Sky Sports Racing Ambassador Holly Doyle discusses a live chance at Saturday’s Wokingham Stakes, but prays for rain for her stellar horses Trueshan and Glen Shiel.
Tabdeed brings the group form to a big handicap
A winner in a handicap group always attracts the attention of my partner Tabdeed certainly meets that score in the great cavalry attack at Royal Ascot on Saturday Wokingham Bets (5.00).
It has worked well for my boss, Archie Watson, since he was bought from Owen Burroughs’ yard at last year’s 110,000 guinea pig sale.
He has framed the Listed races in Windsor and Haydock Park and brings many other quality forms to the race since winning the Three Hackwood Stakes in Newbury in 2020.
I’m happy with my pull in the middle at booth 14 and the cut and push of a big field charge like this one will suit him. He will deal with the ground if she stays on the fast side and has every chance to prolong Archie’s good form at the meeting.
Draw makes the task of Sweeping much more difficult
Sweeping returns in the match in which he finished fourth on the Chesham Stakes roster from last season, but the draw was far from good for him in Golden Gates Bets (5.35).
I was challenged from such a wide starting point in booth 18, so I will need a lot of luck in running to be competitive in such a demanding race.
The 10-stage journey should be perfect for him at this stage of his career. Unfortunately, his first attempt proved unconvincing, as he simply did not cope with the waves of Epsom, but he will be much more at home on this more conventional track.
His seasonal return two weeks earlier during the long mile in Wolverhampton was much more encouraging, losing only to Jonahfis to William Hagas, who performed well at Britannia Stakes on Thursday.
Fast ground is likely to prevent Glenn from participating
The fast conditions this week put at the expense of Trueshan’s participation in the Gold Cup on Thursday and threaten to refuse another of my star horses Glen Sheal his chance in the first group Platinum Jubilee Bets (4.20) on saturday too.
Like Trushan, Glenn ideally needs soft ground to perform best – he won the championship sprint in 2020 on a test field – but without significant rainfall in the forecast, it seems almost certain that he will miss the race.
His coach Archie Watson is very happy with his homework after two runs in May and made him join the race, which ended so gallantly second last year, but he will not want to risk it on fast ground.
I’ve been galloping the big chestnut since he finished fourth in the second group of Greenlands Stakes in The Curragh, which really seems to have brought him to top form and I was really pleased with his progress.
If conditions somehow turn in his favor, he will have many things for him in a fascinating renewal, not least his equality right next to the American speeding machine of Wesley Ward Interior. He will come out of the gates abruptly and can just give me a good draw in the race.
Trushan is ready for Plan B in Queen Alexandra
Trushan has a second chance to participate in the Royal Meeting, as it has been declared the longest race of the week, Queen Alexandra Stex (6.10) on Saturday. This has always been a contingency plan if the wrong soil excludes it from its main goal – the Golden Cup, which, of course, it did.
He would be the one they would all have to defeat if I resisted, but all we can do is keep looking at the sky and hope. There is no guarantee that the movement will be soft enough to persuade his coach Alan King to drive it, but he is well-adjusted this week and ideally should run again as soon as possible.
Trueshan also competed in the Northumberland Plate next weekend, but was given a whopping 10lb in the big handicap, which will probably make his task even more difficult than when he finished a gallant fifth underweight in the Newcastle show 12 months ago.
It’s great to see the hurricane again in Hardwick
One of the highlights of Royal Ascot Week for me is the return of last season’s winner’s track from Saint-Liege Hurricane Lane in the second group Hardwicke Stakes (3.40) on Saturday.
Although he finished an important season with three wins in the first group, the star of Charlie Appleby can participate in this mile and a half without a penalty, which is a significant advantage.
I see Sir Michael Stout’s impressive winner in Chester Solid stone as his greatest danger, but taking Hurricane Lane’s weights off level makes his task much more difficult.
The Godolphin star is doing an impressive job at Newmarket and looks set to end a successful week for Charlie and his jockeys William Buick on their way to a possible crack in King George back in Ascot next month.
Payback Day in France for Nashwa
After a busy week at Royal Ascot I will fly to France on Sunday to ride my boss Imad Alsagar’s home breed Nashwa in French oaks, Diane Longins Prize (3.00) over ten and a half stages in Chantilly.
It itches me to get back on board this beautiful mare from her brave third at Cazoo Oaks over a mile and a half trip that just stretched her stamina too far.
The exclusion legs, which she inherited from her master Frankel, must prove to be a vital part of her short-range weapons arsenal, and she has the authority to take part in a massive race.
Nashwa proved his ability for this type of trip when he impressed in a race on the Newbury list while running to Epsom.
John and Taddy Gosden have been happy with her ever since. Ideally, it has been towed to a second cabin, and I don’t think the predicted easy terrain should be a problem.
It was already a memorable week thanks to Bradsel’s incredible performance in Coventry, but to finish it with my first victory in the classic style will make my biggest dreams come true.
Holly Doyle spoke with Simon Mappleft of Sky Sports Racing
Watch every last day’s race at Royal Ascot live on Sky Sports Racing from 1.30pm.