Despite the watering on Wednesday night , the ground remained fairly quick today and we can expect similar on Friday’s card
The meeting is being dominated by jockey Ryan Moore so far with an unprecedented 8 wins after only 3 days. This does mean that his mounts are becoming shorter odds than they should theoretically be – and therefore bad value. On the plus side that can increase the odds on the others!
Onto Friday’s races:
2.30 Albany Stakes (Group 3 – 2yo fillies – 6 furlongs)
A relatively new race at the meeting but it’s already looking better than a Group 3. The Queen Mary is for the speedier fillies and this race is for those who look more like 1,000 Guineas types for next season.
Wesley Ward has two runners from the US – Back at The Ranch and Laxfield Road and once again its impossible to know the form of either (the latter won her only start by 11 lengths!) The Ward stable have had most success with their speedsters at this meeting however and over 6 furlongs there has been less success.
Illuminate seems to be really liked by the Hannon team but the markets are fully aware of that reputation with a price hovering just above 3/1
It’s a tricky race but I think French raider, Spanish Romance may be the one that’s a little overpriced. Eoghan O’Neill used to train in the UK with great success (Vital Equine 2nd in the 2,000 Guineas) and I doubt he would be sending this one across the Channel unless he thought she was up to the grade. She’s unbeaten in France over 5 furlongs on softish ground – but her pedigree suggests that 6 furlongs and better ground should be all the better for her
A small ew bet probably for me if 10/1 is available
(Betfred/Tote offering 1/4 1234 on this race so far while all others pay just 1st 3)
3.05 King Edward VII Stakes (Group 2 – 3yo colts & geldings – 1ml 4fur)
Stravagante was an easy winner of a good handicap on Derby Day and is the early fav here. You would think Ryan Moore had the choice to ride him again though and is on Aidan O’Brien’s Ol’Man River instead. This one has been very disappointing so far this season but the stable and jockey are in such good form this week that anything is possible with him.
Festive Fare was backed to beat subsequent Derby winner Golden Horn at Newmarket. Not surprisingly he came up short but he won’t meet anything of the same calibre here. Balios looked a very promising type on his reappearance at HQ also
I’m struggling to choose between these 4 and that’s a definite sign not to get involved in this race!
3.40 Commonwealth Cup (Group 1 – 3yos – 6 furlongs)
A new race to the Royal meeting that’s effectively a 3yo spring championship. The chief protagonists – Limato, Tiggy Wiggy and Hootenanny – were all fantastic 2yos who are out to prove that they have continued their progress into their 3yo season.
Hootenanny definitely had a physical advantage over his rivals when he won last year’s Windsor Castle and I expect that to be negated a lot more this year.
Tiggy Wiggy has been campaigned at longer trips so far this season. The drop back to 6 furlongs has to be a plus.
Limato is a small horse and there is a chance that others can progress past him this season. He looked so good last season and I still he is the one to beat on the form of his reappearance win at this track. He was subsequently beaten at Haydock by Adaay (who reopposes) but the ground was too soft today. Such is his action that fast ground will probably always be necessary for him and he’s got it here.
Of the bigger prices, Home of the Brave should be suited by a drop in trip – though whether he will have his own way in front is questionable. French raider Goken isn’t that far off these on 2yo form and ran well from a bad draw against his elders in last season’s Prix de l’Abbaye. 5 furlongs may just suit him better but 33/1 is a little insulting to his chance.
The recommendation is Limato with conditions back in his favour. With some firm offering ¼ odds 1234, he’s the one I really struggle to see him finishing out of the frame.
2pts ew Limato 11/2 (ladbrokes paying 1/4 1234)
5/1 with 1/4 1234 is also acceptable with several other firms – do not use firms offering 1/4 123 though as this makes a considerable difference to the value
Current prices and place terms available here http://www.oddschecker.com/horse-racing/2015-06-19-ascot/15:40/winner
4.20 Coronation Stakes (Group 1 – 3yo fillies – 1 mile)
At the head of the market, I rate Found and Ervedya ahead of Lucida. The problem is fast ground for both of these two and it’s what dissuades me from looking at the race much further. If Found copes with the ground, she is the most likely winner in my eyes though but expect her price to be short with the Ryan Moore/O’Brien factor
Arabian Queen won very nicely at Epsom when finding plenty in front and could reach the frame if any of the principals falter on the surface.
Those behind Sperry and Yasmeen at York didn’t do much to advertise the form in the Sandringham Hcap on Wednesday
5.00 Duke of Edinburgh Stakes Hcap (3yo + 1ml 4fur)
A difficult handicap where most of the runners are exposed enough. Igider is one that certainly doesn’t fit that statement. He didn’t beat much last time and has been raised 9lbs but won with such authority that he could still be well in – some of his 3yo form is looking quite decent now.
There is a big outsider though I will take a punt on. Peter Hedger is more of a jumping trainer but his Continuum is very effective on the flat, will be much sharper for his seasonal debut and has won off his current mark of 96. That was over slightly further so I’m hoping there is some decent pace in this to let his stamina come into play. He’s closely matched with Dashing Star on a couple of pieces of form last season (including when beaten 6 lengths in this race), but with Tom Marquand’s 5lb claim tomorrow he is arguably handicapped to come out slightly ahead. Despite this he is available at nearly 3 times the price and simply too big.
1pt ew Igider @8/1 (Betfair Sportsbook/Paddy Power both paying 1/4 odds 12345)
0.5pts ew Continuum @40/1 (365,Skybet, Stan James, Ladbrokes – all paying 1/4 odds 1234)
5.35 Queens Vase (3yo – 2 miles)
3yos don’t get the chance to race at this trip until today so stamina is an unknown for all. Aloft has the highest rating in the field and is a short priced fav – especially as he has yet to race this season (pedigree on dam’s side doesn’t scream of stamina either)
Fabricate is a nicely progressive type running for The Queen. Stamina isn’t guaranteed on the sire’s side but his dam was second in the Oaks so there is some encouragement there. He still looked a bit immature when winning his last start at Haydock but is well worth this step up on grade.
The one that interest me most though is the second highest rated in the field, Great Glen, whose pedigree has stamina on both sides. He hasn’t won a race as yet but has been racing against some better sorts than he meets here and was only a whisker behind Aloft on his debut last season.
With the stamina issue all round it’s another race for small investments though but he’s worth a small dabble at anything 10/1 or above
Best of luck once more and thanks for reading
(prices correct at time of publishing 1815 BST 18/06)