Hump Day at Royal Ascot. Two days down, three to go.
The American flag is waving strong after Tepin lit it up Tuesday and Lady Aurelia hammered a 7-length win in the Queen Mary Wednesday for Stonestreet, Wesley Ward and Frankie Dettori.
“To win a sprint at Royal Ascot by seven lengths – I have never seen anything like it, especially from a 2-year-old,” Dettori said. “I was going some very good splits and when we got to the furlong and a half I asked her to go and she found another gear. I was completely shocked. She was a rocket and she relaxed so well – Wesley Ward is a genius.”
As far as these picks, well, if you were following along, we picked three winners on top and offered the cold trifecta of Portage, Librisa Breeze and Mitchum Swagger in the Royal Hunt Cup, returning a cool £1,192.58
Race 1. 9:30. The Norfolk Stakes. 2-year-olds. Group 2. 5 furlongs. $147,000.
Wesley Ward warned us about Lady Aurelia, “She breathes different air.” Well, he wasn’t quite as bullish about Red Lodge, “She broke the track record at Belmont Park. She’s going to run against the boys, she’ll get a little weight, I like her.”
Red Lodge takes on listed stakes winner Global Applause, listed stakes winner Peace Envoy and eight others.
The Picks: Silver Line, Global Applause, Red Lodge.
Race 2. 10:05. The Tercentenary Stakes. 3-year-olds. Group 3. 1 ¼ miles. $132,500.
Hawkbill, an American-bred son of Kitten’s Joy, has won four in a row. Long Island Sound, an American-bred son of War Front, is 3-for-3 in his career. Born in Germany, raced in Ireland, Blue De Vega finished third in the Irish 2000 Guineas. Abdon chased Hawkbill in their most recent tangle.
The Picks: Blue De Vega, Long Island Sound, Abdon.
Race 3. 10:40. The Ribblesdale Stakes. 3-year-old fillies. Group 2. 1 ½ miles. $294,000.
Lael Stable’s Architecture nearly held off Minding in the Oaks, she returns from that taxing effort 13 days later, the daughter of Zoffany should overcome it as she takes on Group 2 rivals.
The Picks: Architecture, We Are Ninety, Chicadoro.
Race 4. 11:20. The Gold Cup in Honour of the Queen’s 90th Birthday. Group 1. 2 ½ miles. $588,000.
Favorite Order Of St George seeks his fifth win in a row, but must tackle 6 more furlongs than he’s ever had to tackle. The mercurial Flying Officer and Pallasator clash yet again. Watch their antics on the way to the start, but don’t be undone, that’s their usual style. Willie Mullins launches Max Dynamite, second in the Melbourne Cup last year. Jon Kelly is represented by Mizzou, winner of the Sagaro Stakes in 2015-16.
Wow, what a race.
The Picks: Clever Cookie, Max Dynamite, Flying Officer.
Race 5. 12:00. The Britannia Stakes, Heritage Handicap. 1 mile. $176,500.
Another deep and daunting handicap. Thirty horses, ranging from Above N Beyond at 133 pounds to Mikmak at 120. American-breds Yattwee (Hard Spun), Predilection (First Defence, Chief Whip (Giant’s Causeway) and Abe Lincoln (Discreet Cat) have outside chances.
The Picks: Out And About, Garcia, Speed Company.
Race 6. 12:35. The King George V Stakes. Handicap. 1 ½-miles. $132,500.
Have to admit, six races provides a short and sweet card, you can get back to work and accomplish something.
Jump trainer Alan King tries to win four in a row with Primitivo while Platitude tries to carry top weight for Ryan Moore and Sir Michael Stoute.
Time for the darts again.
The Picks: Harrison, Midhmaar, Lovell.