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Born To Land The Palace
Born To Land The Palace
By Ben Linfoot

Born To Sea

1pt win Masamah in 15.05 Ascot at 33/1 (General). This race is wide open and he could get into a good rhythm up the stands' rail.
1pt win Born To Sea in 15.45 Ascot at 9/1 (General). A major player if he can improve on his Irish Guineas form.
1pt win Cosimo'De Medici in 17.00 Ascot at 12/1 (Paddy Power, William Hill). Thorough stayer who will be absolutely at a peak for this test.

What better way to kick-off the best week of the Flat racing calendar than with the awesome Frankel, who we expect to blast away his rivals in the Queen Anne Stakes on the opening day of Royal Ascot.

It's a pleasure to watch this horse destroy his opposition through pure power and, though he's hardly a betting proposition at 1/6, at least we won't be down after just one race. Keep the powder dry!

We don't have to wait long for a bet in any case as the King's Stand Stakes looks wide open and it wouldn't surprise'me if there was a big shock.

With 23 runners flying up the Ascot sprint course there is the potential for hard-luck stories as, though the track is one of the widest you'll find anywhere, I think they'll cluster into small groups.

I think it might pay not to pay close attention to the ratings either as if you do you'll be ruling out the likes of MASAMAH who has it all to do on official figures.

However, he was an improving sprinter at this trip last year, at his best when making all with a rail to run against as he did in the Group Two Audi King George Stakes at Goodwood.

Since then he's failed in three attempts at the top level but he wasn't beaten far in the Nunthorpe, the Haydock Sprint Cup is a furlong too far and then he missed the break in the Prix'de l'Abbaye.

I don't think he's far off the required standard at this level and, if getting the run of the race, he could well pick up what would be a shock Group One win, according to the layers at least who quote him at 33s.

I have to have a small play at those prices as, in first-time cheekpieces that could wake him up, he's drawn well in 18 with Jamie Spencer likely to make a bee-line for the stands' rail.

He's done it before here, albeit in handicap company, but Prohibit was behind him that day and he, of course, went on to win this race last year.

Despite the rise to promimence of the likes of Bated Breath and a strong international challenge I don't think there's as much between the good horses and the better horses as the odds suggest.

And with Masamah you've got a horse who should come on for his first run of the season, as he did last year, with plenty in his favour at 33s.

There's another big field in the'St James's Palace Stakes where Power is the 3/1 favourite to follow up his win in the Irish 2000 Guineas.

However, it wouldn't surprise'me if BORN TO SEA were able to reverse that form as he flew home in a first-time hood at the Curragh to be only beaten two and a half lengths at the line.

That looked improbable early in the straight as he was well back and, while he clearly isn't as straightforward as his brilliant half brother Sea The Stars, he has plenty of ability.

John Oxx sticks with the hood and with Johnny Murtagh back in the saddle, he should be primed to put his best foot forward now after a slow start to the campaign.

I'm sure Murtagh will sit closer to the pace on him here and with the big field and round course to keep him interested he can be unleashed for a powerful finish in the straight.

Finally, COSIMO'DE MEDICI is worth a bet in the Ascot Stakes at 12/1.

The five year old was an eyecatching fourth over an inadequate mile and a half at Goodwood on his seasonal reppearance when he stayed on well in the closing stages.

He pulled too hard in the early part of that race so he should come on plenty for it and now back over an ideal distance he will be at a peak to show his best form.

Hughie Morrison loves to win an Ascot handicap and with this horse he looks to have an ideal chance to get on the scoreboard early doors.

  • Preview posted at 1545 BST on 18/06/2012.

    View the original article over at Sporting Life

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