We’ve got four selections from Ascot and York for punters to consider in this Saturday’s ITV Racing tips.
The King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes is the feature event on the box and our expert picks come from PA’s Nick Robson.
1.50 Ascot – DESERT DREAMER
Stuart Williams’ filly has been on the go since the Craven meeting but she continues to improve ahead of her assignment in the Princess Margaret Keeneland Stakes.
She was beaten by Richard Hannon’s System on her penultimate outing and the two meet again but that looked a funny race with runners spread across the track.
More recently Desert Dreamer flashed home to be second to the potentially top-class Sandrine in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes – after which the handicapper put her up 12lb.
She is one of the more exposed runners in the race but on the other hand has achieved by far the most.
3.00 Ascot – MATTHEW FLINDERS
Ed Walker’s faith in Matthew Flinders can be rewarded in the Moet & Chandon International Stakes.
Walker has always talked him up and he came close to repaying that faith in a Listed race at Chester last time out.
The handicapper raised him 10lb on the back of that but as this was an early closing race, he can run off his old mark.
3.15 York – ARMORY
Aidan O’Brien’s runner sets an exacting standard for Mohaafeth to aim at in the feature race at York.
Last seen finishing third in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes behind Love – more on her next – this represents a drop in class.
It will not be easy as William Haggas’ Mohaafeth was thought of as a leading player in the Derby before the rain prevented him from running and he showed a decisive turn of foot to win the Hampton Court Stakes.
But he has never met a horse as good as Armory, who was only two lengths behind Magical in the Irish Champion Stakes and almost won the Cox Plate, Australia’s premier weight-for-age race.
3.35 Ascot – LOVE
Love can take her Group One tally to six in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes.
O’Brien’s filly enjoyed a great first half of last season, looking imperious in the 1000 Guineas, Oaks and Yorkshire Oaks.
Having also won the Moyglare Stud Stakes at two, her ability was never in doubt but the Ballydoyle handler was at pains to repeatedly point out she must have a decent surface.
She missed several objectives towards the end of the campaign because of rain and soft ground, including her intended target of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
When Love finally did reappear this season, O’Brien could not be accused of looking for an easy comeback as it was in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes.
Ryan Moore set out to make all over 10 furlongs – probably not a surprise given she had already won twice over a mile and a half – and she kept on finding more as Breeders’ Cup winner Audarya threw down a challenge close home.
She faces new opposition in Derby winner Adayar and John and Thady Gosden’s Mishriff here but as long as the thunderstorms hold off, she will prove very difficult to beat.
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