The major factor for this Royal Ascot is what’s the ground going to be doing. Normally in mid June you can expect the going to be Good / Good to Firm and most of the major players prefer the firmer ground, but this year with all the rain the ground as of Monday was reading Good to Soft Soft in Places, with more rain forecasted we could quite possibly have Soft ground which will really mix things up and make it a rather more interesting Royal Ascot.
Tuesday 14th June
-14:30 Queen Anne Stakes
So the English and Irish representation in this race is actually rather poor for a group 1 race and the 3 horses from abroad could quite possibly be the stars here.
First up is the Queen of American turf racing Tepin. This horse is literally amazing and has never finished outside of the top 2. Her last 2 races were absolutely impressive with the last one being a group 1 race which she won by about 7 lengths!! She should be used to travel as trooping around the states you certainly clock up the miles but this is her first trip overseas but the real question mark comes from the ground. She has not really ever ran on soft ground and so is a major unknown factor but by the sheer dominant ways she wins her races you kinda wonder if it will actually matter.
Next up we have A Shin Erwin who is listed as Irish but is actually Japanese. Now he has a pretty decent record on softish ground and is fresh from a listed class 1 win in France which he won by about a neck so not impressively. Got a decent record in Japan but you do wonder if this is to much of a step up in quality for him. You almost feel that he has been brought along as a travel companion for A Shin Hikari (that’s for tomorrow), but with that said and the expected ground this guy definitely has a good shout for a place.
Ervedya is another monster horse from France this time. She has a similar record to Tepin and has never placed outside the top 3 but has two distinct advantages over Tepin in the fact she has run at Ascot before last year in fact in the Coronation Stakes where she just managed to pip a very good Found. The other big advantage for me is her record on Good to Soft and Soft ground is 3 out of 4 with the other race being a 2nd place in a Group 2 race at the beginning of May this year and was her first run of the season.
An argument can be made for Belardo who we saw win the Lockinge Stakes earlier in May. Most of the field ran in that race that he rather comfortably won in the end and so is the inform home grown horse.
So for me it’s really between Tepin and Ervedya with the former an already proven performer on softer ground she gets the nod.
Ervedya SW at 5.00 2pts
A Shin Erwin 1pt EW at 67.00
–15:05 Coventry Stakes
This is a very tough race and normally is, mainly because it’s full of unbeaten 2yr olds and well quite frankly we just don’t know much about them.
Caravaggio is probably the stand out horse here unbeaten in 2 races and looks like he has more to offer. Won his last race on soft ground and looked like he had a whole lot more to offer it needed, good thing too as this is a step up in distance for him so should handle it no problem. Also has Moore on board so you really feel that there are big things expected from him.
Psychedelic Punk is the real threat to the pretender to the crown that if Caravaggio. Also unbeaten in 2 starts but possibly more important both were on soft ground and the last race he stomped home by 6 lengths 2nd place was then 3 Lengths ahead of 3rd, so er yeah he literally was in touchable.
Yalta deserves an honorable mention but one has to feel that the ground doesn’t suit and the two above are just that much better.
Same can be said about Mehmas who took a major step backwards losing to Global Applause who he beat by 3 ¼ lengths the race before, but Dettori is riding so can never write him off.
For my decision in using a horse called Ambiguity who has raced both Caravaggio and Psychedelic Punk. Ambiguity lost to Psychedelic Punk by 6 lengths and then Caravaggio by 6 ½ lengths in similar conditions 10 days apart, also the fact that Moore is going to be riding Caravaggio just tips it in his favour.
Caravaggio SW at 3.25 1pt
–15:40 Kings Stand Stakes
And so resumes the battle between Profitable and Mecca’s Angel. These two are the inform horses in this race and to be fair it’s hard to see past them, well maybe Jungle Cat could spring a surprise but the major problem is since she turned 3 there have only been 3 horses who’ve beaten Mecca’s Angel, Stepper Point, Rangali and Profitable. The other two aren’t running in this and so we have to ask the question the progress Profitable has made this season is it enough to see off Mecca’s Angel again? He only managed to beat her by a neck in the last race but the feeling was that she needed that race before this one.
The only other horse that really was looking threatening was Acapulco who is now unfortunately a non runner.
And so I’m going to tip Mecca’s Angel SW at 2.75 3pts
Jungle Cat 1pt EW at 21.00
–16:20 St James Palace Stakes
Whoah what a race this is. So we have the 2000 Guineas winner Galileo Gold vs the Irish 2000 Guineas winner Awtaad vs the French 2000 Guineas winner The Gurkha.
The Gurkha is probably the least exposed horse put off the three only having 3 races but Moore has said that this is the ride he is looking forward to the most come Tuesday.
Galileo Gold is probably the weaker one out of the three and has Dettori riding so is only 2 from 4 on him
Awtaad on the other hand is in a similar position to The Gurkha but has already raced and beat Galileo Gold ( by 2 ½ lengths) and so gets my vote.
Awtaad SW at 2.87 2pts
Tricast Awtaad 1st, The Gurkha 2nd, Galileo Gold 3rd 1pt at 9.87
Tricast Awtaad any, The Gurkha any, Galileo Gold any 1pt at SP
–17:00 Ascot Stakes
This is a 2 miler and you often find that horses that have jump racing careers fair quite well at this race, that said this is a very very open race.
Silver Concorde is one of the top contenders here has recently had an 18 ½ Furlong race where he came third behind No Heretic but was 6lbs heavier and only lost by 1 ¼ lengths. His record on softer ground isn’t that bad with only 1 win but has had a couple of 2nd places.
No Heretic is again going to feature amongst the favourites has just come back from 940 days off first race was a 3rd place over hurdles and then the win over Silver Concorde. Has only ever had one race on soft ground and didn’t fair very well but it’s hard to judge him on just that run. He will also be carrying more weight and will only be 2lbs lighter than Silver Concorde, but considering he is a jumps horse this really shouldn’t matter too much.
Galizzi first run back after a break was a 2 miler which he won rather impressively, Godolphin owned and Buick riding he’s got to be on the short list, However I’m thinking the ground is not to his favour this time and he is also carrying a 3lb penalty.
Pique Sous he has somehow found himself one of the favourites even after a very disappointing returning run but does have a good record 8 win from 18 runs and has Moore riding and the ground does suit him so he will have to be taken seriously, but watching his last run he looked too far off the pace for my liking I mean he lost by 13 ¼ lengths and just showed he hasn’t run in 700 days
Sempre Medici is another one of Willie Mullins jump horses having a bash here, he has a similar record to stable partner Pique Sous but has the benefit of actually running more recently and feel most probably has a much stronger shout purely because of this. After a promising start to the jumps season his form took a dip in the last two race where he pulled up and came second last in the other.
Moscato is a pure flat horse and has a very good record at +2 mile races winning 3 out of 7 and nabbing two second places, But has not won since a race at Ascot last year. Has been off for 224 days but his first race back looked rather good and ready for the running and if was just that bit sharper could have ended up winning that race.
So wtf do you pick?
Silver Concorde SW at 7.50 1pt
No Heretic EW at 12.00 1pt
Moscato EW at 15.00 1pt
-17:35 Windsor Castle Stakes
Another very competitive 2yr old race on the cards here.
Big City Dreamin and Drafted have to be feared here as it’s a big deal when the yanks bring 2 yr olds from across the pond but the question is really gonna be the ground and the softer ground will not work in their favour.
Mister Trader is a horse however that is proven on softer ground and was the unfortunate horse that came second to an immense Caravaggio but still beat Ambiguity by a good 2 lengths
Tomily is another well proven horse on the softer ground winning his last race on soft ground and by a massive 6 lengths and definitely has a shout at winning this one
Kananee is another one to consider but I think the ground won’t suit as only 2 races have been on AW and good ground.
Mister Trader EW at 8.00 2pts
Tomily EW at 13.00 2pts
Picks and write up from Upyerkilt67