Royal Ascot Day One
As we all wait on the runs of Ortensia tonight and the best sprinter in the world in Black Caviar later in the week, our team at www.ChampionProfits.com have put together a Royal Ascot Day one preview.
All race times listed are local UK time.
2.30 Queen Anne Stakes 1m
Frankel will win, as he has more than 12lbs in hand over his rivals. He has met the second favourite Excelebration, a useful performer himself, on four separate occasions and has come out on top with something to spare each time. If you want a fun e.w. bet in the race, course specialist Side Glancecould make the frame.
3.05 King’s Stand Stakes 5f
Prohibit won last year and must have a chance of following up. He runs his best races fresh and hasn’t been seen since his fourth at Meydan in February. Bated Breath is favourite following his win in the Group 2 Temple Stakes at Haydock but he is a much better horse on quicker ground. Any further rain will reduce his chances. Ortensia, the Aussie mare won a Group 1 sprint at Meydan and has excellent credentials for this. My concern for her is the ground but she may just run her rivals off their feet. Wizz Kid is trained in France and is a very fast filly. She won a Group 2 at Chantilly over 5 furlongs and was second in a Group 2 over 6 furlongs at Ascot last October. Any further rain will aid her cause. Sole Power, from Ireland is the most consistent of sprinters but is better on decent ground. He has run twice at Ascot before, both times poorly but he has finished second in the L’Abbaye at Longchamp and to Ortensia at Meydan. Little Bridge comes over from Sha Tin but has not won a Group 1 and may be better over 6 furlongs. Masamah is a course and distance winner of a handicap who will prefer better ground. He is however a 5 furlong specialist and he did win a Group 2 at Goodwood last year. Secret Asset is a likeable handicapper who was third at Kranji in May. He was second in the L’Abbaye last year but it is a leap of faith to see a seven year old win his first Group 1. Tangerine Trees finished last in this race last year on his only visit to Ascot. He won the L’Abbaye at Longchamp last October and his stable are in top form. Margot Didwill be ridden by Hayley Turner and has been three times placed at Ascot. Won the Group 1 Nunthorpe last season and would have a great e.w. chance but for one big negative, the stable form, only one winner in the last forty runners.
3.45 St James’s Palace Stakes 1m
Power won the Irish 1000 guineas beating Foxtrot Romeo Born To Sea, Hermival and Wrote. He should beat those again as long as the ground doesn’t deteriorate too much. Hermival had finished in front of Power in the English guineas and the French colt will need to improve from Ireland to frank that form. Born To Sea is another who finished in front of Power at Newmarket and may need a step up in trip. Foxtrot Romeo won a Hamilton maiden and then ran a cracker to finish second to Power in Ireland but was easily brushed aside and will do well to reverse placings. Lucayan was a shock winner of the French guineas and would be a surprise winner. Dragon Pulse is interesting in that he ran Power to half a length as a two year old when trained in Ireland. Now in France, he had been impressive at Longchamp in April before disappointing behind Lucayan. If that run can be forgiven, he would have an e.w. chance. Cogito won a listed race and will need to step up again but is unbeaten. Gabrial bolted up in a handicap at Haydock but needs to improve hugely to figure but is open to improvement for his shrewd trainer. John Gosden runs three, The Nile, Fencing and Gregorian. Stable jockey Buick rides The Nile who has the most potential but he looks a little temperamental. Dettori takes the ride on Fencing and his third to Bonfire in the Dante over 12 furlongs is solid form. He is now dropped back to a mile. The other horse Gregorian, interests me and is the mount of Ryan Moore. He ran poorly in the French Derby but lost his chance when running wide on the bend. He had finished 5th in the French guineas when only just touched off and at a decent price that gives him a solid e.w. chance here.
4.25 Coventry Stakes 6f
Dawn Approach is Irish trained with 3 runs and 3 wins but not sure what he has beaten to justify such a short price and Richard Hannon should know where he stands as regards form as his Mister Marc was second to the colt. Cristoforo Colombo a winner of his only start in a Navan maiden but the form has not been franked although very dangerous to dismiss a horse from this stable. Sir Prancealot is for me the one to beat after his amazing win in the National Stakes at Sandown over 5 furlongs when he showed a great turn off foot after being boxed in twice. Had won his first start easily over this trip at Bath and stable confidence is high. Funk Soul Brother made an eye catching debut at York when winning a competitive maiden following trouble at the start and is a big price here. I wouldn’t be surprised if he outruns his odds although stable jockey switches to Englishman. Artigiano was third behind Funk Soul Brother at York and franked the form with a facile success at Leicester and should run his race. Englishman is the horse that Michael Hills switches to and the once raced winner who hacked up on soft ground at Newbury in April could be anything. The race has thrown up a number of winners but concern for me is why hasn’t he run since? Lines Of Battle is a once raced winner of Curragh maiden that has thrown up winners and this may be the best of the Irish challengers. Olympic Gloryhas had one run, one win and is a stablemate of Sir Prancealot. His Goodwood success was this month and he is sure to improve but needs to although this top stable wouldn’t be running unless they thought he was useful.
5.00 Ascot Stakes 2m 4f
A real tough handicap where stamina is paramount and this race is often won by a jumps trainer with a dual purpose horse as a lot of the runners have been plying their trade over hurdles during the Winter. Veiled won this last year and bids for a repeat off a 7lb higher mark and that may find him out. Irish challenger Simenon is a very interesting challenger for Willie Mullins but his stamina is not guaranteed. Elyaadi, another Irish challenger finished second in this two years ago but is not getting any younger and Al Khawaneej is looking for a fourth consecutive victory but has shot up in the weights. He does look an out and out stayer though. The Pipe stable love a winner here and target this race and run Fiulin and Ashbrittle who have both been in form over hurdles. Preference would be for Ashbrittle but he is not huge value. One very interesting runner is Monterey who looks likely to be suited by a stamina test and is completely unexposed.
5.35 Windsor Castle Stakes 5f
Twenty three runner sprint over 5 furlongs and a nightmare to solve. The two joint favourites, Lyric Ace and Pay Freeze both have solid enough form and preference would be for Pay Freeze but backing 4/1 favourites in this type of race is the quickest way to the poor house. One horse at a decent price who has posted decent speed figures is a stable companion of Pay Freeze, Bungleinthejungle who has won his last two races at smaller courses, but quite impressively. Selections 2.30 WIN FRANKEL 1/6 EW SIDE GLANCE 50/1 3.05 EW PROHIBIT 16/1 3.45 EW GREGORIAN 16/1 4.25 WIN SIR PRANCEALOT 4/1 EW FUNK SOUL BROTHER 16/1 5.00 EW MONTEREY 14/1 5.35 EW BUNGLEINTHEJUNGLE 14/1