Sunday, 14th Jun 2020
The ultra-progressive Daarik looks a worthy favourite to land the 7f Buckingham Palace Handicap that gets proceedings underway at Royal Ascot on Tuesday (13:15).
Trained by John Gosden, this lightly-raced four-year-old has won three of his five starts and ran very well on his final start last season when beaten just over a length by Fox Power when runner-up in a Listed contest at Newcastle.
Marie’s Diamond, who finished 1 1/2 lengths behind him in fourth, has won three times since – including twice at that level – to now be rated 113. That gives the form a solid look.
Daarik comes into the Buckingham Palace Handicap after scoring in good style on return to action in a dcenet class 2 handicap at Newcastle 10 days ago off a mark of 97.
After racing in mid-division, the son of Tamayuz made good headway when switched right two from home before running on strongly to account for Vitralie by three-quarters of a length.
Daarik was well on top at the finish and value for more than the winning margin, so a 6lb rise in the weights looks more than fair.
He looks a pattern performer in the making. The booking of Frankie Dettori to partner him for the first time is an obvious plus.
Gosden is also on fire and operating at a strike rate of just over 31 per cent in the last 14 days at the time of writing, so odds of 5/1 with BetVictor look fully justified
Given his excellent course form, Cliffs Of Capri looks the each-way value in the race at 14/1 with 888sport who are paying five places.
This Jamie Osborne trained six-year-old has won two of his four starts over course and distance. He also ran well when a close up fifth of 20 to Ripp Orf here in the 2018 Cunard Handicap.
Cliffs Of Capri has had four starts this year and looked as good as ever in the third of those at Meydan when landing a competitive class 2 handicap by a head.
He also ran well following a break at Newmarket 12 days ago when a length runner-up to Jacks Point and now meets that rival on 3lb better terms.
That should be enough to see Cliffs Of Capri turn the tables at a venue which clearly plays to his strengths.
Osborne also has a good record with his runners in handicaps at the track and Dougie Costello gets a good tune out of Cliffs Of Capri, so there is lots to like about his profile for this.
Dubawi Fifty ran a stormer when runner-up in the Ascot Stakes 12 months ago, so looks decent value to go one better and land the spoils in this year’s renewal of the 2m 4f handicap (16:40).
The Karen McLintock trained seven-year-old set a steady pace at the head of affairs, before quickening up the tempo four from home.
He looked sure to collect turning for home but got reeled in late on by the fast finishing Lagostovegas to be beaten a length off a mark of 97.
Dubawi Fifty backed that up with a cracking head second of 19 to Who Dares Wins in the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle off a revised rating of 100. He again looked the likely winner before being chinned in the dying strides.
The son of Dubawi got put up to 102 for that brave effort and failed to trouble the judge in four subsequent outings. However, that has resulted in the handicapper cutting him some slack.
Dubawi Fifty now returns to action off 97. That should enable him to be very competitive on the pick of his form, while another plus is that he has a good record fresh.
He is also versatile as regards ground. Dubawi Fifty has plenty going for him, then, and looks well worth a wager at the 12/1 on offer with William Hill.
In a race where a case can be made for plenty, the Sir Mark Prescott trained Land Of Oz looks a big each-way player under Luke Morris.
This four-year-old son of Derby winner Australia progressed at a rate of knots last season when going down the handicap route and winning six of his nine starts.
The last of those came in the Cesarewitch Trial over 2m 2f at Newmarket, where he ran on strongy to score comfortably by 1 1/4 lengths from Smarty Champion off a rating of 87.
Although now having ro race off 5lb higher, Land Of Oz showed his revised rating of 93 was not beyond hime when runner-up at Newcastle seven days ago.
That should have put him spot on for this and a bold bid to notch a seventh career success looks assured. He can be backed at 10/1 with Betfred who are paying five places.