Andrew Balding: Alcohol Free has the ability to mix it at this level
The Betway ambassador previews his seven runners on the fifth and final day of Royal Ascot 2022.
Royal Ascot on Saturday
The Foxes (14:30) is a horse we really like. He’s always looked smart in his home work, and ran well on his debut at Newbury in a race that has worked out well. I think the extra furlong will suit him well and, while he needs to step up massively, we do think he’s potentially a very smart horse.
Happy Power (16:20) does have good course form at this level, but he’ll need the forecast rain to fall if he’s to run.
King’s Lynn (16:20) backs up pretty quickly after Tuesday’s run in the King’s Stand, but he did the same last year and ran well. He didn’t get the rub of the green on Tuesday. Had he been drawn higher, I think he’d have got into the places, but this extra furlong will help him.
Alcohol Free (16:20) is dropping back in trip, but we’re all aware of what she’s achieved in her career to date. She’s now a three-time Group 1 winner who is very high class. If she copes with the drop back in trip, we know she has the ability to mix it at this level.
Fivethousandtoone (17:00) is a horse we’ve always liked but he hasn’t really shown us his true potential. He’s had a few little problems in the past but we’re hoping he’s over them. I think he’s potentially a well handicapped horse, so it wouldn’t be a shock if he ran well.
Groundbreaker (17:35) was disappointing last time, albeit in a Listed race. He needs to learn to settle in his races as he can be quite keen. If he does settle early on, there’s no reason why he can’t be competitive.
Nate The Great (18:10) ran a career best last time out. I think this trip is well within his compass and he loves fast ground. While those at the head of the market will be tough to beat, I think he’ll run with credit.
Invite (16:45 Pontefract) will need the rain to fall if she’s to make the long trip up to Pontefract. She’s in good form and is a winner as this level, so we’d expect her to run a big race.
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