Menuisier looks for maiden Royal Ascot winner
Pulborough trainer David Menuisier targets a first Royal Ascot winner this afternoon when he saddles Bellocio in the £160,000 Group Two King Edward VII Stakes over 12 furlongs at 3.05pm.
Menuisier is one of the brightest prospects in the training ranks and has enjoyed big-race success in recent years with former flagbearer Thundering Blue and dual Group One heroine Wonderful Tonight, the latter captured the Qatar Prix de Royallieu and Qipco British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes last term.
As for Bellocio, he provided the Sussex trainer with more pattern race glory when capturing Listed honours at Toulouse at the back-end of last season.
A son of Belardo, Bellocio was bought for €62,000 and returned to action when a creditable fifth in the Classic Trial at Sandown in April. The three-year-old then ran in the Dante, a recognised Derby trial at York last month and was outpaced to finish a well-beaten eighth.
However, he was slowly into stride there and could never land a blow. The King Edward VII Stakes look a sensible race to target and he is a currently a 20/1 chance for the 12-furlong event.
There is more Sussex representation in the same race as the 10/3 second favourite The Mediterranean is ridden by Sussex born rider Ryan Moore for Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien. The three-year-old has a marvellous pedigree and backed up a smart maiden win with a good second in Listed company at Leopardstown. Connections decided to bypass the Derby in favour of this race and he looks to have leading claims of landing this event.
Over at Goodwood, Menuisier could be celebrating a notable double as he saddles the improving Flyin’ Solo who is currently the Evens favourite for the feature on the card, the Goodwood Supports Canine Partners Handicap at 7.20PM. The four-year-old was successful at Wolves in December and finished fourth and third on his first two runs this term.
However, the son of Roderic O’Connor improved markedly to take out a competitive Newbury handicap in April over 10 furlongs in good style. Raised 4lb for that event, he was an easy winner at York on his latest start when stepped up to 12 furlongs, quickening up in fine style to score. He has now been raised a whopping 9lb to a mark of 88, but there looks to be more improvement and he has to be high on the shortlist in this event.