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21st April 2024 8:51 pm

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

ROYAL ASCOT 2023 DAY 1

These Donors Are AMAZING Thank You

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

Loins girded, Titfer polished, socks found, and monocular hung, I am ready. I think I am on top of everything including the wretched ticketing system. Do they really think the Duchess of Fotheringay aged 80 knows whether her phone is Android or Google Pay or even on? Then the email advertising I swear has doubled! Please no more notes regarding my Health, Safety, Mental well-being, your perceptions of what I should be protected from and especially no more emails from well-meaning Tipsters who are keen to tell me that over the past eighteen Ascots, they have shown a £986.22 profit based on Stakes of £100 and I can join their service for £50 for a special trial of ten days. Also, I wish the conscience that sits on my shoulder would shut up. As I write, it tells me no more moaning about racecourse prices Kneesup, you’ve made your point, now move right down the bus, please.

All aboard, hold very tight, and don’t bet more than you would normally spend on Wagyu Beef Sandwiches and mouthwash from Chateau Lafite. After all – it’s Ascot Day 1. What could possibly go wrong?

Tuesday, June 20th

14:30 Queen Anne Stks (G1) (4yo+, C1, 1m, 12 run)

I thought you might be interested to see a typical trends worksheet and how I eliminate possible winners!

  • 2/59 – Females to win (Tepin (2016) & Goldikova (2010) INSPIRAL
  • 35/36 aged 4 or 5yo (except Lord Glitters 2019) POGO
  • 16/16 Minimum 13 DSLR
  • 13/14 British-trained winners rated 115+TRIPLE TIME – CASH – CHECKANDCHALLENGE – LUSAIL – ANGEL BLEU – BERKSHIRE SHADOW
  • 15/16 Top 6 LTO TRIPLE TIME – CHECKANDCHALLENGE – POGO
  • 15/16 1 or 2 runs since April 1st INSPIRAL – LIGHT INFANTRY – BERKSHIRE SHADOW – ANGEL BLEU – LUSAIL – TRIPLE TIME
  • 14/16 Top 4 in the betting
  • 14/16 previous D winner
  • 12/16 G1 winner
  • 14/20 last ran in Lockinge.

TRENDS: MODERN GAMES – NATIVE TRAIL – CHINDIT – MUTASAABEQ

With four G1 winners in the field and a focus on the top of the market, INSPIRAL fails the sex and recent racing trends and is very opposable. I did fancy CHINDIT but I’m frightened by his G1 figures of 95553462 and only slightly encouraged by his course figures of 15411. , I think NATIVE TRAIL’s price looks increasingly attractive and he has been talked up a bit by the trainer – and it didn’t sound like it was a marketing pitch for his future breeding value. His price has this morning contract 1½ pts to around 11/2. MODERN GAMES is the obvious shot and MUTASAABEQ must have a shout if – and it’s a big if – Jim Crowley thinks he needs to cover up more rather than charging off from the front as he did in The Lockinge.

NATIVE TRAIL 3 pts Win – MUTASAABEQ 1½ pts e/w

(4 places Bet365 – BetVictor)

  • Tricast: 7/9 – 7/9 – 4/8 = 8 x ¼pt Tricasts
  • Forecasts: 7 to beat 4-9-8 = 3 x ½ pt SFC: 9 to beat 4-8 = 2 x ½ pt SFC

15:05 Coventry Stks (G2) (2yo, C1, 6f, 22 run)

  • 16/16 Won LTO HAATEM – BUYIN BUYIN – THE CAMDEN COLT – TICKTYBOO – ALFA WHITEBURD
  • 16/16 Won a C4 minimum CHIEF MANKATO – PACKARD
  • 16/16 Ran in C4 min LTO
  • 14/16 Unbeaten over 6f  PRINCE XJ
  • 14/16 Top 2 in betting LTO ASADNA – GIVEMETHEBEATBOYS – POLITICO – ZOULOU CHIEF – WATCH MY TRACER
  • 14/16 1 or 2 career runs
  • 12/14 British-trained winners ran over 6f LTO EMPERORS SON – SPANISH PHOENIX – 

ASADNA top rated on Timeform, spreadeagled his field when making his 6f Ripon debut last month, under William Buick; and winning by a dozen lengths in a fast time. Buick is back. GIVEMETHEBEATBOYS produced an ordinary winning debut at Navan in a slow time, but then Jess Harrington must have found his on-off switch. He took a Curragh G3 next time out beating a decent field. The trainer expects him to improve and his price doesn’t reflect the quality of his Black-type form. The unbeaten Ballydoyle colt RIVER TIBER is too short for me albeit he looks like a horse prepared to roll up his sleeves in a fight. In some people’s eyes, he is the best bet of the week, but I just wonder if he doesn’t prefer cut. BOBSLEIGH makes the trends list and has a decent Timeform mark, but I did think he might head for The Windsor Castle. 

GIVEMETHEBEATBOYS  5 pts Win

6 places with Skybet and 5 with Bet365

  • 3-4-12-17 = 24 x ¼ pt Combination Tricast (CTC)
  • 12 to beat 17 or 3 or 4 = 3 x 1 pt Reverse Forecast (RFC)

15:40 King’s Stand Stks (G1) (3yo+, C1, 5f, 19 run)

My trends lead me towards three big-priced horses, BRADSELL  – MARSHMAN and CANNONBALL. I wished I’d taken the 33/1 on offer just ten days ago about MANACCAN who reunites with Frankie after his 1½l 3rd in the G3 Palace House Stakes on soft ground. John Ryan his trainer said afterwards: Manaccan handles soft ground but he is better on fast ground and this sort of ground tests your fitness first time out. He’s won 5 races in total; was a 1l 5th in the Palace of Holyroodhouse Stakes over C&D off 100; has two C&D win to his name including a Listed and his course form is 511. TWILIGHT CALLS had puzzled me this season until I read this comment from Henry Candy, his trainer, after his run in the Temple Stakes, where he travelled strongly, but finished ninth having found little off the bridle: “I’ve not lost any faith in Twilight at all. The ground was hopeless for him on his first run of the year at Newmarket, while the run-up to the Temple Stakes was a nightmare. I scoped him on the Monday before and it wasn’t great. I agreed with Chris Richardson of Cheveley Park that we’d scope him again on Thursday on the off chance it had improved and it was fine, but I didn’t dare do anything with him on the intervening Tuesday. Having had a moderate scope, it was probably a mistake to take a chance. When push came to shove, he didn’t have the necessary reserves and was a bit quiet for a few days after but was soon mad fresh. He should go there with a decent chance.”

BRADSELL won the Coventry last year and then got injured in The Phoenix Park at The Curragh. His return suggested he retained some ability, but his LTO third in The Sandy Lane was a disaster. If someone can find his mojo and get his head straight then he could be very good, but Archie Watson needs to start getting his charges to do the talking.  CANNONBALL could frighten COOLANGATTA if no moisture is detected and he gets an unimpeded passage. MARSHMAN is probably just shy of this level but makes the trends. Do not get confused between TWILIGHT CALLS and Twilight Gleaming/

TWILIGHT CALLS 2 pts e/w – BRADSELL 2 pts e/w

5 places Bet365 – 6 places Skybet

CANNONBALL – BRADSELL – MARSHMAN – TWILIGHT CALLS Dutching all 4 at current prices would yield around 4/1

16:20 St James’s Palace Stks (G1) (3yo, C1, 7f 213y, 9 run)

  • 16/16 had run that season
  • 16/16 – 45 DSLR
  • 16/16 Won as a 2yo
  • 16/16 3-8 career runs
  • 13/13 (with an OR) 109+ (11/13 rated 115+)
  • 15/16 Top 4 in a G1 (exception unraced above Listed level)
  • 14/16 Won minimum 1 of last 2 races
  • 11/16 favs have won (16/16 11/1 or less)
  • 9/15 Won LTO (4 of the 6 exceptions beaten in a European classic)
  • Since 2006, 6 of the 8 odds-on favourites have won.

From those trends, it is easy to see that you really don’t need to stray too far from the top of the market. Rather surprisingly on a strict interpretation we lose CICEROS GIFT the bargain-basement 32,000 Gns Muhaarar colt, who has won all three of his career starts. He’s rated 109 (too low), and he has no G1 top 4. More importantly, he is an unknown quantity on this hoof-rattling ground, his hat trick coming on GS or S. Fast ground is also an unknown for Andrew Balding’s dual Group 1 scorer, CHALDEAN who meets the trends; but the 2000 Guineas winner has at least won on good ground, and there is nothing to suggest he won’t handle it. I am slightly favouring the Irish Guineas winner PADDINGTON who several experts (and me) think is improving rapidly. The Gosden’s MOSTABASHIR has a similar profile to their previous winners, but no G1 experience and his OR just scrapes in, overall he fails the trends. The third horse to meet the trends is ISAAC SHELBY who some pundits have suggested, is shy of G1 ability. This I assume is based on his 2nd in the G1  Poule D´essai Des Poulains, run on very soft and which meant it was almost impossible to pick up for a finishing burst. He too might be improving, but it is certain that he s being backed – in 2 pts today. Both Guineas’ form is considered weak and yes there are improvers but I think I have mentioned the two most likely dangers.

PADDINGTON 4 pts Win

  • 1 and 8 = 1 pt RFC
  • 8 and 6 = 1 pt RFC

17:00 Ascot Stks (Heritage Hcap) (4yo+, C2, 2m 3f 210y, 20 run)

The trends do nothing for us here and besides, do we really need any to select BRING ON THE NIGHT? The Master of Closutton was very unlucky last year to have BOTN run into the current Gold Cup favourite Coltrane (who is now 19lb higher than when winning this last year), and I was reminded that so certain was his victory that he hit 1.33 in running on Betfair. The task, off level-weights, was an impossible ask, but this year I really can’t see a Coltrane and BOTN is only 4lbs  higher. He has been laid out for this and I really 9/4 r thereabouts is a fantastic price. As there is such confidence emanating from the connections I shall also double up with his stable companion in the lucky last.

BRING ON THE NIGHT 7 pts Win

with VAUBAN  (18:10 Copper Horse) 3 pts double

17:35 Wolferton Stks (Listed) (4yo+, C1, 1m 1f 212y, 16 run)

Having only been established for five years, we don’t have any real trends to go on. HM The King has Frankie on board SAGA, (please God he has a winner here), Joseph O’B has BUCKAROO who last ran a poor 4th in the Prix d’Ispahan , BOLSHOI BALLET for his dad, who comes back after 11 months off; CADILLAC who was 2nd on this last year; POKER FACE had a hat trick last year and was then 2nd in the G3 Earl of Sefton and a2nd in the G2 Huxley at Chester. All these and I probably haven’t even scratched the surface of possibilities, given that there s only 7lbs between top and bottom of the ORs. My eye is taken by Stoutey’s SOLID STONE who comes out of my ratings well following his seasonal debut in The Brig. Gerard LTO, which had him lead to 2f out as the pacemaker for Desert Crown – a task for which he seemed ideally unsuited. However, he rallied late and was not disgraced. He followed a similar prep last year before coming third in this race to Juan Elcano.  There is some value at around 12/1. Just 7lb separates top and bottom rated in this very open race and RAADOBARG is just 3lb shy of the top. He was less than a length behind subsequent Lockinge 2nd Chindit and in front of the Lockinge 6th Lusail when dropped in class LTO. On that form, his price is way too high.

SOLID STONE 3 pts e/w – RAADOBARG 1½ pts e/w

18:10 Copper Horse Hcap (4yo+, C2, 1m 6f 34y, 16 run)

Rich Ricci really fancies his brace and there is strong confidence from all concerned. However… how the reader’s heart must sink when that word appears…  VAUBAN is a very short price for a tricky handicap and yes, I know he won the Triumph Hurdle last year, but I think his entire flat career is all French and numbers four in total – that’s races not seasons! Had it not been for the going, I could have made a decent case for POSTILEO who was off for 19 months with whatever came back to win a small Hamilton race, from which 4 winners have emerged – suggesting the race was decent. His best work however has been done on ground with cut, still, your card is marked if it rains. I am always concerned when I see a David O’Meara brace making an attack on a valuable handicap – and I do think I can make a reasonable case for CHARGING THUNDER. He’s a summer horse and will love the ground, and if you just focus on June, July, and August, he is 11R – 5W – 1P with an A/E of 1.87%. On G/F ground he is 10R – 4W – oP and A/E of 1.41%. Joseph O’Brien’s POINT KING wouldn’t be a surprise and nor would the decent hurdler SCRIPTWRITER.

CHARGING THUNDER 2 pts e/w 5 places everywhere

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