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Royal Ascot 2015 – Final Day

Royal Ascot 2015 – Final Day

It’s been fast ground all week at Ascot but there is a real threat of heavy rain coming on Saturday to upset the party.
This makes analysis very hard to do the day before. We could easily have a completely different surface being raced on tomorrow and that could also change the draw bias (which has seemingly favoured low numbers in most big hcaps on the straight course this week)
Thoughts are below but it’s impossible to give any recommended bets until knowing the exact conditions and I’ll be holding fire with most of my bets until as long as possible if the heavens look like opening (will add anything on Twitter during the day tomorrow)


2.30 Chesham Stakes (2yos – 7 fur)
7 furlong races for 2yos will have been very thin on the ground so far this season. Many of the runners have a ‘novicey’ look to them at this stage and will be types that improve with age and distance.
You would think a horse that bears the name of the famous stables would have to be decent and Ballydoyle is the early favourite. That has a lot to do with the Aidan O’Brien/Ryan Moore combination I’m sure. The actual form of his only start is not the best in the race but he is entitled to improve.
Tonkinese has the best form for me and should really be the favourite here. Also from Ireland, the form of his debut third has worked out very well and he has subsequently won over this trip on fast ground. If the rain does arrive it may not be such an issue as his sire Authorised is an influence for soft ground performers
Mark Johnston’s filly Dessertoflife is also worth a mention if the rains come as she has already won over this trip on soft ground. That win was only 6 days ago though so will this race come too soon?
Selection; Tonkinese (4/1 each way with firms offering 1/4 odds 123)

4.05 Wolferton Hcap (4yo+ – 1ml 2 fur)
Niceofyoutotellme is a few pounds well in here if the form of his excellent 3rd in a Sandown Group race is taken at face value. He won’t appreciate any rain that might fall though.
Mahsoob and Collaboration have been ahead of the handicapper so far this season and probably still on the upgrade. The former is 9lb higher for his latest win and hasn’t raced on anything softer than good yet. Collaboration has gone up 7lbs for his latest win and in contrast he seems more effective when the word ‘firm’ isn’t in the going description.
Mount Logan was well behind Collaboration at Epsom on his seasonal reappearance but was involved in a barging match with another runner at the back of the field. He will be a lot better for that run and I can see winning races of his mark of 100 this season. He’s another for whom a lot of rain might be a negative and this trip may just be a bit shy of his best.
I can’t really give a selection here without knowing exactly what ground they will race on

3.40 Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2 – 4yo+ – 1ml 4fur)
With only 7 runners this has now lost its appeal as an each way heat.
I don’t think there is much between Telescope, Eagle Top and Postponed if the ground remains Good or better. I certainly don’t think that Telescope should be around 5/4 while the other two sit around 7/2.
Sir Michael Stoute’s charge (impressive winner of this race last year) won very well last time at Newbury but his rivals there were not of the same class as he faces here.
Anyone who follows my blog religiously will know I like Postponed and I have backed him Ante Post for this race when it was still possible to get each way with 3 places. He’s been running over too short a trip this season and the ground hasn’t been quick enough for him. He’s back over the trip where he comfortably disposed of Snow Sky at York last season
Neither Telescope or Postponed will really want too much rain to be getting in the ground.
Eagle Top has two lengths to make up on Telescope from King George form last season but was very inexperienced then and could well bridge that gap now.
He was given considerate handling on his reappearance and although he has never raced on ground softer than good, both his sire and dam were effective on it.
He could well be the one to be on if the ground becomes softer than good
It’s hard to imagine Hillstar (hampered at a crucial stage in this race last year) being fit enough to win on his seasonal debut
Quite apart from the ground issue there is another problem with this race though – there is no obvious front runner. It could be a messy tactical affair and that would dissuade me more from getting any further involved in this race.
Selection; on Good ground or faster – Postponed but if the rain falls and there is some soft in the description it will be Eagle Top

4.20 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (Group 1 – 4yo+ – 6 fur)
Hard to know how good Australian raider Brazen Beau is who leads the betting (same applies to fellow Antipodean Wandjina). The Aussie hope in Tuesday’s King Stand only managed 13th despite being quite well fancied. I’d much rather rely on previous Ascot winner Mustajeeb but he’s a tiny bit skinny at around 5/1.
Tropics has been around a while and performed well at this level but he looked better than ever on his reappearance winning with a lot in hand despite the margin. A drop of rain will help him more than some of the others and he’ll be my main play if the forecast is right – hopefully 12/1 or more will still be available
I’ve been a fan of Music Master for a long time but he ran so badly at Haydock last time that I can’t support him here. ** since writing I’ve read a valid excuse for his last run – he was wearing a new bit and couldn’t breathe. 20/1 suddenly looks quite tempting!
Selection; Tropics (any rain increases his chances)

tropics

5.00 Wokingham Stakes (Hcap – 3yo+ – 6 fur)
Quite possibly this is the most difficult race to solve of the week. 28 runners and hard to dismiss anything totally – with only 12 lbs separating the field on official ratings.
A low draw has been favourable in big field handicaps on the straight course this week – if the rain holds off that has to be advantageous. If the rain does fall heavily who knows where the draw bias will be
I could write something equivalent of War and Peace if I summed up every horse here so will restrict to the three I have at the top of my shortlist:
Gamesome 12/1
Probably the most unexposed in the field, he got going late last time to dead heat for 5th at Newmarket. I think he has the potential to be a bit better than his mark of 100 as he gets more experience. Has a low draw which so far this week has been an advantage and he proably won’t mind a bit of rain
Dinkum Diamond 33/1
This 7yo has been a consistent type all of his life and seems to go on all surfaces. He dead heated for 5th with Gamesome at Newmarket and his mark is 1lb lower. The real standout is the jockey though with Edward Greatrex taking another 7lbs off his back. I’ve mentioned this boy before and he really is great value for his claim – a jockey going places. The claim effectively makes him bottom weight in this race with 8st 11lb on his back . He also has a low draw and I think he should be much less than the quotes of 25/1 -33/1 I have seen today
Robert le Diable 14/1
An interesting French raider who may be on the opposite side of the track in stall 20. He won’t be bothered by rain either and his mark of 104 is about 4-5lb below where I think it should be on his run behind Mecca’s Angel at Longchamp
I have backed all 3 of these each way already taking as many places as I can find offered. In such a race ¼ 12345 is a must have but take note of firms like Paddy Power who pay first 6


5.35 Queen Alexandra Stakes (4yo + 2ml 5fur)
The longest flat race in the calendar always attracts a few no hopers. There are 4 horses in the race with a hcap rating over 100 PLUS the totally unexposed Wicklow Brave from Ireland. His form is all National Hunt based but he looks highly useful when things go right for him.
Ryan Moore has an incredible strike rate riding for Willie Mullins and he may well prevail but at no more than 11/8 he is a very skinny price.
Times Up is getting quite old now and has stamina limitations beyond 2 miles. Oriental Fox hasn’t run for nearly a year so must have had some kind of setback.
We are left with Marzocco and Rawaki as the potential main rivals and I would normally be thinking of them as the each way horses to back. But with both it will be a complete stab in the dark to know if they will stay this trip and I’ll happily pass on this race

*Saturday Morning Update*

It was light drizzle at Ascot this morning but the ground had quickened a little since yesterday. With 6mm forecast before racing that really shouldnt make the ground much different from earlier this week. Hopefully what rain trhere is will just serve enough to keep the sting out of the ground so that it isn’t too firm.

This is good news for Postponed in the Hardwicke. I just hope the race isn’t too tactical and he isn’t forced into making the pace again as in his two starts this season. I do feel he is better coming from just off the pace in a strongly run race. A lack of pace will be just as much of a hinderance to him as it will the rest of the field though – this could all come down to jockeyship

Tonkinese shouldn’t mind the ground either way in the first and in the second race (after a bit more study) if I had to pick one ew at current odds it would probably be First Flight (value compared to Mahsoob on York running)

Tropics and Music Master remain bets in the Golden Jubilee with Hills paying 1/4 1234. Tropics wouldn’t have minded softer ground but hius record on Good to Firm is quite impressive. He saw too much daylight in this race last year and hope to see him pounce late on here.

Gamesome is being well backed in the Wokingham and the subject of Pricewise last night. He’s plenty short enough for such a competitive handicap but I’d really prefer to be on a low drawn horse now after what we have seen this week.

My one recommendation comes in that race with the previously mentioned Dinkum Diamond. It’s that 7lb claim that I really like and we know he is suited by this race as was 3rd in it on fast ground in 2013. He effectively carries a 4lb lower mark today and has shown no signs this season that he is on the downgrade.

I think he has a sound chance to hit the frame again from his low draw (Watchable in stall 1 likely to add some pace to that side as he did in Ayr Gold Cup)

Recommendation 0.75pts ew Dinkum Diamond – 28/1 (1/4 odds 12345 with 365, Sky, Tote/Betfred, BetVictor, Ladbrokes)

Good luck for the day and hope it’s been a successful week
Thanks for reading

Paul

 

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Royal Ascot 2015 – Day 2

Royal Ascot 2015 – Day 2

Quickening ground on Day 1 saw a few withdrawals – I suppose we could expect some watering tonight to try to take some sting out but wouldn’t anticipate too much change in conditions for Wednesday’s card:

A run down of the races now and two races with recommended bets:

2.30 Jersey Stakes – Group 3 (3yos only ) 7 fur
Both trainer Richard Hannon and jockey Richard Hughes have gone on record to say that Ivawood is their best chance of a winner this week. He does have the highest rating in the field but not once his 5lb penalty is applied. That honour then goes to Bossy Guest who was only half a length behind in the 2,000 Guineas.
The 7 furlong trip may well be in Ivawood’s favour but it doesn’t account for such a big price disparity. The Hannon horse may well win but having to give weight all round he makes no appeal at all at odds around 13/8.
I’m far more liking Bossy Guest at their respective prices – and also the filly Fadhayyil who looked a non-stayer in the final furlong of the 1,000 Guineas, and is the sort I can see progressing through the season.
I’ll probably be searching around for small ew bets on both of them at 10/1 or more.

3.05 Queen Mary Stakes – Group 2 (2yo fillies) 5 fur
Kurland looked quite a nice filly earlier this season at Newmarket but I have to wonder if she has had a setback as she hasn’t been seen since.
Besharah is unbeaten and disputing favouritism but I didn’t find her last win that impressive when she was a very short odd-on favourite.
Much the most impressive filly I have seen this season is Easton Angel and I’m already involved with this one Ante Post. She missed the break last time in a good race at Beverley but still won comfortably in a good time from Opal Tiara (who came out best of the stands side runners in todays Windsor Castle). A low draw of 1 in such a big field may not be a negative as that was needed in today’s Windsor Castle – and she has the very speedy Silk Bow drawn next door to give her a tow into the race. If she were from a fashionable Southern stable I would expect her to be much shorter – but Northern trainer Michael Dods already has a top flight sprinter in Meccas Angel on his cv.
The potential fly in the ointment is US raider Acapulco. Trainer Wesley Ward’s comments over the weekend make her sound a bit like Pegasus and it’s that hype (plus the booking of Ryan Moore) that has seen her price drop massively in the last few days. If she is good as is claimed they may all be playing for second place – but her form on the track is meaningless for actual analysis. (Ward’s runner in the Windsor Castle today blitzed the field for speed early before fading close home)
The other Wesley Ward runner, Bruised Orange has had a big drift on her price on exchanges today and is not being talked up in the same way by her trainer
Recommendation
2pts ew Easton Angel 6/1 (Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook….both firms offering ¼ odds 1234)

easton angel

( I wouldn’t put anyone off having a win only saver on Acapulco in case the hype is accurate)

3.40 Duke of Cambridge Stakes – Group 2 (4yo+ fillies and mares) 1 mile
Integral is a short priced favourite to replicate her win in this race last year but she is another who has a 5lb penalty to overcome (something she didn’t have last year). That makes her price of around 11/10 too short for me.
Rizeena is held by the fav on Newmarket form last year but she has never operated well on that course and could get closer this time.
It’s Euro Charline I would give the nod to though. She was a progressive filly last season and ran well in Dubai on her reappearance. Proven at Group 1 level, I struggle to see her out of the frame at this Group 2 level and so has each way appeal at around 5/1 with those bookies offering the one quarter odds a place concession. Like the favourite she has competed well against the colts in her time and she comes out best of these when official ratings are adjusted against penalties
Recommendation
1.5pts ew Euro Charline 6/1 (Paddy Power)

eurocharline

*Weds morning update*

A Non Runner in this race (Evita Peron) leaves 7 runners and so the favourable each way terms paying 1st 3 no longer apply. This has taken the shine of this bet a little and a small win only may be the better option now

4.20 Prince of Wales’s Stakes – Group 1 (4yo +) 1ml 2 fur
A real international flavour to this race with runners from Australia (Criterion) and Japan (Spielberg) mixing it with the European contingent. Sadly US hope California Chrome had to be withdrawn from the race.
It’s hard to judge the form of the two long distance raiders and that only adds to the trickiness of this as a betting heat.
Free Eagle and Ectot both have the potential to do more than they have so far delivered on the track. Free Eagle remains very lightly raced for a 4yo while Ectot’s propensity to pull too hard is a negative. Western Hymn is the form horse so far this season but the better ground gives Cannock Chase every chance to reverse form earlier this year at Sandown.
The Grey Gatsby is the one with solid Group 1 form at this trip and normally would be the one to find any weaknesses in the others. However he seems a better horse with Ryan Moore on board and is deserted by him for this that’s a concern for me
A big puzzle to solve and one I am happy to sit out and watch.
(if I were pushed to pick one it would be Cannock Chase with the ground back in his favour)

5.00 Royal Hunt Cup (handicap) 1 mile
A seemingly impossible 30 runner handicap to solve.
I could make a shortlist of a dozen and probably still miss the winner. At the front of the betting, Ayaar, Spark Plug and GM Hopkins are all closely matched on form this season but all have risen slightly in the weights since. Chil the Kite would have a definite squeak if he could recapture the form of his second in the race last year. He would be the selection for ‘an interest’ only with each way betting at around 20/1 (look for firms offering 5 places or even 6…it’s going to be needed in a race like this!)

5.35 Sandringham Hcap (3yo fillies only) 1 mile
The card ends with another tricky handicap for fillies only. It’s not much easier than the previous race.
At the top of the handicap, Osaila and Jellicle Ball are down in grade after being fancied failures in the 1,000 Guineas.
Always Smile has gone up 11lb in the ratings after maintaining her unbeaten record at Doncaster last time out. I’m not sure she did enough there to merit a very short price of around 3/1 for a race like this.
I slightly prefer Godolphin’s other runner Risen Sun and Karl Burke’s Mothers Finest at double figure odds – but again it’s not a race to get heavily involved with.

*Wednesday morning update*

Harry Herbert seemend very keen on Osaila on C4 this morning and although she is top weight she does have the class to be a factor. She didn’t look too happy before the race in the 1,000 Guineas so if we can ignore that poor run she will have every chance. Her Newmarket defeat of New Providence in April has been boosted by the runner up since – and she has winning form on this course.

Thanks for reading – comments are always welcomed

best of luck

Paul

(prices correct at 1755 BST 16/06)

*RESULTS*

A decent day today though it would have been an excellent one without a certain American beast!

Easton Angel was up against a 2yo that looked more like a 4yo in Acapulco but was comfortably ahead of the opposition. She proved she is Group 1 standard anyway and will get her recompense later in the season I am sure.

Euro Charline was withdrawn at the start so no money was lost there.

Recommended bets therefore were stakes of 7pts and a return of 8pts (1pt profit)

Elsewhere highlighted horse Osaila won the last. Bossy Guest, Fadhayyil and Chil the Kite all reached the frame

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2015 in Queen Mary, Royal Ascot

 

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Royal Ascot 2015 – Day 1

Royal Ascot 2015 – Day 1

A very good opening card kicks off Royal Ascot 2015 on Tuesday.
Apologies but having been away for a few days this is a very brief summation of my thoughts for Day 1. I will try to go more in-depth for the rest of the week.


2.30 This could be the race of the week with 4 of the 8 runners all having a serious chance. I’d be more inclined to be lay Able Friend of the 4. A combination of travelling over from Hong Kong and this being a completely different kind of track to what he’s used to are factors against him. French ace Solow doesn’t have those concerns but the ground is likely to be quicker than he has been used to. The home team of Night of Thunder and Toormore are closely matched on Newbury form. I came away thinking that Toormore could reverse form from that next time but as the ground is a bit faster it might be in Night of Thunder’s favour now.
It all adds up to no bet but if pushed I would suggest Night of Thunder each way (Paddy Power giving money back on win part if finishing 2nd or 3rd)


3.05 Another no bet race is the Coventry Stakes. Round Two has been compared favourable to previous winner/ Guineas winner Dawn Approach by his trainer. It’s impossible to assess the US challenger Finnegan but Wesley Ward 2yos are sometimes physically ahead of their counterparts here. Air Force Blue should improve for his debut and can’t be ignored. From a price perspective, marginal choice would be Buratino at 9/1 (especially if ¼ 1234 were available at that). He didn’t beat much last time at Epsom and the time wasn’t great but he looked much improved.


3.40 Mecca’s Angel would be hard to beat on soft ground but on this surface I could see here being taken out and Rule 4s hitting the rest. Sole Power should have his conditions to suit but at 8 isn’t getting any younger. I opposed him last year to no avail. I won’t be doing the same this time but won’t be betting him either. Shamal Wind represents Australia and is impossible to assess. It’s surprising to see G Force running here instead of the 6 furlong race on Saturday but I can see him hitting the frame and has some appeal with firms offering 4 places each way at odds in excess of 10/1


4.20 Least competitive race of the day and I struggle to see beyond double 2,000 Guineas winner Gleneagles – as long as he’s over his exertions from his last win. Not a bet at odds on though


5.00 Ray Ward got hopelessly hampered in this race last year and would have gone close to winning otherwise. He was given a warm up over a totally inadequate trip last time which should tee him up nicely for this. The odds have got skimpy though after some initial quotes of 12/1 to 14/1 at the 5 day decs. He is top of my shortlist along with Broxbourne who has a very similar profile to Nicky Henderson’s recent winner of this race, Veiled.


5.35 The one betting recommendation race of the day. Soapy Aitken missed the break and ran very green last time but was still far too good for the useful Silver Wings. I think he would have been very competitive in the better class Norfolk Stakes on Thursday so this race should theoretically be easier pickings. I would be stronger on him again but for the large number of runners and a possibly poor draw. On the other side of the track I’m backing my bet up with Opal Tiara who I think was beaten by a real good ‘un in Easton Angel at Beverley last time ( time better than Lathom on the same card). Take the winner out and she would have beaten a decent field by 4 lengths and I’m hopeful she can show that formline to be strong
Backing with firms who offer 4 places here the recommendation is :
1.5 pts ew Soapy Aitken @6/1 (Paddy Power, Skybet, Betfair Sportsbook)
0.75pts ew Opal Tiara @20/1 (Paddy Power, Ladbrokes)

Best of luck all with whatever you back

Paul

RESULTS FROM TODAY:

Although not a recommended bet Buratino’s chances were highlighted so hopefully a few followed that one in.

In the last, Soapy Aitken held every chance before finishing 4th to pick up place money. Opal Tiara won her own private race on the stands side of the track but the draw was all against her

Recommended stakes 4.5 pts, returns 3.75pts

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2015 in Royal Ascot, Wesley Ward

 

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