stodge

Royal Ascot 2022 - 14th to the 19th June

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Just over a week to the start of my favourite five days racing of the year.

This thread is for any and all comments, thoughts, previews, reviews on the racing. Aussie, American and Japanese challengers set to make this a proper global racing event.

Hopefully it'll be live on Trackside for the insomniacs but I'll be putting up my usual previews and reviews and YouTube videos of the Group 1 races.

The running order has been changed a little this year.

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4 hours ago, stodge said:

Just over a week to the start of my favourite five days racing of the year.

 A wonderful week of Racing and Pageantry. Hope Maam will be able to make her usual appearance but odds are on the drift

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10 hours ago, Craig hitchcock said:

Looking forward to hearing your wonderful reports Stodge.

Thank you for the kind word, my friend.

The plan is an early 5-day look at the big races, a more detailed preview 48 hours out and a review as soon as I can after the races.

I'll be concentrating on the Group races with the most extensive analysis reserved for the Group 1 races.

Tomorrow will see the 5-day declarations for next Tuesday.

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Next Tuesday sees the opening day of the five day Royal meeting.

Three Group 1 races on the first day. First, the Queen Anne over the straight 1600m for the older horses. 10 have been entered and BAAEED is 2/7 favourite.

The King's Stand over 1000m is one of only two Group 1 races over the minimum trip in the UK (the other is the Nunthorpe at York in August). The American GOLDEN PAL is 15/8 ahead of the Australian NATIVE STRIP at 7/2.

The Aussies are confident they can beat the British - can they beat the Americans ?

14 in the St James's Palace over the round 1600m for the 3-y-o colts - 2000 Guineas winner CORROEBUS is 1/2.

The Group 2 Coventry over 1200m is the first juvenile race of the meeting - 22 entries including four from Ballydoyle and most of the big UK stables represented as well as an American (but not Wesley Ward).

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8 hours ago, stodge said:

Next Tuesday sees the opening day of the five day Royal meeting.

Three Group 1 races on the first day. First, the Queen Anne over the straight 1600m for the older horses. 10 have been entered and BAAEED is 2/7 favourite.

The King's Stand over 1000m is one of only two Group 1 races over the minimum trip in the UK (the other is the Nunthorpe at York in August). The American GOLDEN PAL is 15/8 ahead of the Australian NATIVE STRIP at 7/2.

The Aussies are confident they can beat the British - can they beat the Americans ?

14 in the St James's Palace over the round 1600m for the 3-y-o colts - 2000 Guineas winner CORROEBUS is 1/2.

The Group 2 Coventry over 1200m is the first juvenile race of the meeting - 22 entries including four from Ballydoyle and most of the big UK stables represented as well as an American (but not Wesley Ward).

Jim Crowley telling us how good Baaeed Is……

 

 

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Wednesday is the second day of the meeting.

Just the single Group 1, the Prince of Wales, over 2000m and that has a first prize of £600,000.

Brigadier Gerard winner BAY BRIDGE has been installed as the 11/10 favourite but he has serious opposition including LORD NORTH, STATE OF REST, ADDEYBB, the French galloper GRAND GLORY and perhaps most of all, the Sheema Classic winner SHAHRYAR from Japan.

Three Group 2 races - the Queen Mary over 1000m for the speedy juvenile fillies for which Wesley Ward's LOVE REIGNS is 3/1 favourite. Then we have the Queen's Vase over 2800m for the staying 3-y-o and finally the Duke of Cambridge over the straight 1600m for the older fillies and mares. 

Old rivals MOTHER EARTH and SAFFRON BEACH head the entries.

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20 hours ago, Ohokaman said:

“A jaw dropping £8m in stakes over the week…” Doesn’t pay much attention to Australian races then…..🙈

We all know up here how paltry our prize money compared to Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Dubai and a few other places ye tit's good to see a small and select international raiding party including runners from Japan, Australia and the US.

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Day 3 is of course Gold Cup day with the Blue Riband run over 4000m though at only £284,000 to the winner it's far from being the most valuable race at the meeting.

After a dry day the ground has been upgraded to Good to Firm and I suspect we'll see watering over the weekend.

13 have been entered with TRUESHAN and STRADIVARIUS the two stars on show and the weather will dictate which of them runs. The fascinating runner against them is last year's Leger runner up MOJO STAR who was outclassed in the Arc and has been off 256 days but has a touch of class and could be anything if he stays.

23 have been entered for the Group 2 Norfolk over 1000m for the juvenile colts.

12 go in the Group 2 Ribblesdale over 2400m for the 3-y-o fillies and the surprise entry is arguably unlucky Epsom runner up EMILY UPJOHN. 8/13 might look a very good price if she shows no sign of her Epsom exertions but John Gosden has said she is full of it.

 

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Day Four is next Friday and is my favourite day of the meeting.

Two Group 1 races - the Commonwealth Cup over 1200m for the sprinting 3-y-o and the Coronation Stakes over the round 1600m for the classic fillies.

24 go in the Commonwealth Cup and as you might imagine it's a wide open race as it's 4/1 the field. PERFECT POWER brings strong Group 1 juvenile form to the table having won the Morny and the Middle Park and after a win in the Greenham was allowed to take his chance in the Guineas despite plenty of reservations about his stamina. In the end, he didn't get home but dropping back 400m should be a huge help.

The Coronation is my favourite race of the whole week - it's always a strong race and I particularly like it when we get the English, French and Irish 1000 Guineas winners together. This year, to quote the late Mr Loaf, "two out of three ain't bad" - the English 1000 Guineas and Pouliches runner up CACHET meets the hugely impressive Irish 1000 Guineas winner HOMELESS SONGS. 

Into the mix, however, we have the former 1000 Guineas and champion juvenile filly of 2021, INSPIRAL, who was short priced favourite for Newmarket until suffering a setback. She makes her seasonal re-appearance but with John Gosden doing the preparation, you can assume she'll be ready to do herself justice. The ante post market has HOMELESS SONGS at 6/4 and INSPIRAL at 9/4.

The weather looks set fair with watering required to maintain good to firm ground and some very warm if not hot conditions likely be the end of the week. 

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The fifth and final day of Ascot is next Saturday.

The feature is the re-named Platinum Jubilee over the straight 1200m. Known in a previous life as the Cork & Orrery it was upgraded and re-named for HMQ's Golden Jubilee in 2012 and has been in this position ever since.

Often, the winner of the 1000m King's Stand will try to double up as the mighty CHOISIR did back in the day. In what looks a really open race, Chris Waller's HOME AFFAIRS is 4/1 favourite but Wesley Ward puts up last year's Commonwealth Cup winner, CAMPANELLE while Godolphin run CREATIVE FORCE. Both GOLDEN PAL (Wesley Ward) and NATURE STRIP (Chris Waller) have been entered but that may well depend on how they perform in the King's Stand on Tuesday. 

The Group 2 supporting race is the Hardwicke for the older horses over 2400m and is the likely return for HURRICANE LANE, who, after winning the Dante and running third in the Derby, won the Irish Derby, the Grand Prix de Paris and the Leger before finishing up third in the Arc. That's serious form and you don't often get a horse of that quality running in any Group 2 let alone the Hardwicke. Connections are trying to keep this one and ADAYAR apart understandably until the Arc but if he turns up with last year's form HURRICANE LANE is going to be very hard to beat.

The likes of AL AASY, BAY BRIDGE, BROOME and YIBIR are no mugs and in any other year would all be towards the head of the market but they may just run into one here/

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Final declarations are through for Tuesday afternoon (UK, Wednesday morning NZ) at Ascot where the ground remains a watered Good to Firm.

Just seven go in the opening Queen Anne over the straight 1600m and BAAEED is the 1/4 favourite and while you can throw around expressions like "banker of the week", that's what this boy will be for many. Unbeaten in seven he swept through the ranks last year from midsummer culminating in wins in the Moulin and the Queen Elizabeth II.

This year, he returned with a facile win in the Lockinge beating REAL WORLD and CHINDIT (both of whom re-oppose) with ease and there's no reason why the result should be any different. ORDER OF AUSTRALIA is an inconsistent type but on his day can be very good and only went down by a length and a quarter to BAAEED in the Moulin last year and he has won the Breeders Cup Mile in his time so he'd be my idea of the quinella. The others look outclassed including past winner ACCIDENTAL AGENT.

18 go in the 1000m King's Stand - last year, led by BATTAASH, they went like scalded cats and those who couldn't keep with hem ended up coming through and prevailing so it's a warning that early speed may not be all it seems on this track. The Australian NATURE STRIP was an emphatic winner of the TJ Smith last time but reading his form it looks to me he might need a slower track but with plenty of 1200m form on flat Aussie tracks, the stiff 1000m at Ascot should be no problem.

Waller may think he's got the British and Irish cooked but the Americans are a different proposition and it's so rare we get the American and Australian sprinters squaring off and it'll be fascinating to see who prevails. GOLDEN PAL was second in the Norfolk in 2020 as a juvenile but flopped in the Nunthorpe last year and that's a concern as I'd have thought 1000m on quick ground at York would have been absolutely perfect for an American speedball.

So, I've some doubts about the raiders but what about the locals? In truth, the sprinting division isn't strong currently - the Temple at Haydock was fought out by TWILIGHT CALLS and KING'S LYNN but they are both well below Group 1 class on all known form. Godolphin's MAN OF PROMISE was third in the 1200m Al Quoz Sprint and while the form doesn't suggest it strongly, I suspect Appleby has been wanting to try this chap over the shorter trip.

WINTER POWER doesn't have much form away from York and while I thought KHAADEM was good at Newmarket, he's no more than an each way hope at 16s.

LAZULI at 20s is a possible but he's too inconsistent as well so I'm left with more questions than answers (as the song has it). I smell a surprise here and I'm going to go each way on MAN OF PROMISE at 12s.

The third Group 1 of the day is the St James's Palace for the 3-y-o colt milers over the round course. The 2000 Guineas winner CORROEBUS is 4/9 favourite and plenty will be doubling up with BAAEED to pay for their lobster lunch. The truth is he is a Group 1 winner against pretty modest opposition. The next two in the market are both trained by William Haggas - MY PROSPERO won the Listed Heron at Sandown while MALJOOM is unbeaten having won the German 2000 Guineas (a Group 2) last time. They are both no doubt decent horses but 7-8 lbs behind CORROEBUS on the numbers and meeting him on levels.

I'd offer LUSAIL as an alternative - he was second in the Greenham and sixth at Newmarket not having to my recollection the best of runs. It's a 13-runner field and it can get very tight off the home turn - he's 28s if you want a sporting each way bet.

The Group 2 Coventry is the opening juvenile race of the meeting - the word is Aidan O'Brien has a very strong set of juveniles and they seem to be winning first time which has been a rarity for Ballydoyle types in recent years. On that basis, three time winner BLACKBEARD would have a big chance but he matches with PERSIAN FORCE from team Hannon who put up an impressive performance in the Brocklesby and followed up nicely at Newbury. Both could be very good types.

Selections for Day One:

2.30: BAAEED

3.05: PERSIAN FORCE

3.45: MAN OF PROMISE (each way)

4.20: LUSAIL (each way)

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Re  Nature Strip

He's won 10 million pounds … the USA horse has won a million

NS is a poor breather and that’s exacerbated early in his campaigns, he’s inclined to pull a bit when fresh, or in slow tempo races, and when he pulls he doesn’t breathe as well, hence he doesn’t quicken off the bridle …..neither of those scenarios apply here 

He’s not a wet tracker either, but he does have a very powerful action that means he can plough through wet loose tracks better than most, and being heavy chested a wee bit of give in the ground helps because he’s not hitting the ground quite as hard 

Ascot is ideal for him with the grass cut longer than he’s used to 

He should get a fast pace so he won’t pull 

He’ll love the uphill finish with his big powerful action 

I’m told he’s travelled a treat and he actually put 2kg on during his flight 

I saw a video of him doing a wee bit of work at Ascot the other day, he looked pretty chilled 

I’m seeing him sitting about fifth with a wee bit of cover from that draw, J Mac will show him a bit of real estate about 400 out, he’ll slide into it on the bridle then just ease away and win by four, on the bridle …J Mac won’t even rotate the stick 

If he’s at his best, and all indications suggest he is, he’s lengths better than this lot, most of whom are, to be frank, just third level mugs 

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It'll be impressive if NATURE STRIP wins as easily as you suggest  but not wholly surprising given he's rated 124 (GOLDEN PAL is 121 and MAN OF PROMISE 118).

I've never seen him run though his form obviously reads very strong and I certainly agree the stiff 1000m at Ascot will be ideal. Last year in the King's Stand they went like scalded cats so a fast pace is all very well but does leave you vulnerable to a finisher.

That being said, he looks strong and I much prefer him to Wesley's - on your argument, 9/4 could be huge value by 4pm Tuesday (UK). 

I've backed MAN OF PROMISE each way because I know he won't be stopping either at 12s a place is a solid proposition.

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yes.....on paper it seems quite simple

Golden Pal jumps 3 lengths clear of the field........Nature Strip jumps well and angles into GP's slipstream........inches up at the furlong and stays on 

just need Nature Strip to jump cleanly..............as we know it's never that simple....but it could be

 

Tasman Bay in Race 6......fresh up 10 furlongs...recently gelded

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Wednesday's final declarations are through.

Just five go in the Prince of Wales over 2000m. but they are rated between 116 and 121 so it's a decent renewal. Favourite and top rated is BAY BRIDGE who has progressed through the grades and won the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard by five lengths last time. That certainly earned him a place in his field but he's now at the top table.

The opposition is headed by the Japanese raider SHAHRYAR who last time won the 2400m Sheema Classic on World Cup night. I suspect this stiff 2000m will be fine and as we've seen worldwide Japanese horses deserve huge respect. This one beat a strong European challenge in Meydan but he'll be need to be operating at that level to win this.

STATE OF REST is well known to this forum having won the Cox Plate and he then followed up in the Ganay before finishing a close third at The Curragh in the Tattersalls Gold Cup. I didn't think that was Shane Crosse's finest hour in the saddle and he'll not be able to ride anything less than his best but this horse is very good and he's my idea of the winner.

LORD NORTH won this last year and dead heated in the Dubai Turf but last time he was for me a little disappointing finishing a length and a half behind STATE OF REST - course form puts LORD NORTH right in this but is he quite as good as he was? 

The outsider GRAND GLORY from France won the Romanet and was runner up in the Opera last year before an ambitious and credible fifth in the Japan Cup. This season she's won a couple of Group 3 races but that bare form leaves her with a little to find.

This is a fascinating race on many levels - STATE OF REST is my narrow preference over SHAHRYAR and LORD NORTH but I'm far from confident and I'm looking forward to see how this plays out.

The opening Group 2 Queen Mary for the juvenile filly speedballs over 1000m has 21 runners - favourite is Wesley Ward's LOVE REIGNS who won a maiden special weight by no less than nine and a half lengths at Keenelend on debut. She could just blow these away - her most likely rival is DRAMATISED who bolted up on her debut at Newmarket but I'd be surprised if any of the British runners can lay up with the American.

12 go in the Group 2 Queen's Vase over 2800m for the staying 3-y-o. NAHANNI puts the Derby form to an early test - he was seventh at Epsom - but this looks a weak renewal with only four rated over 100. HAFIT is favourite but he was a disappointing third when 3/10 at Longchamp last time. ANCHORAGE had solid form as a juvenile but was a moderate fifth in the Gallinule and ZECHARIAH was last in the Lingfield Derby Trial. AL QAREEM shouldn't be good enough but he was solid form in strong handicaps and looks a reasonable each way proposition at 10s.

8 go in the Duke of Cambridge, essentially the Queen Anne for the fillies and mares run over the straight 1600m. MOTHER EARTH won the 2021 1000 Guineas at Newmarket and had a fine season but was 12 lengths behind BAAEED in the Lockinge. SAFFRON BEACH put up some decent efforts last season as well - I thought she had a decent chance in the Oaks but she didn't stay and her fourth in the Dubai Turf was decent Group 1 form.

Of the others, BASHKIROVA won the Princess Elizabeth at Epsom but the trainer didn't sound confident after the race she would improve that much and the French raider SIBILA SPAIN makes a lot of appeal having won the Group 2 Muguet at Saint Cloud last month.

My Day two Selections as follows:

2.30: LOVE REIGNS

3.05: AL QAREEM (each way)

3.45: STATE OF REST

4.20: SAFFRON BEACH

 

 

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Interesting looking at the video on Baaeed posted by Ohakaman above and the comments about his size. Both Gold and the trainer seemed to express surprise given his pedigree. I believe not enough attention is paid to the damsire in a stallion's pedigree. In this case it is Miswaki. From the American Classic pedigree site they give this description of Miswaki "A well-made chestnut horse standing 15.3 hands, Miswaki was lengthy and somewhat short-legged for his height with a deep girth and powerful hindquarters. His pasterns were rather short and upright."

Those with better knowledge of conformation, than I have, might like to comment on any comparison to Baaeed. Angus Gold emphasized Baaeed's massive hind quarters saying that was where the power was coming from.

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Ascot tonight ..RACE 3  The King's Stand.
I Have watched Golden Pal's   races.
 He will be lucky to finish top 3 !
I am no fan of American form and their drug tolerance.
Even if Golden Pal  wins he has to survive the drug tests.
 
 
Nature Strip will ( hopefully ) trail Golden Pal and even though only 1000 metres the last bit of the track rises again.
Nature Strip, is as good as any Aussie  male sprinter we've seen, sprinting wise. 
Similar to Choisir..
The Kings Stand is a very poorly rated race this year too. Compared to the field average rating over the last 15 years.
Go Nature Strip and J Mac.and that Trainer. !!
I did like King's Lynn ( The Queens Horse) last two runs. There is another sprint for him later on at Ascot.
 
Dont wake up late Race Cafe's. Set your sky recorders.
 
 Race One Queen Anne Group One 1600m. is a beauty.
 
#2 Baaeed.   Going for, I think for 8  wins. Unbeaten. He Will start shortest price horse of the whole of Ascot 4 days.
 he is already being compared to the unbeaten Frankel Really .Fair dinkem ?  Frankel  won this race way back.
 
FRANKEL. Champion world sire.
 
Also in Race 1 is a colt who will probably end up in New Zealand or Australia, as a sire.
#3 CHINDIT. ( by Wootten Bassett out of an Oasis Dream mare ) 
He is a close relative of Turn Me Loose  through Iffraaj and the dam sire's pedigree.
Chindit couldn't win this if he had 29 yards start, but he is a gorgeous colt and winner of 5.
 
RACE 6 Wolferton Stakes  1 mile and a bit.
 
Mark Todd and James McDonald and The Blue and White Vela colours.
#14 Tasman Bay .
He's now a gelding which must have hurt. Not the colt. Given his yearling price in 2019 of 225K Euros.
God ,I hope this horse goes well for Toddy. All the bull shit about him recently and through out his
amazing career. Three fantastic New Zealanders combine race Day. Two with a knighthood.
 
 

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