stodge

Royal Ascot 2022 - 14th to the 19th June

Recommended Posts

My review of Ascot 2022.

Stradivarius would have won the Gold Cup if James McDonald had stood in for Frankie Dettori.  Frankie, that was not a ride to be proud of.

Holloway Boy in the Chesham Stakes; he looks like a bit of alright!!!

The last race on Saturday; I thought the umpires would have called "bad light stopped play".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gold Cup day at Royal Ascot, or Ladies’ Day as it is unofficially known, remains one of those quintessentially British icons. Nearly 50,000 turned up to the third day of the Royal meeting but a notable absentee was the Queen herself who remained a non-runner at Windsor Castle.

Another fine and very warm afternoon greeted the crowd and with 4mm of artificial irrigation overnight, the ground remained Good to Firm, genuine fast summer flat racing ground.

The feature was the aforementioned Gold Cup, perhaps not the race in terms of status it once was but still, at 4000m, a serious test. Going into the race those who tended to back out of sentiment were lumping on Frankie Dettori, whose meeting had been anything but glorious to this point, and the veteran STRADIVARIUS. The three-time Gold Cup winner, now eight, was on his farewell tour with Ascot the penultimate stop before the curtain comes down at Goodwood.

STRADIVARIUS had been well held in fourth last year after what many consider one of Dettori’s worse Ascot rides but while runner up PRINCESS ZOE was in the field, the main challenge seemed to be from the younger generation in the shape of last year’s Derby and Leger runner up MOJO STAR and the favourite from Ballydoyle, KYPRIOS.

Just a 4-y-o, KYPRIOS had returned from a truncated classic campaign to win both the Vintage Crop and the Levmoss, the latter by 14 lengths but he was unproven over the trip, on the ground and in the grade.

Gold Cup: 

A messy and controversial race – they basically cantered for 4200m and then sprinted the last 600m. The best place to be was close to the pace – the first two were close to the leader on the home turn but Dettori, having got hemmed in on the rail opted to go wide round the houses while William Buick, on BURNING VICTORY, got the dream run up the fence but didn’t have the pace and finished fourth.

The question is whether if Dettori had held his nerve and stuck to the inside and the gap opened 300m down as it did for Buick, whether STRADIVARIUS would have had the kick to run down the two younger horses close to the line? It’s a thought which is probably going to bother Dettori for the rest of his career – had no gap opened and he’d finished mid-division full of running, he’d have been equally vilified. John Gosden, who is usually the most circumspect of trainers, went as close as possible to blaming Dettori without saying so.

It’s possible to argue however the old horse wouldn’t have had the legs of the two younger horses even if he had enjoyed a clear run and while it was all going wrong for Dettori, it all went right for Moore, but he needed the line to hold off MOJO STAR, a proven 2400m Group 1 performer.

I thought PRINCESS ZOE was done no favours in the scrimmaging in the straight, but she wouldn’t have been suited by the crawl and if you want to see why you need a genuine 2400m horse in the Melbourne Cup that’s why.

The staying division is transformed – TRUESHAN remains a factor when the mud is flying but KYPRIOS and MOJO STAR look the two going forward and whether one or both will fancy spoiling the STRADIVARIUS farewell at Goodwood the fact remains there are new kids on the block.

If you thought the Gold Cup was messy and controversial, take a look at the Group 2 Norfolk for the juvenile colts over 1000m

Norfolk Stakes: 

I wouldn’t normally put this up but THE RIDLER, at 50/1, kept the race despite hanging violently left under a left-hand drive from Paul Hanagan and cutting up both the eventual third and fourth. Hanagan, who is after all a former champion jockey and not a weak apprentice, got a 10-day holiday but of course the horse keeps the race and Hanagan gets his cut.

In America, he’d have been thrown out, no question – I’d be fascinated to know what forum members think would happen had that occurred in Australia and New Zealand.

Hanagan was done for reckless riding – had it been considered dangerous, he would have been demoted but the British rules are clear about the horse causing the interference improving his position and as he did not interfere with the second, he kept the race.

Connections of the third and fourth were understandably livid but neither chose to object and the Stewards’ Chairman came out and defended the decision based on the rules and while, having backed the second, you could accuse me of talking out my pocket (as distinct from the other areas from where I normally opine) but that looked bad and has served only to re-open the whole can of worms which will, as is the case after a bad curry, run and run.

I suspect the second, third and fourth may fancy their chances over 200m further at Goodwood in the Richmond.

The other Group 2 race was the Ribblesdale which looked a weak renewal and while I got the race right I didn’t. I thought it would be between MAGICAL LAGOON and SEA SILK ROAD, but the latter wobbled to the left in the final 200m and opened the door for the Irish challenger to provide another Ascot success for the wonderful trainer that is Jessie Harrington. I imagine she’ll go for the Irish Oaks as might the runner up to take on Epsom winner TUESDAY.

The Group 3 Hampton Court is a fair race in its own right but was hyped up to the max with the Royal runner REACH FOR THE MOON, widely touted as a Derby hope last summer, sent off 2/5 to follow up his returning second to the useful MY PROSPERO (third in the St James’s Palace on Tuesday).

Unfortunately, to add insult to another wretched day for Dettori, neither CLAYMORE nor Adam Kirby had read the script and they made every yard always holding the Royal runner. We’ve commented on CLAYMORE on here before and he ran very well in the Craven behind NATIVE TRAIL, but it all went wrong in the Poulains on slow ground from the car park draw. Back on a quick surface over this trip that was a useful performance and he’s certainly ready to aim higher – I suspect an Eclipse or a Juddmonte may be too high at this stage but there are plenty of other options up at Group 2.

It was another success for Jane Chapple-Hyam who is having a very good meeting after the success of SAFFRON BEECH in the Duke of Cambridge.

Three big field handicaps made up the remainder of the card. The King George V over 2400m for the staying 3-y-o saw Godolphin score with SECRET STATE who had won a couple of conditions race but took this on his handicap debut off 93 – the Ebor might be a target.

The Britannia is the traditional cavalry charge down the straight mile for the 3-y-o – in many ways, it’s the toughest puzzle of the week with any number of unexposed types coming into handicap company and it often throws up a good one. THESIS was an unusual winner for being a maiden, but he’d run into both ZECHARIAH (second in the Queen’s Vase) and MY PROSPERO (third in the St James’s Palace) though his last effort when turned over at 4/7 had been less inspiring.

He was another for Ryan Moore and for the rising stallion star Kingman and just beat the Royal runner SAGA (a near miss for Dettori). JIMI HENDRIX was third (the horse not the legendary guitarist though the winning syndicate are called Purple Haze for all you 1960s types)

Proceedings concluded with the 1400m Buckingham Palace and the Queen’s TACTICAL was only sixth behind INVER PAR, a first Ascot win for trainer George Boughey (who has already had classic success with CACHET). ROPEY GUEST was second, but I thought RHOSCOLYN ran very well for the O’Meara/Tudhope combination who are having such a good week to date.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, stodge said:

Gold Cup day at Royal Ascot, or Ladies’ Day as it is unofficially known, remains one of those quintessentially British icons. Nearly 50,000 turned up to the third day of the Royal meeting but a notable absentee was the Queen herself who remained a non-runner at Windsor Castle.

Another fine and very warm afternoon greeted the crowd and with 4mm of artificial irrigation overnight, the ground remained Good to Firm, genuine fast summer flat racing ground.

The feature was the aforementioned Gold Cup, perhaps not the race in terms of status it once was but still, at 4000m, a serious test. Going into the race those who tended to back out of sentiment were lumping on Frankie Dettori, whose meeting had been anything but glorious to this point, and the veteran STRADIVARIUS. The three-time Gold Cup winner, now eight, was on his farewell tour with Ascot the penultimate stop before the curtain comes down at Goodwood.

STRADIVARIUS had been well held in fourth last year after what many consider one of Dettori’s worse Ascot rides but while runner up PRINCESS ZOE was in the field, the main challenge seemed to be from the younger generation in the shape of last year’s Derby and Leger runner up MOJO STAR and the favourite from Ballydoyle, KYPRIOS.

Just a 4-y-o, KYPRIOS had returned from a truncated classic campaign to win both the Vintage Crop and the Levmoss, the latter by 14 lengths but he was unproven over the trip, on the ground and in the grade.

Gold Cup: 

A messy and controversial race – they basically cantered for 4200m and then sprinted the last 600m. The best place to be was close to the pace – the first two were close to the leader on the home turn but Dettori, having got hemmed in on the rail opted to go wide round the houses while William Buick, on BURNING VICTORY, got the dream run up the fence but didn’t have the pace and finished fourth.

The question is whether if Dettori had held his nerve and stuck to the inside and the gap opened 300m down as it did for Buick, whether STRADIVARIUS would have had the kick to run down the two younger horses close to the line? It’s a thought which is probably going to bother Dettori for the rest of his career – had no gap opened and he’d finished mid-division full of running, he’d have been equally vilified. John Gosden, who is usually the most circumspect of trainers, went as close as possible to blaming Dettori without saying so.

It’s possible to argue however the old horse wouldn’t have had the legs of the two younger horses even if he had enjoyed a clear run and while it was all going wrong for Dettori, it all went right for Moore, but he needed the line to hold off MOJO STAR, a proven 2400m Group 1 performer.

I thought PRINCESS ZOE was done no favours in the scrimmaging in the straight, but she wouldn’t have been suited by the crawl and if you want to see why you need a genuine 2400m horse in the Melbourne Cup that’s why.

The staying division is transformed – TRUESHAN remains a factor when the mud is flying but KYPRIOS and MOJO STAR look the two going forward and whether one or both will fancy spoiling the STRADIVARIUS farewell at Goodwood the fact remains there are new kids on the block.

If you thought the Gold Cup was messy and controversial, take a look at the Group 2 Norfolk for the juvenile colts over 1000m

Norfolk Stakes: 

I wouldn’t normally put this up but THE RIDLER, at 50/1, kept the race despite hanging violently left under a left-hand drive from Paul Hanagan and cutting up both the eventual third and fourth. Hanagan, who is after all a former champion jockey and not a weak apprentice, got a 10-day holiday but of course the horse keeps the race and Hanagan gets his cut.

In America, he’d have been thrown out, no question – I’d be fascinated to know what forum members think would happen had that occurred in Australia and New Zealand.

Hanagan was done for reckless riding – had it been considered dangerous, he would have been demoted but the British rules are clear about the horse causing the interference improving his position and as he did not interfere with the second, he kept the race.

Connections of the third and fourth were understandably livid but neither chose to object and the Stewards’ Chairman came out and defended the decision based on the rules and while, having backed the second, you could accuse me of talking out my pocket (as distinct from the other areas from where I normally opine) but that looked bad and has served only to re-open the whole can of worms which will, as is the case after a bad curry, run and run.

I suspect the second, third and fourth may fancy their chances over 200m further at Goodwood in the Richmond.

The other Group 2 race was the Ribblesdale which looked a weak renewal and while I got the race right I didn’t. I thought it would be between MAGICAL LAGOON and SEA SILK ROAD, but the latter wobbled to the left in the final 200m and opened the door for the Irish challenger to provide another Ascot success for the wonderful trainer that is Jessie Harrington. I imagine she’ll go for the Irish Oaks as might the runner up to take on Epsom winner TUESDAY.

The Group 3 Hampton Court is a fair race in its own right but was hyped up to the max with the Royal runner REACH FOR THE MOON, widely touted as a Derby hope last summer, sent off 2/5 to follow up his returning second to the useful MY PROSPERO (third in the St James’s Palace on Tuesday).

Unfortunately, to add insult to another wretched day for Dettori, neither CLAYMORE nor Adam Kirby had read the script and they made every yard always holding the Royal runner. We’ve commented on CLAYMORE on here before and he ran very well in the Craven behind NATIVE TRAIL, but it all went wrong in the Poulains on slow ground from the car park draw. Back on a quick surface over this trip that was a useful performance and he’s certainly ready to aim higher – I suspect an Eclipse or a Juddmonte may be too high at this stage but there are plenty of other options up at Group 2.

It was another success for Jane Chapple-Hyam who is having a very good meeting after the success of SAFFRON BEECH in the Duke of Cambridge.

Three big field handicaps made up the remainder of the card. The King George V over 2400m for the staying 3-y-o saw Godolphin score with SECRET STATE who had won a couple of conditions race but took this on his handicap debut off 93 – the Ebor might be a target.

The Britannia is the traditional cavalry charge down the straight mile for the 3-y-o – in many ways, it’s the toughest puzzle of the week with any number of unexposed types coming into handicap company and it often throws up a good one. THESIS was an unusual winner for being a maiden, but he’d run into both ZECHARIAH (second in the Queen’s Vase) and MY PROSPERO (third in the St James’s Palace) though his last effort when turned over at 4/7 had been less inspiring.

He was another for Ryan Moore and for the rising stallion star Kingman and just beat the Royal runner SAGA (a near miss for Dettori). JIMI HENDRIX was third (the horse not the legendary guitarist though the winning syndicate are called Purple Haze for all you 1960s types)

Proceedings concluded with the 1400m Buckingham Palace and the Queen’s TACTICAL was only sixth behind INVER PAR, a first Ascot win for trainer George Boughey (who has already had classic success with CACHET). ROPEY GUEST was second, but I thought RHOSCOLYN ran very well for the O’Meara/Tudhope combination who are having such a good week to date.

The Ridler looked like he was holding them comfortably, if not going away at the line, and that margin probably helped.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Ohokaman said:

The Ridler looked like he was holding them comfortably, if not going away at the line, and that margin probably helped.

Yes, I think he would have won if he'd kept straight but I think you could argue the main beneficiary of his erratic course was the second who might have been hard pressed to hold the actual third and fourth had they all enjoyed a clear run.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fourth day of Royal Ascot saw the crowds swelter in some really hot conditions – as temperatures pushed toward 33c, the edict came down from on hight that, once the royal procession had passed, gentlemen could remove their jackets and top hats in the Royal Enclosure.

I don’t know about anyone else but watching it at home with some cold drinks and much less formal attire had a lot going for it.

On the track, the action continued to be red hot with two Group 1 races – the Commonwealth Cup for the 3-y-o sprinters over 1200m and the Coronation for the classic fillies over the Old Mile.

Twenty went to post for the Commonwealth Cup and the usual mix of decent juveniles dropping back after a tilt at the classics and unexposed later-maturing sprinting types made this the usual puzzle.

Favourite was last year’s Morny and Middle Park winner PERFECT POWER who had followed up a win in Greenham in April with a decent seventh in the 2000 Guineas. The unbeaten EL CABALLO hadn’t raced at two but made up for lost time with four wins including a hard-fought success in the Sandy Lane at Haydock last time.

Commonwealth Cup: 

PERFECT POWER did this really well and while not the only Group 1 winner in the field, had arguably the strongest form. With the UK sprinters not looking strong, the July Cup could be there for the taking (unless the Aussies fancy taking that one out as well) and he’s now the 2/1 favourite.

FLAMING RIB was second to EL CABALLO at Haydock and was runner up here looking a solid form yardstick at this level (rating now 111). FLOTUS had run some decent races as a juvenile and this was a sound effort against the colts. CADAMOSTO defied some long odds for a Ballydoyle horse in fourth.

EHRAZ was sixth and GO BEARS GO tenth with EL CABALLO eighteenth and the latter’s jockey reported the horse had hated the quick ground – it was Good at Haydock and his other wins had been on artificial surfaces.

The Coronation Stakes is my favourite race of the meeting and with the exception of the Irish 1000 Guineas winner, it looked a full set of the top classic mile fillies. Last year’s champion juvenile INSPIRAL returned having missed the Guineas and faced both the English 1000 Guineas winner in CACHET and the Pouliches winner MANGOUSTINE while English Guineas runner up PROSPEROUS VOYAGE and the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner PIZZA BIANCA added to a very deep field in terms of quality.

Coronation Stakes: 

Up there with NATURE STRIP for the performance of the week, INSPIRAL was very impressive and won almost in spite of Frankie Dettori who continued to have a poor week in terms of tactics and track positioning. It didn’t look promising on the home turn, but INSPIRAL got him out of trouble and is a class act.

Cheveley Park are as well known these days for their jumpers but she’s obviously a future broodmare of enormous value and potential. She’s 4/7 for the Falmouth, 2/1 for the Nassau and 5s for the International and the prospect of her turning up at York to take on BAAEED and perhaps DESERT CROWN and EMILY UPJOHN further adds spice to what already looks a mouthwatering encounter in August.

INSPIRAL won by nearly five lengths – in a bunch for the minors the American SPENDERELLA lost her unbeaten record but was far from disgraced. DISCOVERIES was third for Jessie Harrington and I’d love to know if she thinks INSPIRAL compares to some of her past champions such as ALPHA CENTAURI.

TENEBRISM ran better in fourth and front running CACHET arguably did a little too much in fifth.

The undercard was headed by the King Edward VII, the Group 2 for the middle distance colts over 2400m. A weak renewal in all honesty with the Derby form represented by fifth placed CHANGINGOFTHEGUARD from Aidan O’Brien’s yard. Ryan Moore took no chances from the start and set out to make it a real stamina but it could have gone wrong and would have done had GRAND ALLIANCE kept a straight path in the final 300m. Jockey Danny Tudhope had, I think, reasoned eyeballing the O'Brien horse would be counterproductive to his animal but he could not have anticipated the extent to which his horse veered left in the closing stages.

GRAND ALLIANCE lost by a short head but his wayward course cost the race. The front two had finished fifth and eleventh at Epsom and it was good to see the Derby form get some lift after a disappointing run by NAHANNI in the 2800m race earlier in the week but we'll know a lot more after WESTOVER's run on Saturday in Ireland. 

OTTOMAN FLEET and LYSANDER came into this unexposed types with decent form over 2000m but both were found out by the strong gallop.

The day had started really well for O’Brien with MEDITATE a convincing winner of the opening Albany for the juvenile fillies over 1200m. She’s by No Nay Never but the dam is out of Dalakhani so you’d think she would get the Guineas trip. Favourite MAWJ from the bin Suroor stable was second and I’d certainly give her another chance over further.

Three handicaps made up the card – the 2400m Duke of Edinburgh for the older horses is always a puzzle but it was a procession with CANDLEFORD from the Haggas yard scampering clear to win by six lengths. There was a clue as he had beaten COLTRANE (the Ascot Stakes winner) over 2400m last November, but this was a huge win and he’s been kicked up to 104. I wonder if he could be a Melbourne Cup type down the road.

The Sandringham is the equivalent of the Britannia but for the fillies and 29 thundered up the straight mile. The favourite was the unbeaten HEREDIA from the Hannon stable and she won nicely, and it was encouraging to see the top weights fighting out the finish. The winner shifted left and did the runner up, ZANBAQ, no favours and I look forward to seeing these two re-match. I thought the Irish filly CIGAMIA ran very well in fourth and she might be one for a race like the Matron later on.

Finally, we had the Palace of Holyroodhouse over the straight 1000m for the 3-y-o fillies. This is another of the “new” handicaps added in 2020 but which presumably will now be part of the meeting going forward. Another huge field puzzle (little surprise given a first prize of £51,500). 27 flew down the straight course and there had been a big punt on the Johnny Murtagh-trained LADIES' CHURCH but she never showed and Hayley Turner who mixes riding with some front-of-camera work for both ITV and Sky Sports Racing, got LATIN LOVER up on the jamstick in a bunch finish.

She was getting 7 lbs from runner up NYMPHADORA who I expect to see at Goodwood and I think the sharper track will play to her strengths.

After four days, Ryan Moore led the jockeys' race with five winners, followed by Danny Tudhope and Will Buick on three each.

INSPIRAL was Gosden's 70th Royal Ascot winner as a trainer while CHANGINGOFTHEGUARD was Ryan Moore's 70th as a rider and Aidan O'Brien's 80th as a trainer. O'Brien has won a colossal 899 Group and Graded races, both flat and jumps all round the world, since he started training in the 90s - that's a phenomenal achievement but so much of it is down to the support of Coolmore and of course the progeny of Galileo such as CHANGINGOFTHEGUARD.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Still in the works, my friend.

Unfortunately I have to work for a living so my time to catch up on the extensive coverage and do the analysis is limited.

I've just seen BROOME's win in the Hardwicke - a fine example of a fit one beating a not so fit one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Tauhei Notts said:

Last Monday I was critical of Frankie Dettori.

But not as critical as the Gosden Yard.  They have awarded Frankie the "DCM".  And that is most certainly NOT the Distinguished Conduct Medal!!!

The news tonight is Gosden and Dettori have agreed a "sabbatical" - no one knows for how long.

Gosden, I think, has come to regret his public comments on Dettori's riding but it's probably brought some truths for Dettori who may now realise he's not indispensable and with the likes of Tom Marquand and Hollie Doyle, among others, on the scene, the younger generation are taking over.

Gosden isn't going to appoint a stable jockey but some of his owners have retained jockeys and it may be Dettori finds his options closing to the point all the good horses are taken and he can either resign himself to fewer winners or just calling it a day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fifth and final day of the Royal Ascot meeting took place on a noticeably cloudier and cooler afternoon but beyond a few spots of rain, it was the continued nightly artificial irrigation which kept the ground Good to Firm.

The feature of the final day was the Platinum Jubilee over 1200m and while the Queen herself had been the most noticeable non-runner of the week, three came out late from this which still left a field of 24, the biggest field for a Group 1 in England in two decades.

Favourite was HOME AFFAIRS who was supported into 5/2 – SACRED was second best at 15/2 with the other Australian challenger ARTORIUS at 17/2.

Commonwealth Cup: 

A huge success for Godolphin bringing home the 1-2 but not probably in most people’s idea of the order although the irony was they had finished the opposite order in the Jersey last year so to bring them both back 200m and to championship status was a significant training success for Charlie Appleby.

NAVAL CROWN hadn’t run since finishing fourth in the Al Quoz Sprint and was undoubtedly aided by the fact the stands side, which had largely been the disadvantaged part of the course for much of the week, suddenly became the place to be.

If you look at the race recording, 500m down, the last three on the larger far side group were CREATIVE FORCE, ARTORIUS and SACRED – the latter pair had been completely outpaced and I do wonder if they went plenty quick enough to half way. HOME AFFAIRS blazed but was done with 400m out and it looked to me as though he ran with the choke out.

CREATIVE FORCE is a serious horse and won the Champions Day Sprint last autumn – he finished well behind NAVAL CROWN in the Al Quoz Sprint but closed that gap substantially.

CAMPANELLE ran a fine race in third – the best of the American sprinters – and to an extent redeemed Irad Ortiz Junior’s poor week.

ARTORIUS was, as said, badly outpaced from the start as his trainer had expected and had to weave his way through a packed field – might have been second with a clear run but just got checked momentarily and in the end had to make do with a share of third with CAMPANELLE.

SACRED was also badly outpaced and she also ran home strongly to be a close fifth beaten a length – indeed unfortunate I’d had my each way bet on a bookie paying down to fifth.

Of the others, the handicapper HIGHFIELD PRINCESS ran with enormous credit in sixth while I’m looking forward to seeing KINROSS (eighth) back up in trip. ALCOHOL FREE ran well in ninth and will go for the July Cup while HOME AFFAIRS faded tamely to finish twentieth.

In essence then a bunch finish with no dominant horse unlike the King’s Stand. You’d imagine the first two might match up with PERFECT POWER in the July Cup along with SACRED (maybe).

The main supporting race was the Group 2 Hardwicke over 2400m for which last year’s Irish Derby and Grand Prix de Paris winner HURRICANE LANE went off 4/5 but paddock inspection revealed he was carrying plenty of condition and he didn’t look wholly happy on the quick ground.

On an excellent afternoon for Ryan Moore, his ride on BROOME was a masterclass in front running and fractions. Having had a pipe opener in the Tattersalls Gold Cup, BROOME came here in peak form and his liking for fast ground had bene confirmed by his fine second in the Breeders Cup and that looks an obvious target.

HURRICANE LANE got tired and “had a good blow” according to Charlie Appleby – he may re-match with BROOME in the King George at the end of next month and I suspect it’ll be a lot closer. Splitting them was MOSTAHDAF whose Brigadier Gerard run was slightly devalued by BAY BRIDGE, but he saw this trip out really well on his first try.

The Jersey, although a Group 3, is always a warm race run over 1400m for the 3-y-o. Godolphin won it last year with CREATIVE FORCE as we know and followed up this time with 4/1 favourite NOBLE TRUTH who, in his first race since losing the wedding tackle, showed his form to be improving. Granted, he had won a Listed by six lengths on his previous run, but this was a significant step forward and you’d think races like the Lennox and the Foret might be on his agenda.

Runner up was 40/1 outsider FIND, who had previously run off 93 and off this effort has been raised to 110 which is going to end his handicapping days.

There’s a lot to be said not just for paddock but pre-parade inspection and those who had fancied ALFRED MUNNINGS for the Listed Chesham for the juveniles over 1400m would have been put off by the colt’s antics in the pre-parade where he didn’t behave well to put it mildly.

Whether or not this contributed to his modest run I’m not sure, but the race was a complete boil-over with the first three home priced 40s, 80s and 33s. While the bookies were counting their money the rest of us were trying to figure out how an unraced colt had won a Listed at the Royal meeting on debut – that just doesn’t happen. Indeed, the experts were claiming the last unraced juvenile to win at Ascot was CHIEF SINGER in 1982 – he of course turned out to be pretty good.

Whether HOLLOWAY BOY is anything near that remains to be seen but he was very professional in his running and demeanour, and we know Karl Burke has a good way with juveniles, so we’ll see.

The Chesham has thrown up some better winners in recent years and there will be those who will claim with the long priced winner and placed horses this was a poor renewal – again, too early to tell.

Two big handicaps helped round out the card – the Wokingham over 1200m had drama at the start with David Probert hitting the deck as his horse jumped violently right. At the business end, Ryan Moore celebrated his seventh winner of the meeting and second of the afternoon with ROHAAN becoming the first horse in nearly 30 years to win successive Wokingham Handicaps. He won the race last year off 112 and ran off 109 so he was technically well in. The horse is a little quirky and needs to go past horses and Moore executed the plan to perfection and it was noticeable the normally taciturn Moore afforded himself a smile pulling up.

The Golden Gates over 2000m saw another world class jockey in J-Mac win his third race of the week on MISSED THE CUT for George Boughey.  He swept home by nearly five lengths off a rating of 95 and he’s been kicked up to 108 so it’s off to Pattern company for this colt who would be the best progeny of the American sire Quality Road we’ve seen in Europe. I also wonder if they might consider a Dirt campaign for him perhaps at Meydan next winter.

The 35th and final race of the meeting was the Queen Alexandra over just shy of 4200m – likely favourite TRUESHAN was a late scratching and heads for the Northumberland Plate and that left the Ballydoyle colt WORDSWORTH as favourite in a race often targeted by the top jumps trainers.

By the time the race went off, the weather had closed in with strong winds and rain – indeed, more like winter jumping weather and it was wholly appropriate to see Willie Mullins nab the final winner as STRATUM won the race for the second year running. He’s a wonderful 9-y-o servant to his connections (who also own the star chaser ENERGUMENE).

RESHOUN ran a huge race in second while CALLING THE WIND, who for me was travelling like the winner 300m out, just faded and finished third just in front of FALCON EIGHT. WORDSWORTH weakened in the final 400m having been prominent and ended up seventh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Concluding Thoughts:

Writing this nearly a week after the meeting may seem odd but I suppose it provides a degree of perspective. The echoes from the Royal meeting will reverberate through the rest of the season - from the July Meeting to Goodwood to York and to the end-of-season highlights in Paris and at Keeneland.

Three obvious stand out performances from the championship races - BAAEED, NATURE STRIP and INSPIRAL - all were dominant in their own way.

The other key point is Ascot marks the end of the split between the classic generation and the older horses across most divisions - from now on, the big Group 1 races such as the Eclipse, Falmouth, July Cup, King George and Sussex will be clashes between the best of the 3-y-o getting weight from the older horses.

As is often the case, there were key players absent - as usual, the Derby and Oaks winners didn't re-appear but the more noticeable absence was the Queen herself. There is now a very real sense a change is coming and for all both Charles and William attended, neither seem to have the Queen's passion for the sport and while "Royal" Ascot will remain a defining sporting and social event, it won't be the same.

NATURE STRIP bossed the 1000m division but he won't be around for the Nunthorpe and it's interesting one or two of the trainers of juveniles think there's a gap this year and as we know the Nunthorpe is alone among British Group 1 races in having 2-y-o race against their elders.

At 1200m, PERFECT POWER was the star in the Commonwealth Cup but Godolphin's pair from the Platinum Jubilee (among others) will ensure it's no cakewalk at the July Cup which could well be one race to savour.

BAAEED looks set to go to Goodwood but will he face either INSPIRAL or CORROEBUS? It seems INSPIRAL may go for the Falmouth or the Romanet and the filly milers now have a defined and lucrative path which means they can avoid the colts for much of the season. 

However, the temptation will be to step INSPIRAL up to 2000m for the Juddmonte and a possible clash with BAAEED, DESERT CROWN and EMILY UPJOHN which would be, if it happened, one of the best races for many years and York will be praying this happens to cement the race's position as the best race in the calendar.

The Eclipse is much sooner and presumably ADAYAR will return then but the 2400m King George is likely to see the Hardwicke 1-2-3 re-match and perhaps with today's emphatic Irish Derby winner WESTOVER in the mix. HURRICANE LANE will come on a ton for his Hardwicke run and you'd be unwise to think the positions will be readily confirmed.

The staying division remains in flux - the Gold Cup was a sprint - indeed, KYPRIOS ran his last 400m only 0.1 seconds slower than NATURE STRIP.  Goodwood might again suit the speedier types and the STRADIVARIUS ride (among others) led to a serious breach in the Gosden-Dettori relationship which will take some time to resolve.

Ryan Moore emerged once again as top rider with 7 winners - the link with Ballydoyle helps but he remains one of the best - his rides on both KYPRIOS and ROHAAN were brilliant in my view for very different reasons. William Buick booted home five winners and while Godolphin had their share of success, they don't look to have a strong set of juveniles at this stage.

Danny Tudhope rode four, J-Mac rode three and among the trainers a word for Jane Chapple-Hyam who has a small string but her three runners yielded two winners and a second.

Aidan O'Brien walked away with the trainers' title but it was son Joseph O'Brien who showed, with STATE OF REST, he has all the attributes if given the right material.

DRAMATISED and BRADSELL looked the pick of the juveniles but HOLLOWAY BOY's remarkable debut win in the Chesham certainly was a shock even to connections.

Reducing the attendance numbers and accentuating the notion of an "experience" certainly seemed to make Ascot look attractive and the betting ring reported decent business.

It was good to see so many international raiders and while the Americans and Japanese failed to hit the mark, the Australians did very well - I'm sure if the sprints got s significant financial upgrade (say £5 million) you'd attract more of the world's top sprinters.

All in all, a successful week and decent for Tote backers with the World Pool offering some noticeably better returns than the UK fixed odds bookies. 

Even old Stodge found a few winners - I'll publish my betting bank report in the next day or two when I've totted up the damage.

Finally, thanks to everyone on Racecafe who has contributed to this thread. I hope you enjoyed the coverage (not sure what feed you were watching). Not all UK racing is like Royal Ascot (indeed, the rest of it isn't) and I hope you've enjoyed my occasional insights into this wonderful meeting.

For us, the season rolls on to Newmarket, Goodwood, York, Doncaster and ultimately to the big Autumn highlights in Paris, back at Ascot for Champions Day and then going global in America, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong and it'll be interesting to see how many of this week's runners and winners feature on the global racing stage in the months to come. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many thanks for your reports and opinions Stodge. Very insightful as always and a big help to us so far away.

Felt sorry, again, for the Freedmans and Artorious. I did say he was a get back and run on type and we’ve seen that many times in races here.

Have no doubt he would have been much closer with an uninterrupted run, that check close to home really stopped his momentum.

Hell of a run though and he will pick up a big one somewhere.

Hope that Baaeed, Desert Crown and Co clash eventuates, it would be a beauty…..👍

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/26/2022 at 12:21 AM, Ohokaman said:

Many thanks for your reports and opinions Stodge. Very insightful as always and a big help to us so far away.

Felt sorry, again, for the Freedmans and Artorious. I did say he was a get back and run on type and we’ve seen that many times in races here.

Have no doubt he would have been much closer with an uninterrupted run, that check close to home really stopped his momentum.

Hell of a run though and he will pick up a big one somewhere.

Hope that Baaeed, Desert Crown and Co clash eventuates, it would be a beauty…..👍

Current betting for the Juddmonte at York on August 17th:

6/4 BAAEED

5/2 DESERT CROWN

5/1 INSPIRAL

5/1 VADEMI

8/1 MISHRIFF

8/1 NASHWA

8/1 BAY BRIDGE

10s and bigger the rest

BAAEED would have to concede 7 lbs to a Derby winner and 10 lbs to the Coronation winner - that's a big ask.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm indebted to the Racing Post for the following bloodstock-related summing up of Ascot 2022:

Top stallion was DUBAWI with 5 individual winners followed by GALILEO and KINGMAN with 3 each and then NEW BAY, DARK ANGEL, NO NAY NEVER and STARSPANGLEDBANNER with two each. 

20 of the 35 winners were sold at public auction with Jersey winner NOBLE TRUTH going to Godolphin for 1.1 million euros at the Arqana Select Sale in 2020. At the other end of the spectrum, Hampton Court winner CLAYMORE was pinhooked by Ardglas Stables for just 5,000 euros.

Godolphin were the leading breeders with 10 winners at £1,14 million in win and place money. 

In money terms, the progeny of DUBAWI netted £1.4 million in win and place money with STARSPANGLEDBANNER on £705k and SEA THE STARS on £611k.

One I know of interest to some on here is RIBCHESTER and his FLAMING RIB netted £107,500 for finishing second in the Commonwealth Cup.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some news of interest…….

Appleby eyes $15m Everest and $10m Eagle double

Star Godolphin colt Naval Crown could head to Australia for a shot at The Everest in October. Picture: Getty ImagesStar Godolphin colt Naval Crown could head to Australia for a shot at The Everest in October. Picture: Getty Images
 
 

Godolphin's English trainer Charlie Appleby is considering sending a team of stable stars for the Sydney spring carnival including Royal Ascot heroes Naval Crown, Creative Force and Noble Truth.

Appleby has ambitions to target big money races, the $15 million The TAB Everest and $10 million Golden Eagle – and he's not the only northern hemisphere trainer eyeing the Sydney spring riches.

Ireland's Aidan O'Brien and Englishman William Haggas are hopeful of having spring carnival representation while there is also interest from Japanese and American trainers.

Royal Ascot 2022 - Racing, Day Five

Creative Force (blue cap) finishes second to stablemate Naval Crown in the Platinum Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot. Picture: Getty Images

But Appleby has given the strongest indication yet of having a presence in Sydney during spring with Naval Crown and Creative Force possibilities for The Everest, and stablemate Noble Truth and Modern Games in the frame for the Golden Eagle.

Naval Crown edged out Creative Force to win the Group 1 Platinum Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot earlier this month, with Aussie sprinter Artorius dead-heating for third.

The trio are due to clash again in the Group 1 July Cup at Newmarket on July 9 which is likely to determine their The Everest campaigns.

Artorius, trained by Anthony and Sam Freedman, is racing on next season with part-owner Henry Field of Newgate Farm keen for his colt to gain an Everest slot before tackling the Golden Eagle.

Appleby could send Naval Crown and Creative Force for The Everest although the latter is believed to be most likely as he is a gelding.

Godolphin does own a slot in The Everest with the organisation's Australian-based managing director Vin Cox declaring there is no rush to lock in a sprinter for the world's richest turf race, run at Royal Randwick on October 15.

"It's a long way from the race," Cox said. "No decision will be made on our slot until closer to the race.

Royal Ascot 2022 - Racing, Day Five

Godolphin's Noble Truth wins the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot. Picture: Getty Images

"But it's fair to say we will factor in all contenders that carry the (royal) blue colours."

Naval Crown and Creative Force were inserted by TAB Fixed Odds price assessors on Monday afternoon as $15 chances in early The Everest betting behind world champion sprinter Nature Strip at $3.50.

Godolphin also have their local sprinters to choose from with the James Cummings-trained Paulele the most favoured at $13 for The Everest.

Appleby told News Corp in an exclusive interview in England earlier this month that French 2000 Guineas winner Modern Games is a possibility for the Golden Eagle (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on October 29.

Modern Games's stablemate Noble Truth then entered the Golden Eagle conversation when he won the Group 3 Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The Appleby duo have been rated as $15 chances for the Golden Eagle behind the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Mazu at $6 favourite.

LATEST BETTING

$15 million The TAB Everest (1200m)

Royal Randwick, October 15

$3.50 Nature Strip

$7 Mazu

$9 Classique Legend, Eduardo

$11 Lost And Running

$13 Paulele

$15 Artorius, Marabi, Masked Crusader, Naval Crown, Creative Force

$18 Fireburn, In The Congo

$26 and longer the rest

$10 million Golden Eagle (1500m)

Rosehill Gardens, October 29

$6 Mazu

$8 Anamoe, Illation

$11 Espiona

$15 Artorius, Converge, Fangirl, Gypsy Goddess, In The Congo, Modern Games, Noble Truth, Paulele

$21 Startantes

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.