Jamie Spencer looks forward to four rides on Royal Ascot day one
All the rain around makes it difficult to know quite how the ground will ride, and which horses it will suit. I think I’ve got a few good chances. Richard Fahey’s Frankel filly, Queen Kindly, runs on Friday has a good chance. Overall I’ve quote a few good chances as the week goes on. It’s exciting although I’m a bit worried about the ground.
For horses that like decent ground this going will take them out of the game. Most of my likely rides want decent ground so that doesn’t bode well. Although you never know until they race on the track. It depends on how much more rain they get. It could dry up quickly on the straight course but the round course will stay testing enough.
In the Queen Ann I ride Arod at 2.30pm. He ran okay on soft ground at the start of the year. It was a slow pace and he needed the run. I galloped him last Thursday and he felt really good. He’s beaten most of the horses in this race bar the two fillies so he would have an each way chance if the ground is suitable.
Oisin Murphy had the choice of Arod and Lightning Spear and chose the latter. I galloped Lightning Spear too last week and he went well. But he’s also a fast ground horse, a good mover, so it’s a watching brief for both of them.
Endless Drama will give Belardo more of a race this time. Everything went well for Belardo in the Lockinge, whereas Endless Drama was out on a limb and never really got much cover. We will have to see how the American filly, Tepin, handles the soft ground and the straight course.
In the Coventry at 3.05pm I ride Broken Stones. He’s a smart horse, a really nice type, who won well at York. He was very green early doors but came good from half way. This is a baptism of fire because you are coming into a race against more experienced rivals and it’s a good race too. So we just have to see how he goes. I rode Medieval to win first time out. He’s a nice well-made colt but I suspect this may be a little too strong form him.
In the 3.40pm, the King’s Stand, I’m on Goken. He was very disappointing last time out. He just didn’t show anything. He showed a little pace early on but then was beaten from the two pole. I think Kevin has given him a tiny operation since so we will see how he runs. I think he will find it hard to trouble this field. I thought Mecca’s Angel would be difficult to beat. She needed the run first time out and this softer ground will suit her better.
In the St James’ Palace stakes I thought Awtaad would be the one. Frankie on Galileo Gold had a bit of trouble in running but I still thought Awtaad was the best horse on the day. I think there is more to come from him.
In the Ascot Stakes at 5.00pm I ride No Heretic. He has gone up 4lbs for winning the Chester Cup last time. He’s earned it. Now he’s had that run under his belt he might not be as keen as he was at Chester. He won’t mind the ground as he’s a Galileo and he’s a big strong older horse. He goes there with a good each way chance. His drawn is fine. You don’t want to be drawn high, but you don’t want to be drawn right on the inside either. I’ve never won this race, but I enjoy riding in it as long as you’re on the right horse. No Heretic will go round on the bridle to the half mile pole which is fine. If you’re on one that you have to pedal on from halfway it’s not so much fun.