Royal Ascot Day One
No Bet - I think Baaeed is brilliant and expect him to win, but at 1/5 will not be betting on him, with just 7 runners the each-way angle is diminished and I'm not sold enough on one for the W/O market.
Harry Time 0.5pts each way, 22/1 (5 places generally available)
He comfortably beat Broadhurst on debut who is highly regarded by AOB and has entries in both the Group 2 Railway Stakes and the £300,000 sales race at Doncaster later in the year. Harry Time picked up nicely in that race and beat him easily. Harry Time is one of four entries in the Group One Phoenix stakes for O’Callaghan who often performs above his relative stable size with 2-year-olds, winning two graded races in the UK last season with his Juveniles. As he is trained by a smaller trainer I think the price on offer is far too big and worth a play each-way.
Winter Power 0.5pts each way 22/1 (4 places generally available) & Lazuli 0.5pts each way 25/1.
There’s a couple here that I like at bigger prices. Firstly, it’s worth mentioning that of the two market principles I think Nature Strip is the better and has some brilliant form in the Aussie sprint division, a sprint division that is far better than our own in general. Golden Pal has looked brilliant in the US but hasn’t been able to show that form in this Country, losing as a two-year-old at the meeting, as well as being comprehensively beaten by my first selection at York last year, Winter Power.
Winter Power was a Group One winner over the minimum trip last term, a mare who looked brilliant at times but did seem to reserve her best form for York. She won all her races at that track last year, underperforming when racing elsewhere. I’m hoping she will come on for her return this heat, where she could only manage 8th in a Group Two at Haydock, seeming to tire. She likes to race near the pace and I’m hoping will get a nice pace to aim at with the two market principles likely to go hard early. She also has been drawn in stall one and can hopefully use the rail to her advantage.
The second horse I’ll play is another that is overpriced at 25/1, Lazuli for Charlie Appleby and James Doyle. He’s been abandoned by William Buick who opts to ride Man Of Promise (10/1 here), the two are closely matched though, with Man Of Promise winning the battle in a 6 furlong listed race in Meydan earlier this year. Lazuli then dropped to 5f next time out, winning a valuable Meydan Group two. Lazuli was giving MOP 3lbs in that listed race and will be off level weights tomorrow he’s drawn high in 15, just two stalls from confirmed front runner Golden Pal, who could give him a brilliant tow into the race.
Wexford Native 0.5pts each way 66/1 (4 places, Bet365 only, 50/1 3 places elsewhere)
This race looks hot with some exciting-looking Colts at the head of the market, I will, however, be playing each way on a 66/1 shot, Wexford Native. He made a brilliant debut as a three-year-old beating the more experienced Sun King, who is trained by Aidan O’Brien and had chased home subsequent Group One Futurity 2nd Sissoko on his previous start. Both he, and the 6th length fourth, Moony Beams, have won since. He was a little keen that day and again showed those tendencies on his second start, a listed race won by Buckaroo, # he was a little short of room in that race and did well to grab second. It was enough for Jim Bolger to let him take his chance in the Irish Guineas where he finished a Gallant fourth to Native Trail, beaten just three lengths, having led inside the final furlong. Still learning on the job after only three starts to date, and hopefully able to settle better in this big field, I think he could again outrun his odds for last year's winning connections.
Reshoun 0.5pts each way 16/1 5 places (6 and 7 places available)
My pick for this race is last year's winner Reshoun at 14/1. He won it last year off 97 and is back down to that mark now. If you watch his last run back he was a definite eye catcher. Over an inadequate 1 mile 4f trip, he went off at 66/1 and was held up and on the outside before staying on to be never nearer 5th passing some decent horses. He looks primed for a big race again having won this last year and the Marsh Cup the year before after a similar eye-catching run the start before. His win last year was aided by a brilliant ride from William Buick, however, Derby-winning Kingscote is a brilliant jockey himself and we know this horse stays the extreme trip well. Not quite the 66/1 he was last year, the 16/1 on offer is still more than fair.
Artistia 0.5pts each way 33/1 5 places.
A game mare that was just held in a mares Group Two over the same trip last time out, despite being weak in the market. She is likely to outrun her odds winning twice previously at 20/1+ and never going off at less than 9/1. Her best run to date is winning a fillies' listed race last year from Alpine Star. Alpine Star is a brilliant mare for Jessica Harrington, having won the Coronation Stakes at the 2020 Royal Ascot, she was then beaten less than a length in three consecutive Group One races, the latest two being by Palace Pier and Tarnawa, some pretty smart form. I just can’t see why this mare is 33/1 for this open-looking race.
Raymond Tusk 0.5pts each way 33/1 (5 places)
Second at last year's meeting in the Duke of Edinburgh stakes over 1 mile 4f, having been just held by 7/2 favourite and recent Group Three winner Quickthorn. He was giving him 5lbs that day off top weight so I’m not too concerned with him running off a mark of 105 tomorrow. He returned in good form this year, winning a competitive-looking conditions race by 4 lengths eased down. He then ran a strong second to Max Vega in a Grade Three, passing the 5/1 2nd Fave here, Stowell, in the finishing stages. Both those races were over 1 mile 4f and Raymond Tusk stays 2 miles well so the extra trip here of 1 mile 6f should see him confirm that form with Stowell. He’s this big price due to a less than optimal run in the Jockey Club Group Two race over 1 mile 4f, it was a strong field that day including the high-class Group One winner Yibir. He was eased down once his chance was gone so the margin of 25 lengths looks worse than it was and at 33/1 with 5 places is another who should outperform his price.
14:30 - No Bet
15:05 - Harry Time 0.5pts each way, 22/1. (5 places generally available)
15:40 - Winter Power 0.5pts each way, 22/1 & Lazuli 0.5pts each way 25/1. (4 places generally available)
16:20 - Wexford Native 0.5pts each way, 66/1. (4 places, Bet365 only, 50/1 3 places elsewhere)
17:00 - Reshoun 0.5pts each way,16/1. (5 places generally available, 6/7 in places)
17:30 - Artistia 0.5pts each way, 33/1. (5 places generally available)
18:10 - Raymond Tusk 0.5pts each way, 33/1. (5 places generally available)