Royal Ascot 2015: Ascot Stakes preview (17.00)
A huge field go to post for the Ascot Stakes, and Boite looks weighted to go well at a decent price in a wide-open renewal of the 2m 4f handicap.
The gelding had some useful staying form to his name when trained by Peter Chapple-Hyam, most notably when a three lengths third to subsequent St Leger and Gold Cup winner Leading Light in the 2013 running of the Group 3 Queen’s Vase at this meeting.
That is extremely strong form in the context of this contest, and Boite finished a two places and a neck in front of Ray Ward who he now meets that on 4lb better terms.
Boite has since gone on to show good form over hurdles since joining Warren Greatrex, and shaped really well when returned to the level last time out at Goodwood and finishing third to Quest For Moore.
The five-year-old went off too hard from the front, but only weakened late on to be beaten three lengths and it was an effort which suggested Boite was ahead of his current handicap mark.
Another plus is that Boite has secured a good draw in stall 1 and, with Martin Dwyer in the saddle, a big run looks on the cards.
The aforementioned Ray Ward ran well in the race 12 months ago, and looks to have been primed to make a bold bid by trainer David Simcock.
This five-year-old got badly hampered and nearly brought down three from home when making good headway on the inside, and then kept on nicely to finish sixth of 19 to Domination.
Ray Ward now races off just 3lb higher and caught the eye on seasonal reappearance when a not knocked about seveth to Forgotten Hero over an inadequate 1m 2f.
That run should have blown away the cobwebs and put Ray Ward spot on for this, and granted a clear passage the son of Galileo looks sure to go close.
Another worthy of consideration is Irish raider Clondaw Warrior. The gelding is a useful dual purpose performer trained by the all conquering Willie Mullins, and has won three of his five starts on the level.
In the last of those, the eight-year-old stayed on strongly to land the valuable November Handicap at Leopardstown.
Clondaw Warrior is now able to race off just 2lb higher, and the booking of Ryan Moore to do the steering suggest connections mean business as he teamed up with the yard to partner Simenon to victory in the 2012 running of this contest.
Coral betting tip: Boite is a brilliant price to bring this one home.