A return to winning ways was provided by Coronet in the Ribblesdale and the more conventional track really did the trick. Huge credit must go to the horse as she was blocked off in the straight when building momentum and, once switched out, still had enough in reserve to pick up again and come with a sustained run to the line. It just about bore fruit and there's no doubting that she would have been an unlucky loser if Mori held on. Her attitude is extremely willing and it wouldn't be impossible that a trip to the Leger could come into the equation. Quotes of around 12/1 generally make limited appeal, however. Not yet at least.
Of the remainder, First Nation was a proper bet having shortened from 14/1 into 8/1 and he ran an excellent race, finishing second to a fellow Godolphin inmate who simply had too much in hand of the assessor. Slower ground might help and he remains of interest going forward. It Don't Come Easy went nicely for a long time in the Norfolk and finished in a highly encouraging fifth place, but wasn't good enough on the day. I like him and think he'll improve in time, whilst a shot at 6f will be on the cards eventually. City Of Joy got absolutely no run for a long way in the Britannia and is much better than the form suggests. One for again.
+6.00pts on the day.
Three bets for the fourth day and hopefully one of them could oblige. Snowflakes lines up in the Albany and is speculative to a certain degree as she didn't get to show much on debut four weeks ago. However, luck in-running wasn't afforded to the O'Brien filly and a massive step forward could be on the cards, particularly as she's so well-bred being a full sister to Winter and her dam was a two-time C&D winner, including the Wokingham. It's interesting that her masterful trainer would even bring her over to contest such a lofty contest when Irish maidens would be a more appropriate route and hopefully her true ability comes out.
The Queen's Vase is now a 1m 6f Group 2 instead of a 2m Listed race and has attracted an interesting field of horses who look much of a muchness. Mark Johnston, who won the race a number of times under its old guise, runs two and Mister Manduro interests me more than the shorter-priced Time To Study. I got the impression that he found this trip at Musselburgh a shade on the sharp side in the Edinburgh Cup and the stiffer test provided by Ascot should be in favour. He's definitely better than his rating of 90 would suggest and the faster the ground, the better his chance. 11/1 underrates him anyway and I'm happy to play.
Finally, the mile-and-a-half handicap for older horses looks to have four potentially progressive sorts heading the market and I would be slightly surprised if one of them doesn't come out on top. Appeared is the biggest price of the lot and I think he has a serious chance of gaining a fourth career win. Gelding the son of Dubawi paid dividends instantly when he returned to action over C&D this season, as he bolted up by an easy 4-lengths and looked like a Group horse in a handicap. A 10lb higher mark is merited and with cheekpieces on for the first time to concentrate the mind (he tends to wander), he should go well.
2:30 - Snowflakes - 1pt @ 14/1 (General) - 8th @ 12/1; shaped well, will improve for it.
5:00 - Mister Manduro - 1pt @ 11/1 (General) - 7th @ 25/1; drifted but wasn't disgraced.
5:35 - Appeared - 1pt @ 7/1 (General) - 2nd @ 13/2; ran a cracker, just bumped into one.
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