meeting picks, Andrew Balding spoke exclusively to Racing TV this week and he was very positive about the chances of 14/1 shot Bounce The Blues in the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes on Wednesday, whilst Saldier (4/1) looks to have been shrewdly placed by Willie Mullins in Tuesday’s Copper Horse Stakes following his facile win at Listowel.
Anyway, onto Monday’s racing action where the Racing TV cameras will be at Carlisle, Gowran Park, Kilbeggan and Nottingham, and we’re hoping it will be a good day for Tim Easterby at Carlisle.
2.30 Carlisle: Canaria Prince each-way at a general 20-1
Canaria Prince has failed to pull up any trees in three career starts thus far, but could be a different proposition switched to handicap company.
Related to a Listed winner, the three-year-old was gelded before his first career start and whilst form figures of 706 fail to get the tastebuds wagging, he could be a typical contender who will be seen to better effect in a handicap.
Allotted a rating of 53, he should hopefully prove better than that for a trainer enjoying a nine per cent strike-rate in the past two weeks and this does not look a race which will take much winning.
Shackabooah sets the standard on form, but has failed to win in 13 starts and is becoming expensive to follow. Canaria Prince, by contrast, remains unexposed and looks a live each-way player in this event.
3.40 Carlisle: Carrigillihy at 100-30 with Paddy Power and Betfair
Tim Easterby has another interesting runner on the card here in Carrigillihy.
The three-year-old son of New Bay cost 16,000gns as a yearling and comes from a family which includes Derby and Arc hero Workforce.
The pick of Carrigillihy’s first three runs was a solid fourth in a novice event at Thirsk in April when only beaten eight and a half lengths.
On his penultimate run, he clearly failed to take to the surface at Southwell and having qualified for handicaps, he ran a race full of promise when a two and a quarter-length second at Hamilton in May.
Easterby’s charge stepped up to nine furlongs for that event, but despite making the running, he got outpaced at the three-furlong pole, before staying on again from two furlongs out.
Ridden by David Allan, he eventually went on to snatch second, but gave the impression that stamina is clearly his forte. Stepped up in distance again to 1m3f for this assignment, he remains unexposed and the 2lb he receives from recent Ayr winner Dr T J Eckleburg could prove pivotal.
8.00pm Windsor: Thrill Seeker at a general 5-2
This looks a good opportunity for Thrill Seeker to record a third career success.
The four-year-old has been kept busy this year having run eight times and was successful at Kempton in February plus has shaped with promise in four subsequent starts.
Crucially, the son of Invincible Spirit showed a clear aptitude for turf when reverting to the surface on his latest start at Chepstow.
He finished a staying-on third on that occasion having been slow away before struggling to get a clear run in the closing stages.
That performance can be marked up as he was only beaten by a half-length and, whilst it seems slightly harsh that he has been raised a 1lb to a mark of 81, it looks telling that Tom Marquand sticks around at Windsor to ride him in the penultimate race of the evening.
Moreover, the switch back to a mile, the trip at which he was successful over at Kempton, makes him of serious interest.
8.50pm Nottingham: Idilico
The finale at Nottingham on Monday evening features former Ebor hero Nakeeta and despite running off top-weight and now being a 10-year-old, he looks back down to a mark from which he could be a leading player.
However, it could be the joint bottom-weight Idilico who takes home the prize. Trained by Christophe Ferland in France, the Lawman gelding won once in nine starts for Ian Williams over hurdles and was then switched to Phil Kirby for two runs, before again being sent to Williams, and has hinted at signs of ability in his past three runs for the Alvechurch handler.
That included a second-placed finish over this trip at Nottingham in May where he may have finished closer on that occasion had he not been slow away.
Sent to Doncaster last time out, he was again slowly away and despite making headway in the home straight, he faded to finish fourth.
That was not a bad effort, though, and this looks a weak event with most, if not all, his five rivals looking out of form.
Quicker ground may not suit him ideally, but this looks a winnable event and he looks worth supporting.Get a FREE Racing TV Sports Jacket! Click here for more details.
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