Royal Ascot

Norfolk Stakes: Timeform's expert verdict

Horse racing at Royal Ascot
The action continues at Royal Ascot

"...looked potentially out of the top drawer..."

Timeform on Elite Status

Timeform bring you their runner-by-runner guide and 1-2-3 verdict for the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot on Thursday.

Norfolk Stakes
14:30 Royal Ascot, Thursday
Live on ITV

1. American Rascal (Wesley Ward/ Joel Rosario)
Boasts a cracking pedigree (dam Lady Aurelia won the Queen Mary and the Prix Morny as a two-year-old) and he was fully clued up when making a most taking debut in a four-and-a-half-furlong maiden at Keeneland in April, storming ten and a quarter lengths clear. A tongue tie is added to the blinkers and he's a major player.

2. Baheer (Richard Hannon/ Pat Dobbs)
Mehmas gelding who showed signs of inexperience but made a promising debut when runner-up to 150/1 shot Zoulu Chief in a six-furlong maiden at Newbury last month. A significant step forward required is required here, though.

3. Devious (Donnacha O'Brien/ Gavin Ryan)
Starspangledbanner colt who looked a good prospect when taking a five-furlong maiden at Naas on debut early last month, quickening to lead over a furlong out and just needing to be kept up to his work. Should have more to offer.

4. Elite Status (Karl Burke/ Clifford Lee)
Sales prices increased markedly from foal to yearling stage and he justified short odds in the mud at Doncaster on debut. Took his record to two from two in devastating fashion in the listed National Stakes at Sandown on good to firm ground four weeks ago and looks sure to take all the beating.

5. Hala Emaraaty (Alice Haynes/ Tom Marquand)
Overcame inexperience to make a winning debut in a six-runner maiden on heavy ground at Ripon and proved just as effective on a sounder surface when defying a penalty at Redcar. Finished seventh in the Windsor Castle on Wednesday.

6. His Majesty (Aidan O'Brien/ Ryan Moore)
Got the hang of things late to land a five-furlong listed race on soft ground at the Curragh on debut and shaped similarly when a neck third to Givemethebeatboys in the Marble Hill Stakes over six furlongs there last time. Back down to the minimum trip here and Aidan O'Brien's sole representative is capable of better still.

7. Malc (Richard Fahey/ Oisin Orr)
Calyx colt who cost plenty and justified support first time up in a five-furlong novice at Carlisle last month, leading a furlong out and well on top at the finish. Will need to take a big jump forward but yard have taken the last couple of renewals with outsiders.

8. Mon Na Slieve (Kevin Ryan/ Tom Eaves)
Exceed And Excel colt who clearly caught the eye at the Breeze-Ups based on 190,000 guineas purchase price, and he knew exactly what was required when making a winning debut in a five-furlong novice at York just over five weeks ago. Will improve.

9. Noche Magica (Paddy Twomey/ Billy Lee)
Looked potentially smart when making a winning start in a five-furlong maiden on heavy ground at Cork in April and was only denied on the nod after cruising to the front a furlong out in the Marble Hill Stakes over six furlongs at the Curragh last month. Worth his place in this.

10. No Nay Mets (George Weaver/ Frankie Dettori)
By No Nay Never (sire won this in 2013) and he made a winning debut in a non-graded event over five furlongs at Gulfstream just under six weeks ago, making all and drawing clear in the straight. Sure to be popular with the services of Frankie Dettori enlisted and he will progress.

11. Reveiller (Archie Watson/ Hollie Doyle)
Soldier's Call colt who became the sixth from his stable to make a winning debut when landing a five-furlong Salisbury novice last month, largely knowing his job for all there were hints of greenness when pressure was first applied. Big step forward needed.

12. Shayekh (Alice Haynes/ Kieran O'Neill)
Was first past the post but subsequently demoted on debut and he didn't look entirely straightforward again when second at Wetherby next time. Was out of his depth in the listed National Stakes at Sandown four weeks ago so it's easy to look elsewhere. Cheekpieces applied.

13. The Fixer (Francis-Henri Graffard/ Mickael Barzalona)
Useful performer who bolted up on his second start at Saint-Cloud in April and, having had an excuse next time, got back to winning ways in a five-furlong listed race at Chantilly earlier this month, travelling strongly up with the pace in first-time cheekpieces. Will need to progress again.

14. Thunder Blue (Dominic Ffrench Davis/ Kevin Stott)
Blue Point colt who confirmed the significant promise of his debut when scoring in fine style in a six-furlong novice at Goodwood 11 days ago, clocking a sharp timefigure in the process. Open to further improvement.

15. Toca Madera (Brian Meehan/ Sean Levey)
Confirmed debut promise when scoring decisively in a five-and-a-half-furlong novice at Bath 13 days ago, despite not necessarily doing things in an efficient manner. Remains with potential but unlikely he will be good enough to feature in this company.

16. Valiant Force (Adrian Murray/ Rossa Ryan)
Made an encouraging start to his career when runner-up to His Majesty on debut but wasn't quite in the same form when fifth behind Givemethebeatboys in the Marble Hill Stakes over six furlongs at the Curragh last month. Others look stronger and Kevin Stott prefers Thunder Blue.

Recommended bets

Timeform's Analyst Verdict

Elite Status looked potentially out of the top drawer when bolting up in the National Stakes at Sandown and, with further progress surely in the pipeline, Karl Burke's colt is fancied to remain unbeaten. Wesley Ward has won this race twice in the last decade and his American Rascal looks an obvious danger having scored by double-digits at Keeneland on debut. Noche Magica and His Majesty met last month and are another couple to look out for.

1. Elite Status
2. American Rascal
3. Noche Magica


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