The iconic Royal Ascot Carnival gets underway this Tuesday night with Day One, highlighted by the King’s Stand (1000m), featuring Aussie sprinter Houtzen along with potential Everest candidates Bataash and Blue Point.
Race 1. (23:30) Queen Anne Stakes 1600m
One of the weaker editions of the Queen Anne in recent memory with no real star gallopers lining up. I think 1 Accidental Agent (Bet Now: $16.00 TOP ODDS) can win again. Got the job done last year at $30+ and looks to have returned in good order if his Newbury run is any guide, sitting back and finding the line well behind Mustashry. Is second up compared to last year where he was third up into the race, so brings fresher legs for the 2019 edition and his form at the track is good.
2 Barney Roy (Bet Now: $9.00 TOP ODDS) is a quality animal for Charlie Appleby who has been excellent in two runs back from a failed career at stud. Good first up in the Prelude to this race before going to a Listed race at Longchamp when winning narrowly but impressively. Proven performer at Royal Ascot and he seems to be the horse with timing and a fair amount of upside left.
7 Lord Glitter (Bet Now: $26.00 TOP ODDS) is another that looks value. Placed in this race last year but does come here off the back of a flop in the Lockinge when chasing a decent enough speed, pulled hard, and he just folded over the latter stages in a really disappointing. He’s much better than that and did run a beauty in this race 12 months ago, so proven here and the French horses usually run well at the meeting.
Race 2. (00:05) Coventry Stakes 1200m
1 Arizona (Bet Now: $4.60 TOP ODDS) does look the one to beat but in terms of a bet, is getting a bit short. Has had two career outings for Aidan O’Brien, both at the Curragh. Solid enough on debut when second before racing over 1200m there just under a month ago and he absolutely bolted in, winning by eight lengths and running decent time. In the right stable and clearly looks above average.
16 Threat (Bet Now: $4.60 TOP ODDS) is a Footstepinthesand colt that debuted over 1000m at Newmarket when on speed and putting the pressure on. Was entitled to drop away but he kept finding and in the end, he drew clear late and was most impressive. The query there is the SP profile. Was $11 to win there and now, you’re being asked to take around the $5 mark. Can win, but surely has to drift.
17 Well Of Widsom (Bet Now: $26.00 TOP ODDS) is a son of Oasis Dream for Charlie Appleby who has had two career outings. Still looks very green but potentially very good. Debuted with a win at Newmarket before going to Newbury where he copped bad interference but still picked up the pieces and ran a pretty good third. Stable rarely get it wrong with placement and he’s the one that’s overs IMO.
Race 3. (00:40) King's Stand Stakes 1000m
If there is a negative for 2 Blue Point (Bet Now: $3.25), it will be barrier one…outside that, I don’t see how they beat him. His Meydan prep was stunning, taking all before him, including the Al Quoz in outstanding fashion. He was oh so impressive in winning this race last year and appears to be a better horse 12 months on. I’m sure Doyle will find the right path and I think only bad luck will beat him.
Is it contender or pretender time for 1 Bataash (Bet Now: $3.00)? Been regarded by many as the best 1000m horse in the world but was well fancied to win this race last year and failed, mainly because he ran his race in the mounting yard. He had an absolute bee in his bonnet and was in a foul mood. Seems to have relaxed a bit better with time but the mounting yard will be vital to him. If you like him, wait until you see how he parades.
Not sure the straight track will suit 7 Houtzen (Bet Now: $16.00), but there are a couple of things I like about her here. One is that Toby Edmonds sent her over early to settle her in and have a good long prep in readiness for this race. That, and she draws inside Bataash, so I think the best chance for her to run well will be to tag him, get his back and get the ideal drag up into the race. She’ll do Australia proud.
Race 4. (01:20) St James's Palace Stakes 2000m
5 Phoenix Of Spain (Bet Now: $3.00) looks the safest option. This Lope De Vega colt was 210 days between runs when resuming in the Irish 2000 Guineas and he gave them an absolute caning in sitting on speed throughout and drawing clear like a very good horse. You’d like to think there is enormous upside with him and if he can stretch it to 2000m, he does look the winner.
4 King Of Comedy (Bet Now: $7.00) is the really interesting runner. John Gosden trains this three year old, who got the job done first up as a short priced elect at Yarmouth before going t the Heron at Sandown where he stamped his Royal Ascot credentials with an impressive win. Heading in the right direction and though clearly his hardest test to date, he is likeable at the odds if you don’t fancy the fav.
The best version of 6 Royal Marine (Bet Now: $41.00) is certainly good enough to be around the mark. Saeed bin Suroor trains this son of Raven’s Pass, who hasn’t really set the world on fire this prep but you only have to go back to last year and his Group l win at Longchamp. It was something else and that of a top class animal. If he brings that sort of form here, he’ll be hard to beat.
Race 5. (02:00) Ascot Stakes 4000m
This will be a slog. I think each way 8 Coeur De Lion (Bet Now: $7.50) is the way to go, especially if the track remains to have that little bit of give in it. This bloke really toughed it out best to win over 3700m at Chester, making a mid race move to be on speed 1000m out and he was just too tough for his rivals. Was $5.50 when midfield in this race last year but I think he’s clearly going better 12 months later.
18 Buildmeupbuttercup (Bet Now: $7.00) will be popular here with the Ryan Moore/Willie Mullins combo, the same partnership which won the race last year. Willie had a few better runners nominated but goes with this bloke, who hasn’t raced in just under two months since failing to finish in a Punchestown Hurdle race, making a mistake over a jump and being pulled up soon after. Mullins is a master at these kind of races and rarely gets it wrong.
2 Snow Falcon (Bet Now: $9.00) is a talented jumper who could be a knockout here if it indeed becomes a slog. Hasn’t set the world on fire over the jumps at his past couple of runs but bear in mind he is a Group ll winner over the jumps before those flops and he will certainly have no issue with the 4000m. Bit of give in the track certainly won’t harm his chances here either.
Race 6. (02:35) Wolferton Stakes 2000m
Ryan Moore and Aidan O’Brien for me in the get out via 16 Magic Wand (Bet Now: $6.00), who drops big time in grade/depth. She’s contested nine straight majors on the bounce and now comes back to Listed level, with a couple of her recent runs being in the US and Meydan, notably in the Pegasus World Cup when second and a fifth to Old Persion at Meydan. Very likeable here.
11 Riven Light (Bet Now: $9.00) is a Willie Mullins trained gelding who was hard in the market when resuming over 2000m at the Curragh in a Listed race and it was a bit of an ugly watch if you were on, getting badly held up in the straight when seemingly having plenty in hand and you could easily make a case he should have won. Doubt he’ll get caught in traffic from the barrier here and is a definite threat.
7 Latrobe (Bet Now: $7.50) can easily win this if he found his best. He has had two runs back from a spell, both at the Curragh where he has been solid without being great behind a star in Magical, who has really gone on with it this season. Latrobe was touted as a Melbourne Cup contender last year before Team Williams changed plans. Back a notch in overall depth, he can bounce back for sure.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Three Number 2 Blue Point
NEXT BEST: Race Two Number 1 Arizona
LONG SHOT: Race One Number 1 Accidental Agent
All odds are subject to change. Odds listed are correct at the time of the latest update.
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