THERE were a pair of big-priced winners at Ascot on Wednesday and I’m hoping the trend continues into Thursday.
I’ve picked out a double figure price horse in the Gold Cup as well as another sure to go close in the finale.
The Gold Cup has become synonymous with the Royal Meeting in recent years.
Horses such as Yeats, Big Orange and Estimate have elevated it above other prestigious Group 1’s in terms of the ‘fun factor’.
This year has been billed as the clash of the titans between Stradivarius and 2016 winner Order Of St George.
While that may end up the case, I think Desert Skyline is hugely over-priced and I’m certain he’ll be in the mix a couple of furlongs from home.
The four-year-old was an impressive winner of the Doncaster Cup last year and has been lumbered with a penalty ever since.
Connections were determined to run him in the St Leger at the time, but being a gelding he was unable to take his chance.
The longer trip at Donny suited him down to the ground and he thrived under Silvestre De Sousa, who partners him once again.
He finally gets another crack at a trip longer than two miles and the tougher it gets the better chance he has.
On paper he looked well held by Stradivarius in the Yorkshire Cup on their latest clash, but Skyline – under a penalty – hung in the straight after racing the wrong side.
The added emphasis on stamina should play into his hands and David Elsworth would have had this in the back of his mind since winning the Doncaster Cup.
In my eyes, Order Of St George is vulnerable, especially on the ground; with Stradivarius rightly vying for favouritism.
He undoubtedly needs to find a bit in the ratings but the extra half a mile can see him take it to John Gosden’s staying star.
At the prices I’m more than happy to take a chance on the plucky grey.
In the ultra competitive King George V Handicap to close the card, I have sided with Downdraft who must be well handicapped.
He’s up 8lbs for his win at Navan, when he beat another well-in horse in The King.
Royal Ascot day three longshots
He look beat that day at Navan but with every closing yard kept on finding and being by Camelot will thrive going further, as he does today.
I was hoping for a slightly bigger price, but the market has still been set up nicely thanks to First Eleven and Cross Counter.
He’s drawn okay in 10 and still holds an entry in the Irish Derby, which would be a quick turnaround but shows how he’s held at home.
Joseph O’Brien has already proven himself on the big stage, winning the Melbourne Cup, showing he knows how to map out a horses’ long-term strategy and hopefully that comes out again here.
At a double figure price he’s shown too much potential to ignore, even in such a wide open heat.