Andrew Balding: Any further rain will help Morando no end
The Betway ambassador previews his best chances for day four of the Royal Meeting at Ascot.
Winners at Royal Ascot are very hard to come by, so we’ll cherish Tactical’s victory in the Windsor Castle.
It’s always special to have a winner on the biggest stage and to have one for Her Majesty was a big thrill. We spoke to her both before and after the race and she was thoroughly delighted with her horse’s performance.
The rain is a concern for Never Dark , who made a winning reappearance at Kempton a couple of weeks ago.
He’s well at home and he’s got lots of pace, so we are happy with him going into the race, but if it’s soft underneath, then it could blunt his speed.
Given his action, I think Imperial Force will like the ground. It’s an unknown, but it will make it a stiffer test and that would play to his strengths, as he’ll appreciate further in time.
He’s come forward from his debut run and I think he’s got a solid each way chance.
We run two in the Hardwicke and any further rain will help Morando no end. He loves soft ground and is a course-and-distance winner, so we’re hoping for a nice run.
He’s shows me nothing at home – honestly, I could run faster than him! – but he comes alive on the racecourse. It’s his first run of the season and it’s tough renewal, but we’re happy with him.
Alounak is our other runner and he’s an interesting horse.
It was a tough race at Newmarket in the Coronation where they went hell for leather, and he couldn’t find his rhythm. He’ll have come on for that run, though there is a question mark over the ground.
He’s not been here too long, so we are still learning about him
Shadn won on softish ground in France last year, so she should handle the conditions.
She works on her own at home as she’s often so keen, so we don’t know how well she has trained on from two to three but, on her best form, she’s got a squeak.
Berkshire Rocco has come on since his run in the Lingfield Derby Trial and has some good form in the book. I do worry about going over this trip in rain-softened ground, but he’s in good shape nonetheless and ought to give his best.
Punctuation will love any juice in the ground. He never got going at Newmarket on his comeback run where they just went too fast over a trip that was too short of his optimum.
I think he’s got a lovely each-way chance upped in trip.
Good Birthday ran a nice race at Newmarket and that would have put him spot-on for this. He’s been going well at home and has improved since last year.
He wouldn’t want the conditions too testing, though, so we’re hoping it’s not too soft for him.
Johnny Drama is another who would prefer better ground but has been going well and it’s a nice place to start him off. He’s got ability and, whatever he does here, he’ll improve on.
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