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Royal Hunt Cup

17:00 Royal Ascot

2022-06-15

Winner: £94500

Runners: 29

Going:Good To Firm

No. of hurdles:

Distance: 1m0f0yy

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The Royal Hunt Cup is a cavalry charge handicap run over a mile. It takes place at 17:00 on Wednesday 21st June, which is the second day of Royal Ascot 2023. View the runners here, and also make sure to check out the odds and tips on offer for this race.

NO.DRAW
FORM
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2(5)
296-14
silk
Escobar

-

J: Daniel Tudhope
T: David O'Meara
8
9-12
107
115
Retains plenty of ability aged eight, having won York handicap on reappearance then performed respectably in Epsom Group 3; landed the Balmoral over C&D in 2019 but came up short in this race in 2018 (finished 11th) and 2021 (finished 17th); unlikely to do much better off current mark.
23(2)
0-0447
silk
What's The Story

-

J: Silvestre De Sousa
T: Keith Dalgleish
8
9-2
97
114
Best efforts this term when fourth in races won by Notre Belle Bete and Cruyff Turn; on a long losing spell and has a regressive record in this contest having finished fourth in 2018, 12th in 2019, 16th in 2020 and 25th in 2021; thoroughly exposed.
28(20)
16-841
silk
Via Serendipity

-

J: Stevie Donohoe
T: Charlie Fellowes
8
9-1
91
112
Steadily back to form this season, most recently beating his six rivals at Sandown last Saturday (11th career success); however, past his peak aged eight and looks unlikely to defy a 5lb penalty in this major handicap, despite being a dual course winner.
12(22)
635137
silk
Bless Him

-

J: Jamie Spencer
T: David Simcock
8
9-6
101
117
Things didn't pan out ideally in the Hambleton at York last month; well suited by straight tracks and he's 2-3 in handicaps over this C&D, including Britannia success in 2017; ran creditably (ninth overall, third in far-side group) in this race in 2018; return to this scenario is a big plus.
4(4)
216-23
silk
Intellogent

-

J: James Doyle
T: Jane Chapple-Hyam
7
9-10
105
112
Encouraging efforts in Newmarket handicap (close second) and C&D Listed event (1l third) for new stable this term; hit with a 9lb rise for latter effort but still looks well treated on best French form, including Group 1 win in 2018; interesting with that back-class in mind.
8(30)
/0-79S
silk
Humanitarian

-

J: Daniel Muscutt
T: Stuart Williams
6
9-8
103
109
Last win for the Gosden stable came over 1m4f; has found 7f/7.5f too sharp for new yard this year (still at the back when he slipped and fell on latest) and even this stiff 1m may be inadequate; furthermore, still needs to prove he retains all of his ability; others preferred.
30(28)
024160
silk
Hortzadar

-

J: Mark Winn
T: David O'Meara
7
9-0
95
114
Regained the winning thread at Ripon in April; hasn't fared so well in races won by Cruyff Turn and Totally Charming since; had no luck (repeatedly denied a clear run) in this contest last year but he's fully exposed.
5(14)
312022
silk
San Andreas

-

J: H J Horgan
T: Joseph Patrick O'Brien
6
9-9
104
114
Effective on turf in the past but his best performances this year have come on AW, winning at Dundalk in March then beaten narrowly at Newcastle on Good Friday; beaten favourite in small fields on turf at Fairyhouse the last twice; opposed in this much stronger race.
3(33)
4224-3
silk
Sinjaari

-

J: Kieran Shoemark
T: Harry & Roger Charlton
6
9-11
106
115
Campaigned mainly at middle distances; won the John Smith's Cup in 2020 for previous stable; creditable third in seven-runner race over 1m at Newbury (good) on reappearance but now needs to prove he can cope with this trip back in a top handicap.
7(3)
136-50
silk
Bopedro

-

J: Shane Foley
T: Mrs John Harrington
6
9-8
103
117
Won similar event at the Curragh (1m, good) last August, beating 26 rivals; failed to repeat that form in another hot handicap at same venue last month but has the ability to take a serious hand provided he's back to his best.
11(16)
/16282
silk
Tempus

-

J: Hollie Doyle
T: Archie Watson
6
9-6
101
114
Best form for new yard this year has come in four-runner races, winning at Newcastle (AW) and runner-up in Listed grade at Doncaster and Windsor; now goes back into a much deeper field and he's 4lb higher than when beaten favourite (finished sixth) in the 2020 Cambridgeshire.
29(13)
0-5440
silk
Real Force

-

J: Colin Keane
T: Gerard O'Leary
5
9-0
95
114
Has bits of Listed/Group form but was only midfield in hot handicap at the Curragh last month and needs to improve on that effort; last two wins came in small-field events in 2020; others are more appealing.
6(29)
1722-2
silk
Symbolize

-

J: Harry Davies
T: Andrew Balding
5
9-9
104
116
Consistent in last five appearances (all on softer than good), including good efforts in competitive handicaps here (7f/1m) in October; creditable second in Thirsk conditions race (7f) two months ago; each-way chance provided he's as effective back on forecast faster ground.
9(9)
2030-9
silk
Astro King

-

J: Ryan Moore
T: Sir Michael Stoute
5
9-7
102
117
Largely progressive and has form figures of 1113239 over 1m, most recently a luckless ninth in this year's Thirsk Hunt Cup (had a troubled passage); second to smart Real World in this contest (on fast ground) 12 months ago, finishing first in the near-side group; again looks a big player.
15(6)
12-163
silk
Desert Peace

-

J: William Buick
T: Charlie Appleby
5
9-5
100
110
4-8 on Polytrack/dirt, the most recent win at Meydan (1m2f) in January; below-par favourite there on last appearance; went close in an allowance optional claimer at Belmont (1m1f, firm) on sole turf run; this is a totally different scenario but he's still an unexposed sort on grass.
1(26)
203-01
silk
Magical Morning

-

J: Benoit De La Sayette
T: John & Thady Gosden
5
10-1
105
116
Finished eighth in this race last year on seasonal debut; 11lb higher this time but useful apprentice Benoit De La Sayette takes off 5lb; also has the benefit of recent match practice having defied top weight in Doncaster handicap (1m, good) just 12 days ago; not ruled out.
27(15)
611-01
silk
Dark Shift

-

J: James McDonald
T: Charles Hills
4
9-1
91
117
Record of 3-5 at Ascot, the wins gained over 6f, 7f and 1m; unfavourably drawn in the Victoria Cup (7f) here on seasonal debut, then won well at Nottingham (good) returned to 1m later in May; now 2-2 over this trip and could well progress further; holds strong claims under a penalty back at this venue (future mark 2lb higher).
16(27)
0/7-99
silk
Etonian

-

J: Pat Dobbs
T: Richard Hannon
4
9-5
100
113
Lightly raced colt who hasn't gone on from his Solario success as a 2yo; sent to Newbury for his two starts this term, finishing ninth of 17 in the Spring Cup then well held in the Lockinge; career started promisingly but subsequent bare form leaves him with something to prove.
20(25)
51-117
silk
Excel Power

-

J: Luke Morris
T: Archie Watson
4
9-3
98
115
Only midfield in the Epsom contest won by Totally Charming, coming up short in his bid for a four-timer; progressive otherwise and still has a good overall strike-rate (6-12); however, the assessor has possibly caught up with him now.
18(8)
60987-
silk
Lunar Space

-

J: Saffie Osborne
T: Jamie Osborne
4
9-5
100
114
Record of just 1-16 in Ireland for Jim Bolger and proved inconsistent after the sole win, which came in Listed grade; sold for 22,000gns since last run; appears to have a tough assignment on debut for new yard but market support would be encouraging.
14(18)
44-671
silk
Cruyff Turn

-

J: Tom Marquand
T: Tim Easterby
5
9-5
100
116
Held on narrowly in the Hambleton at the Dante meeting (1m, good) last month, adding to his win at last year's Ebor festival and taking York record to 2-2; now on a career-high mark and faces a stiffer task in this field; should be more interesting when back at York.
21(23)
119136
silk
Notre Belle Bete

-

J: David Probert
T: Andrew Balding
4
9-3
98
114
Record of 3-3 on AW (all wins this year) compared to 0-10 on turf and he was a disappointing favourite at Newbury most recently, failing to back up his creditable third at Newmarket the time before; percentage call is to oppose.
24(10)
22/1-1
silk
Legend Of Dubai

-

J: Andrea Atzeni
T: Roger Varian
4
9-1
96
118
Lightly raced and well-bred colt; off the mark in 1m4f novice event at Ffos Las last summer (sole 3yo start) then coped very well with the drop back to 1m in Newmarket handicap (good) on reappearance, dashing clear for an impressive win; should improve further and handle an 11lb rise; greatly respected.
10(11)
158-11
silk
Greatgadian

-

J: Ray Dawson
T: Roger Varian
4
9-7
102
116
2-2 since being gelded, winning small-field events over 1m2f at Chelmsford (AW); faces a very different scenario in this hot 1m handicap back on turf but he's open to further progress and hard to dismiss; scored over this trip at Nottingham (good to firm) last summer.
17(12)
12-404
silk
Isla Kai

-

J: Rowan Scott
T: Nigel Tinkler
4
9-5
100
114
Regular front-runner who has gained all wins in small fields, the most recent over the round 1m here last July; good fourth in the Spring Cup in April and filled the same position at Doncaster (behind Magical Morning) last time; largely consistent but this huge-field scenario isn't ideal.
25(31)
75-112
silk
Percy's Lad

-

J: Richard Kingscote
T: Daniel & Claire Kubler
4
9-1
96
115
Group placed as a 2yo for Eve Johnson Houghton then had a fruitless 3yo campaign; has staged a revival for new yard this term, making all in 1m handicaps at Yarmouth and Nottingham then creditable second at Beverley; this is harder but he's in very good form.
13(24)
111-39
silk
Aratus

-

J: Adam Kirby
T: Clive Cox
4
9-6
101
114
Progressive over 7f prior to his two runs this season; not disgraced (finished ninth) from an unfavourable draw in the Victoria Cup here latest but has possibly stopped improving, at least over his usual trip; asked a stiff question on this first attempt at 1m.
19(21)
140-53
silk
Fantastic Fox

-

J: David Egan
T: Roger Varian
4
9-3
98
115
Gelded after final 3yo start; has gained both wins in five-runner races but ran well in a competitive field at Epsom 12 days ago, finishing third to Totally Charming; needs further progress to land this big prize but that's not out of the question.
NR(19)
3161-1
silk
Rebel Territory

-

T: Amanda Perrett
4
9-3
93
118
Has form figures of 23111 in handicaps at 1m/1m1f (all on good/softer), including a win at Glorious Goodwood last July; showed a game attitude at Sandown on seasonal debut and continues to improve; now upped in grade but has an attractive profile.
26(17)
-12311
silk
Totally Charming

-

J: Frankie Dettori
T: George Boughey
4
9-1
91
116
Has shown most of his progress on AW but had no problem with the return to turf at Epsom (8.5f, good) on Oaks day, winning a competitive handicap and taking career record to 4-8; still highly unexposed on grass and should continue to improve; major player with Frankie Dettori booked.

Verdict

The nicely bred LEGEND OF DUBAI (nap) is taken to progress further. Second choice is Dark Shift, ahead of Astro King.

Past 10 Winners

Key race stats

  • Officially rated between 97 and 105, 9/10
  • Carried between 8st 11lb and 9st 3lb, 8/10
  • Won or been placed in a field of at least 14 runners, 8/10
  • Top-three finish at least once that season, 8/10 (both exceptions making reappearance)
  • Ran between one and four times that campaign, 8/10
  • Aged four or five, 8/10 (six aged four)
  • Rated within 3lb of RPR top-rated, 7/10
  • Distance winner, 6/10
 Other factors
  • In 2016, Portage became the first winner to defy a penalty since Macadamia in 2003.
  • There have been only three winning favourites in the last 34 years –True Panache in 1989, Yeast in 1996 and Forgotten Voice in 2009.
  • Only three of the last ten winners were drawn in single figures, while none were drawn between stalls 12 and 20.
  • Four winners wore some form of headgear.

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