Another winning day for our followers with a 10 unit profit. After 2 days it looks like the bookmakers are on their knees. The question is – will today be their fightback or can we- the punters keep piling on the misery. It doesn’t look an easy task but no day does at this fabulous Royal meeting. Our thoughts for today are :
2.30 The Norfolk Stakes – Group 2 5 furlongs
Surprisingly only 9 go to post in a race that has seen 4 favourites and 4 more horses 4/1 or less win out of the last 10 years. The favoured horses run well in this race and sometimes if it is not their form its their physical appearance that catches the eye, like last years winner the American horse, No Nay Never. He was a beast of a sprinter and looked more like a four year old than a 2 year old, such was his size and scope. This year trainer Wesley Ward looks to repeat the trick with the once raced To Be Determined whose only start yielded a 3rd place, beaten 8 lengths at Kentucky over 4.5 furlongs – the ideal prep for Royal Ascot!!!!. He should know, he did it last year. He takes on some good horses here in Baith Alga, impressive at Chester and even more impressive at Epsom, Mukhmal, two from two with the latest at Chester, a good break since then and the horse he beat at Chester Roudee running a good race yesterday here to finish 6th in the opener, and The Great War from Aiden O’Brien who surprisingly has never won this race. The Great War would be an apt winner but he needs to be good to win this and the evidence of two small race wins would see me reluctant to row in with him at the forecast short price of 5/4.
Our bet, 2 units e/w @ 7/1 Baith Alga and 2 units e/w Mukhmal @ 5/1 with Betvictor
3.05 The Tercentenary Stakes Group 3 1 mile 2 furlongs
Again just the 9 go to post in a race that has also been kind to favourite backers with only one horse recorded at a 20/1 price in 10 years and the rest all less than 8/1 with 4/10 favourites winning. We are going to focus on proven form and quality and look at Cannock Chase whose latest win now looks even better and improves his progressive profile, Mutakayyef, who was juts behind another of our fancies, Barley Mow at Newmarket and at a bigger price Somewhat is interesting as I think he is tough and now race fit and ready to put up a real fight.
My belief is that Somewhat will enjoy the uphill finish and the pace of the race and with question marks against all but the favourite I will take the larger odds on offer in the belief that a place is my worst case scenario. What Royal meeting would be complete without a Mark Johnston winner
Our Bet : 2 units e/w @ 14/1 Somewhat with Coral
3.45 The Ribblesdale Stakes Group 2 – 1 mile 4 furlongs
Fancied horses have run well in this race but we have also had a 22/1 and a 25/1 winner in the last 10 years in what is normally a classy staying race. This one is no exception. The French Raider Vazira brings some top credentials in to the race but this is by far the quickest ground she will have raced on. Inchilla has the best local form with a combatative 4th in the Oaks and a reason to suspect that there is more maturity left in the horse at this trip but my question with her is if she has the class to win a race of this nature. Bracelet, Talmada and Terrific could all surprise but that’s what it would be. One that I find very interesting is Lustrous for Richard Hannon. She has the pace to win a 1 mile listed race at York and on breeding looks like she is crying out for a trip of this nature. At the forecast price of 12/1 that will do for me.
Our Bet 1 unit E/W at 18/1 Lustrous with Betvictor
4.25 The Ascot Gold Cup 2 miles 4 furlongs
The amazing thing about this race is that the while the Ascot stakes over the same trip is dominated by jumps trainers this one hasn’t been won by a jumps trainer in 10 years. In fact Aiden O’Brine has won it 5 times, Saeed Bin Suroor twice, Michael Stoute twice and Elle Lallouche, account for the rest. The good news is that favourites have won 6/10 and only one big priced 20/1 shot has gone in to mess up punters books. So where does that leave us?
With this lot – the short priced Aiden ( this is my race)O’Brien with Leading Light, my favourite horse in training, Brown Panther, Tac De Boitron, a revelation since moving to Marco Botti, Simenon who globe trots these distance races at will and always runs well, the Queens horse Estimate who produced the perfect result last year by winning this race and Altano the German raider who has won a Group 1 over this trip in France. That is the ingredients of a great race. Possibly in my memory the best field we have seen assembled for quite some time.
With all those credentials – who wins? I would love the Panther to win but I just dont know if he stays the extra four furlongs. If he does he will give them a lot to do. Estimate has won first time up but that was over 2 miles and some of these are ready with a run under their belts. Leading Light is class but will he stay the extra 4 furlongs? Its a very short price to find out he doesn’t. Strange things happen in the last 2 furlongs of this race and I’m not going to take 6/4 about a horse that I don’t know if he stays. If he wins well done all of you.
My two against the field are Brown Panther – as I think he will stay and Altano who I know does stay and is also match fit. I genuinely cant wait for this race.
Our Bet 1 unit e/w Brown Panther @ 6/1 and the same bet Altano @ 11/1 Boylesports
5.00 The Britannia Stakes Class 2 – 1 mile
With 30 runners spread right across the track its not for the feint hearted. My short list started off at 7 and when I did my pricing I saw I didn’t have one of them in the first 4 in the betting. However in races like this I am not bothered about that. My view is you need a horse dropping back in trip that hasn’t won over the longer trip and hasn’t just gone up in the handicap. They need to have a touch of class and are about to unleash that on the field. So lets see if with 7 guesses we can name the winner. The list is Mindurownbusiness, Bilimpi, Chatez, Magnus Maximos, First Flight, Suzi Connoisseur and Zampos Manos. The favoured runners are Idea, Hors De Combat, Zawanna and Table Rock and I wont be claiming victory if any of those win.
Our Bet : My two with both on the same side of the track are – Zampos Manos and Mindurownbusiness, back them both 1 unit e/w @ 33/1 and 16/1 respectively with Sportingbet
5.35 King George V Stakes Handicap 1 mile 4 furlongs
With 19 runners it’s rarely a get out of jail free card but good horses abound and the betting is always a good indication in this race.
Wrangler looks like continuing his promising career after winning at Haydock and Salisbury and whilst these were on soft ground he should handle this quicker surface adequately and is a worthy favourite. Elite Army is one I am keen to see again after a convincing performance at Sandown and slight doubt about the longer trip. Arab Dawn put together back to back wins, is full of confidence and was only just too good for Personal Opinion who is also interesting with Newbury second Windshear also capable of a big performance. There will be plenty of supporters for Captain Morley who triumphed at Chester in a good race.
It doesn’t make finding the winner easier by going through them all but it fills some copy doesnt it!!!. So after much deliberation who do we side with in the lucky last – Windshear – highest rated on my books and if Cannock Chase runs well earlier in the card this will look a good thing
Our bet 1 unit e/w @ 8/1 Windshear and 1 unit e/w Elite Army @ 8/1 with Bet365