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Royal Ascot 2013


Earl Hafler

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Starts next Tuesday.

 

Few years ago i tipped Royal Oath in the Hunt Cup at 25-1 and it won, starting at 9-1 on the day after the main Racing Post tipster Pricewise advised it. Year before that i backed Cesare and that won.

 

This year i've backed a horse called Educate. It's currently available at around 20-1. I've backed it a couple of times and i like it's attitude, reflected by the fact it's won 5 of it's 10 starts. It isn't ground dependent as it has won good races on both rain softened and dry / quick going. It's a definite runner ( barring injury ) unlike a few other horses who have other engagements. Beat a horse last time by 2 lengths which has since won easily.

 

There should be offers around. Bet Victor are running a promotion all week where if you back a horse that loses and Richard Hughes finishes in the places, you get your money back.

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Big question tomorrow is how much the Derby took out of Dawn Approach, whether Magician's Irish 2000 win was really all that and if Toronado can come back to be as good as Hannon reckons.

 

Usual mix of unfathomable 2 year old races and impossible handicaps. And a Group 1 sprint that is a glorified handicap...

 

I'm leaning towards a small bet on Toronado, Sole Power in the King's Stand, and ew on Junior in the long distance race.

 

Not a lot opposing Animal Kingdom in the Queen Anne, so maybe the 4/6 is generous?

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Big question tomorrow is how much the Derby took out of Dawn Approach, whether Magician's Irish 2000 win was really all that and if Toronado can come back to be as good as Hannon reckons.

That's three questions.

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Well here's my summary of Day 1

 

2:30 Queen Anne Stakes

 

I expected Animal Kingdom to be 1-2 on, as much of this field are mediocre Group horses, so some of the offers available this morning are surprising. Commentators have been discussing about it being it's first time over a straight mile and needing luck in running, but Ascot is a wide course and his American jockey has 2 winners from 6 rides here. Difficult to be concerned too much about the rest.

 

3.05 King´s Stand Stakes

 

Once again a race with a horse proven to be clear of the others on ratings but with an unknown foreign factor about it's chances on it's first start in the UK. Shea Shea has beaten Sole Power twice recently so difficult to see a good reason why their form should be reversed, although Ascot is a different type of track to which the favourite has been winning on, with the trainer only 1 from 14 in Group races in this country. I generally don't like sprint races though but on known form the favourite should win.

 

3.45 St James´s Palace Stakes

 

Dawn Approach was a flop in the Derby but an expected flop, as he's not bred to stay that trip. He pulled too hard, exerted too much energy and was tailed off. I don't think there was any other reason so back over a mile today i expect him to renew the winning thread, with Magician chasing him home.

 

4.25 Coventry Stakes

 

Richard Hannon has won this a couple of times in recent years and i've backed both Canford Cliffs and Strong Suit to win. They both won the same Newbury maiden won by Championship en route to this meeting and Richard Hughes has decided in the last few days that this is their best chance. However, the form of that race is inferior to those contested by the yards previous winners and Hughes has admitted that he normally knows their Coventry horse two months earlier. I'm inclined to ignore it this time. Their other horse Thunder Strike should run well at a bigger price. Stubbs, though, has a touch of real class and the ability to travel well at speed and then quicken. He should be too good but this is not a vintage crop of 2 year olds. The stable's other horse, Sir John Hawkins might also get in the frame.

 

5.00 Ascot Stakes (Handicap)

 

Two and a half miles at Ascot on the flat takes some getting and although i backed Tiger Cliff on it's seasonal reappearance, i'm not convinced it can stay the extra six furlongs today although it's pedigree suggests it could and the owner intends sending it jumping in the autumn. Big Easy has a chance and as it has not run on the flat for a couple of years, it's rating could have improved since proving it's stamina by winning over 3 miles over jumps. The yard does well in this type of race and have won with three of their last five runners in recent days. Lieutenant Miller for the Henderson yard has been improving all season and is a thorough stayer so if he doesn't get outpaced or left with too much to do then he should run well. Justification was hampered during the Chester Cup whilst racing in midfield and could easily finish in the places here, whilst Mawaqeet might be a dark horse in the first time blinkers.

Siding with Lieutenant Miller each way at 12-1

 

5.35 Windsor Castle

 

Another mad dash for the line with unexposed 2 year olds.

Sleeper King - know the owner, who buys horses and has them run under his mrs' name. Was offered a few hundred thousand for it after it's recent win at Musselburgh but was turned down as both owner and trainer think this horse could be special. Has a chance at 14-1.

Ogermeister - American sprinter who clocked a decent time on it''s debut when winning easily.

Andhesontherun An each way selection at 18-1 as he's run two very good races so far and should be suited by the hectic pace here but also with the touch of stamina to see out the stiff finish.

Edited by Earl Hafler
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I've gone for Sir John Hawkins and Thunder Strike in the Coventry, Well Sharp in the Ascot stakes as mine was withdrawn, and Ben Hall each way in the Windsor castle.

 

Toronado very unlucky there.

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Some cracking races yesterday but Murtagh was brilliant on both his winners. Kept his horse away from Shea Shea and pounced late as the other jockey thought he'd won it.

 

Day 2

 

2.30 Jersey Stakes

 

Quite competitive but Montiridge has good form and will like the ground. Stays a mile so this 7 furlongs with an uphill finish should suit. Should be leading in the final couple of furlongs so is an ideal back-to-lay horse.

 

3.05 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes

 

Duntle is well fancied and has top form but Chigun is improving and should love the conditions.

 

3.45 Prince Of Wales Stakes

 

Al Kazeem beat Camelot fair and square last time and the latter seems to be regressing since winning the Irish Derby

 

4.25 Royal Hunt Cup

 

I tipped Educate last week at 20-1 and it's now shorter in price. Frankie has a chance on Burke's Rock, who is one of the unexposed horses in the race. Ryan Moore has kept faith with Spa's Dancer and he's a place chance at 25-1.

 

 

5.00 Queen Mary

A mad dash for mad fillies and a chance is taken with Survived at 14-1.

 

5.35 Sandringham Handicap Stakes

 

Very compeitive looking field with fillies who could be improving at any rate of knots. The most interesting to me is Bracing Breeze. Won easily over 7 furlongs as a 2yr old and started her 3yr old campaign over 6. Never going to be far enough and shrew connections could have this mapped out. Trainer has a 33% strike rate at the course.

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