Royal Ascot Previews
After being repeatedly asked (badgered) by various folk to give my Royal Ascot thoughts (even though I am on holiday), I have given in and will cover each days racing, one contest at a time.
I will have a selection per race, but at the end of each day’s racing you will see my tip or tips for the day – expecting anyone to find the winner of every race is too much I am sorry to say – but I will still claim every (any) winner, whether I tip them or not!
The pre-amble can remain on the page at the top (as it is now) – I will simply change the days and the selections as below.
One last thing – if you could please bet with a BOG bookmaker (Best Odds Guaranteed) – prices will change one way or the other and that appears to be the best way to make the most profit (or smallest loss) – good luck…
Baeed is the best horse in the World officially, and if he loses his unbeaten record here the bookmakers will be partying for months. He will be sent off at a prohibitive price and is not one I can suggest you bet on, but on the other hand, I cannot see any way he gets beaten either. I won’t be betting but if you do fancy an each way bet to very small stakes, or a forecast, then the Aiden O’Brien trained Order Of Australia looks the value at 20/1. Second favourite Real World was beaten three and a quarter lengths by the jolly at Newbury in the Lockinge Stakes, yet the Irish raider was a length and a quarter behind him at Longchamp when giving him 4lb, and that for me suggests he could be the one to follow him home.
Seventeen declared at the 48 hour stage, and with 14 of them a winner last time out, and seven of them unbeaten, this is like trying to solve a Rubik’s cube wearing Boxing gloves. The Aidan O’Brien juveniles have been on fire all season, and the early betting suggests Blackbeard is the best of his pair, but he made all to win last time out and if the same tactics are tired, I get the feeling something may pick him off late on. Persian Force has quickened up in the style of a decent horse in both his races but 3/1 looks skinny enough to me, and I will take a chance on Royal Scotsman for the Cole’s. They have made no secret of the fact that nothing at home can get him off the bridle, and after a five-length Goodwood romp on his second start, he looks solid each-way value, though as I write someone else has taken all the early 10/1 I am sorry to say.
It would be nice of the home team could win the Kings Stand Stakes over the five-furlongs, especially if that was with the Queen’s King’s Lynn in this special year, but I write form assessments not fairy tales and it looks to be between Wes Ward’s Golden Pal for America, and Chris Waller’s Nature Strip from Australia. Sadly, the rest of the World hold all the aces when it comes to the top sprinters (and you can add Hong Kong to that list even if they don’t have a runner here), and I am happy to come down on the side of the seven-year-old gelding. Yes we do have to assume he has travelled well, eaten up, and adjusted to his new surroundings, but his form when winning the T J Smith Stakes last time is as good as it get (even if it was on heavy ground), though interestingly he has never raced on anything faster than good and connections may well be hoping we have a spot of rain.
Another odds-on shot trained in Newmarket here as 2000 Guineas winner Coroebus returns to the track over the mile of the St James’s Palace Stakes. I was on runner-up Native Trail at Newmarket so he is no friend of mine, but he won at Newmarket readily enough and the form has been well and truly franked by the runner-up winning the Irish 2000 Guineas by close to two lengths. Once again I doubt I back him at short odds, especially when you note that Maljoom arrives unbeaten after three starts (in lesser company), and My Prospero has won both starts this season, but I can’t oppose him either and will be surprised if anything here is good enough to turn him over.
Why we have a race on the Flat over two and a half miles that invariably goes to a trainer better known for their exploits at the winter game is beyond my little brain – but we do, and this has gone to Willie Mullins three times in the last seven runnings – and four in the last 10. He has Bring On The Night entered here with Ryan Moore booked which must send alarm bells ringing at bookmakers up and down the Country, yet surely Pied Piper has his measure? Rated 5lb his superior over hurdles he only has to give him 2lb here which suggests he has the better chance, and I suspect he has a lot more to come as a four-year-old.
At the risk of joining the Paul and Oliver Cole fan club, I do think there is a lot to like about the chances here of Majestic Dawn, the highest rated runner here according to the ratings and a very easy winner at Goodwood over this trip last time out. Connections must have been sorely tempted to move him up to Group class after that win but have sensibly kept him to Listed level and although no good thing in a field this size, that sensible approach may well reap some decent rewards. Each way seems the sensible play at his current odds and if he remains at the same level he will hopefully prove hard to keep out of the frame.
6.10pm Just the third running of this contest so precious little in the way of stats to work with, though John Gosden won this last year with 33/1 shot Amtiyaz and is represented by Stowell this season. He kept on well to finish fourth to Al Aasy over shorter in Listed class last time out, and the return to handicap company ought to see him go close here with Frankie Dettori in the saddle. Cleveland has clearly had some issues and this will be just his sixth start at the age of four, but he stays not only this mile and three-quarters but considerably further after being produced over two and a quarter miles by Ryan Moore to win the Chester Cup by a neck. Only put up 5lb for that which seems more than fair, you would have to think Ryan suggested this race as his next assignment and if that is correct, he can be produced fast and late again granted a clear run with every chance he has plenty of improvement to come