Jamie Spencer hoping for success with super six Saturday rides
I have an exciting book of rides at Ascot on Saturday, and I’m hopeful of finding at least a couple of winners. In the opener at 2.00pm I’m on a filly called Grand Beauty for Robert Cowell. I ride a little bit for Robert. He’s good fun. I like him a lot and he does really well with his sprinters. He’s got a system and it works really well. Grand Beauty has a lot to find on the ratings. I assume she’s pot hunting for some black type. We’ll just have to give it a go.
I thought Wind Fire would be very hard to beat in this. She likes the track. A stiff five is perfect for her. She should have won a Group Three, The Coral Charge, at Sandown earlier in the year. Her last two runs showed that she is good form. The flat five furlongs at Newbury two weeks ago was a little bit sharp for her but this looks ideal and is hers to lose rather than win.
In the 2.35pm The Cumberland Lodge I ride Hillstar for Michael Stoute. He got bogged down in the soft ground at Newbury a couple of weeks ago. I had a look through his form and when it’s soft it doesn’t suit him so I’m hoping it stays dry. If it’s good or better it will suit him. He hasn’t run to the same level this term as he did last season but he’s still run a couple of good races. I thought he ran well at Newmarket behind Big Orange. He was only beaten 3 lengths and the way the race was run was never going to suit him. Hopefully with the likes of Romsdal in here it will be a nice strong pace, and he can get a decent position and should have a good chance.
I’m on Cable Bay in the 3.10pm. He’s dropping back to six furlongs but the six at Ascot is stiff and you need to get the trip so I wouldn’t be worrying about that. He’s had a good season without scaling the heights I’d expected. I thought he would have won a Group 2 by now. That’s the way it’s panned out for him. He looks to have a great chance on the ratings and I know he’s carrying a penalty but I think this six furlongs at Ascot could be just perfect for him. Fingers crossed we put up a good show.
Then in the big handicap at 3.45pm I’m on Buckstay the favourite. He was fifth in the Ayr Gold Cup last time and was flying home. He’s in great form. The cheekpieces seem to have improved him a little bit. These handicaps are so tight that from top to bottom there is only 10lbs between them. It’s a huge pot and he goes there with a favourite’s chance. Obviously Andrew Balding’s horse at the top, Make It Up, is a big danger but a three year old carrying 9st 9lbs is a big ask. To win a handicap off a rating of 111 is very hard to do. I wouldn’t swap my horse for any of them. I’ve won on him before and I think seven furlongs at Ascot will be absolutely perfect for him.
In the 4.20pm I ride Lucky Kristale. She’s best in at the weights. I had a sit on her on Tuesday morning and she feels really well. They are leaving the headgear off her this time as it hasn’t been having the effect that you’d want. It hasn’t made her travel any easier in her races so the blinkers are off. She’s had nearly three weeks since her last race and this is probably her swansong before she goes to the sales so it would be nice if we can get her to win again. At Doncaster she missed the kick a bit and I moved over to follow the fancied horses on the stand’s side. They all congregated over there and then the winner basically wiped out the whole field so I never really got to get into full stride with her. I think the seven at Ascot should be ideal for her.
In the last race at 4.55pm I ride Elusivity. I have won on him before. He’s a proper ‘bridle merchant’. He travels well, doesn’t do much when you get to the front, so I’ll just have to time my run right. I won on him at Newmarket over six furlongs two or three years ago, and he gets five well so if everything goes well I think he has a good chance of winning. A big field should suit him as there will be plenty of cover.
You can’t take anything for granted but I think I have really good chances of some winners.
On Sunday I ride Maarek in the Prix De L’Abbaye. Being drawn low in that race can be a big advantage if you are able to use it but getting stall two won’t make much difference to Maarek as he hasn’t got any early speed. He’ll just need a lot of luck and probably needs a downpour. Based on the going reports it’s already as quick as he’d want it. I wouldn’t want it drying out much more. He won the race a couple of years ago when it was soft. If we get a reasonable start he can run a good race. I rode Steps to win last time but I always ride Maarek as he’s been good to me. I won on him on Champions Day a couple of years ago and we’ve won a few races together so got to stick with him.
Meccas Angel is a really good horse and has been running well all year. I know she got beat in Ireland but any horse can get beat. I just think she’s got the strongest form of the field and is a little bit better than the rest of them so she should win. Her win earlier in the season at Longchamp when the ground wasn’t that soft that day showed me that she can win this. That’s the best performance I’ve seen her do. If she can run to that level I’d be surprised if she gets beaten.
In the Arc I think Treve will win. It’s there for her to lose rather than win. Last year she had a chequered season after getting jarred up at Ascot. She then only finished fourth in the Vermeille and still won the Arc. This year she absolutely hosed up in the Vermeille. I think she’s back to her best and everything’s in place for Treve. I can’t see how the others can beat her. New Bay is obviously a good horse but he only finished second in the French Guineas. He’s been impressive since but I still think Treve is in a different league. When she’s on song and going right handed, a mile and a half, around Longchamp is just her ticket. Golden Horn will need to settle and the Arc is a rough race and you need a horse that can take the gaps when they’re presented and I’m not sure that’s him. Treve is like a push button horse that can just make those moves as you saw two years ago when she just circled round the field and off she went. It’s there for her to lose.