Good morning all,
Given I’m only posting Friday/Saturday these days, I thought I’d best give you a few views on some of the key races at Royal Ascot next week. With little rain in the forecasts at present, it looks like it’ll be pretty quick ground, which has rather scuppered my Gold Cup Trueshan bet! Such is life. Hopefully, not all these will bite the dust…
Queen Anne Stakes (Tuesday)
Palace Pier is rightly odds on for this, as his form is simply better than anything else in the race, but next four in betting are all Ballydoyle and they surely won’t all go. Century Dream isn’t really up to this level, so when looking for something each-way then Lord Glitters, with an excellent record at the track (and in this race) looks certain to line up. He’s not as ground dependant as a few of the others, and anything north of 25s looks worth a small each-way bet at this stage.
Duke Of Cambridge Stakes (Wednesday)
This looks quite open to me, and with the quick ground quite possibly against a few of the main contenders, there could be some value to be had.
Lady Bowthorpe has been made favourite off the back of her second to Palace Pier in the Lockinge, a seemingly improved effort, but if she’s a 5-2 chance then I can’t see how Lavender's Blue, only half a length behind her in in the Dahlia, is almost seven times the price. Yes, you can argue Lady Bowthorpe might be more progressive but she won’t mind quick ground, and this straight mile will play to her strengths. With extra places likely on the day, worth playing small now (at 14s) and then again at 10s and bigger come Wednesday.
Commonwealth Cup (Thursday)
I’m sticking with Supremacy here. I’m going to forgive his disappointing reappearance run at Sandown – he blew out first time as a 2yo too, before going on his unbeaten run – as he looked a very good horse last year and you’re getting 10-1 about a genuine G1 horse, having won the Middle Park last year. If the Wesley Ward Campanelle turns up, and gets her ground, she’ll be hard to beat, but Supremacy looks the each-way play against her. Yard, of course, looking for a repeat after Golden Horde’s win last year too.
Diamond Jubilee (Friday)
I’m taking Nahaarr to reverse York form with Starman here. He impressed in the second half of last season, winning easily at Newbury, may not have handled Goodwood (or found the race coming too quickly) but made no mistake in Ayr Gold Cup despite a win looking less than likely two out, as he was in all sorts of in-running bother. Takes a run or two to achieve peak fitness and with two runs this year under his belt, comes into this spot-on and had proven Ascot form having finished third in Silver Wokingham last year (travelled best but again, might not have been at peak fitness). This stiff 6f will be right up his street.
And in the handicaps…
His record in big-field (14 runners plus) handicaps now reads 1122, two excellent efforts in the Lincoln and then found a back-to-form and well handicapped Kynren just too good at York. Handicapper asks for a bit more but if he gets a favourable draw he must be on the premises. Fully proven over a straight mile and looks set for a good run.
Lampang was a useful 2yo and looked set for Group class (sent off evens for the Listed Rockingham on third start, disappointed on the soft ground) but never really progressed as expected. However, seemingly from nowhere, back to form under 10st at Hamilton last time, beating some decent sorts and finding plenty for pressure on the front end (the others that pressed it early fell away). Will need quick ground but that was a career best and it might be they have now found the key to him.
On to today, and the one I like runs tonight at Aintree, and that’s Glimpse Of Gold in the 7.25. This is a tougher grade than he normally races in, but you can’t knock his latest piece of form when fourth to Hurricane Ali at Uttoxeter, doing best of those that raced up with the pace. All the form lines involving that winner are working out really well (El Borracho, second at Uttox, a winner since, and Phoebus Lescribaa, who Hurricane Ali beat at Southwell was a winner next time out) so it looks very solid form. 12-1 and bigger looks well worth an each-way investment.
Good luck with all your bets today,