The G1 Sun Chariot Stakes is the highlight of Ascot’s seven-race card on Saturday, which runs from 13:30-17:00.
Frankie Dettori is just one away from 500 career wins at flat racing’s HQ, and he has two good chances – including one who should be hard to beat in the feature.
14:40 – Queen Emma @ 7/2
Many will be expecting Frankie to reach #500 on Inspiral who’s favourite the Sun Chariot – more on her later – but I wouldn’t be surprised if he does so aboard Queen Emma just over half-an-hour earlier.
William Haggas’ three-year-old has improved for every run of her career to date, culminating in a staying-on second off a mark of 86 in a 0-100 fillies’ handicap at Doncaster last month. That was a classy performance on ground that may not have suited – and one that suggested there’s plenty more in the tank.
The Saxon Warrior filly has been raised 3lbs, which I think is fair. I certainly don’t think 89 limits her, especially not back on good ground, getting weight from her main market rivals for this 0-105 fillies’ affair.
I’m fearful of Roger Varian’s Decoration, but the selection is on an upward curve and I wouldn’t want to oppose her.
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15:15 – Inspiral @ 10/11
Dettori won’t be worried if he doesn’t reach the landmark on Queen Emma, for Inspiral is a fair security blanket… for lack of a better phrase.
If her price isn’t for you, that’s fair enough, but I just can’t see John & Thady Gosden’s four-year-old beat.
She’s been unreliable at times, which is the one concern, but her form is miles clear of six of her rivals for this Group 1 contest, with French raider Mqse De Sevigne the exception. Andre Fabre’s four-year-old would be capable of putting it up to the selection, but for me the ground is going to be far too quick for her.
To put it bluntly, if the Inspiral who won the G1 Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard Jacques le Marois (what a mouthful) at Deauville in August – or even the filly who finished second in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot – shows up, she’ll be very, very hard to beat.