Jamie Spencer thinks a mile-and-a-half will be no problem for Even Song at Ascot
Coral horse racing ambassador Jamie Spencer spoke exclusively to us about his British Champions Day mounts at Ascot. Here, he marks your card with his rides and fancies for the big finale to the flat season…
It’s only thirteen days since Order Of St George had quite a hard race in the Arc but he is the form choice. The ground should be perfect for him. He should win but he’s probably not as far clear of these as the odds suggest. Sheikhzayedroad did well in the Doncaster Cup beating Quest For More on the line. He’s coming here on the back of that win and his confidence will be high.
I ride Mr Lupton in the Sprint at 2.00 but it looks a tough race. We’ll just have to see how he goes. It depends what the ground is like as he likes a bit of juice in it. He finished fifth in the Haydock Sprint so he has some ground to make up with Quiet Reflection. If he could nick a place I’d be delighted. It’s a good race. Twilight Son won the Diamond Jubilee Stakes here and The Tin Man has run well here before too. Saying that I think they’ll all have to go some to beat Quiet Reflection. She was very impressive at Haydock. That was her best performance to date. She’ll be hard to beat.
I’m on Even Song in the Fillies & Mares at 2.35. She won the Ribblesdale Stakes at the Royal meeting here when there was ease in the ground so we know she’ll handle the conditions. She’s been a little disappointing in her last two runs. She was odds on for the Irish Oaks and just didn’t run her race, and she didn’t run very well in the Yorkshire Oaks either, so she needs to get back on track. A mile and a half around here will be no problem to her and she has a nice draw. We will all do well to beat Zhukova and Seventh Heaven who set the standard.
I’m on an outsider, Mitchum Swagger, in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at 3.10. I’ll be hoping to try and get a place. Minding and Ribchester will be very hard to beat. I thought the straight mile at Ascot would be right up Minding’s street as she stays well. She is probably the one to side with. Galileo Gold has had a long season but he’s had a break since his last run so we’ll just have to see how he goes.
In the Champion Stakes Almanzor has the best draw whereas Found is drawn out in eleven. He was just so impressive in the Irish Champion Stakes the way he came through from the back of the field, and quickened up so well. He looks like he’s still improving and I can’t look beyond him.
In the Balmoral Handicap at 4.25 I ride Here Comes When. He’s down to a mark of 105 which is a help for him. He’s been hanging around in Group races for most of his life and he’s having his first run in a handicap for almost two and a half years. It’s a very open race, there’s a lot of prize money up for grabs and a shower of rain would do him no harm. The Roger Varian horse, Morando, looks the horse to beat with the ground the way it is. I thought an interesting horse was Third Time Lucky. He ran a good race on ground that was too quick last time.
It’s all very competitive, and I’ve four rides which I’m hopeful will run well. Even Song looks the best of them. We’ll just have to see.
I’m happy with the way the season has gone. I would have liked to have unearthed a few more two year olds for next year but it doesn’t seem to have happened yet. David Simcock hasn’t run many of his two year olds yet so I’m sure we’ll be busy up until December on the all-weather. There’s still plenty to be done.