Do you remember Christmas time as a kid?
The endless build-up for weeks and weeks just so you can wake up bright and early in anticipation of an amazing day.
Right now, amongst endless train journeys to and from London, there is only one race I can think about and that is this weekend’s King George VI Stakes.
15 of the best 1m4f horses from the UK and France clashing at Ascot; how can you not love that?
Anyway, let’s stop talking because here are my ante-post picks for Saturday.
Nothing Random about her chances
Beginning with 2:25 at Ascot, Random Harvest looks to be a few points too big at 8/1 in the Group 3 Valiant Stakes.
Taking a small scan at her opponents, Prosperous Voyage wouldn’t want soft ground, Grande Dame needs to put last time out behind her, and Ameynah hasn’t run since her third in the 2022 1000 Guineas.
Then if you look back to Ed Walker’s five-year-old and read her form, her second at Royal Ascot to Rogue Millenium was very good and she gave three pounds away to Prosperous Voyage when second at Epsom in conditions that suited Ralph Beckett’s Group 1 winner better.
Rogue Millenium is a 10-1 winner of the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) June 21, 2023
Back with some dig underneath her feat, ground she won on in a Group 3 in France on soft ground, she should go close at 8/1.
The race proceeding the feature event, the International Stakes Handicap, looks like a competitive contest to work out, however, the purple colours of Baradar at 7/1 with William Hill shine very brightly.
Working on the basis of good to soft/soft ground for the weekend if Ascot receives its intended rain on Thursday and Saturday, that will suit George Boughey’s five-year-old right down to the ground.
Firstly, the Muhaarar gelding beat Biggles, the 6/1 ante-post favourite, on heavy going at Doncaster last November when receiving six pounds; on Saturday, he will receive seven pounds from Ralph Beckett’s six-year-old following his Newmarket win recently.
— George Boughey Racing (@gbougheyracing) November 5, 2022
Secondly, his third in the Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster in April can be upgraded as, in my opinion, jockey Kevin Stott got to the front too early, allowing Migration and Awaal to sneak by.
Down to a workable mark of 96, I think this race looks almost perfect for Baradar, so hopefully, he can do the business.
The French supercar
Looking at the 15-strong field, initially, I wanted to know what Simca Mille meant and after some research, the Simca 1000 (Mille) was an inexpensive, modern car that was sold in France between 1961 and 1978.
Admittedly, this wasn’t a supercar as my subtitle suggests, but this Saturday, I’m hoping that Stephane Wattel’s version of the saloon vehicle can power to success in style at 33/1 with William Hill in the King George VI Stakes.
Like Baradar, the Tamayuz four-year-old will relish any rain that comes down based on his second in the Group 1 Prix Ganay in April and his previous win in the Group 2 Prix d’Harcourt.
Iresine wins the Prix Ganay!
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) April 30, 2023
Furthermore, his victory last year in the Group 2 Prix Niel on soft ground over 12 furlongs when seemingly green as grass after hitting the front early is promising in a field like this as not many have proven themselves – or had the chance to prove themselves – at 1m4f in worsening conditions.
Are there classy animals in the race? Yes. Will it be tough to give Auguste Rodin nine pounds? Yes. However, these pieces are all about discovering ante-post value, and from my point of view, he is exactly that.