Royal Ascot Ultimate Guide - 2019-06-06


Laugh A Minute poised to score for in-form yard


Kevin Morley

Bacchus Clearly not up to Group 1 company on his final two starts in 2018 but only 3lb higher than when winning this on his reappearance last year and cannot be ruled out in his repeat bid. Baron Bolt Consistent performer last term and gained a deserved big win when dead-heating in the Ayr Gold Cup. Might be high enough in the weights now, though, and below par in two starts this term. Cape Byron Also entered in the Hunt Cup but seems best over 7f, as shown when landing the Victoria Cup on his reappearance. Never run over this distance but the extra stamina will serve him well if he runs in this. Cenotaph Improving all-weather handicapper last year but progress seems to have halted this term. Well held at Newmarket last time and yet to prove he is as good on turf. Chessman Ran well at this track before and stays a bit further which is always a plus. Ran well enough in a Group 2 at the Curragh last time and an interesting runner here. Dan’s Dream Didn’t develop into the Classic filly connections hoped last year but has some useful form over 7f. Shapes as though she could cope with coming back to 6f and cannot be taken lightly. Emblazoned Will carry a big weight but it looks justified as he was third in last year’s Commonwealth Cup. His second on his reappearance at Haydock suggests he retains ability and he’s of definite interest. Foxtrot Lady Had some decent sprint handicap form to her name and warmed up nicely for this in a couple of starts this term. Respected. Gunmetal Most effective in big fields over 6f so his latest fourth in a competitive 5f York handicap was a solid effort. Can go well if the race pans out in his favour. Hey Jonesy Has some decent Group-race form to his name, including when fifth in the Commonwealth Cup last year. Good fifth in the Duke of York last time and has to enter calculations back in a handicap. Laugh A Minute Has some useful 6f form to his name and stays a bit further which will be helpful here. Shaped nicely in a couple of starts this term and should be well served by a good test at this trip. Major Jumbo Plenty of solid 5f-6f handicap form, including when third in this last year. Solid placed effort in Listed and Group company this season but 8lb higher than 12 months ago so may find at least one too good. Makzeem Proved a bit disappointing last term but capable of landing a prize like this off his current mark. Bulk of his form is over further but trainer is adept at improving sprinters and it is possible coming back to 6f will be the making of him. Perfection Suited by the drop to 6f in the second half of last season but mark looks high enough now and she disappointed last time. Fifth in last year’s Sandringham but that was off a much lower mark. Raucous Placed efforts this year suggests he retains his ability. However, he could only manage eighth when sent off favourite for this in 2017 and a place looks like his best hope. Shabaaby Good effort to beat Emblazoned in a Haydock conditions race on his reappearance and remains lightly raced. Question mark will be the nature of this test as this will be by far the biggest field he has faced. Soldier’s Minute Wouldn’t have been an obvious contender for this at the start of the season but vastly improved effort when a wide-margin winner of a competitive York sprint and the subsequent 8lb rise means he’s likely to make the cut. Spanish City Has solid 7f handicap form but has shaped on occasions as though coming back to 6f may suit even better. Unlucky when fifth over this trip at Epsom last time that went some way to proving that. Probably needed to win that to make cut which puts his participation in doubt. Spring Loaded Good effort in this last year when ninth after not getting the best of runs. However, he’s 3lb higher this time and looks best suited by a stiff 5f or easy 6f so may find at least one too strong in the closing stages. Stake Acclaim Missed 2018 but a posted a career-best when winning over 5f on soft at Newbury on his reappearance. Stays 6f but this stiff track over the trip might not be ideal and below par on only previous visit here. Staxton Shaped nicely on his reappearance at Ripon but disappointed next time at York. General level of form is good enough to make him competitive but landing the spoils would require a career-best. Stone Of Destiny In good form much earlier in the year but disappointed on his last few starts. Worth noting he was fourth in last year’s Commonwealth Cup so shouldn’t be underestimated but this is a tough race in which to bounce back. Summerghand Two decent seconds at Newmarket means his mark is high enough to give him a decent chance of making the cut. Yet to strike above Class 3 level, though, so a place would be considered an achievement. Tabdeed Didn’t see out 7f in last year’s Jersey Stakes but showed his effectiveness here when winning a course-and-distance handicap on his final start last term. Remains unexposed and looks a threat. Tis Marvellous Not quite at his best in three starts this term but far from disgraced each time. Fourth last year and only 2lb higher this time so holds each-way claims again. Vanbrugh French import who scored on his first start for Charlie Hills in a Thirsk conditions race in April. Beaten in a 7f Listed contest but may have found the trip too far on good to soft ground and might be better suited by these conditions. Verdict Roger Varian’s Laugh A Minute is well served by a good test over 6f and the nature of this contest should suit him to a tee. Unexposed Tabdeed is a course-and-distance winner and looks a big danger. Emblazoned will have a big weight but last year’s Commonwealth Cup third has the class to carry it. 1 Laugh A Minute 2 Tabdeed 3 Emblazoned



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