Salouen in the right race to make bold bid
21 Jun 2019
It was very cool yesterday seeing Frankie at his best around Ascot. He’s obviously riding very well at the moment and turns it up on the big stage that is the Royal meeting. I thought his first win on A’Ali, which he got the least credit for, was actually his best ride of the day. As ever I’ll be pushing hard to get myself back in that winner’s enclosure once again!
The Series action comes in the form of the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, and it’s very interesting that Blue Point is backing up after winning Tuesday’s King’s Stand Stakes, which is no easy task. This has been my mount The Tin Man‘s target since the beginning of the season. James Fanshawe is a fantastic trainer who is sure to have him ripe for the task. He’s won the race before and the big stage clearly brings out the best in this him. I’d love to be able to repeat that success.
I’m delighted that Salouen will be taking his chance in the Hardwicke Stakes, having had the option of that or the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes. He’s come out of his Epsom run in super form which is very pleasing. Tomorrow he’ll be back over the course and distance he won his prep race which certainly bodes well for his chances.
The eye is obviously drawn to Masar at the top of the market. He is a tough animal, and will certainly be hard to beat, he is a Derby winner after all. However, I’m really pleased with Salouen and I genuinely feel he has a great chance tomorrow – put it this way I’d be surprised if he was out of the first three. He’ll give it all he’s got as usual.
In the Chesham Stakes I’m on a very interesting runner in the form of Heaven Forfend. I say this because Sir Michael Stoute doesn’t send many two-year-olds to Ascot, so it’s fascinating that he sends him here. The Frankel colt ran a very encouraging race on debut, and he’s one who I think could turn into quite a smart horse. In truth I’m delighted to be on him. If it’s not him I would like to see Jamie Spencer ride another Royal Ascot winner for Qatar Racing with Mohican Heights.
Bye Bye Hong Kong was a little disappointing at Epsom when last seen. The track probably didn’t suit him that day, and he didn’t get an easy time of it up front. I won’t be making the running this time on him however, I’m going to give him a chance and I think he can run a huge race. Of the others Space Blues has a great profile dropping back in trip. I think he’s a Group 1 horse in waiting and I’ll be very interested to see how he gets on.
Gunmetal (Wokingham Stakes) deserves to be one of the favourites for this after running a cracker at York last start. David Barron certainly knows how to train horses here and he nearly landed an Ascot winner the other day with Clon Coulis, only beaten by a nose in the Royal Hunt Cup. He was keen for me to ride this one and I hope I can get it right.
To finish off Royal Ascot 2019 I’m thrilled to be on last year’s Queen Alexandra Stakes winner Pallasator. I get on really well with this dual-purpose runner and if he’s on the same form as last year he’ll certainly be there or thereabouts.