33/1 Prince Of Johanne one of our three against the Victoria Cup field
29 runners are set to go to post for the 7f Victoria Cup due off at 3:50 at Ascot and amongst them lurk news.coral.co.uk’s three against the field – Dream Tune 14/1, Solar Deity 16/1 and Prince Of Johanne 33/1.
In recent years a low draw has proved a great aid to the chances of those duking out the Victoria Cup, with 11 of the 16 places across the last four renewals claimed by those who had broken from stalls one to nine.
Dream Tune, Solar Deity and Prince Of Johanne have been handed berths in stalls one, two and three this year and with the hat-trick seeking form-horse Tartiflette drawn in seven to give them a nice pull into the race and the rail to keep them on a straight racing line they should have every chance of striking if they are ready to win.
Dream Tune is selected on the basis of his two-and-a-half length fifth to ante-post favourite Haaf A Sixpence in the Spring Cup at Newbury last time, when he ran out of steam in the final furlong.
A 5lb pull in the weights with the aforementioned rival – accentuated to 10lbs by the booking of 5lb claimer James Tate – and a step back to 7f gives Clive Cox’s four-year-old the opportunity to run a big race.
Solar Deity has scored five wins and two places from 11 races at trips between 7f and 1m and the fact that four of those success came towards the upper end of that bracket could stand him in good stead in a big-field cavalry charge sure to be run at a do-or-die clip. He’s won four of his last six races (finishing a close third on the other two occasions) and he’s just 1lb above his last winning mark.
Four and five year-olds account for eight of the last 10 to take the laurels in this heat, but if there is a more mature beast capable of taking the prize it could well be Prince Of Johanne (extreme right in the picture above).
The Prince is a master of these big field handicaps when suitably weighted and followed up a listed handicap second to William Haggas’ Fury off 98 with a Royal Hunt Cup win off today’s mark of 100 in May and June last year.
Two races back he finished just four and a half lengths behind the progressive Tartiflette – up 10lbs having won again since – on his first run over 7f since his maiden win back in 2009. Prince of Johanne gave the winner a whopping 19lbs that day and receives a 13lb pull in the weights at Ascot.