A fairly quiet week for me at Ascot and I think I am about 12 points down, technically the blog is 8 points down. It has been great entertainment and if you have had a profitable week to date well done. Thankfully the blog had made a few points before this week to soften the blow!
Just an easy handicap to solve to try and rescue the week…:)
The Wokingham looks a cracker and I think I have found a couple that should give us a run for our money – something I/we have been bereft of this week.
5.oo Royal Ascot
Watchable 14/1 1 point EW 5 places (bet365)
Rene Mathis 33/1 1 point EW 4 places (SkyBet)
(Dinkum Diamond will be a 1/2 point EW 33/1 IF it remains good to firm – there looks to be rain around all day tomorrow)
Some Stats…(that don’t really help)
19/19 Top 6 LTO
19/19 Aged 4-7 (15/19 aged 4 or 5)
19/19 4 or fewer runs this season
– side stat, those yet to place this season are 2/177 (492 runners in total)
These stats leave a very long shortlist that I wont list. This is open, very open, and it is complicated by the weather. It is forecast to rain and thankfully this wont inconvenience either of the main selections. It will have to bucket it down for there to be soft in the title but it could take the sting out and be Good. That would spell danger for Dinkum I think although I may throw something at him if the going is far from clear come nearer the race. All decent form is on Good to Firm.
PACE well after the disaster of the RHC I have no real idea! It looks to be drawn middle to low and I cant see any out and out front runners drawn high. Also it looks as though the jockeys have decided that the far side is best and I suspect many will try and tack over. Of course any rain may change things again!
Watchable looks to have a decent chance and this is only his 12th start and is therefore open to improvement. He isn’t a 5f horse so ignore his last run. The form behind Astaire is decent although that didn’t help his mark. However I am not sure if that will stop him and although he is a big weight I think he could develop into more than a handicapper. He is very well drawn (5/19 drawn 1-4), wont mind any ease underfoot and has the big field experience and class to win this. He is very consistent, stays a bit further and with any luck will give us something to cheer. He also has Spencer on board which is a positive for me. I wont go into how much the ‘Spencer hate mob’ irritate me now, I will save that for another day. I know what I will get with him – he will give this horse the best chance to finish the race strongly. He may miss time his challenge, or run into trouble. That is the nature of backing him, but he gets it right more than he gets it wrong.
Rene Mathis – well I don’t think he should be 33/1. Drawn in 12 should be ok and he will go low again. He will be up there from the off. A strongly run 6f should be ideal as he looks like he stays a fast 7f well but then always just fails. The trainer has a good record in the race (1/13, 5 places) and where he has run clunkers there have been valid excuses. (namely at Royal Ascot last year where drawn wrong side and Ayr where his saddle slipped) This is a horse who last year chased home Muthmir and Goldream at York. Those two have had a decent week! While he was just ahead of the bunch that was still a good run. He also came a decent 2nd at Goodwood in what was an ultra competitive race at the time, and it included the likes of Safety Check who are decent yardsticks. There is a chance he could get outpaced but he will be staying on at the end and I think he is a lively outsider.
Dinkum Diamond was 3rd in this race in 2013 off a 4lb higher mark once you consider the claims. He does need it quick but if it is still good to firm there is no reason why he shouldn’t run his race. He was 3rd behind Group Class horses at Windsor in a race that broke the track record. I don’t think he is a 33/1 shot if it remains firm.
As you would expect lots of these horses’ form ties in together. Huntsmans Close clearly has a chance but he is 10/1 in a 30 runner race who is drawn high-ish (which I think is a negative!??) and comes here after a 48 day break. He did benefit from the draw at Ayr and I am not sure how strong the Newmarket form is. However if he improves on that run he has a chance. Tatlisu ties in with Algars Lad. He has Moore on top, could be badly drawn (or really well if pace emerges that I haven’t spotted down the near side) and gets blinkers for the first time. If he takes to them he has a decent form chance as he was arguably too far from the action at York where I think Algar Lad got more of a tow into the race. But, he has a chance. Algar Lad feels too big at 20s but I am not sure on how strong the form is of that race either. However he is unexposed at this trip although stall 23 could be troublesome.
Those 6 made up my shortlist and I expect a few of them to run big races. If Dinkum is a no bet may put change EW on Algar Lad at 20s.
Kickboxer ran ok on his seasonal reappearance but then didn’t run as well I expected next time. However he is coming to the boil and I think he has some back form to run a decent race. He was beaten into second by Bemuda Boy last time (a C3 horse?) and he is an outsider here. Also the winner of that race didn’t do too much on his next run. Clearly if the Algar Lad, Tatlisu and Kickboxer form (all tied in) is better than I think I may have ignored the winner! They should run their races.
Gameson’s form ties in with Huntsmans and he is arguably more unexposed albeit lacking experience of a race like this. He met trouble in running in that race and would have been closer to the front two. The winner of that race hasn’t franked the form either. If building on his last run and handling this experience, given his low draw he will also go well!In the same colours Suzi’s Connoisseur is interesting at a price as well and could be a lively outsider. If Intrinsic is A1 after his long break he also would go very close.
There are of course many more I could mention that have a squeak. Hopefully mine are on the right side this time and the only excuse will be not being good enough on the day. Of course I may not have even mentioned the winner but I have looked at them all in some depth and these will do for me.