VICTORIES in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Irish Grand National means 2017 has already been a memorable year for trainer Jessica Harrington – but it could be about to get even better.
That’s because the dual-code handler has a good chance of adding a Royal Ascot winner to her CV this afternoon, with DRUMFAD BAY likely to appreciate the step up in trip in the Sandringham Handicap (5.35pm).
This daughter of Acclamation twice finished second in Listed company at Naas in May, first going down by half a length and then by a head three weeks later.
She kept on all the way to the line on both occasions, so there’s every chance the extra furlong can eek out further improvement.
Prior to those runs, she was unlucky in the 1000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown when suffering interference. She looks good each-way value at 16/1 with 188BET.
With 24 runners set to go to post for today’s final race, it’s safe to say she will need a bit of luck and a few breaks, so I’ll also be backing Henry Candy’s QUEEN OF TIME.
She’s a runner that has flown up the weights this year following back-to-back wins at Goodwood, but her most recent success was very taking and she can improve again to go close in this.
She improved markedly for the step up in trip last time out and the fast ground looks sure to suit as she bids for a hat-trick of wins.
Candy’s yard have been among the winners over the past few weeks and I can’t resist an each-way play at 14/1 with Coral with the talented Harry Bentley in the saddle.
The likely favourite Gymnaste is respected, although a softer surface would suit her better.
Drumfad Bay e/w 5.35pm Royal Ascot
Queen Of Time e/w 5.35pm Royal Ascot