Royal Ascot Antepost: International Raiders
At the 5 day stage, there are 29 runners currently entered, but Andre Fabre's Le Brivido stands out with an RPR of 118.
On only his third career start he was thrown in at the deep end in the Poule d'Essai des Poulains and was only just denied by a short head by Brametot, who followed up in the Prix du Jockey Club. He was held up right out the back along with Brametot on opposite sides of the track and came with a sweeping run down the outside and looked to have Brametot held until the final strides. This step back in distance to 7 furlongs is likely to be his best distance having run at sprint distances previously.
The Poule d'Essai des Poulains was run on soft ground and he looked well at home on it but he has won on good ground and also made his debut on Chantilly's polytrack so the quicker ground shouldn't trouble him as he seems versatile regarding the surface.
Andre Fabre mentioned the 7 furlong Jersey stakes as his target straight after narrowly missing out in the classic. He's generally quoted as the second favourite for this race at 4/1 with Surror's Dream Castle put in as the favourite at a best priced 7/2. Dream Castle finished fifth in the 2,000 guineas, but on the ratings he has 8lb to find with Le Brivido. The filly Daban finished third in the 1,000 guineas but faces a stiff task against the colts.
Trust Wesley Ward at Royal Ascot
Wesley Ward has done great with the horses he has brought over from his California based stable. It looks like he will be fielding 8 runners this year, with Lady Aurelia looking the star performer.
She blitzed the field in last year's Queen Mary Stakes by 7 lengths on soft ground that was expected to be a problem, but she couldn't have been more impressive. She followed up in the Prix Morny at Deauville before a shock defeat in the Cheveley Park at Newmarket. She probably found the uphill finish too much after setting a furious early pace that had everything in behind in trouble before tiring drastically in the last 50 yards.
The 5 furlong King's Stand Stakes is her target this year and she looks a decent bet at 7/2. Signs Of Blessing is one of my favourite horses but would really need some rain to trouble Lady Aurelia if she is at her best, the only worry is that they could take each other on being speed horses.
Ward also fields Arawak, Elizabeth Darcy, Nootka Sound, Happy Like A Fool, Fairyland, Con Te Partiro and Bound For Nowhere. If the ground does turn quick then they all deserve interest with his great record. Backing his runners over the last 5 years would show a 6 point profit to SP and undoubtedly more to Betfair SP.