Day five of Royal Ascot proved to be a disappointing and frustrating one for the Update. Things could have been different had the fast finishing Artorius (advised @ 16/1) prevailed in the Group 1 Platinum Jubilee Stakes. Jamie Spencer's mount was in last for a large part of the six furlongs contest before coming on strongly. Crucially, the Australian raider had to be switched around Highland Princess inside the final furlong which slightly checked his momentum. Beaten a neck and half a length by the Godolphin pair Naval Crown and Creative Force, there is a fine line between success and defeat in these big races. The other selection Sacred also ran a tremendous race in fifth. William Haggas' filly was another towards the rear during the first half of the race but she did her best work late on and only denied by a length. Best fresh, it wouldn't be a surprise to see her revert back to seven furlongs and contest the Group 2 Lennox Stakes at Goodwood.
If the Platinum Jubilee Stakes was frustrating, the Wokingham Handicap was exasperating with those drawn low, namely both my selections, having no chance. The first 8 home emerged from stalls 19, 29, 31, 28, 27, 15, 25 and 22. Ironically, one of the selections Fresh did best of those drawn low coming from stall 7. Danny Tudhope did his best to get his mount in contention but he was forced towards the back of the stands side group and then met traffic problems. Quarantine Dreams might as well have stayed in Ireland, it was a complete waste of time.
It has been a terrific week for Classic winning trainer George Boughey. Inver Park (£35,000) won the Buckingham Palace Handicap on Thursday and then Missed The Cut (40,000gns) ran away with the Golden Gates Handicap on the final afternoon. Both horses were purchased by agent Sam Haggas and have won 6 times between them this summer. The latter, in particular, looks a cracking prospect who has improved with each start. He is now a valuable proposition who is likely to head abroad for even bigger prizes at some stage.
There were 2 winners in the Top 40 Prospects during the week, namely Coroebus (St James's Palace Stakes) and Eldar Eldarov (Queens Vase) and that tally could easily have been added to. Twilight Calls, Maljoom, Mighty Ulysses, Bay Bridge and Mostahdaf all ran very well, while Blackrod wasn't disgraced in the Wokingham Stakes considering the ground was probably lively enough. The Ayr Gold Cup looks tailormade for him in September. Elsewhere, Out From Under looked set to regain the winning thread on the July course at Newmarket on Saturday. Dropped back to seven furlongs and racing on a sounder surface, Harry Davies' mount hit the front but was headed on the line. Compensation hopefully awaits but it was frustrating all the same.
Many thanks to those clients who have emailed during the week - your continued support is much appreciated. There were 7 winners in the Royal Ascot Update - Nature Strip (advised @ 11/4), Little Big Bear (advised @ 3/1), Magical Lagoon (advised @ 4/1), Kyprios (6/4), Perfect Power (advised @ 9/2), Candleford (advised @ 12/1) and Heredia (advised @ 14/1), plus there were half a dozen seconds including Deauville Legend (advised @ 14/1). Joe Foley's interview strongly pointed us in the direction of the Queen Mary Stakes winner Dramatised, too.
It was also pleasing to see that the Ballydoyle Juveniles section in AOTF featured Little Big Bear (Windsor Castle Stakes) and Meditate (Albany Stakes). William Haggas' comments re Candleford for the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes in the book were arguably the highlight of the week. Like the man himself, they were class.
With the Royal meeting done and dusted for another year, it is time to resume work on the forthcoming edition of One Jump Ahead. In the meantime, please head to the Publications section of the site to order the remaining two Updates for the Flat season - the York Ebor Festival and Autumn Update - if you haven't already done so.
“Thank you for a very successful and profitable email service. My personal highlight was the win of Aloomomo whose romp round Uttoxeter was a joy. Keep up the good work with all your services, the books and updates, they are simply the best by a very long way.”
“Just want to say thanks for running the service again this year, I have ended up with a nice £756 profit from it so I'm obviously very happy with that so thanks a lot!”
“Thanks for your email Mark would just like to say your selections and insight has been awesome. Keep up the good work sir your service is the best.”
“Thank you for an excellent tipping service throughout the three months. It has been a pleasure and profitable to be a member of your service. Your indepth knowledge and analysis of the race has been excellent. I honestly rate your service as one of the best and most profitable.”
“Thanks very much for the fantastic service you have supplied, I have been involved with racing tipsters for over 30 years and never had as good a strike rate as yourself, out of this world.”
“The email service as usual has been brilliant and this season's OJA seems to continue to unearth amazing insight if you have the time to trust and follow it in detail over a period. Thanks as always for your outstanding value for money publications.”
“Superb information again Mark, I managed to get some 11/4, will certainly pay for Xmas. Different class.”
“Awesome result the magicman strikes again. Won with plenty in hand and not a moments worry great write up spot on again and results speak for themselves best service I've tried, keep up the fantastic work sir. Very happy customer!”
Mark Howard Publications Ltd.
69 Fairgarth Drive