Royal Ascot Day 1 Tips and Preview by Dave Stevos
Saturday went well for us at York with two of our three tips rewarding each way support. Mutamaded ran a massive race in the opener, defying a drift to 33/1. He finished a close 2nd and his turn isn’t far away. Flying Pursuit ran a cracker too in the 7f contest. He also was sent off at 33/1 but he outran those odds to grab 4th. Barbill was disappointing, but he is better than he showed in that race. All eyes will be on Royal Ascot this week where the crème de la crème of flat racing will be strutting their stuff. Dave Stevos is hoping to continue in good form, check out his free Royal Ascot Day 1 Tips and preview below…
Royal Ascot Tips: 2.30 Queen Anne Stakes (Group 1)
What an opener on Day 1 of the Royal Meeting at Ascot. The 8f Queen Anne Stakes has attracted a stellar cast, including last year’s 33/1 winner Accidental Agent. I put him up for the race last year but the big worry this time is the ground. He is at his best when it is like the road and any juice in the ground could put paid to his chances.
Romanised is massively overpriced at 33/1 after an unlucky 4th in the Lockinge. Billy Lee had to snatch up at the worst possible moment and yet he still managed to beat Le Brivido (7/2 fav for this). Ken Condon’s charge has course form in the book, beaten just 2L in the 6f Coventry here as a 2yo. The son of Holy Roman Emperor has very little to find with Laurens and Accidental Agent on Lockinge form and if it is genuine good ground, he could go well at 33/1.
If it comes up soft, Stormy Antarctic could be an interesting outsider. This fella ran a mighty race behind Roaring Lion over course and distance in the QEII Stakes on soft last season. He will be suited by a strong pace and he will be staying on at the finish. 6yos have a poor record in this, but he has the form to figure and at 33/1 he is worth a couple of quid each way.
ROYAL ASCOT DAY 1 TIPS: ROMANISED E/W @ 33/1 4 PLACES; STORMY ANTARCTIC E/W @ 33/1 4 PLACES.
Royal Ascot Tips: 3.05 – Coventry Stakes (Group 2)
The first Juvenile race on the Day 1 card is the 6f Coventry Stakes for the boys. Seventeen 2yos will go to post in this Group 2 and spectacular Curragh winner, Arizona, is the 5/2 favourite. Aidan O’Brien last won this race with War Command in 2013, but he was sent off at 20/1. Arizona ran okay on yielding on debut, but he looked to relish the faster ground last time. The son of No Nay Never may not be as effective on an easy surface and 5/2 looks too skinny.
Royal Lytham, on the other hand, is proven on ground with an ease. He was extremely impressive on debut, giving Aidan O’Brien a relatively rare first time out winner. Seamie Heffernan was effusive in his praise of the horse after the race. The son of Gleneagles looked green but he displayed a very willing attitude and a good turn of foot.
Brand Coolmore will be eager to get Gleneagles off to a flying start and a Coventry Stakes winner would achieve that aim. His Anaaba dam was a dual listed winner at 7f and 8f and his grand-dam is a half sister to Fillies’ Mile winner Gloriosa. Given his sire’s racing record, a mile could likely end up being Royal Lytham’s optimum trip. He looks to possess plenty of speed right now though, and he is the each way pick at 16/1 (4 places).
ROYAL ASCOT DAY 1 TIPS: ROYAL LYTHAM E/W @ 16/1 4 PLACES
Royal Ascot Day 1 Tips: 3.00 – King’s Stand Stakes (Group 1)
The 5f King’s Stand Stakes is one of the most exciting races to watch of the week. Twelve of the speediest horses in the world will go to post and they all have some sort of chance. Crack sprinter Battaash looked better than ever on his return at Haydock (5f gd/fm). He handles soft but he was a beaten favourite in this last year. He is far from bulletproof and at the prices, he is worth taking on.
His conqueror in last year’s race, Blue Point, is next best in the betting. However, all his best form has come on quick ground so conditions are a huge worry. At the prices, Mabs Cross makes most appeal. This marvellous mare was beaten by Battaash last time, but she lost a shoe. The daughter of Dutch Art won nicely on her seasonal comeback, looking every bit as good as last season.
She was a fine 3rd in this last year, given too much to do by Paul Mulrennan. She subsequently broke her Group 1 duck at Longchamp and she gets 3lb from the two Godolphin horses. Michael Dods’ mare has had one run on good to soft, which she won, and given she is by Dutch Art and out of a Pivotal mare she should be effective on soft too. 9/1 looks too big and at that price Mabs Cross is the each way selection.
ASCOT RACING TIP: MABS CROSS E/W @ 9/1
Ascot Racing Tip: 4.20 – Sprint Handicap (Group 1)
This is yet another Group 1 and a field of eleven 3yo colts will go to post for this mile contest. I was at the Curragh for the Irish 2000 Guineas and Phoenix Of Spain was ultra impressive. The way he put the race to bed was clinical and he is the one they all have to beat. Slow ground would be a slight worry but he handled good to soft at Doncaster last season. 15/8 looks a fair price and he does look the most likely winner.
However, one that could go well at much bigger odds is Royal Marine. Saeed Bin Suroor’s son of Raven’s Pass was very disappointing in the Guineas at Newmarket last time. However, he hated the first time hood and that is now removed. The reason the hood was applied was because of how hard he pulled on his previous start.
He was just under 3L behind Skardu that day in the Craven. Royal Marine was closing all the way to the finish and given his mid race antics and also the fact he didn’t get the clearest of runs, it was a fine effort. He beat Broome and Shaman (12/1 here) in France last year and with a kinder trip he could turn the Craven form with Skardu around. 33/1 is way too big and with Christophe Soumillon in the plate, Royal Marine looks a cracking each way bet.
ROYAL ASCOT DAY 1 TIPS: ROYAL MARINE E/W @ 33/1 NAP
Royal Ascot Day 1 Tips: 5.00 Ascot Stakes (Class 2)
This Class 2 handicap is run over a marathon trip of 20F and stamina will be at a premium. You need something that stays all day in this race and National Hunt trainers have dominated it in recent seasons. Willie Mullins has won four of the last seven renewals and three of the last four. He relies on Buildmeupbuttercup this year and Ryan Moore will ride. She doesn’t exactly jump off the page form wise though and she is priced up on her trainer’s stellar reputation in this race.
Mengli Khan is a very interesting Irish raider and Rory Cleary is a good booking. He would have had a choice between Mengli Khan and Kerosin, so the fact he jumped ship to ride the Elliott horse could be a tip in itself. Kerosin is a very consistent and honest horse and he deserves to take his chance. This trip could turn out to really suit him and he shouldn’t be discounted with Oisin Murphy taking over in the plate.
However, at a decent each way price preference is for Fun Mac. Hughie Morrison’s charge has dropped to a very dangerous mark. He ran a solid race off 93 on his reappearance at Chester when 5th behind Making Miracles. Fun Mac was 2nd in this race a few years ago off 98 so the trip and track will suit. He is 7lb lower now off 91, ground with a slight ease is perfect and at 16/1, he could run a massive race.
ROYAL ASCOT DAY 1 TIPS: FUN MAC E/W @ 16/1 NB 6 PLACES
Royal Ascot Day 1 Tips: 5.35 – Wolferton Stakes (Listed)
The closing race on Day 1 is the Listed Wolferton Handicap, a 10f contest that has attracted a maximum field of 16. It looks a deep race and a case can be made for plenty. The one that looks overpriced is First Nation for Charlie Appleby and Godolphin. This son of Dubawi hacked up in a Meydan handicap off 101 in January and ran with credit in a couple of Group 3s since.
His run last time at Newmarket behind Zabeel Prince over 9f was a fine effort over a trip sharp enough for him. He was only a length behind Elarqam off level weights and he gets 3lb from that rival here. Over the extra furlong there is every chance he could turn the form around. Elarqam is the 4/1 favourite here, while First Nation is 16/1. At those odds he has to be worth a small interest each way in an open heat.