Royal Ascot 2020
Day 1 to Day 5 Pts Out: 102.00 Pts In: 125.34 P/L + 23.34
Louie De Palma 16/1 1 Pt E/W William Hill (Paying 5 Places) 4th
Nahaarr 16/1 1 Pt E/W (Bog) Bet365 (Paying 5 Places) 3rd
One of the new handicaps on the card on as tough as they come as a case can be made for most of them. Our first selection is the Clive Cox trained 8 year old gelding who although not getting any younger has been holding form well. Was last seen in Oct 2019 when finishing 4th of 22 just 1 3/4L behind the winner Gulliver off 95 (York Class 2 Hcp 6F soft) a mark he retains today. Can run well fresh and although needing a career best is capable off this mark. Our 2nd selection is the W Haggas trained 4 year old colt who has only had the 6 career starts winning the first 4 before taking a step up to class two handicaps both over 7F at Newmarket beaten around 3L both times with his last run being on the 6th of June this year behind Blown By Wind. Beat the now 101 rated Biometric on 2nd start over 6, ability to handle soft is a doubt but well drawn and could go well?
Returned 7.44 (R4 15P)
13:15 No Bet
13:50 No Bet
Alpine Star 9/2 2 Pt Win William Hill (Winner)
Cracking race and all you need is Love as far as form analyst’s are concerned as the main fancies all have form with the impressive 1000 Guineas winner, no doubt with a race under the belt the filly Quadrilateral will be spot on for this, she was 3rd in the Guineas but still over 4L behind the winner Love. Our selection here is the J Harrington filly Alpine Star who was 3rd behind Love on debut beaten 1 3/4L, then going on to win her next two starts the final of which was the Group 2 Debutante Stakes at the Curragh over 7F in which Love was over 2L away in 5th. It is clear that Love has trained on as she found around 6L on Quadrilateral after finishing behind that filly last season, so a question mark arises as to if Alpine Star has? If she has then she has a great chance in this, if not then it is the Roger Charlton filly who should take this?
15:00 No Bet
One Master 5/1 2 Pts E/W (Bog) Bet365
I would personally love to see the 8 year The Tin Man take this, he zest for racing is amazing and has been running from the same mark for virtually 3 years now and he has an outside chance. Hello Youmzain will love the ground assuming it stays soft, favourite Sceptical could be anything but I am sceptical that the ground conditions will suit? Which leaves our selection who has the form at this level in the book and will relish conditions. On paper looks a bet to nothing and this Willie Haggas trained 6 year old mare should go well. She has ran three times here winning once and placed in the other two.
Arecibo 25/1 1 Pt E/W (Bog) Bet365 (Paying 5 Places)
Bielsa 6/1 1 Pt E/W
The Wokingham handicap, in the last 10 years the lowest rated winner was 94 with the highest 107 (last year) and only one was a last time out winner. Eight of the last 10 winners had a double figure draw, 4 of them drawn above 20, only once was the ground soft where the winner came from stall 11. Only 3 winners carried less than 9 stone. Six of the last 10 winners were 5 year olds. So trend is 5 year old with a high draw over stall 10 and is carrying more than 9 stone. Trends Eh? As always a tough puzzle to solve but sticking with some of the trends we choose two 5 year olds and in a fate twist both were sired by Invincible Spirit who never won on soft ground but both selections can handle it. First Selection is Arecibo a 5 year old gelding from the D O’Meara yard. He ran well enough on seasonal debut when a 5L 8th of 12 to Far Above over 5F at Newmarket earlier this month. That was a group 3 race. He has twice ran well here off today’s mark of 100 and should be thereabouts. K Ryan saddles our 2nd selection and his 5 year old gelding is a 4 time winner from 5 starts, winning easily when last on course back in Oct last year on Heavy ground from a mark of 93. Handicapper put him up to 101 for this today but is improving and has conditions to suit. Hey Jonesy is an interesting runner and has been falling down the handicap, wear blinkers for the first time today and if they work the oracle would have major chance in this.
The Grand Visor 4/1 3 Pt Win (Bog) Bet365
With favourite Mekong running here on Thursday there has to be some doubt as to if he will run in this and even if he does he had a tough race in a Group 1 and is worth taking on in this lesser race. Our seletion here from the Ian Williams yard is the dual purpose 6 year old gelding The Grand Visor who is returning to his last flat success venue. He won here last June by 1 1/4L from Buildmeupbuttercup over 20F off 100, running off 104 today he looks assured of a decent run and for us is the safest option in a race he is more than capable of winning. Big chance.
13:15 Art Power 5/2 3 Pt Win (Bog) Ladbrokes (Winner)
There is always a danger that one of the entrants making a seasonal debut have trained on from 2 to 3 and as stated before 3 year old start of season handicaps can be dangerous races to invest in. However after looking through the form we cannot see past the T Easterby trained 3 year old colt Art Power. Our selection is totally unexposed with just the 3 runs with the last two being wins on turf and the all weather and both were won by 5L and 5 1/2L. His first turf win was on soft so the recent rain should pose no problems and gets a nice high draw. Of the others Maystar looking interesting especially if it turns soft/heavy.
Flying Aletha 7/2 2 Pts Win (Bog) Bet365
American trainer Wesley Ward was not having the best of times when Covid19 hit the states, the closing down of most of the tracks and social distancing caused problems with both training and getting a run into his string, at one stage it was touch and go if he had one good enough to come to Ascot, but over the last few weeks he seems to have hit form. After seeing him in a recent TV interview he seemed very bullish about his 2 year old filly who won her sole start at Gulfstream with ease. Not the best of draws but should have enough speed to get into a good position. Not a race to bet heavily on and one of the lesser Albany fields in many a year.
Eye Of Heaven 7/4 3 Pt Win Paddy Power
Impossible to oppose this M Johnston trained 2 year old colt made a good impression on his sole start winning over 5F at Newmarket breaking the track record in the process. That form was franked in no uncertain fashion at Ascot on Wednesday when the Queen’s Tactical won the Windsor Castle. Tactical was 2L behind Eye Of Heaven on that debut run. Slight concern if the ground gets soft but the Dam side of breeding suggest he may handle it?
Elarqam 3/1 2 Pt Win (Bog) Bet365
Morando 12/1 1 Pt E/W
Favourite Anthony Van Dyck is too short for me based on his sole Ascot run which indicated the track may not suit and with the jury still out on that has to be worth opposing. If the real Defoe turns up for this will be a danger to all. Our first selection is the M Johnton trained 5 year old horse who on seasonal debut was just a short head behind Wednesday Ascot winner Lord North, that form looks strong and he does already have strong group form in the book. Can handle all ground types and looks assured to run a big race and could provide Jim Crowley with yet another Royal Ascot winner? Our second selection is the A Balding trained 7 year old gelding Morando who won a 12F Group 3 here on final start of the season last year. Coming from a break today for seasonal debut but if the ground goes soft will have a massive chance.
Golden Horde 8/1 1 Pt E/W (Bog) Ladbrokes (Winner)
Wooded 10/1 1 Pt E/W (Bog) Ladbrokes Non Runner
Ventura Rebel 33/1 1 Pt E/W (Bog) Bet365 (Paying 4 Places) 3rd 50/1
A very open looking Group 1 Commonwealth Cup and love to see Mums Tipple return to form but have major doubts. In a first for TCP we have selected 3 in this, two with major chances and one with an outside chance. Golden Horde the Clive Cox trained 3 year old colt had 6 runs as a two year old and did not stop improving, ended with a neck 2nd to Earthlight over 6F at Newmarket (Group 1) and if trained on coming from a break of 265 days will have a major chance in this? The same can be said for the F Graffard trained Wooded, bought over from France for this after winning a Group 3 on seasonal debut by over 3L (soft) and deserves his chance in this, the more rain the better. Finally the R Fahey trained 3 year old colt Victory Rebel who ran OK when coming from a break of 320 days finished 6th of 13 over 6f at Newcastle (AW) 3L behind winner Dubai Station. Yes he will need to show improvement but he has only had 5 career starts winning twice. He has ran here twice winning once and being a neck 2nd in the other (Group 2) on the soft. Knowing he likes it here and with every chance of the ground turning we feel he is worth a place punt.
Al Dabaran 9/2 Coral 3 Pt Win
We like the look of this C Appleby trained 3 year old colt who is making his seasonal debut fot this. 4 career starts resulting in first two starts winning and placed in the other two at Group 3 level. His last run was a 1/2L runners up effort to Hopeful over 9F in France (soft Group 3) and a head away in 3rd was a horse called The Summit with that one then going on to finish a 1 1/2L 2nd to Victor Ludorum in the Group One Emirates Poule D'Assai Des Poulains on 1st June. For me this is by far the strongest form on offer and providing he has trained on and strengthened he could prove very hard to beat.
Good Birthday 12/1 1.5 Pts E/W (Bog) Bet365 (Paying 4 Places)
Indianapolis 25/1 1 Pt E/W Skybet (Paying 6 Places)
Open looking handicap to end the day but one where it is not hard on paper to narrow down. Good Birthday has to have major claims in this. Ran a decent enough race on debut when a 6 1/2L 3rd of 8 to West End Charmer over 10f at Newmarket off 98 which is retained today. The A Balding trained 4 year old gelding last won off 95 and was only just over 4L behind Lord North off 98, in the context of this race a repeat of those efforts should see him firmly in the mix. Our 2nd selection The J Given trained 5 year old horse was a shade lack lustre on seasonal debut when down the field at Newmarket off 100. He has been dropped to 99 for this and won last season off marks of 95 (CD Win) and 97, back at a course he likes he has a decent squeak at a price.
Acquitted 9/2 2 Pt E/W Win Coral (Bog)
This is the first race so far at the meeting where I have thought this is one I want to have a bet on. This Hugo Palmer trained 3 year old colt came from a break of 225 days to be a 3 1/4L runner up to Palace Pier off 89 over a mile at Newcastle. That run should see him cherry ripe for this. Our selection does have 4L to find with Tritonic on 2nd career start but that one is making its debut today and conditions will favour our selection. With two wins from 4 career starts his 2nd win came on heavy ground at Newbury over a mile beating Waleydd by a head in a 13 strong field. The runner up went on to win two starts later and the 3rd horse Mishriff won a listed event at Newmarket on June 6th off 101. A higher mark than any of this field bar one and Mishriff was over 2L behind our selection. Should give a good account in this?
Fox Tal 3/1 3 Pt Win (Bog) Bet365
Forest Ranger 25/1 1 Pt E/W Bet365 (Paying 4 Places)
The massive difference with this years Royal Ascot is a lot of the runners are making seasonal debut’s so fitness is put on trust making it more difficult from a punting perspective. If our first selection arrives here race fit he should prove hard to beat? This A Balding trained 4 year old colt ran a blinder when last on course to be a 3 1/4L 4th of 9 in the Champion Stakes here, this is the best form on offer, can handle cut in the ground and runs well fresh, so ticks all the boxes. Our second selection will be like a coiled spring today as no doubt this Richard Fahey trained 6 year old gelding would have most certainly been prepped for the May Chester Vase meeting to defend his crown in the Group 2 Huxley which he has won for the last two years. Could run well at big odds and will love some cut in the ground.
Monarch Of Egypt 7/1 2 Pts E/W (Bog) Bet365 (Paying 4 Places) 2nd
Cannot believe this one is priced up at 7/1 as sets a clear form standard. The A P O’brien trained 3 year old colt after winning his maiden on debut has had 5 other career starts and although not winning were all at Group 1 and Group 2 level taking on the likes of Siskin and Pinatubo. Came from a break of 244 days to finish 5th to Siskin over a mile at the Curragh 6 days ago. Should like some cut in the ground, jury still out regards the distance but willing to give him the benefit of my doubt as should have the class to make presence felt. Of the others Ropey Guest (4th) could run well at a price.
Modern News 3/1 2 Pt Win Ladbrokes (Bog)
Decent race and a case can be made for the majority of the field but we like the look and the profile of this C Appleby trained 2 year old colt. He won on debut beating his stablemate Noble Dynasty who was an expensive purchase. That race was on good ground over 6F at Newmarket. Being the Son of Shamardal should be able to handle cut in the ground and is certain to come on for his initial run.
15:35 No Bet
Great Ambassador 25/1 1 Pt E/W Skybet (Paying 6 Places)
Khaloosy 11/1 1 Pt E/W (Bog) Ladbrokes (Paying 5 Places) Winner
Eight of the last 10 winners of this were drawn higher than 10 with 5 drawn 20 and above.Lowest rated was 87 with the highest 104. Eight of the last 10 were also last time out winners (5) or second (3) and again 8 of the last 10 winners carried less than 9 stone. This R Beckett trained 3 year old gelding ended the last campaign with an impressive win and has since been gelded. That win was an all weather class 3 novice event and won by over 3L. No doubt will need to step up to take this but the gelding op may have bought a few lbs of improvement. On the breeding front being by Exceed and Excel you would prefer no rain but on the Dam side there is every chance he will handle to cut? At the price worth the punt at a low stake. Second selection is a 3 year old colt from the Roger Varian yard who won at Wolverhampton by over 4L on his 2nd career start, this was also his final start of the season. Arrives here for a seasonal debut on both turf and in a handicap, if transferring that all weather form to the turf should be able to run to his mark?
Alabama Whitman 33/1 1 Pt E/W Skybet (Paying 5 Places)
There is no doubt that the favourite African Dream will have a winning chance but with such a big field we feel the 2/1 on offer is a bit tight. Looking through the field the Oisin Murphy mount looks a bit over priced. This Richard Spencer trained 3 year old filly is an in and out performer but probably ran her best race in defeat at this track last year when 3rd in a Group 3 behind Daahyeh beaten 3 1/2L. Hammered by the same rival over 7F on last start in a Group 2 at Newmarket by over 9L, is coming from a 265 day break and if trained on should give us a decent run.
Ouzo 6/1 1.5 Pts E/W (Bog) Bet365 (Paying 5 Places)
Brian Epstien 14/1 1 Pt E/W Bet365
The first and probably the last time this race will ever be ran and a horrible affair to try and work out with some well handicapped regressive types making seasonal debut, some clearly better on the all weather and a few progressive and it is these we will focus on here in the form of stablemates from the Richard Hannon yard. Both finished runner up on seasonal debut and look the type to improve from their pipe opener. Ouzo ridden by Ryan Moore was a neck runner up to Bell Rock over a mile at Newmarket off 91 which he retains today. Brian Epstien came from a break of 374 days to finish a 1 1/4L 2nd of 12 to behind Cap Francias. That was a fine effort off 95 and over a year off the track. He too retains the same mark and with those initial runs under the belt both of these 4 year old colts will have a fitness edge on the majority of the field.
Juan Elcano 11/4 2 Pt Win (Bog) Ladbrokes
Cracking Group 3 8 runner race with plenty of potential improvers. Our selection here is the K Ryan trained 3 year old colt, who after winning a class 4 novice event on debut was thrown into the lions den by contesting a Group 2 where he finished runner up just a length behind the then 112 rated Mystery Power (7f Newmarket) to then run 3rd of 7 beaten just 1L by the then 113 rated Threat to a fourth and final run in this years 2000 Guinea’s where he managed to run a 4L 5th of 15 to Kameko. This represents a easier opportunity and he deserves a second success but is vulnerable.
Arthurian Fable 14/1 1 Pt E/W (Bog) Ladbrokes (Paying 5 Places) 5th
Bodyline 9/1 1 Pt E/W William Hill (Paying 5 Places)
Yet another impossible looking handicap and its a 3 year old one to boot, not the kind of races to be going in with wads of cash! With so many making seasonal debut it is only the trainers who know how much their two olds have trained on from 2 to 3, for us mere punters it is just a guessing game? Based on what the runners have achieved on track as 2 year olds I feel the handicapper has taken no chances with the lightly raced ones at the top of the handicap and they will have work cut out to run to the revised marks. As such we go two fold here who are handicapped to run well and at least to the marks awarded. First selection the B Meehan trained 3 year old colt was afforded a mark of 81 for his seasonal debut at Newmarket (10F Class 3 Handicap) and from a break of 228 days managed to be a short head runner up, retains that mark today. Our 2nd selection is another Sir Mark Prescott one stepping up in trip. Bodyline after placing 2nd on seasonal debut off 82 just 1 1/2L behind the winner Celestran (10f Yarmouth) has been put up 3lb to 85 for this. The step up in trip likely to suit and both look solid each way prospects.
Alrajaa 9/1 1 Pt E/W Paddy Power (Paying 7 Places)
Pogo 20/1 1 Pt E/W 3rd
The Hunt Cup where 7 of the last 10 winners had a high draw over 20, lowest rated winner within those 10 years was 93 with the highest 103. Two came from a breal of 263 days including last years winner Afaak. One one of the last 10 winners had won last time out. Six were 4 year olds. With jockey Jim Crowley looking for back to back wins in this and with the knowledge he would have had the choice to ride a couple of fancied runners the fact he is on Alrajaa is a tip in itself. Coming from a break but is well drawn and fits in with the race trends. Trainer John Gosden flying and we expect this 4 year old gelding to run well? Our second selection is the C Hills trained 4 year old colt Pogo who made a pleasing seasonal debut coming from a break of 231 days to be a 1/2L runner up to Blown By Wind off 103, he has been put up to 105 today but ran well off this mark at Ascot last year (7f) when a 3L 10th of 16 to Salute The Soldier. If running to that level here he should give a good account.
Tactical 6/1 2 Pts E/W (Bog) Ladbrokes (Winner)
The Windsor Castle sprint and we know how much American Wesley Ward loves this race and looks to have decent claims and in an interesting twist jockey Oisin Murphy who rode our selection on debut is riding for Ward today on Sherriff Bianco. This race is usually favoured with a high draw and that is exactly what this A Balding trained 2 year old colt has today in stall 20. His debut run looked decent when a 2L 3rd of 10 to Eye Of Heaven over 5F at Newmarket with the re-opposing Get It less than a length in front in 2nd. Tactical was 3/1 second favourite for that race and found trouble in running and probably more prevalent is the fact the race was ran in a track record time. More rain would be a concern but has to have a squeak in this.
Fujaira Prince 9/2 2 Pts E/W (Bog) Ladbrokes (Winner)
Themaxwecan 14/1 1 Pt E/W Ladbrokes (Paying 4 Places) 4th 16/1
First selection is the Roger Varian trained 6 year old gelding who ticks every single box except one! Just the 6 career starts resulting in three wins and three places. Our selection likes it here having ran twice winning one and running with credit in a Group 2. Over a year off the track now but has won from over 300 days off track before. Should relish the step up to 14F and looks sure to run a big race. The 2nd selection is the Mark Johnston trained 4 year old colt who came from a 240 day break to run a 3 1/4L 5th of 6 to Moon King off 102 which he retains today. Due to be dropped 1 lb after today his mark still makes him look competitive and with that run under his belt should be there or thereabouts
Flaming Spear SP 0.5 Pts E/W
Wow talk about trying to find a needle in a haystack as far as finding the winner of this handicap is concerned? The favourite Daarik looks to be progressive but will need to show that form on turf and as such is worth opposing. Past winners of this race have mainly come from a low or high draw and with our selection drawn 10 it could cause problems but if favouring low today jockey Hollie Doyle may be able to track over? Even with the big field you can make the field smaller as a lot are clearly better on the all weather a comment that could be said for this Archie Watson trained 6 year old gelding who was runner up at Kempton two weeks ago off a mark of 100 which he retains today. The intersting thing for us is his run at Ascot in the 155K Balmoral Handicap over a mile last Oct, he finished a 4L 5th of 20 to Escobar again off today's mark of 100 in a far tougher looking race, and this will be his first run back on turf in the UK since! Of the others Kaeso looks interesting but is not the best drawn and the 8 year old Flaming Spear who in July last year was running off 109, only 100 today and if fresh could surprise?
Cracker of a race and the obvious choice is the favourite Circus Maximus and of course Frankies mount, however in a field full of colts looking for a Group 1 success for breeding value it would not be surprising to see the winner of this be a first time Group 1 winner? We would not put any member off backing the first two in the market as both have strong claims. The highest rated horse in the field is Mustashry (121) and Jim Crowley would have had the choice of riding him or our selection. This M P Tregoning trained 4 year old colt has only had the 5 runs (3 wins) and when last seen came from a break of 189 days to finish 5L 5th of 16 to King Of Change in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes here. His form had been progressive and should if arriving fit be in there pitching
Trainer John Gosden has a strong hand in this as he saddles both our selection and the favourite Frankly Darling with the latter looking impressive when winning a class 5 Newcastle all weather maiden by 5L on seasonal debut. I think at the prices for a betting perspective that the stables apparent second string is the more attractive proposition with the 4 places on offer. This 3 year old filly proved she has trained on when winning the Oaks Trial at Lingfield (Turf) and looked good despite encountering a troubled passage. Race fit to a decent level and good draw gives her a solid each way look about her.
Just as in the previous selection another trainer with a strong hand in this is Sir Michael Stoute whose Jubiloso achieved a decent standard last season and should be competitive, the same can be said for stablemate Queen Power whose form has been progressive and ran a cracker to be runner up in the Group 2 Betfair Dahlia Fillies' Stakes over 10F at Newmarket 10 days ago. She was just over a length behind the winner Terebellum and that filly can frank the form by running well in the 13:50 race today. That Newmarket run should have blown away the cobwebs and she is race fit which makes her look an exceptional each way prospect in this.
Returned 3.60 Profit 0.60
First selection ended the last campaign out of form but could be one to catch early doors as last season started off with an excellent runners up spot in the Northumberland Plate Handicap at Newcastle and indeed was runner up in this very race back in 2018 running off the same mark as he is today. Every chance that trainer Karen Mclintock will have this 7 year old gelding ready to roll today? The 2nd selection is a no brainer with Sir Mark Prescott stepping up in trip his 4 year old colt who has won over 18F off 86 but tries 20F for the first time today. He ran a solid race off 93 on seasonal debut to be runner up over 14F at Chelmsford . Should be spot on for this and while writing I found myself wondering how many full colts aged 4 year or more would Prescott have in his yard? Not many I would wager! Of the others it was interesting to note that last time out winner and runner up (same race) actually were slightly dropped in the handicap so Moon King and Blue Laureate are worth close inspection.