The Wokingham (5.00) provides the annual Charge Of The Light Brigade on the concluding day of the Royal Festival, and it is essential to have two against the field in this helter skelter so we have selected two jewels in TIS MARVELLOUS and HEY JONESY. The ground is drying out all the time which will certainly suit both.
It could be argued that both are, in effect, Group horses running in a handicap, certainly different gravy to practically all their rivals. Tis Marvellous has "previous" in this cavalry charge which is the penultimate contest of an incredible weeks racing. Clive Cox's charge was fourth in this last year off just a 2 lbs. lower mark.
He has undoubtedly been laid out for this ever since, and was a real eye catcher in his first outing this season, a Listed race over this trip at Doncaster. There he finished fourth to Invincible Army with Major Jumbo and Equilateral filling the minor placings and all three that finished in front of him that day have since excelled at Group level, particularly Invincible Army and Major Jumbo who finished in the same order in the Duke Of York Stakes, a famous and highly competitive Group 2 event.
Tis Marvellous finished just three lengths behind Invincible Army who now boasts a 120 rating. He has run well twice since without winning which sees him drop 3 lbs., back on a very attractive mark here. Big race specialist Adam Kirby gets the leg up and the combination look nicely drawn in 13 with the pace middle to high.
Hey Jonesy is, if anything, even more of a Group horse, and indeed would not be out of place in the Diamond Jubilee earlier on the card. He campaigned at Pattern level as a three year old, and ran a cracker in the Commonwealth Cup - a Group One contest - when beaten just two lengths by Eqtidaar and runner up was subsequent Group One winner Sands Of Mali.
He also proved that he handles this track and can, if required, deal with soft ground too when third to Projection over course and distance on Champions Day. And bear in mind he was very slow leaving the stalls that day so had plenty to do. He has some sharp form this term too and was second at Chelmsford to Group horse Dream Of Dreams. That Sir Michael Stoute winner is the type of steady improver that that trainer excels with and he could be well worth a second glance in the Diamond Jubilee today.
Hey Jonesy backed that effort up when a close fifth to Invincible Army in the Duke Of York. And his stablemate Major Jumbo was third that day and was third for Kevin Ryan in this last year. Kevin Stott keeps the ride on Hey Jonesy who is dropped in class here and will most certainly be competing at a far higher level than this in the future, possibly later this season if he does the business today.
Of course as we would expect a bookie friendly contest like this is dripping with other prime contenders, and Gunmetal, Summerghand and Intisaab all came in for very serious consideration, but Tis Marvellous and Hey Jonesy are major players.
Royal Ascot 17:00
1/2 Point Each Way Tis Marvellous (20/1 Skybet 7 places)
1/2 Point Each Way Hey Jonesy (16/1 Coral 6 places)
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