By Thomas Reynolds
Last Updated: 18th June 2019
New Graduate continues to shorten at the head of the Royal Hunt Cup betting as the compliments to his eased down five-length win in a York handicap back in April keep coming.
The second, Kaeso, was a close third in the Victoria Cup on his next outing, before winning the time after that, while the third, Fayez, has gone in twice at Ripon in the aftermath.
Fourth Crownthorpe, who finished a good six-and-a-quarter lengths behind the James-Tate-trained winner, also bagged a victory on his following outing.
Having won in the manner of the proverbial Group horse in a handicap, James Tate’s lightly-raced four-year-old is 6/1 market leader for the mile cavalry charge at Royal Ascot.
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) June 12, 2019
However, having been lumbered with 15lbs by the handicapper for his exertions, the four-times-raced favourite has to be taken on in a 30-runner bun-fight like the Royal Hunt Cup, with William Hill paying five places.
Three each-way plays to take on New Graduate in the Royal Hunt Cup betting
Beringer @ 25/1
As it stands, this Alan King inmate is the only entrant already jocked up on the Racing Post entries and the master of Barbury Castle has wasted little time in engaging the excellent Andrea Atzeni.
The gelded son of Sea The Stars showed his liking for a straight mile when third in the Lincoln in April and scored on Newmarket’s Rowley Mile the following month.
Another month later, the fourth and fifth that day Thrave and Breden finished second and first in the Toronado handicap at Newbury to advertised the strength of his form further.
Circus Couture @ 33/1
Jane Chapple-Hyam’s seven-year-old was an unfancied 100/1 shot when a two-and-a-half length third to Settle For Bay in last year’s edition off a BHA mark of 106.
Settle For Bay takes the victory in the Royal Hunt Cup at @Ascot
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) June 20, 2018
Second in a Group 3 on his next outing, he ran reprehensibly six times thereafter until the application of a first time visor nudged him back into the groove last time out at Nottingham.
That success earned Circus Couture a 5lb penalty, which should see him comfortably into the Royal Hunt Cup field with a mark of 102, 4lbs less than his bronze medal effort 12 months back.
Chilean @ 33/1
Martyn Meade has several intriguing runners among the long list of entries, including the potentially extremely well handicapped Rise Hall, who’s unlikely to get in off an official rating of 93.
Another eyebrow-raising runner from the man from Manton is this lightly-raced colt, for whom this heritage handicap would be the lowest level he’s raced at since his winning a Class 2 novice on his second start as a juvenile.
He beat subsequent French Derby winner Study Of Man in a 1m1f Longchamp Group 3 last season and was considered good enough to run in the Group 1 St James’ Palace Stakes at the 2018 Royal Meeting.
Admittedly he finished last and has twice been well beaten in Group 3s over 1m2f since, but that just makes it more interesting that this formerly-106-rated beast tries a mile on his first run of term.