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Royal Ascot 2024

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One of the best weeks of horse racing anywhere in the world but then I would say that, wouldn't I?

Here is where I will put all the previews, reviews, comments, analysis and please feel free to chip in your two cents, five dollars or whatever.

Hopefully the racing will be shown on Trackside and if some of you are night owls, I'll be trying to watch live through the week (NOT every day) so any thoughts are welcome.

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The early entries are through for the opening day of the Royal Ascot meeting next Tuesday.

The ground is currently Good, Good to Firm in places but rain is forecast later in the week and showers over the weekend.

The opening day has three Group 1 races.

Queen Anne Stakes - 1600m Straight

The traditional curtain raiser for the older milers is often a follow on from the Lockinge at Newbury and the winner, second, fourth, fifth and seventh re-oppose. AUDIENCE did it well but the circumstances dropped perfectly for him and it won't be so easy this time. INSPIRAL, who was fourth, will have come on a ton for the run and is a huge danger. I'd be worried about CHARYN on quick ground (ditto for BIG ROCK). FACTEUR CHEVAL won the Dubai Turf over a turning 1800m so has to have claims and the very lightly-raced MALJOOM, arguably desperately unlucky in the 2022 St James's Palace, is another fascinating entry.

King Charles III Stakes - 1000m Straight

ASFOORA will find the ground much more to her liking than at Haydock but this is a stiff 1000m. BIG EVS looked good at York but this is the big leagues. KERDOS. REGIONAL and ROGUE LIGHTNING also come on from the Temple at Haydock and REGIONAL could be the one but this is a very open race.

St James's Palace - 1600m Round

Known as the Ascot 2000 Guineas, unlike Newmarket, it's round a turn. A re-match between English 2000 Guineas winner NOTABLE SPEECH and the runner up (and subsequent Irish Guineas winner) ROSALLION. Throw in the likes of HAATEM, RIVER TIBER and DARLINGHURST and it looks one of the best races of the year so far, never mind the week.

The supporting Group 2 is the Coventry for the juveniles over 1200m. 31 entries and it's the usual quality with most of them having won and those who haven't shaping with huge promise.

Final decs on Sunday, full preview Monday.

 

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26 minutes ago, nomates said:

I look forward to Royal Ascot and the Cheltenham festival more than most NZ racing . Very sad . It's amazing that tradition is so fervently held onto in other older racing jurisdictions but we seem to have very a nonchalant attitude to ours .

I agree. There are probably even people who haven't noticed that the "time honoured" Parliamentary and North Island Challenge Stakes both go around this weekend.

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J-Mac often goes over for the carnival but I haven't read anything to indicate he's going this year..

(perhaps not going as it seems there's practically zero Aussie representation this year apart from Asfoora)..??

Any idea's??

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29 minutes ago, Ponderosa8 said:

J-Mac often goes over for the carnival but I haven't read anything to indicate he's going this year..

(perhaps not going as it seems there's practically zero Aussie representation this year apart from Asfoora)..??

Any idea's??

Often rides for Applybe doesn't he , so might be going over for some Godolphin rides .

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No sign of James MacDonald on day one but he could always turn up later in the meeting.

Just to add I forgot to mention the Poulains winner METROPOLITAN has been supplemented for the St James's Palace and is on offer at 8s.

Rain due this afternoon and evening.

Wednesday's entries are in. It's now the quietest day of the meeting with a single Group 1 race.

Prince of Wales Stakes - 2000m, Round

13 have been entered including INSPIRAL, who is also in the Queen Anne. WHITE BIRCH and AUGUSTE RODIN renew rivalry from the Tattersalls Gold Cup and we have the French filly BLUE ROSE CEN who ran okay in the Ispahan and should enjoy the extra trip on better ground.

Three supporting Group 2 races - the Queen Mary for the juvenile fillies over 1000m has 36 entries including three from Wesley Ward. Aidan O'Brien has seven of the seventeen entries in the Queen's Vase over 4450m. SAYEDATY SADATY was fifth in the Derby and looked to be well suited by a step up in trip. The Duke of Cambridge for the filly and mare milers over the round course looks a poor renewal. LAUREL hasn't been seen since the 2023 Lockinge and it may be ROGUE MILLENNIUM will improve enough from her opening run to prevail.

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Looks like Royal Ascot is 5 days in a row, wonder how long before Ellerslie try to match it.😬

Anyone know what the crowd is at Ascot, like everything else in England it would be big.

I note on Swedens national day on a once a year track, Gardet they were hoping for 50000  to turn up, it's a little turning track like Reefton but don't seem to matter, you can watch replays on a Swedish betting site, I do.

Strangely this weekend they are having their feature jumping races right at the peak of summer.

 

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6 hours ago, mikenz said:

Anyone know what the crowd is at Ascot, like everything else in England it would be big.

According to the Horseracing Betting Levy Board, the attendance for the five days last year as follows:

Tue 20/06/2023 ASCOT 41,848 182 111 Flat Turf
Wed 21/06/2023 ASCOT 37,156 186 135 Flat Turf
Thu 22/06/2023 ASCOT 61,660 211 138 Flat Turf
Fri 23/06/2023 ASCOT 57,353 215 123 Flat Turf
Sat 24/06/2023 ASCOT 68,128 220 106 Flat Turf

The two numbers after the attendance are the number of bookmakers on course and the number of runners across seven races each day.

Attendance = paying public (including those in hospitality), annual members and complimentary passes (not sure what category KCIII fits in, annual member, I suppose?)

Thursday is Gold Cup day but Saturday has now become the best attended day as those who can't get off work to attend in the week take their opportunity. The Saturday number is very close to the number who attend Gold Cup day at Cheltenham.

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The main news this morning is INSPIRAL will head to the Prince of Wales rather than the Queen Anne - an interesting move to step her up in trip. I'll consider this more on Monday.

Despite the promised rain, the ground has tightened to Good to Firm, Good in places. Showers remain in the forecast until the middle of next week.

We have the early entries for Thursday - Gold Cup day.

Twelve have been entered for the 4000m Gold Cup and 2022 winner KYPRIOS is 4/5 to regain his title. He's had two exercise canters to win races in Ireland this summer but we know 4000m on fast ground holds no fears. The question is whether he has all his old fire - if he does, he probably wins.

COLTRANE was second in the race last year and won the Lonsdale at York before a couple of disappointing efforts. With cheekpieces on the first time, he beat CAIUS CHORISTER in the Sagaro last time and he's another we know will like both the trip and the ground and at 14s he looks a serious each way play.

VAUBAN needs no introduction - he was well beaten in the Yorkshire Cup on his first run since Flemington and has it to prove at the top table. TRAWLERMAN represents Godolphin and beat KYPRIOS in the Champions Day Stayers last autumn (that over 3400m). He was third in Meydan last time and I'm not convinced.

There's always a chance a 4-y-o can shake things up - GREGORY was fifth in the Leger last year but he was a length behind VAUBAN at York - he's bound to have come on from that but he has to prove this trip will bring about improvement.

The supporting Group 2 races start with the Norfolk for the juvenile colts over 1000m - their equivalent of the Queen Mary. Only five of the 33 entries haven't won so we'll see who turns up on the day with a number also declared in both the Coventry and the Listed Windsor Castle.

The Ribblesdale for the 3-y-o fillies over 2400m is known as the Ascot Oaks and the likes of YOU GOT TO ME (fourth), CAUGHT U LOOKING (fifth),  FOREST FAIRY (seventh) and RUBIES ARE RED (ninth) all come on from Epsom. Godolphin have the current favourite with the unbeaten DIAMOND RAIN who won a Listed at Newbury last time. 

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Stoge ....agree with you 100% re Kyprios in the Gold Cup on Thurs ....he just has no bottom and the lead up canters showed me he is ready again ......oh and then he's got O'Brien and Moore ....what more could you want .....plus the NZ TAB is betting 'levels you devils' which is probably the best price world wide!

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Been for a short break to Derbyshire with Mrs Stodge but back with the previews of the final two days at Ascot before the fuller preview of the opening day.

First, then day four featuring two Group 1 races.

Commonwealth Cup - 1200m straight

This has quickly found a niche in the schedule and has proved hugely popular with trainers providing a serious race for the sprinting juveniles who are not up to the classic races over a mile or further.

22 have been entered and joint favourites at 4s are INISHERIN and VANDEEK. The two met three weeks back at Haydock in the Sandy Lane where INISHERIN, fresh from his sixth in the 2000 Guineas, put up a sparkling performance while VANDEEK, on seasonal bow and conceding the 3 lb Group 1 penalty, looked a bit moderate in third. VANDEEK's trainer, Ed Crisford, was adamant the horse could come on a ton for the run and he'll have to but the Haydock race was run on soft ground and conditions by the end of next week could be pretty quick.

It was fast enough when VANDEEK won the Middle Park last autumn.

Coronation Stakes - 1600m - Round

One of my favourite races of the meeting, this is the equivalent of the St James's Palace but for the fillies. The first three from Newmarket re-oppose with ELMALKA, PORTA FORTUNA and RAMATUELLE only being split by three quarters of a length. The ground will be quicker and of the three I quite like PORTA FORTUNA - I remember her handling firm turf in America when second in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Favourite is the O'Brien runner OPERA SINGER who was third in the Irish 1000 Guineas while ROUHIYA won the Pouliches and comes over to add to the real class of the race.

The Group 2 supporting race is the King Edward VII over 2400m, often known as the Ascot Derby but BELLUM JUSTUM (seventh) and EUPHORIC (ninth) are the best of those who ran at Epsom - we know the winner is going to Sandown (as is the sixth) while the fifth is in the Queens Vase and the second, third and fourth are all heading for the Irish Derby. Favourite is the French challenger CALANDAGAN who won the Hocquart last time while Aidan O'Brien has entered no fewer than nine.

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The fifth and final day next Saturday will see nearly 70,000 head to Berkshire.

In truth, it's not the strongest card of the meeting but there is a final Group 1.

Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes - 1200m Straight

Known many moons ago as the Cork and Orrery, it has enjoyed championship status since 2002 when it was the Golden Jubilee of the late Queen. Diamond and eventually Platinum followed but the renaming of the race in perpetuity is a nice touch.

33 have been entered and they go 5s the field. MILL STREAM won the Duke of York but I'm to be convinced he's a Group 1 performer. KINROSS was top class over 1400m last year and placed runs in the July Cup and the Champions Sprint showed he can be competitive at 1200m and his defeat of AUDIENCE in the City of York now looks really strong form.

REGIONAL won the Haydock Sprint Trophy last year and we know he enjoys fast ground.

The supporting Group 2 is the Hardwicke over 2400m for the older horses. The Coronation Cup winner LUXEMBOURG has been entered as has the globe trotting REBEL'S ROMANCE whose last two win s were in Dubai and Hong Kong. CONTINUOUS chased home KING OF STEEL in the King Edward VII last year and went on to win both the Voltigeur and the Leger before a fine fifth in the Arc. That's serious form but will be ready for this first time up? 

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On then to the full preview for the opening day of Royal Ascot 2024.

The ground remains Good to Firm, Good in places with Ascot missing most of the weekend showers which certainly affected Chester and York yesterday.

Three Group 1 races highlight a stellar card to open the iconic meeting.

Queen Anne Stakes - 1600m - Straight

14 go to post in a fascianting renewal for the older milers. The Lockinge form is represented by AUDIENCE and CHARYN while we have the likes of BIG ROCK and FACTEUR CHEVAL and the four dominate the early betting exchanges.

It all went spectacularly right for AUDIENCE at Newbury but he won't get that kind of rope this time. This is a stiffer mile than Newbury and he may struggle to follow up. CHARYN was just below top notch at three running third in the St James's Palace behind PADDINGTON and my concern is he's never gone on anything quicker than good. We know he enjoys some juice in the ground and I need to be convinced.

FACTEUR CHEVAL won the Dubai Turf last time but the Meydan 1800m is dead flat on a bowling green while Ascot has undulations. That said, he ran well in defeat behind BIG ROCK in the Queen Elizabeth II stakes last autumn but that was on much slower ground.

I've got concers about all the market leaders so could we be in for a turnup? This race has produced them in the past - ACCIDENTAL AGENT was 50s in 2018 and TRIPLE TIME was 33s last year. ROYAL SCOTSMAN was third in the 2022 Coventry on quick ground and was very good at Epsom when allowed to dictate - he could do what AUDIENCE did in the Lockinge and at 14s he's of interest. I like MALJOOM as well if he can come back to his 2022 St James's Palace form and with no Ballydoyle runner, Ryan Moore has been snapped up for HI ROYAL who is on offer at 40s.

I'm going to give ROYAL SCOTSMAN a chance to continue his renaissance.

KIng Charles III Stakes - 1000m - Straight

17 very fast horses go to post for this championship race.

The much quicker ground will, I'm sure, have an impact. REGIONAL is one who will love it but so will the Australian ASFOORA. BIG EVS is favourite after his smooth win at York and his run in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint entitles him to huge respect. However, he couldn't mix it with the older sprinters in the Nunthorpe and I'm yet to be convinced he will be up to taking on these older and wiser types.

REGIONAL has stamina to spare and loves quick ground while we know we'll see a different ASFOORA from the one who couldn't cope with the Soft ground at Haydock. BELIEVING has been backed from 40s to 7s after a facile win at Haydock last weekend but that was in Listed grade. KERDOS was cut from 20s to 8s after winning the Temple and he was second, albeit in a warm handicap, at the 2023 Ascot meeting.

CRIMSON ADVOCATE is a fascinating contender - an ex-American turf galloper, she won the Queen Mary last year over this course and distance and was sixth to BIG EVS at the Breeders Cup but has now come over to be trained by the Gosdens and this could be a very interesting move for a horse who is all about gate speed. 

It's not an easy race to call - I like REGIONAL to win and I think CRIMSON ADVOCATE at 16s is a big each way shout.

St James's Palace Stakes - 1600m - Round

Eight run in what many are already calling the "race of the week". The English, Irish and French Guineas winners all turn up along with the English Guineas third and Irish Guineas runner up. 

Where then to start? The first three from Newmarket re-oppose - NOTABLE SPEECH, ROSALLION and HAATEM and they were split by three and a quarter lengths. ROSALLION then just beat HAATEM at the Curragh so who will come out on top this time? There are arguments for both the English and Irish Guineas winners - NOTABLE SPEECH was very good at Newmarket but he came off three wins on synthetic surfaces while ROSALLION was making his seasonal debut and HAATEM had won the Craven.

Connections have always claimed ROSALLION wanted fast ground and he may well get that on Tuesday. To be honest, I was slightly disappointed by his run in Ireland but to be fair everything that could go wrong did go wrong in the run. He jumped too well, had to be taken back and started pulling. He was trapped out wide in the run but still won. 

HENRY LONGFELLOW is the Ballydoyle runner and won the National last sutumn. He was eighth in the Poulains but he wouldn't be the first Ballydoyle horse to bounce back from a bad run and it may be the round 1600m and better ground could be just what he needs.

The French challengers add a huge dimension to the race but on all known from DARLINGHURST isn't good enough. Poulains winner METROPOLITAN could well improve for the better ground but this is more likely to be a trongly-run race than a French style race.

I like ROSALLION a lot and respect NOTABLE SPEECH but HENRY LONGFELLOW could be the one for the Ballydoyle masestro and the lads.

The supporting Group 2 Coventry over 1200m for the juveniles has 23 runners and if anyone has a spare pin, I'll gladly use it. It's not a race in which I'd be getting involved. COWARDOFTHECOUNTY from the Joseph O'Brien yard is 4s but the problem is most of these have done their running and winning on much slower ground and in much lower grade. In lieu of anything else, I'll offer SYMBOL OF HONOUR, a 20/1 shot and the Godolphin second string. He looked good on fast turf at Lingfield and should give his running.

Selections - Day One

2.30 Queen Anne Stakes - ROYAL SCOTSMAN (each way)

3.05 Coventry Stakes - SYMBOL OF HONOUR (each way)

3.45 King Charles III Stakes - REGIONAL (win), CRIMSON ADVOCATE (each way)

4.25 St James's Palace Stakes - HENRY LONGFELLOW (win)

Good luck to anyone playing on Wednesday morning (NZ).

 

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Just looking through the fields and the prize money is interesting….

Queen Anne 1st: £425,325.00 2nd: £161,250.00 3rd £80,700.00 4th: £40,200.00 5th: £20,175.00 6th £10,125.00

Coventry  1st: £99,242.00 2nd: £37,625.00 3rd £18,830.00 4th £9,380.00 5th £4,708.00 6th £2,362.00

King Charles 1st: £390,094.00 2nd: £147,893.00 3rd £74,015.00 4th £36,870.00 5th £18,504.00 6th: £9,286.00

St James  1st: £390,094.00 2nd £147,893.00 3rd £74,015.00 4th £36,870.00 5th £18,503.00 6th £9,286.00

Ascot  1st: £56,694.00 2nd £26,587.00 3rd £13,299.00 4th £6,644.00 5th: £3,322.00 6th: £1,661.00

Wolferton 1st: £68,052.00 2nd: £25,800.00 3rd £12,912.00 4th: £6,432.00 5th £3,228.00 6th: £1,620.00

Copper Horse 1st: £56,694.00 2nd £26,587.00 3rd £13,299.00 4th £6,644.00 5th £3,322.00 6th: £1,661.00

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Having a throw at the stumps looking for some value. Without the knowledge of our good friend Stodge I might add….:rolleyes:

Queen Anne -

Trust Mr Haggas to have MALJOOM ready to go. Remember his unlucky run against Coroebus last year.  $13/3

FACTEUR CHEVAL $4 and ROYAL SCOTSMAN $18/4 others of interest.

Coventry

Camille Pissaro $6, The Actor $12/4, Symbol of Honour $18/5. 
The interesting runner is Angelo Buonarroti a €1m Justify colt having its first start.

King Charles

Sticking with ASFOORA, her best will take her very close $7/2. Rogue Lightning $11/3

St James

Henry Longfellow $5/2 and Notable Speech $2.50

Ascot

Wide open event as many are - Zanndabad $6/2, Tritonic $13/4, Berkshire Rocco $ 17/5.

(Kyle of Lochalsh an obvious one for me $15/4 but a dual acceptor in the last )

Wolferton

 Mujitaba $15/4, Botanical $5/2, Israr $4/2, Torito $4/2

Copper Horse

Naqueeb ( related to Baaeed and Hukum ) $14/4, Belloccio $4, and Party Central ( 3/3 third up ) $15/4.

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7 hours ago, Ohokaman said:

Just looking through the fields and the prize money is interesting….

Queen Anne 1st: £425,325.00 2nd: £161,250.00 3rd £80,700.00 4th: £40,200.00 5th: £20,175.00 6th £10,125.00

Coventry  1st: £99,242.00 2nd: £37,625.00 3rd £18,830.00 4th £9,380.00 5th £4,708.00 6th £2,362.00

King Charles 1st: £390,094.00 2nd: £147,893.00 3rd £74,015.00 4th £36,870.00 5th £18,504.00 6th: £9,286.00

St James  1st: £390,094.00 2nd £147,893.00 3rd £74,015.00 4th £36,870.00 5th £18,503.00 6th £9,286.00

Ascot  1st: £56,694.00 2nd £26,587.00 3rd £13,299.00 4th £6,644.00 5th: £3,322.00 6th: £1,661.00

Wolferton 1st: £68,052.00 2nd: £25,800.00 3rd £12,912.00 4th: £6,432.00 5th £3,228.00 6th: £1,620.00

Copper Horse 1st: £56,694.00 2nd £26,587.00 3rd £13,299.00 4th £6,644.00 5th £3,322.00 6th: £1,661.00

The Ascot and the Copper Horse are both handicaps, the Wolferton is a Listed. 

The Coventry is a Group 2 but the gap between that and the three Group 1 races is significant.

I don't know why the Queen Anne carries roughly 10% more prize money than the King Charles III and the St James's Palace. 

The two most valuable races of the week are the Prince of Wales on Wednesday and the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee on Saturday with first prize pots of £567,000 (that's only just over NZ$ 1 million) so compare that with your top races let alone the top Aussie races and it's embarrassing.

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7 hours ago, Ohokaman said:

Having a throw at the stumps looking for some value. Without the knowledge of our good friend Stodge I might add….:rolleyes:

Queen Anne -

Trust Mr Haggas to have MALJOOM ready to go. Remember his unlucky run against Coroebus last year.  $13/3

FACTEUR CHEVAL $4 and ROYAL SCOTSMAN $18/4 others of interest.

Coventry

Camille Pissaro $6, The Actor $12/4, Symbol of Honour $18/5. 
The interesting runner is Angelo Buonarroti a €1m Justify colt having its first start.

King Charles

Sticking with ASFOORA, her best will take her very close $7/2. Rogue Lightning $11/3

St James

Henry Longfellow $5/2 and Notable Speech $2.50

Ascot

Wide open event as many are - Zanndabad $6/2, Tritonic $13/4, Berkshire Rocco $ 17/5.

(Kyle of Lochalsh an obvious one for me $15/4 but a dual acceptor in the last )

Wolferton

 Mujitaba $15/4, Botanical $5/2, Israr $4/2, Torito $4/2

Copper Horse

Naqueeb ( related to Baaeed and Hukum ) $14/4, Belloccio $4, and Party Central ( 3/3 third up ) $15/4.

For someone who hasn't used my knowledge, we are of similar mind. 

I don't usually play in the handicaps, they are absolute minefields. The Ascot Stakes is over the Gold Cup trip and it's dominated by jumps trainers and horses. The money has come for Willie Mullins's horse MY LYKA with Ryan Moore on top. When he raced in France he was fourth in the Grand Prix de Chantilly, albeit beaten 10 lengths, but Group form in a handicap is hard to ignore. I prefer the Chester Cup third ZANNDABAD (like you).

The Wolferton is very trappy. I like BOTANICAL on form but the ground is a big concern while BOLD DISCOVERY has the form but also has a 5 lb penalty for a Group 3 win. My idea of an each way shout is ASTRO KING at 14s.

The Copper Horse over 2800m is one of the new handicaps - KYLE OF LOCHALSH is declared as a reserve in this which is why he's been allowed to be doubly declared but he will almost certainly go for the longer race unless two or three frop it of this one. I agree it's a pain. My each way play here would be INTINSO for the Gosdens again around 14s. He was behind BAGUE D'OR (first reserve) at Newmarket this time but is 4 lb better off for a couple of lengths and I think the extra 400m will help.

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The Wednesday final declarations are now through.

Prince of Wales Stskes - 2000m Round

Ten line up in this championship race. AUGUSTE RODIN is 11/8 favourite with WHITE BIRCH scratched. The latter won in their clash at the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the end of last month. AUGUSTE RODIN won the English and Irish Derbies, the Irish Champion and the Breeders Cup Turf but has flopped spectacularly three times - in the 2023 2000 Guineas and King George and in the Sheema Classic at Meydan in March.

2000m at a strong gallop on fast ground looks ideal and if he's back to his best he'll take some stopping and it's likely the Curragh race brought him on a lot.

INSPIRAL is a fascinating opponent - she's rated 3 lbs inferior but gets 3 lbs. This is her first attempt at 2000m and we know she is very good at a mile. The Lockinge run clearly prompted the Gosdens to move her up in trip and if she is as effective at 2000m as she was in her prime at 1600m we are in for a proper horse race.

HORIZON DORE was third in last autumn's Champion Stakes over the course and distance but the fast turf is an unknown though he wouldn't be the first French horse to enjoy it. It may be BLUE ROSE CEN will improve for the ground - her visit to Goodwood for the Nassau was a disaster thanks to the awful ride from Aurelien Lemaitre. She won the Pouliches, Diane and Opera last season and is now to be ridden by Christophe Soumillon. 

ALFAILA is very lightly raced and won a Group 2 at York last summer. He was fifth to AUGUSTE RODIN in the Irish Champion.

This is a wonderful race as you'd expect - AUGUSTE RODIN on his a-game will be hard to beat. INSPIRAL's stamina has to be taken on trust and I just wonder if BLUE ROSE CEN, on this better ground and with a good jockey, might surprise them all.

The supporting Group 2 races start with the Queen Mary for the speedy juvenile fillies over 1000m. A maximum field of 26 run and they go 5s the field so you can argue this many ways. Aidan O'Brien first time up juvenile winners aren't common and TRULY ENCHANTING looked very good at Tipperary albeit probably against trees. 

12 stand in the Queen's Vase over 2800m. Aidan O'Brien has left in four including the favourite ILLINOIS who was no match for subsequent Derby runner up AMBIENTE FRIENDLY at Lingfield. The extra 400m should be fine but I'm more interested in stable companion HIGHBURY who left his debut form on soft ground at Naas (behind BIRDMAN) in the rear mirror with a seven length demolition job in a Leopardstown maiden on decent ground. He could be improving fast.

MEYDAAN was third, three lengths behind ILLINOIS at Lingfied but followed up at Goodwood in Listed company. MINA RASHID won a warm Chester maiden but I doubt that will be good enough for all we know he likes fast ground. 

The Duke of Cambridge over the round mile for the older fillies and mares has 14 runners. Favourite is LAUREL but she hasn't  been seen since flopping in the 2023 Lockinge. It would be a huge achievement to bring her back and win this quality of race but it's John Gosden so who knows?

ROGUE MILLENNIUM won this last year but her best run was chasing home TAHIYRA in the Matron last year and she'll need to have come on from her reappearance third to OCEAN JEWEL in the Lanwades last time but this year's renewal is about the same as 2023 so if she can come back to last year's form she will go close.

She has to find two lengths with OCEAN JEWEL but it's entirely possible. NOVUS interests me at a bigger price and I think the faster ground will help.

Selections - Day Two:

2.30: Queen Mary Stakes - TRULY ENCHANTING

3.05: Queen's Vase - HIGHBURY

3.45: Duke of Cambridge Stakes - ROGUE MILLENNIUM

4.25 - Prince of Wales's Stakes - BLUE ROSE CEN

 

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As we await the King's carriage to win the opening carriage race (as it does every day), a look ahead to the third day on Thursday.

Gold Cup - 4000m - Round

Ten go to post for this iconic staying race. 2022 winner KYPRIOS remains narrowly odds on and he ground it out two years ago. This may be a slightly stronger field and he's beaten nothing in two runs in Ireland this year but we know the trip and the ground hold no fears.

John and Thady Gosden have three runners - GREGORY. TRAWLERMAN and SWEET WILLIAM, all in different ownerships. GREGORY is the sole 4-y-o but KYPRIOS won as a 4-y-o. GREGORY won the Queen's Vase last year but was only fifth in the Leger and started this year with a fair third in the Yorkshire Cup. The view is going from 2800m to 4000m is just what this one needs but the proof of that particular pudding will be evidenced on Thursday afternoon. He's 5 lbs worse in on the numbers with KYPRIOS.

TRAWLERMAN is rated 1 lb above KYPRIOS at 118 and won a couple of much smaller races on fast ground by wide margins last autumn before beating KYPRIOS in the Long Distance Cup on Champions Day. He was then third to TOWER OF LONDON at Meydan but again we don't know how the extra 800m will play.

We know VAUBAN loves the track - he was a runaway winner of the Copper House Handicap last year but failed when favourite at Flemington. He ran well in the Yorkshire Cup and holds GREGORY on that but he's another whose stamina is unproven and I'm to be convinced he can sit at the top table.

COLTRANE has danced most of the staying dances in the past two seasons and he was runner up in the Gold Cup last year. A couple of moderate runs in the autumn suggested he might have been regressing but they put cheekpieces on and he came back to his best when beating CAIUS CHORISTER in the Sagaro last time. We know ground and trip will be fine.

The third Gosden runner, SWEET WILLIAM, is held by COLTRANE and TRAWLERMAN on separate Ascot form and may want slower ground.

I think GREGORY will go close - KYPRIOS may well win and I'm on COLTRANE at 20s each way.

The Group 2 Norfolk for the juvenile colts over 1000m has 14 runners and all bar one have won a race. SHAREHOLDER did everything wrong at Beverley but still won on debut against some decent ones with experience. Wathman Racing also have AESTERIUS who looked good at Bath and both have claims. Favourite is WHISTLEJACKET from the Aidan O'Brien yard who was an impressive winner in Listed company last time but the ground will be a new experience. SATURDAY FLIRT represents Wesley Ward who knows how to win these races and won on debut over 1100m at Keeneland.

The Ribblesdale over 2400m is for the 3-y-o fillies. DIAMOND RAIN comes here unbeaten and did it well at Newbury but would she be 6/4 if she weren't trained by Charlie Appleby? The bare form doesn't merit the price but she'll be improving. She's top rated however and KALPANA came from trouncing a field in an early season handicap to disappointing when second in the Pretty Polly. That's not good enough either. FOREST FAIRY beat PORT FAIRY in the Cheshire Oaks - the winner was only seventh at Epsom while they've put a visor on the second and neither convinces me.

YOU GOT TO ME had RUBIES IN RED and DANIELLE in second and third when winning the Lingfield Oaks Trial. The winner went on to finish a decent fourth at Epsom and IF the race hasn't taken too much out of her, she's my idea of the winner. The second flopped at Epsom but could do a lot better here. 

Selections - Day Three

2.30: Norfolk Stakes - SATURDAY FLIRT

3.45: Ribblesdale Stakes - YOU GOT TO ME

4.25: Gold Cup - COLTRANE (each way, on at 20s)

 

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Great first days racing , the coverage is second to none .

Perhaps we could send some of our presenters on secondment to get some upskilling , whilst at it maybe some of the behind the scenes people to see how to put it together .

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