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Royal Ascot Day 1 previews

Jump in for all the action on day one at Royal Ascot, have gone the summary route rather than runner-by-runner with several big fields lined up!



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Royal Ascot Notes Day 1

Queen Anne
I’ve never rated Rhododendron that highly but it didn’t stop her winning the G1 Lockinge last start, but she only fell in. Had the benefit of a lead-up run so you could imagine she has less upside than some of her rivals. Have to take her on as favourite.

Benbatl was impressive in Dubai but back to a mile here and Saeed Bin Suroor hasn’t won a British G1 since 2013. Not a Frankel year but even still, from a stable with bottomless cash reserves...

The French raider Recoletos arrives in top form but is he up to the standard of Goldikova or Solow? He may not need to be.

The most recent recipient of the “Looked like a superstar, now it’s just an oddball owner making excuses” trophy is Limato. Couldn’t have him over a mile down a 45deg slope.

Paul Kealy made a good case for Accidental Agent EW last week at a preview night but the one I fancy is the American visitor Yoshida. This isn’t a deep renewal and the 4yo mightn’t even need to be as good as Tepin to prevail.

1pt ew Yoshida 16/1

Coventry Stakes
The no.1 target for the gun early juveniles but what seemed to be one way traffic for Sergei Prokofiev has turned into a duel against Gosden’s highly impressive Calyx.

Does the Coolmore colt need the six furlongs? He appeared more of a grinder than a rapid acceleration colt at his last start, and while ‘the lads’ are desperate to see the Scat Daddy sireline continue with one of their own, is he worth the short price?

Calyx only made his debut just over a week ago. The turn-of-foot was eye catching but initial thoughts were Royal Ascot was too soon, and the stable had Legends of War at the top of the market, who has bypassed the meeting. So is he the deputy or the new star of the stable?

Those two dominate the market so you could lay them both at a combined price around Evens. Or take a closer look at Cosmic Law, mighty impressive at Epsom, or Indigo Balance, who was impressive on debut in Ireland, and is from the same stable as Brother Bear, favourite for this race last year who raced erratically and threw the race away.

1pt lay Sergei Prokofiev and Calyx - no worse than a combined price of evens.

King's Stand
Two stand a long way clear of the field on class here - Battaash and Lady Aurelia. Representing the locals, Battash is a flying machine who can get worked up in the pre-race warm-up, his race can be over by the time he enters the gates. The US raider is two from two at Royal Ascot, winning this race as a 3yo filly in devastating form last year.

Maybe Mabs Cross for the minor placing.

1pt win Lady Aurelia 7/4

St James' Palace Stakes
A betting contest of real mystique with a favourite everyone wants to take on, an Irish Classic winner at 25/1, an English Classic runner-up at 50/1, the favourite for the French Guineas and the overnight favourite for the English Guineas who drifted markedly on the day.

So which is the strongest? Apparently no winner of this race has never run in a G1 race before (h/t @FrankHickey81), so that makes it tough for Without Parole, who has a serious boom on him, but looked to make hard work on winning last time at Sandown. Yet RacingUK's James Willoughby has a very high rap for the son of Frankel.

Romanised looked very promising this time last year and it didn't quite turn out. That is until a month ago at The Curragh when he shocked the Coolmore and Godolphin stables with a powerful finish. He'd be much shorter in the betting if his trainer was deemed to be 'of higher calibre' than Ken Condon. Ratings say that win was no fluke.

Tip Two Win ran second to Elarqam in the G3 Tattersalls at the end of last season before heading to Qatar chasing decent prizemoney over the winter. That form was dismissed in the 2000 Guineas, yet he ran second at 50/1. Change his trainer and he starts favourite here. Right in this.

Aidan O'Brien brings two colts with bruised reputations in US Navy Flag and Gustav Klimt. A win for either wouldn't be a complete shock, but I'd rather back a 3yo on the rise than one with a bubble that is slowly deflating.

French raider Wootton wears the Godolphin blue and was undefeated until a close-up fourth in the messily-run French 2000 Guineas. Connections are supposedly worried about the firmness of the ground but not convinced it's critical to his chances.  

Prepared to back two here against the vulnerable favourite.

1pt win Tip Two Win
1pt win Romanised, both around 5/1


Ascot Stakes
No interest


Wolferton Stakes
Many chances here but will take a small interest in Kidmenever, the Charlie Appleby-trained runner who finished fourth in this race last year when it was a handicap, and then travelled to Australia and Dubai. More than capable of matching these at a decent price.

0.5pt EW Kidmenever


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