As we go into Royal Ascot week, we can reflect on a reasonable start to the 2021 flat season.
Generally we have had a good time with our two year old crop. ANGEL BLEU has won two of his three starts, and goes to the Coventry Stakes as a tough, proven competitor who will put his best foot forward. He will need to, but the Ascot two year old races suit horses with experience, because it is such an unforgiving test.
HELLO YOU runs in Friday’s Albany Stakes having won her only start. She was very impressive at Wolverhampton, winning in a good time, and the form has been well advertised since.
VICTORY CHIME won the City and Suburban at Epsom in April, and takes his chance in the Wolverton. A fantastic servant to his owner Andrew Nevin, he has now won nine handicaps, and should be suited by Ascot. STAR OF ORION also belongs to the Nevins and should run well in the Brittania.
BULLACE won impressively at Newmarket’s Craven meeting, and was then a close third in the Heron Stakes. He tackles the St James’s Palace, which will be tough but so is he, and I can see him running well in an open renewal.
DECLARED INTEREST won her prep for the 1mile Kensington Palace very easily, and should have a decent shout in what is a new addition to the week. She looks to have improved from three to four.
LUCANDER was second on his seasonal debut at Newmarket, he goes for the Hunt Cup, which will suit his style of racing, he enjoys large fields as his form in the Cambridgeshire, and at York shows.
TWISTED REALITY was fourth in the Newbury Oaks Trial on only her second start. She goes for the Ribblesdale, and will appreciate the step up in trip, especially if it rains.
LORD PROTECTOR has won both his starts this year, and looks to have an excellent chance in the King George V on Thursday. He is a tough sort who only does enough, and should be suited by the extra two furlongs.
On Friday LULLABY MOON takes her chance in the Coronation Stakes. Nothing went right in her excursion to France for the Pouliches, but she is working really well, and if it rains she could be competitive.
POMELO makes her seasonal debut in the Sandringham. A filly we have always rated, she will be suited by the straight mile.
Finally on Saturday NEW MANDATE makes his return in the Jersey Stakes. He will have to carry a 5lb penalty for winning the Royal Lodge last year, but he is working well.
Our two highlights this spring have been the win of Kinross in the Group 3 John of Gaunt Stakes at Haydock, and Albaflora’s impressive rout of a decent field in the Listed Buckhound Stakes at Ascot.
Kinross looks to have improved for being gelded, he ran away with it from a solid field, and Albaflora ran well since in the Coronation Cup whilst not really handling Epsom.
We are on twenty five winners for the year, which has been a decent start, after a quiet March and April.
The horses were healthy but just took a while to come to hand. Thankfully it’s a long year, and there is plenty of water to go under the bridge yet.