Lightning Cloud to strike again at Ascot
The seven-furlong Betfair International has attracted a host of familiar names, many of which clashed at the Royal meeting last month. One of the most popular is Kevin Ryan’s Lightning Cloud who produced his familiar late dash to win the Buckingham Palace Stakes.
His victims included Es Que Love (5th), Loving Spirit (6th) and Redvers (7th). Mark Johnston’s Es Que Love has been a regular on Saturday afternoons in recent weeks and has finished second in the Coral Challenge and the Bunbury Cup.
Johnston clearly believes in the old adage that racehorses are meant for racing and Es Que Love turns out again here with Olivier Peslier booked to ride. Loving Spirit and Redvers also have claims as they are slightly better off at the weights.
Redvers caught the eye again at Newmarket when staying on well behind Field Of Dream and Es Que Love. It should be close between the three here but Field Of Dream is going for back-to-back successes in this race and is reported to be in fine shape by trainer Jamie Osborne.
Prince Of Johanne cut down Es Que Love in the closing stages at Sandown but this trip could just be on the sharp side for the former Cambridgeshire winner. However, he looked as good as ever last time and has the assistance of the in-form Johnny Murtagh in the saddle.
The three-year-olds Queensbury Rules and Ashaadd have both been well supported in the ante-post market for this race. Ryan Moore has been booked to ride Queensbury Rules by the astute William Haggas and he has to be considered on his fine third in the Britannia Stakes.
He made up a lot of late ground that day but there must be a slight doubt as to whether this drop back to seven furlongs will suit him. Ashaadd has come from the off the pace in most of his races and will also need a bit of luck in running to weave his way through late.
Bertiewhittle and Excellent Guest are regular performers in these big seven furlong handicaps whilst Hawkeyethenoo and Galician may also have their supporters. Jim Goldie’s top weight could be using this as a prep for next week’s Stewards’ Cup whilst Galician has shown all of his best form in small fields.
Selection: Lightning Cloud
Danger: Field Of Dream