Royal Ascot: Day 2

Just the one winner yesterday in the shape of Profitable in the Kings Stand but we saw some indicators on what to keep an eye out for on Day 2 of the Royal meeting.

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With just the one winner it puts us on a profit of +0.25, after Day 1.

14:30 Jersey Stakes

The opening race of Day 2 is over 7f and yesterday it paid to be on the pace, so that’s the angle to take here.

Gifted Master has won over further meaning he has the stamina edge over the majority of his rivals. He has already had three outings this season and was shot down by Quiet Reflection in the Sandy Lane Stakes. He’s a son of Kodiac so this slower ground would be a slight concern even though he has form with cut in the ground.

John Gosden’s Castle Harbour has some useful form in the book after his two starts have both been wins. He won on debut at Newmarket, which was genuine soft ground. He’s a son of Kyllachy, which enhances his claims on this surface. The visual of his York handicap looked good but the form hasn’t thrown up a winner, as yet just a few placed horses. Leading claims.

Ibn Malik won the Free Handicap at Newmarket in this grade and despite racing keenly was good enough to hold off his five rivals. In the end he was going away and looked like he’d stay further in time. He is likely to be ridden positively here by James McDonald and looks a fair each-way price. Charles Hills won this race last year and has a good chance to repeat the feat here.

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Remarkable was a big eye catcher at Newbury in the Toronado Stakes with the way he stayed on. This son of Pivotal had no chance with Log Out Island, who the field gave too much rope and this colt stayed on late to make claim second. This will be a different sort of race than that but he is worth another look. Ribchester shouldn’t be dismissed on the back of his 3rd in the 2000 Guineas. He drops back in trip and if settling could be a big player.

Advice: Ibn Malik (0.5pt Each-Way 10/1)

15:05 Queen Mary Stakes

Acapulco ran away with this race last year for Wesley Ward and the American trainer has Lady Aurelia going for him. She won convincingly on debut at Keeneland in a six-runner race and set a new track record. This is more competitive than that plus soft ground, so the question is if you think there is value in her price.

I’m taking a chance on Richard Fahey’s Vona. Forgive her a poor debut effort at Southwell when finishing last of nine but she came on for that and showed improved form on her second start at Chester. She handled the tight turn and was 3l behind Mehmas, who was 2nd in yesterday’s Coventry Stakes, and that maiden might not prove too bad. She went on from that to win to spring a 33/1 surprise when beating one of Mark Johnston’s smart juveniles in the shape of Boater. She does need to step up on her form but is worth a small each-way play. Her high draw might not be a positive but the centre of the course looks to be the place to be based on where the main racing occurred yesterday.


Vona (r) getting the better of Boater (l) on the Knavesmire. Source:

Tom Dascombe’s two year old’s have been fairly forward this season and Kachess won on debut at Goodwood. The form of that maiden may not be the strongest but she showed ability and looked a likable type. She’s got a pedigree to deal with this ground but might be on the wrong side of the draw.

Advice: Vona (0.25pt Each-Way 20/1)

15:40 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes

A Group 2 for Fillies and Mares where Godolphin have plenty of representation and it is French-based Usherette, who looks the one to beat on the back of her win in the Dahila Stakes last month. That race is over a furlong further, so she should stay plus has form with cut in the ground. A daughter of Sharmadal too, whose progeny are versatile on the ground, so she ticks plenty of boxes.

Lucida was 4th behind Devonshire at the Curragh and is going to come on for that. Jim Bolger’s charge may find the ground to be against her but is going to be better for the run. Preference is for Devonshire, who is trained by Willie McCreery and his horses are going very well at the moment. This daughter of Fast Company will handle the ground and looks to be underestimated coming here. She’s game as they come and will keep digging in, which helps, plus she will be able to get cover, which should help her settle. She carries the same weight as Usherette and has won over further on desperate ground previously.

One at a huge price is Black Cherry. She doesn’t win very often but can hit the frame. They could go forward on Richard Hannon’s filly and she seemed to stay well enough over 2f further last time, so coming back in trip could out run her current odds. Unlikely to have the quality to win, but is worth looking at for one to hit the frame.

Advice: Devonshire (0.5pt Each-Way 11/1)

16:20 Prince of Wales’ Stakes

This race is one to sit back and watch. Japanese runner A Shin Hikari has had plenty of hype surrounding his chances during this meeting, so it is time for him to prove his billing. On his return at Chantilly he bolted up by 10l on heavy ground and did look top drawer. A winner of two of his three Group 1 starts and is the most likely to add another to his record if handling the pomp and circumstance of the occasion.

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Found is next in the betting and after making a classy return to the track at the start of last month has found one too good on her last two starts in the Coronation Cup and Tattersall’s Gold Cup. She has targets further down the line at such meetings as the Breeders Cup, where she won last year, so she has the class to cause an upset.

The Grey Gatsby has won with cut in the ground but connections prefer his claims on quicker, so that’s the concern with him. Western Hymn doesn’t go past and still has no headgear applied. Tryster has best form on the all-weather but won on good turf ground at Meydan but needs more. That leaves My Dream Boat, who was fifth to A Shin Hakari at Chantilly last time out and likes to get his toe in. A good horse on his day but might not in this bracket. Clive Cox and Adam Kirby teamed up for a winner yesterday, so optimism may be high.

Advice: No Bet

17:00 Royal Hunt Cup

The pin has been dropped and for this 30 runner Handicap over a mile it has landed on:

Carry On Deryck was 4th at this meeting last year in the Britannia Stakes behind some useful types, especially Udododontu. This horse was brought by Godolphin and was sent to Meydan where he won a 16-runner Handicap on his return to the track from the horse that finished ahead of him in the Britannia. He has form with cut in the ground – winning a maiden on good to soft and winning a handicap at Chester on soft. He is likely to want further in time but with a strong gallop likely it should be a suitable test for this son of Halling.

Battle Of Marathon is a big price considering the way he has shaped in his recent races. Three starts ago he was a close 3rd at Doncaster behind Secret Brief and was staying on late suggesting a strongly run race over a mile would play to his strengths. Last time out it was a similar story with him staying on to take 2nd behind last year’s winner of this race GM Hopkins. That was his best effort to date and showed his liking for the track. This four year old is a son of War Front, who has a relatively low sample size on this ground but he has seemed to handle it previously. John Ryan’s runners have started this season in slightly better than in recent years, which is a positive.

Balty Boys ran well in defeat last year. Brian Ellison’s runner was fourth and was the first one home on the stands side of the course. This time he is drawn low and that is where the racing has happened so far, so that is likely to help his claims. His form is not worth shouting about but his last win came last September in the Group 3 Superior Mile. Callum Shepherd takes another 5lb off this son of Cape Cross putting him on a mark of 100, which looks fair to this, seven year old.

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Convey could prove to be a group horse in a handicap with his runs of late where he has been luckless but the draw is a concern. Portage carries a penalty following his success at the Curragh last time. That was over further and in a Listed race. He has no worries with the ground after winning here on soft turf last July.

Advice: Carry On Deryck (0.5pt Each-Way 20/1)

            Battle Of Marathon (0.25pt Each-Way 33/1)

            Balty Boys (0.25pt Each-Way 20/1)

17:35 Sandringham Handicap

Another Handicap this time restricted to just fillies over a mile and there is one that has some stand out form at a price.

Mick Channon’s Czabo is one of the more exposed runners in this field but from what we know has the ability and class on her day to win a race of this nature. At Deauville on the last day she won a Listed race in good fashion, so the return to a handicap off a mark of 99 could suggest she is well treated. She was previously 4th in the Irish 1000 Guineas where she was out of her depth. Silvestre De Sousa gets back in the saddle and has a good record on her. If giving her running she is overpriced in my view.

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A trainer in form is Roger Varian and his charge Aljuljalah has been given a fair mark on the back of her efforts to date. She was beaten by 6l when 2nd at York, so 99 looks fair but whether the ground will suit this filly by Exchange Rate is there to be questioned; from a low sample size his offspring have handled cut. She has had her problems in the past it has been noted, so finding some improvement could get involved.

Persuasive represents top connections and is unbeaten in three starts. Two of those wins have been on the all-weather including her latest at Chelmsford where she didn’t get the run of the race but was able to win in good style. She could be better than winning a handicap, so is the likely favourite.

A Royal winner isn’t dismissed, as Diploma drops back in trip after winning over the extended 1m2f at York last time. If they go off too quickly she is their to pick up the pieces and will handle the ground. At a huge price then Alamode is one to note. She steps up to a mile for the first time and should get it on pedigree. She ran well two starts ago to finish 2nd in a Group 3 but flopped at Newbury last time. Trainer Marcus Tregoning has a select string and is usually a shrewd placer of his horses.

Advice: Czabo (0.5pt Each-Way 12/1)



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