All eyes are on the skies today for the meeting at Ascot, which features the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at 3.40.
This Group 1 has three horses vying for favouritism at around 5-2, but one of them, Cracksman, will only run if the heavens open, which makes it a bit of a mare for analysis and betting purposes.
In truth, Cracksman hasn’t looked the same horse recently as the one which sauntered away with the Qipco Champion Stakes last October, beating today’s rival Poet’s Word by a nonchalant 7 lengths. A panicky win in the Coronation Cup was followed by a pretty poor defeat by the aforesaid Poet’s Word at the Royal meeting, so, run or not, we have to oppose.
Sir Michael provides the meaningful opposition with PW and Crystal Ocean, with a glance at the headline giving a hint to our thinking. The price is obviously problematical but, in Cracksman‘s absence we should get at least 7-4 so a lumpy win bet is advised.
The meeting starts with the Princess Margaret Keeneland Stakes at 1.50 and this Group 3 looks at the mercy of the favourite Royal Intervention, which cruised home in a Listed contest at Newmarket last time out. The 15-8 on offer looks value and should be taken.
The other two televised races both come into the ‘impossible handicap’ category, but needs must, so we’ll have a go.
The Porsche Handicap at 2.25 has 15 3-y-os fighting it out and those nice bookmaking people are offering 4 places to anyone brave enough to venture a wager. We go two against the field, both each way, with Corrosive (7-1) and Ulshaw Bridge (18-1) the beasties of choice.
And so on to the Gigaset International Stakes at 3.00, which has almost twice as many runners (27) so this should be easy, then. Frankly you could pick any ten and not get the winner of this, but with 6 places on offer we put up three potential improvers for your delectation and delight.
They are Il Primo Sole (12-1), Chessman (14-1) and Cardsharp (16-1).
Breath should not be held or bated, but here’s hoping the lucky pin comes good.
Crystal Ocean 3.40 Ascot win at 5-2 (currently)
Royal Intervention 1.50 Ascot win @ 15-8
Corrosive 2.25 Ascot e/w @ 7-1 (4 places)
Ulshaw Bridge 2.25 Ascot e/w @ 18-1 (4 places)
Il Primo Sole 3.00 Ascot e/w @ 12-1 (6 places)
Chessman 3.00 Ascot e/w @ 14-1 (6 places)
Cardsharp 3.00 Ascot e/w @ 16-1 (6 places)