Tuesday’s Queen Anne Stakes winner Ribchester won the opening Jersey Stakes on day two of Royal Ascot last year after placing third in the 2000 Guineas, and Classic form again looks key to unlocking the 2017 renewal as horses from the 2000 Guineas, 1000 Guineas and French 2000 Guineas top the market.
The filly, 1000 Guineas-third Daban, is an interesting runner for John Gosden racing against the colts so early in the season.
Connections must feel she doesn’t fully stay the mile trip at this class and the seven furlongs of the Jersey, along with the rapid ground, give her a big chance.
She’s 7/1 so isn’t too warm in the market, but that’s likely as she’s very difficult to assess and seemingly has to carry a Group Three win for her win at Newmarket earlier this season.
That penalty brings her level weights with the colts, and that’s a lot to ask in the face of some really solid form from the first- and second-favourites.
It’s a really tough call between them, but I’m siding with the French raider LE BRIVIDO for Andre Fabre over Godolphin’s Dream Castle – who we sided with in the 2000 Guineas when he was an unlucky fifth.
Le Brivido ran a massive race over a mile to be agonisingly outstayed by Brametot in the French 2000 Guineas – it wasn’t agonising for us given we were on the winner! – and the drop back to seven furlongs should take a little emphasis away from stamina here.
Brametot followed up by winning the French Derby and the horse in third, Rivet, is a rock-solid yardstick given he’s a Group One winner and his early-season form ties in closely with the best three-year-old colts in Britain and Ireland.
Rivet was well beaten in Tuesday’s St James’ Palace Stakes but has had plenty of racing this season, and his splitting of Derby-fifth-and-Dante-second Benbatl and Derby fourth Eminent in Newmarket’s Craven Stakes looks very solid.
Andre Fabre only sends horses to England when they have massive chances and, with French racing so often run on heavily watered tracks, he mustn’t see the quick ground at Ascot as a problem – it’s probably the opposite.
He’s by Siyouni, whose Ervedya was a winner on good-to-firm at Royal Ascot a few seasons ago, and his dam is by a fast-ground Group One Royal Ascot winner in Dr Fong.
Hard to pick holes, then, but that’s also true of Dream Castle, who ran better than his fifth place in the 2000 Guineas suggest, getting a bump and losing momentum in Newmarket’s dip before finishing as strong as any.
He was also a good second to Tuesday’s St James’ Palace Stakes winner Barney Roy in the Greenham and simply got outstayed that day, after looking a certain winner a furlong out.
That was over seven furlongs and there still remains the nagging doubt he’s best at sprinting trips, but that Greenham form is rock-solid, no doubt.
It’s mighty close but Le Brivido just about shades it.
We recommend waiting for around 10am tomorrow morning for the best price or betting with SkyBet to take advantage of their offer of money back as a free bet if you lose.
1pt win Le Brivido @10/3 or best morning price, 14:30 Ascot, Wednesday