SIR MICHAEL Stoute has a powerful army of progressive horses this year and I think he has an excellent chance of landing this afternoon’s Group Three Tercentenary Stakes (3.05pm) with CANNOCK CHASE.
Now, those of you who just like to follow ratings won’t agree with me, as Cannock Chase has a handicap mark of 97 which is 12lb below the top rated Obliterator. But these horses haven’t had many starts and it’s difficult to know their true ability.
My selection created a deep impression when comfortably beating Windshear and Extra Noble in the London Gold Cup at Newbury last time. That handicap has a rich history – Stoute’s Hillstar could only finish second in it last season, but then came to Ascot and landed the Group Two King Edward VII Stakes.
The master trainer could have stuck to the handicap route with this son of Lemon Drop Kid, but he clearly thinks he’s good enough to go straight into group company. That’s good enough for me and I advise punters to snap up the 11/4 available with Paddy Power.
There are plenty of others with chances, including Barley Mow, Mutakayyef and Cloudscape, yet the biggest threat for me is Obliterator. He disappointed on soft ground in the Irish 2,000 Guineas but should relish conditions here. However, Cannock Chase could be very good indeed and he’s one of the best bets of the day.
Alain De Royer-Dupre is a world class trainer and he doesn’t tilt at windmills. The fact he is sending VAZIRA over for the Group Two Ribblesdale Stakes (3.45pm) is a tip in itself and I’m very keen on the daughter of Sea The Stars at 3/1 with Star Sports.
Some might argue that all her form so far has been on soft, but her sire loved decent ground and he is becoming a hugely successful stallion having already supplied the winner of this year’s Investec Oaks in Taghrooda.
Inchila was fourth behind her at Epsom and she is sure to have her supporters as she was very unlucky and probably would have finished second with a clear run. But fillies that ran in the Oaks don’t have a good record in this and I’ll be opposing her in a match bet against Vazira with Sporting Index.
CANNOCK CHASE 3.05pm Ascot
VAZIRA 3.45pm Ascot