2.30 Royal Ascot – HEY GAMAN
The selection, trained by James Tate, is a son of New Approach who debuted in a 6f maiden at Leicester last month (6/1 chance), tracking the leaders and travelling strongly, shaken up two furlongs out and leading soon after, showing a good turn of foot to work clear of the majority of the field barring odds-on favourite Westerland who gnawed away at the advantage and collared him on the line. It was an excellent effort in defeat from this sizeable sort, travelling best and looking to have sealed matters once hitting the front, perhaps showing his naivety once there and his jockey also appearing to take things rather easy as the eventual winner launched his final challenge. His stable’s youngsters often improve significantly for a run, and it’d have to be hoped he could reverse placings with his re-opposing conqueror; the likes of Masar and in particular September looked well above average when scoring on debut and could prove a cut above if progressing as expected, but no surprise to see this colt give a good account of himself at likely decent odds.
3.05 Royal Ascot – KHAIRAAT (nap)
The selection, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, is a well-bred son of Shamardal who improved with each outing last year, winning a 1m maiden at Pontefract second time out and following up in a 10.5f classified event at Doncaster six weeks later (6/4 favourite), travelling well and moving closer with over two furlongs left to run, leading inside the final furlong and always doing enough to see off Laurence by a length. He made a winning return to action in a 10.5f handicap at Chester last month (10/11 market leader), making all and travelling powerfully on the front end, cranking things up a notch inside the three furlong marker and soon in full control, clearing right away in the straight to record a 4½ length margin of victory over Brorocco. He had the run of things that day and has been hit with a 13lb rise for beating a just a bunch of solid handicappers, but he dismissed them in the style of one destined for much better things. This is likely the last step before tackling pattern company, and, as such, even a mark of 104 ought not to prove a barrier to success; can take his handler to the top of the tree in terms of all time winners at this meeting with victory here.
5.00 Royal Ascot – PROJECTION (nb)
The selection, trained by Roger Charlton, is a son of Acclamation who quickly made up into a useful performer at two, and he shaped with real encouragement on his belated return in a competitive 6f handicap at Newmarket (July) last summer, poorly positioned and finishing off strongly to take fourth behind Dancing Star (travelled noticeably well throughout). He again shaped better than the end result when fifth in the Stewards’ Cup consolation race at Glorious Goodwood next time out, scuppered by a high draw and also not enjoying the smoothest of passages, and he just failed to end an all too brief 3yo campaign with victory when a fast-finishing third in a 6f handicap back at Newmarket (July) a fortnight later. His needed the run only outing so far this term in a 6f handicap at Newmarket last month, waited with in midfield and travelling with his usual zest, unable to sustain his effort inside the final furlong and coming home in sixth behind Mr Lupton. It is surely only a matter of time before it all clicks with this gelding, still relatively unexposed and often travelling like one that’ll prove better than a handicapper in time; absolutely no surprise to see him provide both his handler and the hugely promising 3lb claimer Kieren Shoemark with another winner at this meeting.
5.35 Royal Ascot – QEWY
The selection, trained by Charlie Appleby, is a son of Street Cry who has charted a rather unconventional career path, initially a promising middle distance sort for John Oxx and then embarking on a hurdling campaign for John Ferguson that yielded one victory and a couple of third place finishes at Grade 2 level. He moved to his current stable last spring and made a fine start for them, staying on well to finish second to Jennies Jewel in the Ascot Stakes at this meeting 12 months ago, and he backed that up with another second place finish in a competitive 14f handicap at Glorious Goodwood a month or so later. He landed Grade 3 (12f) and Listed (2m) handicaps in Australia either side of a fourth place behind Almandin in the Melbourne Cup, taking a while to find full flow but finishing off strongly throughout the final furlong. He is versatile with regards ground, is proven fresh and hails from a stable that can have them ready first time back from an absence; with this marathon test almost certain to play to his strengths, it wouldn’t at all surprise to see this son of Street Cry round off a good week for connections with victory here.