Royal Ascot 2020 gets underway on Tuesday night with a seven race card, highlighted of course by the Queen Anne (1600m) and King’s Stand (1000m).
Race 1. (22:15) Buckingham Palace Handicap 1400m
Taking a chance with 5 Daarik (Bet Now: $4.50). John Gosden trained four year old that is building up a pretty good overall record, but that record has come on All Weather tracks, with his lone failure being on the turf at Nottingham so that’s the query going into this. Can he produce on the turf what he’s shown on the All Weather. If so, he’s one of the hardest to beat.
Jim Crowley had the pick of a few runners here and he goes with 15 Motakhayyel (Bet Now: $13.00), which is the third pick of the trio according to the market, so I find that interesting. Like him fresh at 1400m given his last run did see him fail over the mile here, noteworthy on rain affected ground, which is what could be on the cards for this meeting.
20 Keyser Soze (Bet Now: $15.00) will be a closer. Certainly got the talent to take this out but when it comes to big field handicaps, he has failed previously. The thing that interests me with this Richard Spencer galloper is the fact that Ryan Moore is booked to ride, a positive lead IMO. He’ll likely be tardy away but be strong late.
Race 2. (22:50) Queen Anne Stakes 1600m
On top in one of the features is 16 Terebellum (Bet Now: $4.20) for John Gosden with Frankie to ride. This girl resumed over 2000m at Newmarket against her own sex and was dominant in getting the job done under Frankie. Yet to race under 2000m in her career but she’ll love a strong mile here you would assume and she does have change up speed.
Class will carry 3 Circus Maximus (Bet Now: $4.50) a long way. Aidan O’Brien trains this four year old, who won the St James Palace last year, which tells how you how good he is. The blinkers were put on him that day and it’s clearly made him a better horse, of course winning the Prix Du Moulin at Longchamp. Proven performer on this stage and has class.
12 Skardu (Bet Now: $11.00) will need to produce a career best to win this but he’s in the right stable of Willie Haggas to do it. Ran some good races last season as a three year old, and did run fourth to Circus Maximus in the St James Palace. 1600m is his pet trip, he gets James Doyle to steer and potentially gets a sweet trip off the speed from the gate.
Race 3. (23:25) Ribblesdale Stakes 2400m
5 Frankly Darling (Bet Now: $2.50) gets the nod, once again for that combo of John Gosden and Frankie Dettori. Resumed in a 2000m maiden on the All Weather at Newcastle and she gave them a spanking in such an impressive return to the track despite sitting wide in the run. There’s more to come from this girl and is one of the hardest to beat.
11 Trefoil (Bet Now: $6.00) should be suited up to 2400m. She resumed over 2000m in the Pretty Polly at Newmarket and was more than sound in defeat when third to Run Wild. That was her first run since a debut win over the mile in October, so she’s another with good upside in the tank and on breeding should eat up 2400m.
12 West End Girl (Bet Now: $23.00) is one for multiples. This filly was shaping up to be one of the top juveniles last season but when she was asked to step up to Group l level, she stunk it up well and truly. Spelled and resumed in the Oaks Trial at Lingfield when a solid third to Miss Yoda. Doubt she wins, but can fill a first four spot from gate one.
Race 4. (00:00) King Edward VII Stakes 2400m
Looks a race in three. 2 Mogul (Bet Now: $1.83) looks to have the class with the runs on the board so I’ll go his way. Top juvenile who returns to racing. Put together some very impressive performances at Curragh before going to the Futurity at Newcastle when fourth to Kameko. Looks a Derby prospect and Ryan Moore chooses him over the stablemate.
3 Mohican Heights (Bet Now: $4.50) is the big unknown. Impressive debut win at Leopardstown and after that was solid for a tick over $1 Million. Then went to Salisbury for the new connections and was even more impressive. He looks to have enormous upside to come and is destined for better things. Good test here to see just how good he is.
1 Arthur’s Kingdom (Bet Now: $5.50) has done nothing wrong in his career to date. Stablemate of Mogul who gets Frankie to steer. Hasn’t raced since October 26 when second in the Criterium to Mkfancy, beaten but far from disgraced. He does have the staying form next to his name given last run was 2000m so I think he’s right in this.
Race 5. (00:35) King’s Stand Stakes 1000m
1 Battaash (Bet Now: $1.83) can be hit and miss, but when he’s right, he’s the best 1000m sprinter in the world, and that’s Nature Strip included, and with no crowds, it will certainly help him given he can get really fired up pre race, so he’s a definite yard watch to see how he behaves, but if he isn’t too worked up, he’ll just beat these.
If Battaash is in a foul mood, then the pony that wins will be 8 Glass Slippers (Bet Now: $5.50), who really came of age towards the end of last prep, graduating from Listed company at Deauville to winning the Group l Prix De I’Abbaye at Longchamp. If she can reproduce that here, she’ll only run well and could win if Battaash is off his game.
The unknown is 2 Equilateral (Bet Now: $13.00). Certainly got the talent to go close here and was far from disgraced in this race last year behind Blue Point. Gelded before he went to Dubai, winning one of his two starts there, but he’s a horse who is an absolute bomb when produced fresh and at his best can be a threat.
Race 6. (01:10) Duke of Cambridge Stakes 1600m
Bit surprised there is double figures on offer for 1 Magic Lily (Bet Now: $12.00). Charlie Appleby trained mare that resumed over 2000m at Newmarket in the Dahlia and I thought she had her chance, but was far from disgraced in defeat when third to Terbellum, a mare I’m with in the Queen Anne, so if she can run well there, only bodes well for Magic Lily, and I think back to 1600m is a big tick.
10 Queen Power (Bet Now: $4.75) is the other placegetter from the Dahlia won by Terbellum. That was her first run since August and I really liked the way she fought on behind the dominant winner and safely held Magic Lily so can understand why she’s shorter in the market. Just a slight query on her if the rain does hit the track.
4 Invitational (Bet Now: $51.00) deserves a crack at this level. Roger Varian had this mare flying before the break, winning two on the bounce including a Listed win in France. She does seem more effective at 1400m compared to the mile hence why you’re getting a good price about her, but hard to knock a mare with the picket fence next to her name.
Race 7. (01:40) Ascot Stakes 4000m
Bit of a throw at the stumps in the get out in the shape of 11 Blue Laureate (Bet Now: $13.00). He and Moon King clashed in a two mile contest at Haydock back on June 8, with Moon King just getting the verdict. Think Blue Laureate can turn the tables given he’s a proven stayer and does get a weight pull on Moon King from that Haydock contest.
1 Verdana Blue (Bet Now: $6.00) is a Nicky Henderson trained mare and gets the services of Ryan Moore, who has a fantastic record in these 4000m races. This eight year old has won nine races, seven of which have come over the jumps, including a Group l, so the 4000m here should be no issue for her and is hard to beat.
12 Land Of Oz (Bet Now: $7.50) is proven at 3600m so I don’t see 4000m here being an issue for this guy. Resumed over 2800m at Cheltenham on the All Weather track and was game in defeat when second to Collide. The form around is inferior to some higher up in the market, but he’ll stay and does no work from gate one.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Five Number 1 Battaash
NEXT BEST: Race Three Number 5 Frankly Darling
LONG SHOT: Race Six Number 1 Magic Lily
All odds are subject to change. Odds listed are correct at the time of the latest update.
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