Two at big prices in Victoria cup

Coroebus got us off to a flier on the flat last Saturday wining the 2000 guineas impressively.

It’s onto the Victoria Cup at Ascot today. A cracking handicap with 28 runners cavalry charging up the straight course!

A really good turnout for the Victoria Cup handicap with 28 runners declared. The pace horse Baldomero (14) and Hieronmyus (20) are drawn middle to high and will come up the middle or drift towards the stands side. I think young Belgian trainer Kevin Philippart De Foy has a strong chance with the ex-Joseph O’Brien trained Vafortino. Kevin was assistant trainer to James Fanshawe before going out on his own in 2020. He has an impressive average stike rate of 18% and has booked a very good 7lb claimer in Benoit De La Sayette. Vafortino won twice as a 2yo when trained in Ireland but failed to progress during three runs last season. He jumped & travelled really well on his first start in the UK just failing by a neck to hold Bless Him ridden by Jamie Spencer. The handicapper has raised Vafortino 4lbs which is negated by the 7lb claim of Benoit. Vafortino has a good high draw in stall 27 and will stay this stiff 7 furlongs no problem.

Sir Mark Prescott runs the 4yo Royal Pleasure who is just preferred to Charlie Appleby’s Path of Thunder under 7lb claimer Harry Davies. Royal Pleasure ran in the Britannia stakes at the Royal meeting last year but failed to run to his best from a poor low draw. He goes well on the all-weather which is a positive running on the sand based straight course at Ascot. He needs to settle so will be held up and hopefully come through with a strong finishing run. Hold up runners have a high strike rate on the straight course at Ascot due to the stiff finish and usual strong pace up front in these handicaps. Royal Pleasure has been in good form this season winning impressively at Chelmsford over 6f and then coming home strongly to finish third beaten a length by Rathbone on turn at Doncaster over 6f. The step up to 7 furlongs should suit and his mark of 95 looks ok. Luke Morris is riding at Nottingham so Thore Hammer Hansen rides from a good middle draw in stall 16.

The last few struck from my shortlist were Chiefofchiefs & Path of Thunder. Chiefofchiefs caught the eye in his prep run over 6f at kempton recently. Path of Thunder has a big weight but has been running consitently well in Meydan and at Listed level recently. Harry Davies claiming 7lbs will aide his cause today.

Ascot – 4:05

0.5 point each way Vafortino 14/1 Bet365 7 places else 14/1 William Hill paying 6 places.

0.5 point each way Royal Pleasure 16/1 Bet365 paying 7 places.

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Author: Devon Reynolds