All eyes this afternoon will be on the meeting at Stratford, where the feature race is a Novice Hurdle… (“What? Oh, is there a meeting there today? OK, we’d better cover that, then”)
Day 1 of Royal Ascot sees a truly international spectacle, with runners from France, Ireland and the good ole US of A doing battle with the locals.
The meeting kicks off with the Queen Anne Stakes, a Group 1 over one mile and the market have this as a match between Rhododendron and Benbatl, priced at 7-2 and 4-1 respectively. We much prefer the triple Group 1 winning Rhododendron and recommend a win bet on A O’B‘s filly.
The Coventry Stakes at 3.05 has a field of just 24, with the favourite the Mr Gosden trained Calyx at a very skinny 5-2. Hot on that one’s heels is Mr O’Brien‘s Sergei Prokofiev at 11-4 and it’s double figures the rest.
With the bookies offering four places on this race, our idea of a value bet is the Martin Meade trained Advertise, available at a more palatable 12-1 and sure to give us a run for the hard-earned.
There now follows an in-depth evaluation of the King’s Stand Stakes at 3.40:
Keep the faith and back Battaash at 11-4.
3-y-os come to the fore at 4.20 in the St James’s Palace Stakes and in this we can’t see further than the impressive winner of the Irish 2000 Guineas Romanised, trained by Ken Condon. Available at 6-1, this massive improver is well over-priced and should be slammed each way.
The sole handicap on the card is the Ascot Stakes at 5.00 over 2 & a half miles, for which the favourite is a Willie Mullins plot jobby called Chelkar, which is trading at 11-2. Stable debut, no run for 603 days(!) and of unproven stamina, good luck to all who sail in her but count us out.
Our two against the field (each way) are Coeur De Lion at 7-1 and another of Willie‘s, Lagostovegas at 10-1.
The proceedings close with the Wolferton Stakes at 5.35, a Listed race over 10 furlongs. The big class dropper in this is Aiden O’Brien‘s Yucatan, the mount of Ryan Moore and the hint should be taken at 8-1 each way.
Also in this race, just in case it’s ‘hats off to her Maj’ time, a small each way investment on her very own Fabricate at 20-1 is advised.
Back tomorrow to play up the winnings.
Rhododendron 2.30 Ascot win @ 7-2 SkyBet
Advertise 3.05 Ascot e/w @ 12-1 SkyBet (5 places)
Battaash 3.40 Ascot win @ 11-4 PaddyPower
Romanised 4.20 Ascot e/w @ 6-1 bet365 (1-4 odds)
Coeur De Lion 5.00 Ascot e/w @ 7-1 SkyBet (5 places)
Lagostovegas 5.00 Ascot e/w @ 10-1 Ladbrokes (5 places)
Yucatan 5.35 Ascot e/w @ 8-1 William Hill (4 places)
Fabricate 5.35 Ascot e/w @ 20-1 BetVictor (4 places)