GBI RACING

Andrew Balding upbeat on Royal chance for Count Octave

Andrew Balding, who believes Count Octave is his best chance of saddling a winner at Royal Ascot

Andrew Balding believes Queen Alexandra Stakes hope Count Octave represents his best chance of saddling a winner at Royal Ascot.

Runner-up in last year’s Queen’s Vase, Count Octave steps up to an extended two miles and five furlongs on Saturday after finishing fifth in the Group Two Yorkshire Cup on his most recent outing.

Balding, who claimed the Queen Alexandra in 2013 with Chiberta King, said: “Our best chance of the week would be Count Octave in the Queen Alexandra.

“He is a very handy horse that was second in the Queen’s Vase last year. If he stays, they have got him to beat.

“It is a £90,000 conditions race and he doesn’t get any penalties. It was a good run in the Yorkshire Cup and it was a good time figure.”

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