King To Be to rule in Britannia Handicap at Ascot
The 5.00 at Royal Ascot on Thursday is the one-mile Britannia Stakes, a very competitive three-year-old handicap.
Trainer Brian Meehan is confident of a bold run from Mutarakez as he bids to complete a four-timer.
The son of Fast Company got off the mark at Doncaster in October and won the valuable Esher Cup on his handicap debut in April. He was racing off a mark of 85 that day but was heavily backed to defy a 10lbs hike in the Haydock Silver Bowl.
He looked in trouble early in the straight and started to hang to his left under pressure. However, he was galvanised by Paul Hanagan to swoop late and catch Goring by three-quarters of a length. That horse was a disappointing seventh at Epsom next time but did not get the run of the race. It remains to be seen whether or not the Haydock race was up to its usual standard and Mutarakez has been raised a further 6lbs.
Capel Path races in the colours of Her Majesty The Queen and has been placed in both of his starts this season. He was no match for Desert Force at Newbury in April and then chased home Mister Universe here last month. The son of Street Cry steps up to a mile from seven furlongs for Sir Michael Stoute.
Veteran Trainer Barry Hills is retiring for a second time at the end of the season and would dearly love to sign off with a Royal Ascot winner. He won his maiden at Newbury in April before chasing home Always Smile at Doncaster. He was very impressive when beating Angel Vision by five lengths at Newmarket last time out but does have 11lbs more to carry.
Andrew Balding likes to prepare a horse for this race and he saddles Make It Up, a fair second to Al Bandar on his first run of the season at Epsom. He is a free-running type so is likely to be up with the pace in the early stages. Edward Greatrex takes off a useful 7lbs.
John Gosden’s Cilento has won his last two races, beating Weld Al Emarat here by half a length. He is up 8lbs for that victory while Richard Hannon’s King To Be is another interesting contender. He has been finishing strongly over seven furlongs in his recent races and tackles a mile for the first time. Amazour is on a hat-trick after wins at Hamilton and Haydock but is up 9lbs.
King To Be – Britannia Stakes (Royal Ascot 5.00 Thursday) @19.0 Bet365
Make It Up @17.0 Bet365
Each-way ¼ odds, 1,2,3,4