Richard Hannon is looking for his first winner of the week at Royal Ascot, but his team have been running very well in defeat (including close seconds in the St James’s Palace and Gold Cup). He has plenty of chances today and I’m hopeful Sir Rumi can get him off the mark.
A dual winner on fast ground last term, he ran a really nice race in defeat in the Golden Gate handicap over 1m2f here last year on soft ground.
He is 1lb lower now, but I think he has the potential to improve further this year. He split higher-rated rivals in a level-weights contest on his return at Doncaster (first run since being gelded), before two runs over 1m6f. He travelled as well as anything in the Queen’s Cup at Musselburgh in April, and then split subsequent handicap winners when fourth at Newmarket.
I’m confident he is better back at 1m4f, the ground should be to his liking and this is a very workable mark.
3.40pm Royal Ascot – 1pt win, 0.5pt place Sir Rumi @ 18-1 5 places (William Hill, Betfair, Boylesports, 18-1 6 places with Bet365, Paddy Power)
The Sandringham looks a really hot contest, but towards the foot of the weights I am backing Pink Carnation.
The daughter of Territories has looked a work in progress in three starts to date, but she took a big step forward when scoring at Nottingham last time, the front pair drawing well clear of an admittedly modest field in behind.
She still looked a little inexperienced, but I really liked the way she knuckled down when coming under pressure and she shaped as though there is plenty more to come.
It’s interesting that Archie Watson reaches for first-time cheekpieces for this switch to handicaps, and the booking of Hollie Doyle is an obvious plus.
5.00pm Royal Ascot – 1pt win, 0.5pt place Pink Carnation @ 33-1 6 places (various firms)
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