We refunded money on the St James's Palace stakes up to £25 after Toronado was beaten a short head following the offer to refund all losses up to a "pony" if champion jockey Richard Hughes finishes in the frame in any race at the meeting.
It was a cracking start to the meeting with the punters just having the best of it despite only one winning favourite, but such was the confidence of punters behind Dawn Approach that it was a small losing day back at the office.
Lovely to catch up with old friends and the minute's silence for Sir Henry was wonderfully observed; let's hope Lady Cecil has a winner sooner rather than later for the stable.
All Shakin' Stevens fans will be hoping for a big run from Green Door in the opening Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot on Thursday but preference is for Irish raider This Ole House no sorry still in Shakin' Stevens mode I mean Coach House (2.30) who has won his last couple of starts including when showing improved form on fast ground at the Curragh last month.
Connections must have been considering Tuesday's Coventry Stakes over 6f for the colt but the yard had the winner of that race anyway with the impressive War Command and I liked the way Coach House quickened up in the final furlong last time and he is taken to give Aidan O'Brien only his second win in the race following the success of Johannesburg back in 2001.
There is no question that Alive Alive Oh was visually very impressive over 10 furlongs at Navan last time but she is not guaranteed to get the additional quarter mile and preference in the Ribblesdale Stakes is for The Lark (3.05) who finished third in the Oaks at Epsom last time when not getting the best of runs. That interference did not cost her the race but if over those exertions (only twenty days ago) she will take plenty of beating.
The Gold Cup is Thursday's feature and the hats could be off for a Royal winner with the filly Estimate (3.45) who was impressive over two miles when scoring here at the beginning of May; make no mistake this is vintage renewal with the 2010 winner Rite Of Passage, 2012 winner Colour Vision and the dual Royal Ascot winner from last year Simenon the pick of the opposition in an 18-runner field.
We are paying ¼ odds five-places in the Britannia Handicap and it promises to be one of the big betting races of the week; Richard Hannon has a very strong hand with Kyllachy Rise picking up the 5lb penalty at Salisbury last week which enabled him to get into the race. He is 12lbs better off with Cape Peron for the length-and-a-half he was beaten over the mile at Newbury earlier in the season. The latter could hardly have been more impressive than when scoring over a mile at Doncaster although he didn't beat much and he was raised 13lbs for that effort.
The pair must enter the short-list but preference is for Wentworth (4.25) who looked a most unlucky loser when third over 6f on his reappearance at Goodwood off a 2lb lower mark; the selection passed the post full of running at the Sussex track and had he won he would surely have had to be put up more than a couple of pounds. We know he stays a mile as he scored over that distance as a juvenile and he receives 6lbs from cape Peron which might be the difference. Drawn in stall 30 the hope is that there is pace on both sides of the track with Queensbury Rules in stall 24 likely to be prominent.
Remote (5.00) had the form of his facile Doncaster win given a massive boost when Baltic Knight won at York last weekend and he must be the one to beat in the Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes although I am loath to desert German raider Chopin who finished seventh in the Derby when appearing not to stay 12 furlongs. What sways me in favour of the John Gosden trained remote is the 3lb penalty Chopin carries for waltzing away with a Group 3 at Krefeld back in April.
Soviet Rock must go close in the concluding King George V Stakes but I give Another Cocktail (5.35) another chance back on a sound surface having been stuck in the Lingfield mud in their Derby Trial when last seen back in May; Space Ship and Excellent Result are two of many dangers in a race where you will need more than your fair share of luck.
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