Fantastic first day at Royal Ascot yesterday with winners at 66-1 and 33-1, neither of which we picked – for which we make no apology.
Day 2 is notable for the long-awaited appearance of Love, who completed a hat-trick of Group 1 wins last season by an aggregate of 20 lengths.
In the absence of main opponent Lord North in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at 4.20, Aidan O’Brien‘s 4-y-o is now an odds-on shot and this race can only be watched.
The same comment applies to the opening race on the card, the Queen Mary Stakes at 2.30, which has a field of 21 2-y-os, headed in the market by two US trained horses. There is no way to evaluate their form against the home team and, although sometimes it may not seem so, we do try not to guess with our selections.
The betting bank can be raided, however, for the Queen’s Vase at 3.05, which is for 3-y-os over 14 furlongs.
Almost all these runners are trying this trip for the first time, but one almost sure to get it is Kew Gardens brother, Wordsworth, just touched off in a Listed contest at Navan last month over 1m 5f. With plenty more improvement to come, we suggest a win bet at 5-2.
We also recommend an each way bet on Taipan at 10-1. Jessie Harrington‘s Frankel colt was staying on takingly last time out over 10 furlongs and should relish the step up.
The Duke of Cambridge Stakes at 3.40 is next on the agenda and, in this, the fav is the still improving Lady Bowthorpe at 5-2.
Good though she is, the impost of a penalty may be difficult to overcome and we will risk a modest each way investment on Agincourt at a more palatable 16-1.
Beaten in a photo in this race last year, David O’Meara‘s 6-y-o showed the benefit of a wind op when just touched off at Goodwood on her re-appearance and could outrun her odds this afternoon.
And so we come to the simple matter of the Royal Hunt Cup at 5.00.
Looking at this morning’s going stick readings, it would appear that the stands side will be even more favoured than yesterday, so the low numbers will be disadvantaged. We like the chances of Lafayette from Noel Meade‘s yard, which is ensconced in trap 22. This 4-y-o looks well handicapped on Oirish form and has a better chance than the 25-1 available would suggest.
We also like the look of Finest Sound, trained by the Crisfords. Stall 9 is not ideal but probably workable and this 4-y-o could still be ahead of the handicapper. At 10-1, we suggest an each way bet.
The Windsor Castle Stakes at 5.35 is another impossible looking 5f, multi runner affair with a US trained jobby as a short priced favourite, this one ridden by the Mad Italian.
We can’t keep going ‘no bet’ so we will venture an each way bet on Dig Two, trained by Hugo Palmer.
Well berthed in 25 and the winner of his latest two races, The Doyler should get a good tow into the race and the usual strong finish may see him home.
Take the 7-1 on offer.
Proceedings close with the very competitive Kensington Palace Stakes Handicap at 6.10 and our main selection in this is Stunning Beauty from Godolphin.
Saeed Bin Suroor was predicting great things for this horse after an unbeaten 3-y-o campaign, but the wheels fell off after she was taken to Meydan in January. However, the wheels were firmly back on at Doncaster 12 days ago with a smooth as silk win and, off just a 3lb higher mark, she can start to prove the trainer correct under SDS. Take the 8-1.
We cannot leave this race without suggesting a modest each way bet on Separate at an insulting 66-1.
This 4-y-o is a stone better off with today’s re-opposing Lights On, which is priced at 8s and is closely matched with Dreamloper, which is 4-1 fav.
Julie Camacho‘s runner is surely over priced – get on.
C’est tout, mes amis.
Wordsworth 3.05 Ascot 2pts win @ 5-2
Taipan 3.05 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 10-1 (4 places)
Agincourt 3.40 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 16-1 (4 places)
Lafayette 5.00 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 25-1 (6 places)
Finest Sound 5.00 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 10-1 (6 places)
Dig Two 5.35 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 7-1 (5 places)
Stunning Beauty 6.10 Ascot 1.5pts e/w @ 8-1 (5 places)
Separate 6.10 Ascot 0.5pts e/w @ 66-1 (5 places)