Posts Tagged ‘Royal Ascot 2017’

Royal Ascot Preview 2017 – Day 1


230 – Queen Anne Stakes

An intriguing start to this year’s Royal Meeting and despite there being 16 runners going to post, it seems a fairly obvious race to focus on the front of the market. Ribchester heads the market at 5/6 following his Lockinge win but to my mind had an easy lead that day on much softer ground than he’ll encounter today. In 4 attempts he has never won on good ground or faster and he’s no odds on shot in my book. Because of his cramped odds it does create some good value behind him in the market. Mutakayyef is trading at 13/2 as I write this and is overpriced. Before a couple of globe trotting efforts, he has some very solid form and has ticks in every box today. The selection though has to be LIGHTENING SPEAR (NB) at 6/1. He will love the prevailing fast conditions, has solid form at the course including a 3rd in this race last year and looks laid out for a big run here.

305 – Coventry Stakes

This race is always about finding the untapped potential with no horse having raced more than 3 times. An open looking renewal this year with favourite Brother Bear heading the market at 9/2. He looks open to plenty of the improvement that is needed and can go well. The two to focus on here though in my book are De Bruyne Horse and DENAAR with slight preference for the latter. Richard Hannon’s De Bruyne Horse was an emphatic winner on his second start and improved again in winning the prestigious Woodcote at the Epsom Derby meeting – he sets the standard for them all to aim at. Also from the powerful Hannon stable though is DENAAR (IWAC) who appeals at the 8/1 on offer. After a debut win on the All Weather at Chelmsford he improved to win at Newbury last time and the hope is that his first try on faster ground will bring about significant improvement. Nobody rides Ascot better than Frankie Dettori and he is fancied to give him an opening day winner.

340 – King’s Stand Stakes

This looks a difficult race to get a good handle on to me with the front three in the market Lady Aurelia and Marsha as 3/1 Joint Favourites and Signs Of Blessing third in at 11/2. I would have slight preference for Lady Aurelia but all three seem about the right price. In search of some value, I think it is worth taking a couple at bigger prices. Muthmir seems overpriced at 14/1 – he is another who will love the ground conditions and despite being inconsistent he has the ability to outrun his odds. A chance though is taken with PRICELESS. Clive Cox’s 4 year old has plenty going for him and could be an improving horse. His 5f win in the Temple Stakes last time out on firm ground reads well for this test and at 12/1 is a sporting selection.

420 – St James’s Palace Stakes

The Day 1 feature in terms of status but a horrible betting race in the main market with Churchill at 4/6 and Barney Roy at 9/4. The chances are that one of them will win but this seems an obvious race to have a go in the without the front 2 market. This puts Thunder Snow in as 11/10 Favourite and he has to be taken on at those odds. He comes here via Meydan, Churchill Downs and the Curragh and those exertions may well catch up with him. Lancaster Bomber appeals at the available 9/2 – he often runs solid races without getting his head in front at the highest level and it is easy to see him doing the same here. Clear preference though is for RIVET, trading at 7/2 as we speak – I would have him favourite in the without the front two market in my book. He returns to a mile after an attempt in the French Derby to stretch his stamina. Coming back in trip along with much more suitable ground means he is of significant interest.

500 – Ascot Stakes

A much more open betting race with many of the top National Hunt yards represented. Alan King has two live contenders in Who Dares Wins and Oceane. At the prices, the latter would be of more interest. Beyond Conceit has the look of a horse who has been laid out for this. He ran some cracking races for Nicky Henderson over hurdles this year after three years off the track through injury including a 6th in the Supreme Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and a 2nd in the Sefton Novices Hurdle at Aintree.The fact that they persevered with this 8YO tells us something and at 15/2 he is not passed over lightly. The selection though has to be THOMAS HOBSON (NAP). Willie Mullins’ charge has been well found in the market but at the overnight 4/1 still appeals as some value to me – I can see him going off shorter than that especially with the assistance of Ryan Moore in the saddle. He is not obviously well handicapped but he was a decent horse for John Gosden on the level back in the day and has obviously been targeted at this – he is a confident selection.

535 – Windsor Castle Stakes

A trappy looking contest to finish Day 1. Declarationofpeace heads the market at 7/2 for the all conquering O’Brien / Moore combination. The Wesley Ward duo of Nootka Sound and Elizabeth Darcy are next in at 5/1 and 6/1 but your guess is as good as mine as to their ability or potential. The suggestion then is to look outside of the front three for some value. Another Batt appeals at the 12/1 on offer for the flying Silvestre De Sousa, but the selection is ROUSSEL. A winner of his sole start for Charlie Appleby, this expensive purchase has bags of potential improvement in him and can go well at rewarding odds.





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