It’s been a great Ascot, despite the slower ground. Today sees all the Royal Ascot races on Channel 4 and More 4 so it is a betting treat for us armchair jockeys. We think we have found an angle in to every race today and have unearthed some value and quality. Good luck and remember watch the races and shout loudly, they rarely win when you don’t!
2.30 Chesham Stakes Listed Race Class 1 7f
Amazingly only 2 favourites have won this race in the last 10 years and whilst this is a long way for 2yo’s, stoutly bred, progressive horses nearly always triumph. This is not very original but the winner has to come from the first three in the betting and amazingly two of those are sons of wonder horse Frankel with his first crop. They are Cunco, so impressive at Newbury where he took a little while to wind up but when the penny dropped and he used that huge stride, he was too strong for Isomer who also goes in this race. Frankuus, his other son looks to have more stamina on his side and you can expect him to improve a lot from his first run as well, which was at Haydock over 7 furlongs on quicker ground than today. That leaves Churchill the Aiden O’Brien runner, always respected and regularly over-bet! Third in his Maiden over 6 furlongs, connections weren’t disappointed.
3.05 Wolferton Hcp Listed 1 mile 2 f
Educate was unlucky to run such a good race in listed company last time out as he was clobbered by the handicapper and this is just the type of race he loves, big fields, assured fast pace. He has never won off this mark before and wont today –shame. Revolutionist has great credentials and is up another 5lbs for his beating of Central Square last time out, this may make things tougher but this is the right route for him. He will need to improve again to win. Pacify represents Ralph Beckett and whilst again he needs to improve he has done so from his opening figure of 73 right the way up to his latest of 108. He is visored for the first time. His trainer recognises he has more on here and thinks this might help find it. For us the time is right for Maleficent Queen. She won a listed race over this trip on this ground and Keith Dalgeleish has his string in A1 order.
3.40 Hardwicke Stakes Group 2 1 mile 4f
8 four year olds have won this race in the last 10 years and Sir Michael Stoute has won the race 6 times in that period and comes here double handed. The favourite Exosphere represents that stable’s first string and is rightly favourite after a demolition job of Simple Verse last time and a figure produced that is good enough to win this race without improving. Stable mate Dartmouth won at Chester beating Wicklow Brave, who will run better for this stronger pace but Dartmouth may have plateaued as those less exposed keep improving. Eagle Top is one that impresses many and after a poor pipe opener for this season may well now be ready to produce the goods. He may just not be good enough. It’s possible that Exosphere improves again and he is today’s banker. Not very original but he only has to run to his last time form to be too good for any others in this race on ground he excels on. It will take a horse running better than it has ever run to lower his colours.
4.20 Diamond Jubilee Group 1 6f
Not the numbers we normally get for this race which in theory makes things easier. Just four horses capable of winning. The Tin Man, Magical Memory, Gold-Fun and Undrafted. The Tin Man recorded a career best performance for James Fanshawe last time and is capable of better. Magical Memory’s latest win showed he has improved and goes on this ground. No excuses for the Charlie Hills runner, who is at the top of his game. Gold-Fun has never raced on a soft in Hong Kong and whilst that doesn’t rule him out it makes backing him difficult. Undrafted is similar where ground is concerned but we know he likes the track after last year’s win in this race. One thing is for sure, his price is too big. This is such a good sprint that you simply have to have a bet.
5.00 The Wokingham Class 2 6f
30 runners makes this one of the most compelling handicap sprint races in the world. You can look through every horse and find some back form that entitles them to have a chance but this is one where you take view and ours involves a short list of 5 horses. The lightly weighted 3yo Mr Lupton who was a winner last week at York and is definitely ahead of the handicapper, Coulsty who isn’t in form but is going to win one of these soon, if not this one, Ninjago who is primed and ready to win, B Fifty Two who would have to overcome that fact that no 7 year old has won this in 10 years and Huntsmans Close who has shown rapid improvement and has the perfect profile.
5.35 The Queen Alexandra Class 2 Conditions 2 mile 5f
It’s possible this race was created just so the jumps boys could get involved in the Royal Meeting, whatever the reason it was a good idea. A short list of five makes for great reading. All but Pinzolo have a jumping background and it may be that he proves to be the winner. He runs well fresh and settles well in his races. Two previous winners, Oriental Fox from 2015 and Simenon from 2012 have been prepped for this challenge. Clondaw Warrior was backed off the boards to win over a furlong shorter last year and duly obliged and has to be respected and the Ceasearwitch winner of 2016, Grumetti looks ready to do the business in this race. It’s a great way to finish the meeting so let’s take two against the field