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Monday, 13 June 2016

5:00, June 14th, Royal Ascot Stakes

The Royal Ascot Stakes, run over 2 miles 4 furlongs, has thrown up winners at 33/1 and 20/1 (twice) in the last 10 years and seems as good a race as any to throw our hat into the ring this week.

Mirsaale (20/1) won the Epsom Derby Trial as a 3-year-old and finished ninth in the Derby proper but, after a lengthy spell in the doldrums, has been reinvented as a stayer by Keith Dalgleish. The Sir Percy gelding returned to turf in a lowly 0-75 contest at Catterick in April, but drew further and further clear, until he was 20 lengths clear at one stage, before being heavily eased close home.

He stepped up in class and distance, off a 16lb higher mark, at Ripon on his penultimate start, but once again took up the running with half a mile to race and went clear to win unchallenged. He was beaten, but far from disgraced, over 1 mile 5 furlongs at Hamilton last time, but this marathon distance could conceivably bring about further improvement, especially with underfoot conditions in his favour.

Winning hurdler Chartbreaker (33/1) won twice, on very soft and heavy going, as a 3-year-old for Andreas Wohler, so has no questions to answer regarding distance or going and remains unexposed as a stayer on the Flat. Although a 5-year-old, he’s only had eight starts in total and just four on the Flat and, being by Shirocco – the sire of Annie Power – out of a Galileo mare, he’s another who could find some improvement on his debut for Chris Gordon. If cheekpieces have the desired effect, he could go well at rewarding odds from the bottom of the handicap.

Selections: Ascot 5.00 Mirsaale (20/1), Chartbreaker (33/1)

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