Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 08:16 16/06/2015
Solow, Round Two, Sole Power and Gleneagles are strong favourites to win the opening four races on day 1 of Royal Ascot and should all market leaders oblige bookmakers may struggle to recover, despite having another four days of the Royal meeting in which to claw back substantial losses. Of the quartet the most vulnerable looks to be dual King's Stand Stakes winner Sole Power who will attempt to become the first horse to win the Group 1 sprint three times, having been successful in both 2013 and 2014.
The mount of Richard Hughes is certainly the one to beat on his best form but at the age of eight the son of Kyllachy is not getting any younger and needs to put a poor effort at the Curragh last time behind him if he is to repeat last year's length and a quarter victory over Stepper Point. Recent French scorer Muthmir would appear to be the one most likely to spoil the party for connections of the general 4-1 favourite but after being available at 8-1 shortly following that short head win over Catcall at Chantilly the five-year-old is now as short as 4-1, and while greatly feared it could pay to look elsewhere for a value alternative against the two principles.
It is hard to know what to expect from Aussie challenger Shamal Wind while northern raider Meccas Angel who has looked so impressive in winning her last three starts may find the ground a little too lively against Group 1 opposition, and with that in mind it could be worth giving one more chance to the Kevin Ryan-trained Hot Streak who finished third 12 months ago as the 3-1 favourite. Having backed the Iffraaj colt ante-post at 50-1 for that race confidence was high after the horse had ran out a comfortable winner of Haydock's Temple Stakes leading up to the Royal meeting but, under Jamie Spencer Hot Streak failed to withstand the power surge of a top form Sole Power inside the closing stages.
Following that fine effort the form of Hot Streak tailed off as the season progressed but the colt described by his handler as the best he has trained, is definitely capable of winning at Group 1 level and the ease with which the horse sprinted clear to win the Cornwallis Stakes as a juvenile is still fresh in the memory, and at the 33-1 available with Paddy Power ( 4 places ) it is worth risking the talented but inconsistent speedster coming to the rescue of bookmakers with a shock victory.
1 Point each-way Hot Streak 33-1 Paddy Power ( 1/4 odds the first 4 )