The first day of Royal Ascot is nearly upon us and Tuesday looks set to be a cracking start to the week. At first glance the card looks tough on the betting front and the weather forecast doesn’t help; but the winners are there to be had and I am ready to find them!
We kick off the week with the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes (2.30pm)
This year’s renewal is pretty open with plenty of runners having solid chances. However Karl Burke’s LAURENS gets the nod from me. She was second in the Lockinge, behind Mustashry, when making her seasonal reappearance. She ran a cracker and really is a tough filly having already won four times at top level.
Le Brivido also ran a great race in the Lockinge but in my opinion hasn’t done enough to get my vote.
The jolly Mustashry is the biggest threat in the race having run a career best last month but I have a feeling he won’t be able to replicate that here.
For the each-way backers out there- Accidental Agent looks to be the value. Having won this last year at a whopping 33/1 and placing in the Lockinge. His price could be a little too big.
I know a lot of punters will be reading this looking for a mention of Barney Roy. If he was on top form like 2017, he would be NAP but after a failed career at stud he has failed to impress since.
Group 2 Coventry Stakes (3.05pm)
On his debut at the Curragh, ARIZONA found just the one too good for him. His next start was a different story and he went on to romp home by eight lengths. Aidan O’Brien has four runners in this and with Ryan onboard he looks to be the pick of the quartet.
Threat looks to be just that, and the extra furlong should help him. He was impressive when winning over 5f, but I just don’t feel he is as classy as Arizona.
Guildsman won easily on debut at Goodwood and would depend on price if I would back him each way or not.
Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes (3.40pm)
Last year’s 1-2-3 are here again to see who will be crowned King (or Queen hopefully!) Battassh was beaten here last year by Blue Point after showing blistering early speed but picked off by the latter in the closing stages.
Charlie Appleby’s runner Blue Point was in top form in Meydan but his absence since winning the Al Quoz Sprint in March is a concern for me.
MABS CROSS improved when winning the Palace House at Newmarket whilst also defying a penalty. She lost a shoe in the Temple and I can tell you that running without a shoe is hard work! I believe she can get her head in front here and she’s a good price.
American raider Imprimis has Frankie Dettori on board and beat a smart type at Keeneland and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more money come for him.
Group 1- St. James’s Palace Stakes (4.20pm)
I will get Too Darn Hot out of the way first. He is yet to match his impressive two-year-old form and I just can’t see him getting his head in front.
I can however see PHOENIX OF SPAIN doing just that. He hosed up in the Irish 2000 Guineas last time. Charlie Hill’s colt is the one to beat here.
If any rain came, French Guineas second Shaman could be a great each way shout.
Handicap- Ascot Stakes (5.00pm)
Willie Mullin’s record is different class in this race, that said I am siding against his charge Buildmebuttercup. Having already won a maiden hurdle and two bumpers, she is making her handicap debut on the flat and she is the one to watch against my selection.
COEUR DE LION stayed on bravely to win in the mud at Chester and is just 2lb higher when he finished sixth here last year. A much better price than then favourite based on value in my eyes.
Mengli Khan is good over hurdles and fences and not too bad on the flat but just not enough to merit my money.
Listed Wolferton Stakes (5.40pm)
The lucky last! Elarqam was back in the winners’ enclosure over this distance last month and will be a popular selection. But my money is going on MAGIC WAND. She won last year’s Ribblesdale Stakes and has been globetrotting and the return to 1m2f will absolutely be no issue and I expect her to run
Latrobe hasn’t really shown much since last year’s Irish Derby win but not to be completely ruled out. Addeybb also shouldn’t be overlooked after Chester reappearance.
Prices taken from Betfred – BET £10 GET UP TO £40 IN FREE BETS!
2:30- Laurens 6/1
3:05- Arizona 5/2
3:40- Mabs Cross 7/1
4:20- Phoenix of Spain 2/1
5:00- Coeur de Lion 7/1
5:35- Magic Wand 9/2
*All prices taken on the 17th June.