What a season it’s been for John Gosden. The master of Clarehaven has plundered big prizes almost on a weekly basis and the trainers’ championship is now in the bag.
He’d love to end the campaign on a high and he has a massive chance of winning his first QIPCO Champion Stakes tomorrow (3.05pm).
Remarkably, JACK HOBBS had the first race of his career on Welsh Grand National day last December, while the rest of us were busy stuffing our faces with turkey sandwiches.
An easy three-length win in a Wolverhampton maiden didn’t have the bookmaker PR reps scribbling down ante-post prices for the Investec Derby, but that’s exactly where he’d end up less than six months later.
Since that success, Jack Hobbs has only been defeated twice, both by his stablemate Golden Horn, who needs no introduction.
This son of Halling was bought by Godolphin prior to Epsom and he repaid them immediately with a solid second in the big one before comfortably landing the Irish Derby.
The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe was on his radar, although, with the weather gods shining on Paris, it was Golden Horn who was given the green light.
Jack Hobbs simply has the best form of anything in tomorrow’s field and he should be supported at a general 5/4.
Found is the main threat, as she ran Golden Horn to a length in the Irish Champion Stakes. She had no luck in the Arc and this 10 furlong trip looks ideal for her. She will be no pushover, but Jack Hobbs should have enough in his locker to cap a wonderful season for Gosden.
Andre Fabre’s Vadamos is respected, as his trainer doesn’t tilt at windmills, yet this is a huge step up for the four-year-old.
The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (2.30pm) has all the hallmarks of an absolute classic.
Solow has had an incredible campaign with wins in Dubai, France, Goodwood and here at Ascot in the Queen Anne Stakes.
He is clearly a top class miler and it will take a really good one to beat him. However, I’m concerned that he’s had a long, hard season and I’m willing to take him on at evens with Betway.
The Ballydoyle team are clearly in fine form and their patience can be rewarded with GLENEAGLES, who hasn’t run since successful in the St James’s Palace Stakes over course and distance in June.
The English and Irish 2,000 Guineas winner has always been a star in the eyes of Aidan O’Brien and, with the ground drying out all the time, his freshness can give him the edge against his French rival.
Take the 9/4 with Betway as I think he will go off shorter than that and challenge Solow for favouritism.
Kodi Bear and Territories are both respected, but I don’t think either of them have quite enough class to see off the top two.
There have been some recent shocks in the Fillies and Mares Stakes (1.55pm), as this is a funny time of year for the fairer sex. I like to look for fillies that have been campaigned selectively and Godolphin’s BEAUTIFUL ROMANCE fits the bill.
She enjoys cut in the ground and won really well at Windsor two starts back. She is good value at 14/1 with Betway against the likes of Covert Love and Candarliya.
Beautiful Romance e/w 1.55pm Ascot
Gleneagles 2.30pm Ascot
Jack Hobbs 3.05pm Ascot