JOHN Gosden and William Buick enjoyed a glorious Royal Ascot in 2012 with five winners apiece. The Newmarket trainer has made no bones about the fact this would be a transitional year for the yard, but I’m sure REMOTE can give the stable a welcome high-profile winner in this afternoon’s Tercentenary Stakes (5.00pm).
The colt only made his bow last month but has progressed mightily well in his three starts to date and comes into this Group Three contest a worthy favourite at 7/2 with Paddy Power. He seemed to need the run on his debut in a Pontefract maiden when finishing a well held third, but made a mockery of his 25/1 odds when breaking his duck in taking style at Newbury 17 days later.
That form on its own is nothing special, yet you couldn’t help but be impressed by the way the son of Dansili stepped up again to run away with a decent handicap at Doncaster. That was run over a mile, four furlongs short of today’s trip, but I have no doubt that stepping back up again to 10 furlongs will see him in even better light.
The horse he had six lengths behind him in that romp on Town Moor, Baltic Knight, has already franked the form in no uncertain terms with a decisive victory in a York Listed event at the weekend. On the ratings he does have a bit to find with a few of these but he’s one of the least exposed horses in the line-up and I think he’s the most progressive.
The dangers are headed by Chopin, who was the first ever German horse to run in the Investec Derby at Epsom and was certainly not disgraced. A seventh place finish that day wasn’t great, but he was only beaten by three and three-quarter lengths, by what is clearly a decent animal in Ruler Of The World.
The Andreas Wohler-trained beast didn’t have a great passage that day either, and it’s likely he will be seen to much better effect over this shorter distance. Enthusiasm is tempered slightly by the fact he has to carry a 4lb penalty for a previous Group win, though.
The French contender, Shikarpour, also deserves a mention. His excellent trainer Alain De Royer-Dupre clearly rates the Aga Khan-owned horse as he pitched him into the French Derby on just his second start. He wasn’t humiliated in finishing fifth but was doing his best work at the finish and I feel he’ll be better over further. The rest just don’t look remotely good enough, so stick with the Gosden jolly.
REMOTE 5.00pm Ascot