Today’s Info, Royal Ascot Day 1
After a good two days betting at Epsom I’ve had a little break from punting but that ends in some style this week of course with Royal Ascot. The Queen will wear yellow, Gok will probably call it a lovely blend of mild korma with a hint of vanilla essence and then the action will kick off properly.
It starts with a bang and the returning Toronado is a very risky punt in the Queen Anne at the current odds. There are a few interesting ones in here that will certainly make the evens shot fire on all of the cylinders he showed at three years old and that’s if he can bring them to the track after 300 days eating grass. Verrazano could be much better than it looked on first run for Ballydoyle behind Olympic Glory but will need to be to win this, the track will be ideal given it’s record for assisting dirt preference types like this four year old and if handling things a bit better than the last day under a slightly more aggressive ride has to be considered. Again though price is everything and at 7/2 it’s certainly tighter than I’d like.
Soft Falling Rain is probably the only one at truly backable odds this morning. Mike De Kock will have had exactly this race in mind whilst tuning up in Meydan and the last run was a real return to form. A spell in England last year offers great encouragement, ignore the soft ground run at this meeting and he looks overpriced compared to all – I’d have him second fav and close to Toronado so at 7s or so has to be played to figure. A big stride, straight track and decent ground it will be up to Hanagan to make full use of him and whilst it gives Toronado something to aim at if he is beaten by him with conditions in favour that will be fair enough.
The Coventry is a minefield of talent and which will be best today or even in the future is hard to call of course, Adaay and War Envoy are obviously going to go off fancied and would be unsurprising winners with the right yards. The Wow Signal and the Hannon pair likewise profile types too, so whilst I’d be happy to usually swerve or play a stand out contender if one was there I do think there is one in the field missed by the majority.
Bossy Guest had plenty go against when winning a sole start 33 days ago at York and I loved the ride given that day which displayed a massive amount of confidence in the debutante. I am sure the yard expected him to win, waiting for a maiden at the right trip, you can see he wouldn’t have wanted a 5f dash to get started with. It wasn’t until the race was lost or at least you’d swear it was, that Bossy Guest get hold of the bit and took off, it was very impressive and the value was there, given a usual passage and bit more experience, for a several length success. I think a big field, decent ground and plenty of pace is going to make him improve massively. In a race where there is lots of unknowns I’d be wanting a decent price about anything but I’d have him around 10s and not far off the top end here – at double that I’m happy to take a risk in a race where I usually wouldn’t.
Hot Streak is the most likely winner of the Kings Stand but that is also the view of the layers, Shea Shea, Sole Power and Steps the only other ones I could play but I’d want a little bigger on them all and am more that willing to watch what promises to be a cracker. Hot Streak with the few pounds for age is probably the one and 11/2 or close to that would do nicely for an e/w play – unlikely though!
Kingman against Night of Thunder three is the big billing of course in the St James’ Palace but I don’t think that it will prove too close. Kingman was mugged in the 2000 Guineas on home soil, if given another chance on the day I think the burst could have been better timed and the split of the field made for a messy verdict. I don’t want to dismiss the winner Night Of Thunder as you have to win it still and he did but it’s Kingman for me. The race has others in it of course and is certainly not a punting race for someone like myself but I hope James Doyle is celebrating afterwards.
Having backed Waterclock when second in the Cesarewitch I have to retain some hope there is a similar race in the offing for the now newly housed and newly owned stayer. Forget Chester when drawn in the cheap seats and the form is mighty, lightly enough raced and not sold lightly at 85k either there is bit more to come I hope. Graham Lee is a great booking for the yard and given he can go with the pace I think Lee will have options to make fluid enough plans in the race. Certainly overpriced and one of the more interesting long shots of the day. It is obviously a wide open race but it’s about price most of the time when races can be won by a few and this one appeals.
I think Mind of Madness and Hootenanny are the two to concentrate on in the last but I’m not playing a wager. I’ll be having them in the placepot though and I’ve no proper angle on the race to take aim with here.
Enjoy Day 1, plenty more to come in the week and I hope I’ve found a bit of value here, luck is needed to make that pay though!
2.30 Soft Falling Rain 0.75pt Win – 7/1 Stan James, Betfair Sportsbook and W Hill
3.05 Bossy Guest 0.75pt e/w – 25s Tote, Boyles and Betfred, 28s with Victors
5.00 Waterclock 0.75pt e/w – 33/1 Victor, Powers, Stans and BET365
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