Some brief thoughts for the first day of Royal Ascot.
Being more into jump racing than the flat this doesn’t compare to Cheltenham and Aintree for me but with competitive odds and enhanced place terms abounding it’s not one to ignore..
2.30 Queen Anne Stakes
I don’t really get all the Animal Kingdom hype yet and was looking forward to taking him on with Farrh in this race until injury claimed that one’s chances.
I much prefer proven European turf form to anything achieved in the US or Dubai and there is one proven Group 1 perfomer from that sphere opposing him here in Elusive Kate.
She mixed it with the likes of Frankel and Excelebration last year and that’s far more than Animal Kingdom or any of the others (largely Group 3 performers at best) can throw into the mix here.
Lack of a run this season is a slight concern but she did perform perfectly well last season first time up and has to be the selection at current odds
1.5pts ew Elusive Kate @7/1 (Paddy Power – who also seem to refund win bet if the fav wins! – check terms and conditions with them for this)
3.05 Kings Stand Stakes
Once the sprinting jewel of the Ascot meeting but somewhat over shadowed by Saturday’s Diamond Jubilee race in recent years. This year it looks to be the superior event this time round.
Shea Shea is favourite – again based largely on Dubai form so I again struggle to see the value in him being so short..
Haydock’s Temple Stakes is the key event for me and marginal preference given to Reckless Abandon, who you would expect to come on plenty for that reappearance run and won at this meeting last year. He appeared to get involved in a speed battle early there with Spirit Quartz and feel both could do better than they showed there (though the latter could just struggle to last home as well again). Current prices don’t get me excited enough to go wading in though and if I did the firms that pay ¼ 1234 would be of more interest
3.45 St James Palace Stakes
All the protagonists have a little to prove here. Dawn Approach and Toronado both disappointed last time, while Magician has had an injury scare. All of which making it a race toi watch rather than bet in for me
4.25 Coventry Stakes
Feel the Woodcote Stakes at Epsom could be the key race here. Thunder Strike won that and looked a solid professional of a horse (not too worried he appears not to be Hannon first string – that didn’t work out last year for the stable ). The second, Riverboat Springs was the real eyecatcher though, failing to act on the track but finishing to such effect that in another 50 yards he may well have won going away. Can see both running well but go for William Buick’s mount to exact some revenge and hopefully to see him bag his second victory of the day!
I wouldn’t be surprised to see that Aidan O’Brien’s perceived 3rd string War Command comes out best of his but the recommendation is
0.5 pts ew Riverboat Springs 10/1 or better (1/4 odds 123)
5.0 Ascot Stakes
Lady Cecil’s Tiger Cliff would be a hugely popular winner here and he certainly doesn’t appaar that badly in with the trip being the main question mark. 11/2 is perfectly acceptable bearing that in mind, but I was also taken by the early booking of exceptionally good 5lb claimer William Twiston-Davies for Big Easy for Philip Hobbs. That’s more of an intuitive pick as all of his form is from jumps and it’s impossible to tell if his flat rating is well in or not– but he wouldn’t be the first to win this from a similar background
1pt ew Tiger Cliff 11/2
0.5 pts ew Big Easy 12/1
5.35 Windsor Castle Stakes
Hannon’s Anticipated the one to beat and 11/2 is again easily takeable. I suspect high draw could be an advantage here and will throw in Kevin Ryan’s Sleeper King as some longer priced value as well
1pt ew Anticipated 11/2
0.5 pts ew Sleeper King 16/1
(most firms offering ¼ odds 3 places here but some do offer 4 places!)
Take note that Betvictor are also offering a concession this week to refund losses to a certain amount if Richard Hughes gets in the frame in any race – check their terms again.
I may not be able to post daily for this meeting except on Twitter @Senor_Moodoir but for later in week early fancies are:
Queen Mary – Wednesday
1.5 pts ew Rizeena @8/1 Bet 365 (1/4 odds 1234 – highly generous place terms as well as being overpriced for me anyway)
Gold Cup – Thursday
1pt ew Saddlers Rock @ 8/1
Diamond Jubilee – Saturday
1pt ew Gordon Lord Byron @8/1
Thanks for reading and good luck with whatever you back