herald

Sunday 11 December 2016

Judicial gets verdict

Conditions look perfect for Thirsk winner as Dettori talks up his chances at Royal Ascot

Kimberella will look to make up for last week’s unlucky loss at Epsom with a run in the Scottish Sprint Cup. Picture Credit: Martin Lynch / racingpost.com
Kimberella will look to make up for last week’s unlucky loss at Epsom with a run in the Scottish Sprint Cup. Picture Credit: Martin Lynch / racingpost.com
Frankie Dettori fancies himself as a contender to be the leading rider over the course of the week at Royal Ascot. Picture Credit: Reuters

With Royal Ascot just days away, it would be nice to improve the funds for that five-day meeting by using tomorrow's big race of the day, the Scottish Sprint Cup at Musselburgh.

Kimberella was arguably very unlucky not to win at Epsom last weekend and having been 10/1 on that occasion he is now only 9/2 to win this valuable sprint tomorrow, but it is Judicial that is preferred at a bigger price.

A winner at Thisk last time out, Judical's form is best on quick ground, which it looks like he is set to have tomorrow. For his win last time he has only been given a 6lb hike by the handicapper.

This is a much bigger step-up in grade than what he faced on his Thirsk outing, but the four-year-old may be capable of a shade more and the fact that the conditions look to be made for him is a big positive, so at 14/1 he'd have to be on the shortlist.

Also at Musselburgh tomorrow, the Tartan Trophy takes place, which is a consolation race for those that didn't make it into the feature. Dandy Nicholls might hold the key here with course-and-distance winner Barnet Fair.

Looking ahead to Royal Ascot, Frankie Dettori fancies himself as a contender to be the leading rider over the course of the week.

It's no surprise that Ryan Moore is going to be the odds-on favourite in that betting heat, as he has Ballydoyle's powerful string and then is in such high demand when not retained by Aidan O'Brien, but Dettori is confident of a big week.

He said: "Royal Ascot is the biggest week of my year. I travel all over the world, but Ascot is still at the top of the pile and the Royal meeting is the pinnacle. I said at the start of the season that I'd be making the Royal meeting one of my key targets this year. I'm not going all over the country again in a bid to be champion jockey, but when it comes to Royal Ascot week I am going all out to be top jockey."

Entries are out for the opening two days of the meeting next week, but Dettori thinks he could be saving the best until last with what he views as his best ride coming on Saturday.

"My best chance of the week could be with Magical Memory on Saturday (in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes). Charlie (Hills) loves this sprinter and I do too. Charlie has a great ability with his sprinters and I don't see a rival in the race that I'd rather be on," he said.

Magical Memory won the Duke Of York Stakes last time out and is a 5/1 shot with BoyleSports to win the Diamond Jubilee Stakes on Saturday week.

Pique Sous is another horse that is vying for favouritism next week but the nine-year-old's assignment is much different as he looks to make his mark at Royal Ascot again having won the Queen Alexandra Stakes there in 2014.

His first run back since that famous win was at the Curragh last month and Willie Mullins' charge is just 8/1 with BoyleSports to win on Tuesday in the Ascot Stakes.

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