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Royal Ascot Day 1 preview

The money will be for Frankie Dettori all week in his last Royal Ascot meeting - will he scare the hell out of the bookies with the accas liability, or just make a lot of horses far too short in the betting?


Angel Bleu - been around awhile, better on soft ground, not up to these.

Berkshire Shadow - strong Royal Ascot record, won the Coventry as a 2yo (11/1) and beaten less than 2L in the St James' Palace last year (28/1). Has more race fitness this season than most, winning twice in lower grade then ran third in the Lockinge behind Modern Games. Goes well here, place chance at big odds.

Cash - beaten 3/4L by Chindit when resuming last month then stepped out to 1m2f in the Brigadier Gerard and was beaten almost 6L behind Hukum. Back to his right distance here but would need a big step forward.

Chindit - flying this campaign, winning first up at Ascot six weeks ago then ran second in the Lockinge. Record at Ascot is 14511 with the two defeats both at this meeting. Honest but struggles in elite class.

Light Infantry - loves racing against the very best, but finds it tough to break through. Since winning his first two starts, he has raced in the 2000 Guineas (9th, beaten 6.75L), 2nd (1.25L_ in the Prix Jean Prat, 2nd (nk) in the Prix Jacques La Marois, 6th (2L) in the Golden Eagle, 3rd (3L) in G2 Bet365 Mile, 7th (3.75L) in the Lockinge and 2nd (sht nk) in the Prix d'Ispahan. Prefers cut in the ground, will need rain plus luck to be in the finish here.

Lusail - Ryan Moore's choice. Won four times as a 2yo, hasn't seen the winner's circle since. Beaten a head in the St James' Palace here last year, he's finished behind Chindit in both his runs this season.

Modern Games - impressive win in the G1 Lockinge last month, after failing at 4/9 on a US raid in April. The Lockinge win was the best RPR of his career, even exceeding the Breeders' Cup Mile win last November. After a dry spell in May, the Appleby yard are firing, landing 35% winners in the past fortnight.

Mutasaabeq - left Native Trail for dead at Newmarket in the Bet365 Mile but couldn't back that up in the Lockinge a fortnight later, trailing Modern Games home by 3L. Perhaps that was the bounce (second-up) factor. Has a shot.

Native Trail - Irish 2000 Guineas winner last season who failed in the Juddmonte last season and was sent off for a wind operation. After a long break, he resumed in the G2 Bet365 Mile but could only finish 3L behind Mutasaabeq. He's considerably better than that, some horses needed a second run before having full trust in their breathing again after a wind op. Stable second string, but only a single RPR pt behind Modern Games on best performances. 

Pogo - went to the Gulf chasing the big winter coin but ran terribly. Better than that but not up to them in a G1.

Triple Time - being tipped by a few at a big price. Lightly raced and had progressed at every start until diving into the Prix Daniel Wildenstein last time at Longchamp, finishing well behind Erevann on a rather wet track. Was well backed at odds before the Lockinge, but was taken out on the day. The upside is the breeding, closely related to the likes of Cape Byron and Third Realm, but by supersire Frankel. Needs big step forward but the stable like aiming him at big targets.

Inspiral - Frankie & Gosden. Beaten only twice, in the Falmouth (at 1/7!!) and the QEII Mile on Champions Day. The best of the female miling division, but is she up to the males? Only just beat Light Infantry in the G1 Prix Jacques Le Marois. Only gets 3lb, I can't have her as favourite. 

VERDICT - Race probably goes to Modern Games but I'll be having something on Mutasaabeq. If you treat his last run as a bounce, then he's a silly price here.

Mutasaabeq, Modern Games, Native Trail


Too many runners here to do all of them but there's a huge boom on two of these colts - Asadna for George Boughey and River Tiber for Aidan O'Brien. The former bolted in at Ripon by a dozen lengths, beating not a lot, but running very fast time. William Buick retains the ride which sounds great but also means Godolphin don't have any runners here. He's drawn 17 so he probably gets a nice strip of fast ground on the grandstand rail. The sectional timing boys wouldn't hear of him beaten but there was a rumour over the weekend of him not taking his place here. Worth risking?

River Tiber is by one of the rare Coolmore stallions who didn't race for them, in Wootton Bassett, so a top-grade colt would be a huge advertisement for the gun sire. His two wins in Ireland have been very impressive, showing great acceleration to put races away. Aidan O'Brien has won this race nine times, beginning way back in 1997.

Is it that simple? It may well be, but there are whispers around for a few more. Givemethebeatboys was sold on Monday night for £1.1m at the Ascot sales, a huge result for an £11k yearling. He's been underestimated at both starts so far, winning narrowly at 12/1 and 11/1 respectively. The Frankie factor has crunched his price way beyond any value.

Army Ethos is from the same connections as last year's winner Bradsell. He won comfortably at Ayr on debut and can't be ruled out.

Emperor's Son showed great maturity to win on debut at Carlisle after copping a huge bump coming out of the gates. Might be worth a look each-way.

Watch My Tracer down the bottom won nicely at Yarmouth on debut, knuckling down under pressure to see off a pair of well-fancied rivals. One for exotics.

VERDICT - River Tiber, Army Ethos, Emperor's Son, Watch My Tracer.


Coolangatta - Australian flying machine, unbeaten in three starts on the dry, and winner of five out of eight overall (defeats on good-to-soft, soft and heavy).  She is very quick!

Manaccan is being tipped by a few - this time last year he ran fifth in the Palce of Holyroodhouse, a 5f handicap later in the meeting. And now he's supposed to win a G1? Puhlease!

Highfield Princess is the obvious danger to the Aussie filly, she had brilliant season last year winning a bunch of races including the G1 Nunthorpe and G1 Flying Five over this trip. Four starts here for a win in the Buckingham Palace (2021), a close third in a Listed race, and two close-up sixths in the Champion Sprint and Platinum Jubilee respectively.  

Bradsell won the Coventry on this day last year but has disappointed over 6f in two runs this season. Dropping back a furlong might work in his favour as he travelled nicely into both races but then found little under pressure.

Dramatised has run one poor race in her career, when she tried 6f last season. She beat several of these in the Temple Stakes at Haydock a few weeks ago and has drawn the outside rail.

VERDICT - One for the fillies and mares:

Coolangatta, Dramatised, Highfield Princess


Chaldean is pure class and should be winning this to go with his 2000 Guineas and Dewhurst G1s. But this race is traditionally the bringing-together of several formlines, the Irish 2000 Guineas for the impressive Paddington and the French Guineas for Isaac Shelby (second), while Cicero's Gift and Mostabshir come through impressive wins in lesser company.

Good race, even the outsiders have some elements of form worth noting. 

VERDICT - Chaldean to follow up from the Guineas with Mostabshir to emerge from the pack.
Chaldean, Mostabshir, Paddington.

Passing on the staying handicaps but keen on Francisco Clemente in the Wolferton later in the day.


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