ROYAL ASCOT Tuesday
Brief summaries of each race rather than full detail.
R1 - 14.30 Queen Anne Stakes
Baaeed just wins. This is the closest thing we've seen to Frankel since he destroyed his rivals in this race a decade ago. He'll sit just behind them and go whooshka with a couple of furlongs to go. Hard track will suit him just fine, won the QEII Stakes here on Champions Day and resumed a month ago in the Lockinge, beating his main rivals today in the process. Will only be fitter for that. Getting smashed in the betting already as punters target the favs acca on day one.
For place money, don't discount the old boy Accidental Agent. He won this race back in 2018 (at 33/1), and recorded his best RPR since that day in the Victoria Cup handicap, carrying topweight here over 7f. Currently 14/1 w/o Baaeed. Throw in Chindit and Lights On if playing the tris.
R2 - 15.05 Coventry Stakes
A cracking contest for the juveniles. Favourites have been known to dominate in the past with the odd exception (Nando Parrado 150/1, 2020), however this year's edition doesn't appear to have a clear market leader.
Two colts head the betting, Blackbeard and Persian Force, who are undefeated in five races between them. But the toughest part of unlocking this race is projecting the further improvement each runner has on top of what we've seen so far.
Age Of Kings had a minor setback (reported to be off his feed) before winning impressively five days later at the Curragh. His figures are pretty similar to Blackbeard, but Ryan Moore, who has ridden both colts, went for the pirate. Regally bred by Kingman out of a very handy filly Turret Rocks, will be in the mix.
Bradsell is a wildcard here. By first-season sire Tasleet, he destroyed a Novice field at York by 9L with a debut RPR better than any of these. Those with more runs have edged slightly ahead but you'd imagine there's more to come. Archie Watson is a great trainer of 2yos, though he's trying to widen that reputation as goes further into his career. Has changed his hands since his debut win, I dare say for a lot more than the £47k he cost at the breeze-ups. Would this horse be favourite if he was trained by O'Brien or Hannon? I reckon he might.
Harry Time is another first crop colt, this time by Harry Angel, and is trained in Ireland by Michael O'Callaghan. He won comfortably on debut at Navan but stargazed when he got to the front. Saved for a late run, he might be able to run into place money at least.
Remarkable Force is the second-string from Amo Racing, trained by low profile Alice Haynes, but he's shown real grit to win his two races so far.
Rousing Encore beat the highly-rated Chasemore filly Breege last time at Pontefract. Has progressed rapidly in three starts to date.
Royal Scotsman was mighty impressive at Goodwood on his second start. There was good late money for him and he smashed that field by 5L. On debut, he ran fourth behind Noble Style who was favourite for this race before not declaring, and the two in between have both won since and should run in the Norfolk. In a good juvenile stable.
The American runner Late September won nicely on dirt at Churchill Downs recently, showing nice finishing speed, unlike the regular Wesley Ward speedball type that just fly the gates. Has secured the services of Colin Keane and draws 17, which should be a great help for a colt who will have never seen a straight course before.
Keen on Bradsell and Age Of Kings, Persian Force and Royal Scotsman for the placings amongst a sea of chances.
R3 - 15.40 King's Stand Stakes
Get on the Nature Strip bandwagon. Simple as that. This thing is a machine. 20 wins from 37 starts, winner of almost £10m. The key thing to his campaigns is that he peaks for the big ones. In his past 10 runs, he has not run below 120 on RPRs, has won four of five Group 1s (beaten a nose by Home Affairs in the Lightning in Feb) and won an Everest. In his first two years with Chris Waller, he was a bit hot-headed and could go too fast. He now settles better at a fast but not ridiculous pace.
Golden Pal has lost only three times in his career, on debut and his two runs in the UK. Got to take him on.
If you want a proper, detailed analysis of the race, try this - it is very, very good.
Nature Strip, daylight, others.
R4 - 16.20 St James's Palace Stakes
The 2000 Guineas winner Coroebus will rightly start odds-on here but there might be a couple who can trouble him. My Prospero recorded a good figure winning the Heron Stakes at Sandown but his stablemate Maljoom was the one I was more impressed with. His win in the German edition of the 2000 Guineas was particularly eyecatching. He was caught back in the pack when the leader shot clear and he tracked him down and went straight past in the closing stages. Marquand goes for the other one, I'm not convinced. Certainly at the price I'd opt for Maljoom.
For longshot each-way chances, Angel Bleu is a multiple G1 winner and disrespected at 40/1. He can sweat up a bit, watch the pre-race warm-up and bet late if he's in a good mood. Checkandchallenge had no luck at Newmarket in the Guineas, squeezed early, ran too free, was blocked and bumped, and not surprisingly switched off in the later stages. He's drawn the outside rail here and provided Frankie's mount next door can run straight, he might have room to perform this time. Monster price at 66/1, his previous win in the Burradon on Good Friday was very soft.
R5 - 17.00 Ascot Stakes
Minimal interest but will need something to go in the Placepot ticket.
In card order, Coltrane, Arcadian Sunrise, Bring On The Night, Make My Day.
R6 - 17.35 Wolferton Stakes
New Mandate looks a big price (20/1) if you can forgive his last start, a long way behind Baaeed. His 2yo career was brilliant, winning three of six, including a G2, but had no luck in the BC Juvenile Turf. He ran just once last year, flopping in the Commonwealth Cup on (his only start on) a soft track. Resumed in April to win the Listed Paradise Stakes here, then was out of his depth in the Lockinge. This horse is Hong Kong-owned so watch for him to come up big unders in the World Pool, so bookies or the exchanges for this one.
The only filly in the race, Aristia, defeated last year's Coronation Stakes winner at York in the Lyric (Listed) in July and just missed in the G2 Middleton at the same track when resuming last month. That raised her handicap mark to better than any of these when taking the five pound allowance and 3lb penalties into account. I'm not sure that's perfectly accurate but it puts her right into the race at around 20/1. Last year was her first campaign, and she improved significantly at her first start back. There could quite easily be more to come.
New Mandate, Aristia
R7 - 18.10 Copper Horse Stakes
Impressed with the recent wins of Cleveland and Juan De Montalban. The former is still quite unexposed and might just be back next year as a Gold Cup horse.
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