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24th July 2024 10:59 am

“A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries."

2024 Royal Ascot – Day Three (Thurs 20th June)

These Donors Are AMAZING Thank You

Just in: CJM… Bunter… Ken… Thank you. They join: William S – MEJi – Peter N – Nigel B – Ken C – Mark S – James D – William M – Fiona M – Julian A – Jonathan H – Mrs V.M – Pete BN – Gavin C – Thom S – Sarah C – Mark S – Sam H – James R

Norfolk Stakes (G2) – 2:30 pm

My first shortlist was cut to two with the final decs, ARIZONA BLAZE – WHISTLEJACKET and I think both are good for a podium. I just can’t see Wes Ward going home empty-handed, and SATURDAY FLIRT has been bought by Mrs Fitri Hay since winning on her debut at Keeneland over 5½f in April. She won by a 1¼l and Wes said:

“She kind of sat back when they kicked the gate Irad (Ortiz) said and she came out slow and Irad had been on her for six and seven workouts before. He said had he not sat on her so many times, he may not have ridden the same race. He just sat back, bided his time, eased her out and she swooshed home. I’m going to take the blinkers off her to make it a little easier on the rider and am probably going to try and come from a little bit off the pace and let her finish the last part.”

Her stable has won this twice, including with another filly, Shang Shang Shang, six years ago.

ARIZONA BLAZE – SATURDAY FLIRT 3 pts e/w both. The pair to be beaten by WHISTLEJACKET 2 x 1½ pt SFC by way of insurance


21/21 – Had at least 1 previous run All OK
19/21 – Previous winners over 5f No 1-9-22-23-24-31
19/21 – Had never raced at Ascot before No 10
18/21 – Had a Racing Post Rating (RPR) 105+ No the rest bar 3-9-14-28

That leaves us with ARIZONA BLAZE – FRANCISCO’S PEACEMIDNIGHT STRIKE – WHISTLEJACKET
16/21 – Won their previous race No to MIDNIGHT STRIKE
14/21 – Foaled in March or April No to WHISTLEJACKET – FRANCISCO’S PLACE
12/21 – Favourites placed
11/21 – Returned 6/1 or shorter in the betting
8/21 – Returned a double-figure (or triple) price
3/21 – Winning favourites
3/21 – Ran at Windsor last time out
2/21 – Trained by Wesley Ward
2/21 – Ridden by Ryan Moore

Aidan O’Brien has trained 2 of the last 89 winners (WHISTLEJACKET)
Richard Fahey has won 2 of the last 3 runnings (LOOM and MOVING FORCE)
11 of the last 18 winners came from stalls 7-12 (inc)

I think the winner comes from the short-list of four and I think ARIZONA BLAZE looks a credible e/w shot for Amo Racing.

King George V Stakes (Handicap) – 3:05 pm

Astonishingly, all four on my shortlist arrive here [draw – price]: FOURONEOHFEVER [13 11/1], FRENCH DUKE [12 9/1], PONIROS [14 8/1], and CITY BURGLAR [2 22/1]. Given the trend towards high draws and low prices, I might drop CITY BURGLAR and focus on the remaining three. PONIROS is owned by Amo Racing and was apparently struck into at Windsor on his seasonal debut. The third has won since. He made his handicap debut at Newbury in the London Gold Cup (10f Good) and moved into contention with less than half a mile to run. While he couldn’t match the winner King’s Gambit (he runs in the Hampton Court Stakes), David Egan’s mount finished a good second. the fourth has gone on since to take a decent Epsom handicap. He’s got 4lbs more, but I think he’ll handle it. Ralph Becket highlighted this race in the press as his target some time ago and said he would go for the Melrose after that.

PONIROS and FRENCH DUKE 4 pts e/w both – FOURONEOHFEVER 3 pts e/w 


Roger Varian’s FRENCH DUKE [12/1] ran well at Newbury LTO, albeit keen in the first sections. 3l up turning for home, but then got nabbed two out. He came back at the winner and showed intention through the final furlong, going down by a short-head to the useful Hosaamm. 88 as an OR looks very manageable.

20/21 – Never raced at Ascot before No 9-34
19/21 – Had at least 2 previous runs that same season No 4-10-14-19-23-25-27-
19/21 – Had between 2 and 4 previous runs that season
19/21 – Placed last time out (Top 3) No 5-6-11-18-20-22-26-33-35
17/21 – Carried 8-13 or less No 1-2-3-7-8
14/21 – Had won over at least 1m2f previously No 16-30-31-32
12/21 – Returned 9/1 or bigger in the betting
11/21 – Favourites placed
11/21 – Won their previous race
6/21 – Won by trainers Sir Michael Stoute (2) or the Johnston camp (4)
4/21 – Ran at Haydock last time out
4/21 – Winning favourites (2 joint)
3/21 – Godolphin-owned (Charlie Appleby has trained 2 of the last 9)

11 of the last 18 winners came between stalls 10-20 (inc)
8 of the last 18 winners came between stalls 10-16 (inc)

From the trends list, my eye is drawn by FOURONEOHFEVER ridden by Superstar-in-waiting Billy Loughnane, FRENCH DUKE with William Buick in the plate, PONIROS and CITY BURGLAR both for Ralph Beckett.

Ribblesdale Stakes (G2) – 3:45 pm

The other thing one notices with this five-day work, compared to the decs is often how widely the market price can change. I would have to put my preferences now in  the following order: Name: Draw – Price

KALPANA: 6 – 7/1… PORT FAIRY: 8 – 8/1… DANIELLE: 1 – 11/1… SIYOLA: 13 – 14/1… LAVA STREAM: 7 – 25/1

My head says the favourite DIAMOND RAIN should win this, despite not being on-trend, as it were. Indeed she has a rare Capital P on Timeform and she and KALPANA are some three pounds better than the others on ratings. I do have an attraction to LAVA STREAM and Bet365 is offering 25/1 for four places. She has been improving consistently and this season took a Goodwood Listed over a further 2f – and still looked good for another 2f. Her pedigree says this is within her compass, her trainer believes this is her level, she is an improver, and four places at 4/1 seems a decent punt.

KALPANA 4 pts Win – DIAMOND RAIN to beat KALPANA 1 SFC – LAVA STREAM 4 pts e/w at 25/1 with Bet365 for 4 places

 


18/21 – Had never raced at Ascot before NO 3-14
17/21 – Had at least 2 previous races that season No 6-10
16/21 – Placed in their previous race N0 1-4-7-12-15-16-18-19
15/21 – Had won over 1m2f or further before No 8

The trends gives me a short list of 7. Given the next stat that indicates the winners are quite well regarded in market terms, one would have to consider Balding’s KALPANA.  After that DANIELLE for the Gosdens, and LAVA STREAM e/w. Otherwise, PORT FAIRY – SIYOLA – GALILEO DAME – JE ZOUS

The rest of the trends are
14/21 – Returned 5/1 or shorter in the betting
14/21 – Placed favourites
11/21 – Had exactly 2 previous runs that season
8/21 – Won their last race
8/21 – Irish-trained winners (7 of last 12)
5/21 – Winning favourites
4/21 – Trained by Aidan O’Brien (4 of last 10)
4/21 – Trained by John Gosden (5 wins in total)
4/21 – Ridden by Ryan Moore
3/21 – Trained by Saeed Bin Suroor (5 in total)
3/21 – Won by a Godolphin-owned horse

Just two winners from stall 1 in the last 18 runnings
9 of the last 18 winners came between stalls 3-6 (inc)

Gold Cup (G1) – 4:25pm

I see no reason to change… my short list is sound, and I will suggest some Tricasts to keep your attention throughout the 20f!

SWEET WILLIAM 3 pts e/w

8 x 1 pt Tricasts: 3-8-6;  3-8-5;  8-3-6;  8-3-5; 6-3-8;  6-8-3;  25-3-8;  25-8-3


20/22 – Had no more than 2 previous runs that season No 2-4-5-11
20/22 – Aged 6 or younger No 1-8
19/22 – Had between 1-2 previous runs that season
17/22 – Had won over at least 2 miles on the flat before No 10-12

At this point we’re left with four: VAUBAN – TRAWLERMAN – KYPRIOS – SWEET WILLIAM

17/22 – Won their last race No 7-9

That leaves us with KYPRIOS and SWEET WILLIAM

KYPRIOS is already the 4/5 odds-on favourite and I suggest you use him NOW in some ante-post doubles and trebles. He is also 11/10 on Betfair – which will not be bettered, I think. Otherwise the value lies with SWEET WILLIAM currently a BP of 16/1 with Coral, Bet Victor and Ladbrokes

The rest of the trends are:

14/22 – Previous Group 1 winners
12/22 – Won by the favourite
11/22 – Aged 4 years old (9 of the last 12)
9/22 – Irish-trained winners
8/22 – Won by trainer Aidan O’Brien
5/22 – Ran at Sandown last time out (Henry II Stakes)
3/22 – Ridden by Ryan Moore (3 of the last 11)

15 of the last 18 winners returned 7/1 or shorter in the betting
11 of the last 18 winners returned 7/2 or shorter in the betting
10 of the last 18 winners came from stalls 1-5 (inc) (6 of the last 7 winners came from stalls 7 or lower)
Godolphin won the race in 1996, 1998, 2000, 2004 & 2012
Aidan O’Brien has trained the winner in 2022, 2016, 2014, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006
John Gosden has trained the winner in 2018, 2019 and 2020
Since 1949 there have been 15 multiple winners of the race

Britannia Stakes (Heritage Handicap) – 5.05 pm

Firstly, I see MONKEY ISLAND from Brian Meehan’s yard is running here – and as we backed him LTO at Newbury, where he won handsomely at 80/1, I think it would be churlish to turn our back on him – especially as Brian has already had a Sangster Manton winner on Day One. As regards the trends, I have stripped the list down to a more manageable five (Name: Draw – Price): QIRAT: 19 – 10/1 VOLTERRA: 3 – 12/1 SKUKUZA: 24 – 14/1 MICKLEY: 15 – 16/1 MISSION TO MOON: 33 – 18/1. Given the 14/18 drawn double-digit stat, we’ll lose VOLTERRA, which is a shame, as he is top-rated on Timeform and has a small improving “p”! I think we should also be worried about QIRAT who is likely to go off Favourite and in the last 21 years more than half the favourites raced unplaced with only four winning. The winner is in that list… exotics all round perhaps?

MONKEY ISLAND 3 pts e/w – MISSION TO MOON 5 pts e/w

20 x ¼pt Boxed Exacta Nos:  17-19-23-24-29


19/21 – Had no more than 3 previous runs that season No 10-12-14-16-16-17-21-36-38-41-46-48-49
17/21 – Had won a race over 7f or 1m before No 37-44-47-18-22-28-24-7
17/21 – Placed last time out No 5-6-8-9-35-40-42-45-52
14/21 – Failed to win their previous race
14/21 – Carried 8-13 or less No Anything above 21
13/21 – Had never run at Ascot before No 4-33

That leaves me with a shortlist of 14. That list includes NATIVE WARRIOR – QIRAT – VOLTERRA – SKUKUZA – MICKLEY – LIVEANDLETLIVE – LOCAL HERO’

The rest of the trends are:
13/21 – Returned a double-figure price
11/21 – Unplaced favourites
8/21 – Had exactly 2 previous runs that season
8/21 – Had only won over 7f previously
4/21 – Ridden by Jamie Spencer
4/21 – Winning favourites
3/21 – Ran at Haydock last time out
3/21 – Ridden by Ryan Moore

Just one top three finish horse from stall 1 in the last 18 runnings
14 of the last 18 winners came from a double-figure stall (2 of the last 4 winners from stall 19)

Hampton Court Stakes (G3) – 5:40 pm

KINGS GAMBIT demolished a field of noteworthy 3yo’s in the London Gold Cup Handicap at Newbury LTO and is patently better than a handicapper. The son of Saxon Warrior raced prominently before taking over the final furlong. The pick-up was instant and startling,m and he won by a cosy 4l , with the 4th going on to win a decent Spesom handicap on Derby Day. He got an extra stone for his troubles and is unbeaten over the trip. A 125,000gns purchase, he has only raced four times – only at Newbury and only on good and soft ground. Racing right-handed on good to firm ground will, on the other hand, be a total unknown. I also fancy PORTLAND for AOB and RM. AOB has won this twice, and had three placed from 12 runners.

Dutch PORTLAND – KINGS GAMBIT for 9 pts


KINGS GAMBIT???

20/21 – Had not raced at Ascot before No 1-23
18/21 – Had at least 2 previous runs that season No 16-19-22
18/21 – Returned 8/1 or shorter in the betting

Of the very long list left – only the following selections might meet the above stat KINGS GAMBIT – FIRST LOOK – BRACKEN’S LAUGH – JAYAREBE – BELLUM JUSTUM – CAMBRIDGE – CAVIAR HEIGHTS

The rest of the trends are:

14/21 – Had either 2 or 3 previous runs that season
12/21 – Finished 1st or 2nd last time out
12/21 – Had won over 1m2f before
9/21 – Unplaced favourites
7/21 – Winning favourites
5/21 – Ran at Epsom last time out
4/21 – Won by trainer Aidan O’Brien
4/21 – Ridden by Ryan Moore
3/21 – Won by trainer Sir Michael Stoute

No winner from stall 1 in the last 18 runnings
14 of the last 18 winners came from stalls 5 or higher
11 of the last 17 winners came from stall 5-9 (inc)

Buckingham Palace Stakes (Handicap) – 6:15 pm

Surely, SUMMERGHAND couldn’t win this, yet there he is, meeting all the very skimpy trends and handling the ground and nine pounds in hand for his last winning mark. A podium is possible, but his Ascot form is a bit skimpy 8R – 0W – 3P. On the other hand, FRESH is 14R – 3W – 4P, has 10lbs in hand of his last winning mark,  and has Hayley Turner to steer, plus has a very positive Timeform mark. However, the two I’m going for are KOY KOY and BILLYJOH. The latter was unfortunate in his LTO run at Haydock, where he flew home on the stands rail – but was on the wrong side. KOY KOY hated Epsom LTO and the race before was just one long traffic jam. Before that he was  in Meydan and did not take the environment. I think he’ll improve for being back on an uncomplicated course and with a first-time tongue tie.

KOY KOY 3 pts e/w – BILLYJOH 2 pts e/w


Too little to evaluate at this stage.

9/9 – Returned 12/1 or bigger in the betting
9/9 – Unplaced favourites
8/9 – Had run in the last 6 weeks
8/9 – Had won over at least 6f before
7/9 – Had run at Ascot before
7/9 – Carried 9-4 or less in weight
7/9 – Rated between 92-98
7/9 – Drawn in a double-figure stall
6/9 – Had 5+ wins before
4/9 – Bred in Ireland
4/9 – Aged 5 or 6 years-old
3/9 – Ridden by Neil Callan
2/9 – Trained by Richard Hannon (2 of the last 4)
2/9 – Came from stall 29
2/9 – Ran at Ascot last time out
0/9 – Winning favourites

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