Sky Sports Racing ambassador Hollie Doyle discusses her three good rides at Ascot on Saturday and gives her verdict on the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes.
Time for well-bred Nazanin to step up
NAZANIN made a perfect start to her career at Newbury, overcoming greenness to win a fillies’ novice stakes, and takes a big step up in class in one of the best supporting races on Qipco King George Diamond Day at Ascot on Saturday, the Group Three Princess Margaret Keeneland Stakes (1.50).
It was special to win on her last month, as she is owned and bred by my boss Imad Alsagar out of his mare Woodland Scene, who is an unraced half-sister to Group One winners Crowded House and Brando.
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This filly surprised her trainer Archie Watson and me at Newbury, as her homework suggested she would need the experience, but she came alive on the track and won that six-furlong event comfortably in the end.
In a hot but open race, my old ‘guv’nor’ Richard Hannon’s System sets a good standard after winning a Listed race that I rode in at Newmarket, beating the Stuart Williams-trained Desert Dreamer who is another obvious danger.
I won on her first time out at Newmarket and she ran a stormer to be second in the Group Two Duchess of Cambridge at the July Festival, which is another indication of how much progress my filly has to make if she’s going to be ready to take her chance in the Group Two Lowther Stakes at York next month.
Consistent Lord deserves a big pay day
The Moet & Chandon International Stakes (3.00) at Ascot on Saturday will take some winning but I know I can rely on my mount LORD RAPSCALLION to give another good account of himself.
He’s been knocking at the door in a string of big handicaps this year, including the Buckingham Palace Stakes over the same seven furlongs at the Royal Meeting last month.
He was right in the thick of things again in the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket, too, leading them well into the final furlong before finishing a gritty third to Motakhayyel, who looks a Group horse in the making.
On what we saw on the July Course, Richard Hannon’s gelding should again take all the beating as he’s so well treated, even with a small penalty.
Lord Rapscallion loves fast ground and is proven at Ascot and his trainer Stuart Williams has him in great heart. I’m nicely drawn in stall 18, too, so must have a great each-way chance off an unchanged mark.
Marsabit can through the gears in Porsche feature
It’s exciting to get the call-up for MARSABIT in the Porsche Handicap (2.25) at Ascot on Saturday.
Hughie Morrison has done a great job with this gelding, who has been a big improver this season and has the credentials to defy his latest 5lb rise for a fast-ground win at Leicester.
This stiff mile looks an ideal test for him. He’s such a strong traveller and if they go a decent gallop I can’t see why he shouldn’t have a great chance of registering his fifth win in seven starts off such a light weight.
I’d ‘Love’ to see Aidan’s filly gallop to glory
I’m a big fan of Aidan O’Brien’s gorgeous filly LOVE, so I don’t mind admitting that I’ll be rooting for her in a stellar King George and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes (3.35) at Ascot on Saturday.
She was simply fantastic in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at the Royal Meeting, when she returned from a long lay-off to win her fifth Group One.
There are so many fascinating scenarios, including Derby winner Adayar testing his might against the older horses for the first time.
I do expect him to run a massive race for the Godolphin team, but I can also see John and Thady Gosden’s Mishriff imposing himself on the race. He looked a bit fresh in the Coral-Eclipse but if they go a good gallop and he drops his head there’ll be a big finish in him back at one-mile-and-four-furlongs.
Then there’s Martyn Meade’s Lone Eagle, who will almost certainly take them along, just as he did in the Irish Derby when he was caught in the dying strides by Hurricane Lane. That form was paid a great compliment when Charlie Appleby’s colt won again in France last week.
Knight in the form of his life
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw CORINTHIA KNIGHT in the middle of the string at Archie Watson’s yard the other day. For an older gelding, he looked amazing. He had a beautiful top line and his coat was gleaming.
It all bodes well for another big run in the six furlong sprint handicap at Pontefract on Sunday (3.00) – the scene of his 13th and latest success when I brought him across to the stands rail.
Like a lot of experienced horses, he can have his own ideas about the game but he’s now won twice at the West Yorkshire track and if he wants it enough he definitely has the talent to make in three – particularly if the forecast rain arrives.
Hollie Doyle was talking to Sky Sports Racing’s Simon Mapletoft
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