Day two of Ascot’s Royal meeting gets underway with the Jersey Stakes for 3 year olds over 7f and the Richard Hannon team have been bullish about favourite Ivawood’s chances for some time.
He is certainly the form pick, and the drop back from a mile should certainly suit him, but his odds are pretty short considering he has to give upwards of 5lbs away all round.
In terms of value, a better bet may be the American raider, LUCK OF THE KITTEN, who will also relish the distance here as he has often been caught late on in races over a mile plus in the US. The faster the ground the better for Wesley Ward’s raider and so the dry forecast should enhance his chances.
He is one of many in the field to be getting 5lbs from the favourite, but the filly FADHAYYIL, gets 8lbs and she too is worth an each way interest. She was very green in a number of her races last season, but put up a decent effort to finish fifth in the 1,000 Guineas.
She is entitled to have needed that run and her pedigree suggests the mile might also have stretched her stamina that day. Her veteran trainer, Barry Hills, has had 2 winners from his last 5 runners.
Sky Bet are offering money back (up to £25) on this race if Ivawood wins.
|Luck Of The Kitten (ew)||2.30 Ascot||28/1||Sky Bet|
|Fadhayyil (ew)||2.30 Ascot||10/1||Sky Bet|
Queen Mary Stakes
The fillies will certainly take centre stage in the next two races – the Queen Mary and the Duke Of Cambridge.
It is hard to find an angle in the latter where Integral looks very solid at the head of the market, but there is plenty of value to be had in the preceding juvenile contest, where we really like the maiden CRY ME A RIVER.
This horse was pitched straight in against the colts on her debut at the Curragh and she finished a very creditable fourth, only 3l behind yesterday’s Windsor Castle winner Washington DC, who was second.
Besharah looks the form pick, whilst the expensive Coolmore purchase Acapulco cannot be ruled out, but the other one to be on is KASSIA, who was beaten by Besharah on debut before winning cosily last time out. At the prices, it is worth taking a chance on her improving past her more fancied rival.
|Cry Me A River (ew)||3.05 Ascot||14/1||Bet365, Ladbrokes|
|Kassia (ew)||3.05 Ascot||20/1||Bet365, Sky Bet, Paddy Power|
Prince Of Wales’s Stakes
The day’s big race is the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes, which has a truly international feel to it despite the disappointing late absence of American superstar, California Chrome.
Irish raider, Free Eagle, heads the market, but has a lengthy absence to overcome.
The favourite is available at odds of 3/1 (generally), although new customers can get enhanced odds of 6/1 for Free Eagle just ‘to place’ (1st, 2nd or 3rd) with Coral here.
The same is true of one of the French raiders, ECTOT, but he looked a class act when winning his first two starts last season and a disappointing effort in the Arc can probably be forgiven as he pulled too hard that day. He looks a tricky ride, but is reported to have thrived over the winter.
The other one to back has to be SPIELBERG.
Japanese horses have proven themselves time and time again to be a match for the best that Europe has to offer and this 6 year old is a real specialist at this trip in his native country. Fast ground could be key to him and the fact that he can stay further all goes well for his chances here.
|Ectot (ew)||4.20 Ascot||6/1||Bet365, Sky Bet, Paddy Power, Ladbrokes|
|Spielberg (ew)||4.20 Ascot||8/1||Bet365, Sky Bet, Paddy Power, Ladbrokes|
Royal Hunt Cup
The Hunt Cup is the day’s big handicap and one of the biggest betting heats of the flat season. The draw could play a massive part and the strongly fancied AYAAR will need to overcome stall 1. We tipped him to win on his seasonal re-appearance and he has been kept back for this contest ever since.
He is a real top of the ground horse and so ticks many boxes. We can’t desert him
The other two we fancy are drawn on the other side.
TEMPTRESS, in stall 19, is very lightly raced and that is the only worry about Roger Charlton’s filly as she could prove to be listed class at least in time. She certainly impressed when coming from last to first to win on her seasonal debut and, as with Ayaar, this was the nominated target straight after that success.
YOU’RE FIRED is also relatively inexperienced, but he is improving fast and he had excuses for two poor runs here last season. He was unlucky not to catch a decent winner last time out and Karl Burke is a man to respect when he goes hunting a big pot.
|Ayaar (ew)||5.00 Ascot||10/1||Bet365, Paddy Power, Ladbrokes|
|You’re Fired (ew)||5.00 Ascot||18/1||Bet365, Coral|
|Temptress (ew)||5.00 Ascot||14/1||Bet365, Coral|
Our fancies for the Sandringham are as follows:
|Sulaalaat (ew)||5.35 Ascot||16/1||Bet365, Sky Bet, Paddy Power, Ladbrokes|
|Tazffin (ew)||5.35 Ascot||22/1||Bet365, Coral|
|Lovely Surprise (ew)||5.35 Ascot||22/1||Bet365, Coral, Paddy Power|