Royal Ascot Review: Part 2 (days 1-2-3)
To start with a handful of eye-catchers from the handicaps that I’d like to think should be winning again soon…
The Ascot Stakes
I won’t win prizes for originality with this one and I doubt she will fly under the radar too much on her next few starts but from her wide draw she was dropped in and given too much to do. It may have been a deliberate ploy to settle her and ensure she finished off her race, just mistiming the challenge slightly. She made up plenty of ground up the straight, but the winner had first run and that effort took its toll late on. She’s clearly well handicapped off 91 on the flat and it will be interesting where she turns up next. She’s also unexposed in handicap hurdles. One to watch and I wouldn’t be shocked if she turned up at Galway in one of their big handicaps, flat or hurdles.
Time To Study
This 5 year-old gelding lost his way for Mark Johnston last year where he ran him plenty, as you’d expect, and maybe he didn’t enjoy that so much. In any case he looked back to his best here leading well over 1f before his stamina gave out – well he was out-stayed, certainly in that going.
He could be back to something near his best here and is a stayer to follow, especially if dropped in distance. A strongly run 2m may be perfect for him and some cut in the ground does look important to him, to show his best on turf.
(I believe he’s an intended run for the Northumberland Plate on Sat)
I should mention the old timer who ran a decent 6th here, has always had a touch of class and on this evidence should still have races in him. He arrived here on the back of a flat win and is ‘unexposed’ on the level. He was held up last here and never dropped his head. He was pulling his jockeys arms out and I’m surprised he stayed on so well/still had something left up the straight. It was a run which suggests he’s got a decent staying handicap in him if settling. I wouldn’t mind seeing a more experienced big race rider on him.
The Royal Hunt Cup
He’s in the ‘could be anything’ category in handicaps and this run suggests that he could pick up a decent pot one day. He took a while to get going and ended up in the middle of the track, having been stuck behind horses for a time. When he got into the clear he flew somewhat and stayed on well. A strongly run 8f may be fine albeit he could be worth a go over further. It could be that running on softer ground helped him and he certainly has a question on proper fast ground. He will be winning races and is one to track, especially if/when Frankie jumps on.
This 4 year old filly, trained by Richard Hannon Jnr is the other I want to keep an eye on. She’s threatened to win a big race but it hasn’t quite fallen into place yet this season. Here, she was arguably on the wrong side of the track but did hit the front on her side at one point. Her exertions took their toll late on in this – maybe the combo of the ground and this stiff finish/pace, but it was still a decent run which suggested she has plenty of ability and can handle the rough and tumble of these races. Maybe a strongly run 7f would be ideal for her.
This was painful viewing for those of us who had a fun multiple on Detorri. Alas I wasn’t smart enough to do the earlier four-timer but I’d backed Sangarious and had also put him in a fun double with Turgenev. Sadly for me I think Fankie’s adrenaline got the better of him, which isn’t a surprise. He did go too hard too soon (indisputable as per the sectional times) but you can understand why he rode him that way and he probably thought he’d keep galloping. That’s all said in hindsight of course and he’s allowed to misjudge the odd ride at Ascot! He’s just a joy to watch at this meeting/in these big races. Anyway…
Another obvious one I suppose but when you finish 4th, drawn in stall 5 and the 1st (29), 2nd (22) 3rd (18) and 5th (31) were all drawn higher, clearly, it’s a run that should be marked up. He comfortably won his side here and ended up nearer the stand side, losing some ground in the progress also. There was a 2L gap back to the rest of the field. This race should produce plenty of subsequent winners, and the three in front of him look handy enough also. He seems versatile ground wise.
I should just mention Awe’s jockey, Kerrin McEvoy
He doesn’t ride over here as often as he used to. However, in 2019 to date he’s had 23 rides, 5 winners, and 9 wins|places. Based on the historical prices of his UK mounts he rides many more winners here than he should do and is often a jockey upgrade. (‘ive stolen those thoughts from an RTV review piece) He’s one to keep an eye on for as long as he’s riding over here.
I’ll conclude by mentioning a trainer or two to take away from the meeting. As I’m sure you’ll agree, a small name, whose horses often go unnoticed! Ahem. : ) I jest. However, I thought it interesting enough that he had his best meeting for some time – 2/13, 6 places. They were his first winners here since 2012 in which time he was 0/71, 14p. That may be an indication of how hard it is to win at Royal Ascot, especially when not having the patronage of certain owners etc.
It could also be that he has his best crop of horses for some time in terms of quality and ability. Whether that rings true throughout the rest of the season time will tell, but I thought it interesting enough. Those winners were with older horses, 4 and 5, and maybe his older squad this year have a bit more about them.
So far in 2019 his four year olds are 10/35, 20p, +28 BFSP. Maybe they’re worth keeping an eye on.
I’ve already highlighted his superb record with Tudhope this year (15/24,18p, +38 BFSP)
Thanks Be was his first Royal Ascot winner and he’s clearly a young trainer going places.
In 2019 his handicappers are: 69 bets / 16 wins / 30p / 23% sr / +72 BFSP
Those profit figures are helped by his Ascot winner, but it should be noted that with those sent off 8/1 or shorter SP…
45 bets / 15 wins / 26p / 33% sr / +43 BFSP / AE 1.39
(performing 39% above market expectations)
His handicappers that have had 3-9 career runs…
56 bets / 15 wins / 23p / 27% sr / +79 BFSP / AE 1.47
Coincidentally he’s 1/35 in Novice races so far this year. He does have Novice/Maiden winners, but it would appear his handicappers are the place to focus, especially his lightly raced ones.
That’s it for my Royal Ascot 2019 Review. With any luck there’s something of interest to take away from the above.