Rain a bonus for Castle Harbour
Castle Harbour will look to make it three wins on the trot today when he races in the group three Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The Bermudian-owned thoroughbred has enjoyed a scintillating start to his career, winning the Alex Scott Maiden Stakes at Newmarket in April before storming to victory in the Conundrum HR Consulting Stakes at York last month.
Castle Harbour has been favourably drawn in stall nine of the 21-runner field. The seven-furlong race starts at 10.30am Bermuda time, with Frankie Dettori, the three-times champion jockey, once again in the saddle.
Harry Herbert, the racing manager of Highclere — the racing syndicate in Berkshire that oversees the Bermuda Thoroughbred Racing operation — believes the “softish conditions” that are expected should suit Castle Harbour.
“All races at Royal Ascot are incredibly competitive, but talking to our handicapper, Rolf Johnson, he reckons that this is the strongest and most competitive Jersey in memory,” Herbert said.
“Having said that, we know that in Castle Harbour we have a horse who is a group performer in the making and who is improving all the time.
“For him, the recent rains are all a bonus, as he will love the softish ground conditions forecast.”
Castle Harbour, a 9-2 favourite but 11-2 in places, will face some talented opposition, including Ribchester, who won last year's Mill Reef Stakes, a group two race at Newbury and who is contesting second favouritism with Hugo Palmer's Gifted Master (8-1) and Sir Michael Stoute's Thikriyaat (9-1) after opening at 10-1.
Another interesting runner is Remarkable, a stablemate of Castle Harbour's in the Gosden yard with different connections, for whom more value can be found at twice the price at 10-1.
“It's incredibly exciting for Bermuda Thoroughbred Racing to have their first runner at the royal meeting and especially one who, despite his inexperience, has every chance of being competitive and giving everyone a big shout,” Herbert said.
Castle Harbour, who is trained by John Gosden, is part of BTR's second syndicate, the Pink Sands account, along with Sir George Somers.
The other horses owned by BTR are Johnny Barnes, Horseshoe Bay, Great Sound and Paradise Lakes.