Hello & Welcome today One of ArseonlineRacing’s Royal Ascot coverage.
This has been a tough year for all of us & we will try to lighten the mood & the load with our Blogs over the next 5 days, how many? 5 yes 5!
Alongside Charlie & Rich this year, we are delighted to welcome back Jamie, Aka @Glen_Colt from Twitter. Jamie has been helping out at all the Major race meetings and delivered fantastic selections for the Curragh meeting at the back end of last summer as well as joining us for the now infamous Cheltenham Festival, before we were all lockdown, in fact some of us still are, isn’t that right Charlie!!
Charlie will kick us off today, with Jamie the meat in the sandwich with Rich having the final word….
The going at Ascot is Good, good to soft in Places….
1.50 Queen Anne Stakes Group1 over 1m
Terebellum – Is one of my horses to follow being out of Sea The Stars and Maravda. Won at Newmarket on the 6th June this year taking her tally to 3 wins from 5 starts. That victory at Newmarket was over 1m 2f today’s race is over 1m and that shouldn’t be a problem. John Gosden has a 31% strike rate in last 14 days and jock Frankie Dettori has a 39% strike rate for same period.
4.10 Duke of Cambridge Stakes Group 2 over 1m for Fillies and Mares
Nazeef – Out of Invincible Spirit and Handassa, has ran 5 times winning 4 times and placing 3rd once. That 3rd place came on debut at Newmarket on the 8th June 2019 over 7f. Returned to Newmarket on the 27th June and won over 7f beating Ghayloon by 1 and 1/4 lengths. Chelmsford was next destination on the 4th September 2019 when winning again over 1m, beating Qatar Queen by 2 and 3/4 lengths. Was sent back to Newmarket for next race over 1m on the 21st September and won again beating Salayel by 6 lengths. Most recent was a victory at Kempton on the 3rd of June when beating Billesdon Brook by 3/4 of a length. If repeating form shown so far should be involved here with biggest dangers coming in the shape of Miss O’connor who has won all 4 starts and Jubiloso who was 3rd in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes here last year.
4.40 Ascot Stakes Class 2 Handicap over 2m 3f and 210y
Verdana Blue – Normally seen running over 2m over hurdles for Nicky Henderson, although has had a run here previously when finishing 4th in a Group 3 last May. Has won previously after a break and although hasn’t ran since finishing 4th at Kempton on the 26th December last year in the Christmas Hurdle won by stable companion Epatante. Verdana Blue is a horse I can’t leave out as Nicky Henderson is capable of winning over both codes.
1:15 – Buckingham Palace Handicap –
A new race to kick off a Royal Ascot unlike any other. It’s a tough one to solve for the punters. It may be worth taking a chance on Roger Varian’s gelding Mutamaasik who has registered 4 wins from 5 racesso far in his career.
He is unexposed and with more improvement likely to come he should be in the mix, Varian is a master at steadily bringing along older horses. The only question mark I can see is whether he will enjoy the cut and thrust of such a big field handicap, if he does, then he should be bang there.
3:35 – King’s Stand Stakes –
Perhaps not the strongest King’s Stand for quite a few years and with no Blue Point in opposition, the door is left wide open for Battaash to make it third time lucky in this Group 1 over 5F.
He has been second in this very contest twice to Godolphin’s mighty sprinter in 2018 & 2019. He is going straight in without a prep run this year but that doesn’t bother me, if he can replicate his run here from last year then that should be good enough to take this, it is easily the best form in the race.
Hopefully the rain will stay away and the bat-mobile can put on a great show! The banker of day 1 for me.
4:10 – Duke of Cambridge Stakes –
Selection: Jubiloso (NAP)
A field of 11 go to post for this Group 2 prize. Many of the runners seem to have either questions to answer or scope to improve. One of them is my nap of day one, Jubiloso. The daughter of Shamardal started off last season in red hot form, winning her first two starts very easily and creating a nice impression.
Sir Michael Stoute rolled the dice and ran her in the Coronation Stakes, she finished a good third that day. Then the wheels fell off a bit as she was desperately unlucky at Goodwood and was well beaten at Sandown in a G3. We haven’t seen Jubiloso since then. If she can bring her Coronation form to the table in this race, then she should be in with a great chance.
I think we will see a bigger and better Mare this year, Sir Michael with his record at Royal Ascot to show, knows what he is doing.
Final Word with Rich –
I have 3 for you today, so lets get cracking……
1.15 Queen Anne Stakes – Group 1 4YO Plus – 1m…..
Circus Maximus – Aidan O’Brien is flying at the moment & you know his horses will give their all & this 4YO Galileo colt is no different and the team have a great chance to get a winner on the board early on day one.
Last seen back in November at the Breeders Cup in Santa Anita, when finishing a 2 & 3/4 length 4th to Uni in the BC Mile having landed the Prix Du Moulin De Longchamp in September.
Finished 4 & 3/4 lengths over 1m 2f to Japan in the International Group 1 Stakes at York in August and was second to Too Darn Hot at Goodwood in the1m Group 1 Qatar Stakes in July.
Winner of last years Group 1 1m St James’ Palace Stakes at this meeting on the back of finishing 6th in the Derby at Epsom….
2.25 Ribbleesdale Stakes – Fillies’ Group 2 – 3YO Only – 1m 4f….
Miss Yoda – The Sea the Stars 3YO Filly is fresh from her 1 & 1/4 length victory at Lingfield on June 5th, when landing the Oaks Trail Listed race over 1m 3f 133yds.
She finished last season as Runner Up to Max Vega in the 1m 2f Group 3 Zetland Stakes at Newmarket back in October having gone into the race 2 wins from 2 starts having stepped up from Class 4 Novice company to Group level. My only concern is the gap between runs but that is the same for Frankly Darling, who ran on June 1st winning a Class 5 1m 2f Maiden at Newcastle on the All Weather by 5 lengths.
I will take my chance on MISS YODA
3.35 – Kings Stand – Group 1 3YO Plus – 5f….
Liberty Beach – Another who has already run this season, the 3YO Cable Bay Filly landed the Class 1 Listed 6f Cecil Frail Stakes at Haydock on June 7th. Finished last season a 3/4’s of a length runner up to Living In The Past in the Group 2 Lowther Stakes over 6f having won the Group 3 Molcomb Stakes at Goodwood in late July. Has 5 wins & 1 place from 7 starts.
The obvious danger is Battaash, who has finished 2nd in this race the last 2 years to Blue Point & has won first time out for the last 3 seasons. Ended last season well down the field in the L’Abbaye at Longchamp, having not travelled a yard on the very soft ground & faces the winner that day today Glass Slippers, who won by 3 lengths from So Perfect.
IF Battaash doesn’t fire then it will be an open race & LIBERTY BEACH has a great chance….
That is all from Day One of Royal Ascot & keep your eyes peeled at 7pm TONIGHT for a new ArseonlineRacing Article….
Big Thanks to Paul Rhodes for his Exclusive Ballydoyle 4 to Follow….
All the Best from – Charlie, Jamie & Rich