King Of Rooks set to rule in Norfolk Stakes
Thursday is Gold Cup day at Royal Ascot with an excellent supporting card that includes the Ribblesdale Stakes. The action begins at 2.30 with the Norfolk Stakes, a Group 2 race for two-year-olds over five furlongs.
King Of Rooks
Richard Hannon saddles King Of Rooks, regarded by many as the banker bet of the week.
He is by Acclamation out of Slap Shot by Lycius and has won his last two races in brilliant fashion. He made his debut here last month and, after moving easily into contention, could only stay on at one pace into third behind Steady Pace.
Hannon decided to step him up to six furlongs next time at Newbury and he streaked six lengths clear of Predilection in the closing stages. Next stop was the National Stakes at Sandown, back over five furlongs, and a rematch with Steady Pace. The Godolphin horse was preferred in the betting but had no answer when Richard Hughes kicked for home on King Of Rooks.
His winning margin was five lengths and the runner-up Buratino has since come out and bolted up in the Woodcote Stakes at Epsom on Derby day. Everything points to King Of Rooks being well above average and it will take a good horse to lower his colours here.
Stable companion Log Out Island will now race in the colours of Godolphin after being bought following his easy win here in April. He looks more likely to contest the Coventry Stakes on Tuesday, as do Round Two and Buratino.
Aidan O’Brien has entered Washington DC in the Coventry, the Windsor Castle and this race. He won his maiden at Tipperary before being beaten two lengths by Round Two at the Curragh. If Bolger’s colt lives up to expectations in the Coventry and Washington DC is diverted here, the son of Zoffany would certainly be a threat to the favourite.
Hannon has yet another speedy juvenile in Orvar, a two and a half-length winner at Salisbury last month. The son of Dandy Man also has multiple entries this week while Mark Johnston has other options for Riflescope and Rogues’ Gallery.
Shanghai Glory won well at Nottingham last time out for Charles Hills but the runner-up let the form down badly last week. Zebstar and Jazz Legend both won on their debuts but need to improve to feature here.
King Of Rooks – Norfolk Stakes (Royal Ascot 2.30 Thursday) @1.90 Bet365