IT’S the turn of the juvenile speedballs in today’s opening Norfolk Stakes (2.30pm) and the red hot favourite is the Aidan O’Brien-trained Coach House.
The Oasis Dream colt has triumphed in two of his three starts, the latest a comfortable win over Jim Bolger’s Club Wexford in a Listed race at the Curragh. He looks a decent animal, but strikes me as more of a six furlong horse and he’s short enough at 5/2 with Paddy Power.
Wesley Ward has tasted plenty of success at this meeting before and his No Nay Never has been well backed over the past 24 hours with his trainer declaring him as the best he has ever had. He may well be, but he’s now no bigger than 5/1 and any rain that falls will also scupper his chances.
The Richard Hannon stable can never be ruled out in juvenile sprints and stable jockey Richard Hughes has plumped for Coulsty, who was an impressive winner of a Leicester maiden last month. He could be anything, but you could say the same about the majority of this field and, at 11/2 with Coral, he’s priced up on his connections more than anything else.
Ryan Moore rides Hannon’s supposed second string in Legend Rising, who is another two from three. He also looks like he might want six furlongs and could just struggle to keep in touch with the principles in this.
William Haggas won this race three years ago with Approve and he fires two bullets today. Saayerr looks the number one hope, coming into this unbeaten after wins at Salisbury and Windsor. However, he only got up on the line to win at 1/2 last time and he will need to step up on that to win here.
Qatar Racing landed the first juvenile five furlong race of the meeting on Tuesday when Extortionist took the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes to give trainer Olly Stevens his first Royal Ascot winner. The owners have two contenders in this race and I think they both represent decent value.
Jamie Spencer has gone for the David Brown-trained filly WIND FIRE on the back of her impressive win at Sandown last time. Her excellent trainer excels with juvenile sprinters and she is worth backing at 14/1 with Paddy Power.
Wind Fire was beaten on her debut at Newmarket by Stevens’ GREEN DOOR and I see no reason why this colt is as big as 10/1 with Paddy Power. The trainer immediately nominated the Norfolk as the son of Camacho’s next target and Brian Meehan’s Windfast, who was second in that race, bolted up at Nottingham last time.
Sheikh Fahad has already had some great days in British racing and backing both of his each-way in this contest looks the best way to go.
WIND FIRE e/w 2.30pm Ascot
GREEN DOOR e/w 2.30pm Ascot