Andrew Balding: Conditions should suit Tactical on Saturday
The Betway ambassador previews his runners at Ascot, Newmarket and York, including Tactical in the Summer Mile.
Berkshire Phantom ran a nice race on his debut at Salisbury. Although Ascot maidens are never easy to win, the extra furlong should suit him here (13:50 Ascot).
Berkshire Breeze has done very little wrong this year. This is his first time in a handicap, and I think the track and the step up in trip will suit him well. I’d like to think that he could be competitive, as he does handle fast ground (14:25 Ascot).
Stone Of Destiny has been disappointing this year. He’s run alright on a couple of occasions but has largely underperformed. The headgear has been taken off as it seemed to light him up too much last time. Although he does have course form and is drawn well in the middle, you couldn’t be confident of knowing how he’d run, given his performances this season. (15:00 Ascot).
Tactical runs in the Summer Mile (15:35 Ascot). He was drawn on the wrong side at Royal Ascot, but he won “his race”. I’ve been pleased with him since then, and he now steps back up into this grade. It won’t be easy, but the conditions should suit him. The last time we tried a mile was against Baaeed on soft ground, so we’re inclined to give it another go.
Good Birthday runs in the John Smith’s Cup (16:05 York). He’s got the car park draw for the second year running. He’s had this as his target for a long time and is off the sort of mark that could see him run well, but I’d really have liked him to have been drawn a little better.
Achelois has a good draw (16:05 York). I’ve got a suspicion she’s a little better with cut in the ground. She ran well in the City and Suburban at Epsom and if she handles the quicker ground, she could give a good account of herself.
Soul Stopper won well last time. He’s on a fair mark on his handicap debut. He’s shaping like he’ll stay well so he must have every chance (16:18 Chester).
Alcohol Free wasn’t beaten far at Royal Ascot and has course form at both Newmarket tracks. She’s a triple Group 1 winner that owes us nothing, so we’re excited to run her at this trip again. It’s only her second time sprinting since her two-year-old days, but she’s got plenty of speed as we’ve always seen (16:25 Newmarket).
Bizarre Law won well last time, but I would think that the ground might be on the quick side for him. Obviously, the weight-for-age allowance is enticing and, as he’s still improving, he could run with credit (17:00 Newmarket).