Well no run for our money from the 50/1 poke which was disappointing. I thought he would be ridden much closer but clearly was just not very good on the day. It is always easy after the event but with hindsight Gold Dream wasn’t the biggest surprise and it was a shame I didn’t have the foresight! (I always like to learn something and reflect after such a result) He was unexposed at this level and, unlike say Jack Dexter, you could not say he was a proven G1 loser. Connections blamed the ground for his run last time so if you put a line through that he looks progressive. He is a true Good to Firm horse. As mentioned on C4 Cowell has always said that his sprinters peak at around this age and he clearly takes a patient approach with them. The way Sole Power ran suggested it was not a blistering pace as they never came back to him and while it wasn’t slow ,as suspected it paid to sit handy. You could make a case to take on the top of the market so a 20/1 winner was no great surprise. Certainly I will focus more on that profile in Group sprints moving forward and the yard of Robert Cowell, who we know is a master with sprinters, but it still doesn’t stop me ignoring his runners it would appear! Still some learning to do in the Group sprint game, well done if you found him. I am not in the ‘how the hell did he win camp’ as in hindsight, that performance isn’t a shock .given his profile/connections. Plenty of horses that had never won or run well in a G1 have won this race before I believe. It is handicaps form here on in, and they are easy enough at this meeting 🙂
I have learnt my lesson I think from some of the winter carnivals and will try and be a bit more selective with my ramblings/advice! The majority of races/race types at Royal Ascot I would not play in with ‘serious money’ if they were on a usual Saturday so there is no point starting here. That is not to say I wont be having some fun bets and I will highlight some stats of interest (mainly trainer based) that could point us in the right direction. There are about 5 races I will focus on this week and ‘tip’ in that will count towards the blogs ‘official’ profit and loss column. With that said, onto The King’s Stand..
Meccas Angel 7/1 1 point win
Spirit Quartz 50/1 1/2 point EW 4 places (BetVictor)
This looks a cracker and where better to start than with a few stats pointers…
- Of those not have run abroad LTO (where HRB doesn’t capture the stats) those that finished 6th or worse are 0/108, 6 places. This would suggest that coming here in some kind of form, as crudely represented by finishing position, is important.
Indeed that is the only meaningful stat I could find and would be happy to use as a rough guide. Those aged 8 or older are 0/24, 2 places although I am not sure how many of them have been as good as Sole Power, so that may be an irrelevant stat.
I narrowed this down to Sole Power, Muthmir, Spirit Quartz, Meccas Angel and Shamal Wind.
Meccas Angel – well you have two options in races like this which is to go for proven G1 performers or those that look to be fast improving. I cant remember the stat but I would have looked to see if previous G1 winning form was important and the fact I haven’t noted it down in the guide would suggest that it isn’t. Certainly for those that have yet to show their hand in a G1. I don’t like backing serial G1 losers in G1s. She won really well last time and likes to track the pace which will mean there are no excuses. The concern appears to be the ground and while she has won on good, and performed ok on Good to Firm she has so far been better with a bit of cut in the ground. But, at 7/1 I was happy to take a chance as she looks to have quite a bit more to come and her win last time was impressive.
Spirit Quartz…Well I haven’t given you the winner here but with 4 places to aim at I had to have a go at 50/1 EW. If he grabs 4th it is the same as having an 11/2 winner (1 point on nose) and it will at least provide some excitement, even if only for the first couple of furlongs. I thought if you like Muthmir and think he will run well (which he should) given their form you have to think SQ could be close again. He has shown signs of coming back to his old self and he was thought of by his old connections as a fast ground horse, so it is possible that the ground hasn’t helped his cause the last couple of runs. And of course this could have been the target and he will be 100% today, this being the 3rd run since a break. He has ran in 4 G1s in the UK and has placed in one so we know he has a touch of class. He may be no good at all and finish out the back but there was enough for me to have a nibble at that price and it has been a good few profitable weeks for the blog so why not. He has experience of this race (5th) and therefore the track and that is a bonus as well.
What of the rest…
Well it would be brilliant for Sole Power to win again and he has a good chance. 4s was skinny enough although he could make that look like a good price. He needs a lot of luck in running given his hold up style and there are just a few too many progressive horses in here for me to think he has more on his plate. But, as he showed in Dubai he is still in great form and in all honesty there isn’t much I could say to put you off. I was happy to take him on.
Muthmir deserves his chance but although this is a stiff-ish 5f he has looked better over further. William Haggas is also 0/8, 0 places in the race and while I don’t know how good some of those horses were that would be a slight niggle. He has sound chances though but I preferred MA over him. he may also want a bit more juice in the ground.
Shamal Wind is the unknown quantity, and in the end I decided just a bit too unknown. There doesn’t appear to be much ‘chat’ about her and I don’t know how good the form is. She is new to the track and this will be a completely different challenge to anything she has faced previously. She could well win and may be worth a stab at 8s, but I just went against her as I would be guessing.
G-Force has the class but that run last time was just a bit too disappointing for me even though plenty of valid excuses could be made. He will need plenty of luck in running as well but does have a chance. I don’t think the rest are good enough. Secret and Jack Dexter’s form ties in but they are 0/8, 1 place in Group 1s between them and so far to my eye have proven that they are not up to this level. I would be surprised if anything else won.
In what is an open race I am happy with the selections. Every contender has a question or two to answer (finishing pos LTO, age,ground,class,trip, run style) but one of them will win and I think MA has a good as chance as any and SQ will hopefully give us some ‘place’ excitement.
There looks to be plenty on with the likes of Take Cover, Gold Dream, Stepper Point and Justice Day ensuring that it should be run at an ok pace, if not blistering. Take Cover is in stall 8 with the selections in 13 and 14, with the othes close by as well. There should not be an excuse (being on the ‘wrong side’ for example) and they will both be able to sit handy – it then just depends if they are good enough on the day.
I may have some ‘fun’ bets in the other races but I don’t plan to look at them in depth or bet ‘big’ in them. However, there are a few thoughts for interest below…
Coventry Stakes …
Jim Bolger is 1/3, 2 places in the race which suggests he means business when running a horse in this. Horses with 4+ starts are 0/21, 0 places. 9 of last 10 winners were under 10/1 and 8/10 under 6/1. AOP is 7/26, 10 places in the race. I won’t be looking beyond Round Two and Air force Blue in this race and I have put £5 on the fav at 5/2 for interest. Mr Wards runner clearly demands respect as well.
Ascot Stakes …
Tony Martin is 2/6, 4 places in this race. That caught my eye, especially as his runner, Elishpour is 33/1. The trainer stat alone means he will carry some small change ew for fun. I am not sure if he will stay this trip on the flat but we shall see. Mullins is also 1/4, 2 places so Clondaw Warrior has to be respected. NH trainers do well in this race and there have been some big priced winners as well.
No idea but Fahey, Channon and Osborne have decent records in this and I suspect one or two of theirs may out run their odds. Team Hannon are 0/32, 6 places in the race and AOP is 0/9, 1 place. Mark Johnston is 0/9, 0 places. 4+ runs are 0/50, 6 places. Mr Ward is 2/5, 2 places in the race so his runner deserves some attention as well.
Lathom and Opal Tiara will carry some change of mine. Osborne’s runner looks a bit to exposed but he is 2/2 in the race!