A 29 runner seven furlong handicap to test our nerves today and best of luck on picking out our colours during the first furlong cavalry charge! The last few years these handicaps are falling the way of those drawn high with the odd exception. That trend has forced our hand a little and horses to have caught the eye recently like Ayaar, Pastoral Player & Don’t Bother Me (back at favourite trip) are left alone in preference for the middle to high drawn horses. We might have taken a chance on the low drawn horses but all the pace animals look drawn high too like Majestic Moon from stall 20, Redvers in 21 & Brae Hill in 23.
Our best chance lies with Bronze Angel who is in great form having won really well over a mile at York on good/firm ground a fortnight ago. The handicapper has reassessed him from a rating of 93 to 100 following that win but as he was already entered in today’s race he is allowed race off just 3lbs higher so is 4lbs well in officially.
Bronze Angel finished fourth at Royal Ascot in the Buckingham Palace stakes over course and distance but might have won if Jockey Martin Dwyer had asked him to go left rather than right around horses a furlong out. He travelled really well to that point and would have had Louis the Pious for company if coming up the rail rather than closer to the centre of the course. You need a horse that can stay further than 7 furlongs to win at Ascot with an uphill climb to the finishing line and Bronze Angel ticks a lot of the correct boxes.
Our second pick Georgian Bay is a much bigger price at 33/1 but he was most unlucky at Royal Ascot when 8th behind Louis the Pious in the same race as Bronze Angel finished fourth as mentioned above. Race replays online and the opportunity to replay & pause races using a skybox offer punters a much better insight into all horses that compete in a race. Most times we are just focused on the horse carrying our “hard earned” during a race so it’s hugely beneficial to take a look back at some races a few times after it’s over without all the emotional baggage with an eye to the future.
Georgian Bay was the horse that I took out this year’s Buckingham Palace Stakes as a future winner. That day he travelled very well and was just making his move between the 2 and 1 furlong poles when he became the meat in the sandwich and was shuffled backwards. Despite this hard luck he rallied strongly and finished off the race better than any other horse. His recent effort at Newmarket’s July meeting can be ignored with the ground too soft along with the fact that he races all alone for the full race up the far side rail. Despite raining at Ascot yesterday I fully expect good or better ground by this afternoon.
Georgian Bay loves good or better ground and similar to Bronze Angel has no issues with the trip. Sometimes bare numbers miss a lot and in Georgian Bay’s case, stats that show he is 0 from 8 runs on flat turf can safely be ignored. He should be able to tack over to the pace from stall 13 and is certainly no forlorn hope and is massively overpriced. A good claimer in Joey Haynes takes a further 3lbs off his back as recent pilot Graham Lee is on duty up at York.
Selection: 1 Point *EW Bronze Angel Ascot 15:15 at 12/1 generally use bookies offering 5 places
Selection: 1 Point *EW Georgian Bay Ascot 15:15 at 33/1 Betvictory, Boylesports & Sportingbet all paying 5 places
Best of luck,