Luke Morris: “He’s right there on figures and I think he’s my best ride of the week.”
THURSDAY will always be a special day for me because I rode my first Royal Ascot winner on Prince Of Lir in the Norfolk Stakes and I couldn’t be happier.
When I rode him first time at Beverley I was really impressed and very keen to keep the ride on him in future if I could. I had a sit on him last week and felt he’d improved and if he could handle the ground then he’d run a big race.
It’s an incredible buzz to ride a winner at Royal Ascot and it’s brilliant to be able to show myself off on the big stage – it’s what you put in all the effort for over the winter months and in the mornings to have days like that.
Things got even better after Prince Of Lir because St Michel then won for me at Chelmsford later in the day and I’m hoping the good form continues for my final two rides at Royal Ascot on Saturday.
He’s a good, solid handicapper this horse and the ground is going to be in his favour as well which is a plus. He’s on a mark where he’s capable of running a nice race and being in the first dozen or so horses.
The longest race of the meeting and importantly I think this horse will stay. I thought at the start he was my best ride of the week and on figures he’s right there with the likes of Oriental Fox and Clondaw Warrior. He can get a bit warm before his races so the main thing I hope is that the occasion doesn’t get to him, but otherwise I think he has a big chance.
There’ll be plenty of attention on the Chesham Stakes (2.30) with two Frankel’s running and I’m not sure there are any standout horses in the race this year on what they’ve done so far. Cunco was good first time and looked like he would appreciate seven furlongs so he might be the best.
Pacify looks the one to beat in the Wolferton Handicap (3.05). He is owned by Prince Charles and I’m sure they’ve targeted the meeting. He loves juice in the ground and should go well.
I think it’s telling that Ryan Moore has chosen to ride Exosphere in the Hardwicke Stakes (3.40). He’s won a Group 1 on Highland Reel while Dartmouth looks progressive, but he’s chosen not to ride them. He would look to have a strong chance.
The Diamond Jubilee Stakes (4.20) looks a trappy race and I think the overseas horses have to improve to be involved. The one I like is The Tin Man, who looks a real improver. He has to step up to beat Magical Memory but I think he will do so.
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