Once again it’s time for the best racing festival of the year – Royal Ascot.  Over the five days, there’ll be 7 Group 1 races and several big handicap events featuring the cavalry charge of the milers (Royal Hunt Cup) and the sprinters (Wokingham).  It’ll pay to remember that Ascot is a stiff track and ability to stay the trip is essential.  Rain was forecast but is now in doubt but the going is expected to be no worse than good.  Sir Michael Stoute is by far the most successful trainer at this meeting with a 14% strike rate and a level stakes profit shown on all his starters.  He is particularly deadly in the Handicaps where he has had 10 winners from 68 runners.

TUESDAY, June 15

The card will open with The Queen Anne Stakes (Group 1; one mile straight; 2:30 p.m. – all times GMT).  It’ll provide the clash of the festival with Paco Boy, Rip Van Winkle and GOLDIKOVA all running.  Paco Boy has been a revelation proving Trainer Richard Hannon right (again) to persist with him at a mile when all the pundits insisted that he would not stay.  Rip Van Winkle proved one of the best 3yos of last year and beat Paco Boy at a mile in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes.  However, he makes his reappearance here and so both are confidently expected to fall victim to the brilliant GOLDIKOVA (BANKER BET OF THE MEETING) an exceptional mare who is proving to be one of the best ever and who fits perfectly here.


The St James Palace Stakes (Group 1; one mile round; 3yo colts; 3:50 p.m.) is no less mouth-watering as the two Guineas winners, Makfi (English) and the Irish champion CANFORD CLIFFS (nap) clash again.  At Newmarket, the selection was only third but he wasn’t yet at peak; became a bit unbalanced in the dip as many do; has progressed well since that time; and is still Richard Hannon’s belief as the best he has ever trained.



The Prince of Wales Stakes (Group 1; 1 1/4m; 4yo+; 3:50 p.m., GMT) is Wednesday’s feature.  Twice Over and Mawatheeq, separated by 1/2l in last year’s Champion Stakes are top-rated but Twice Over was only 4th in this race last year when French raiders filled the first and third places.  In Andre Fabre’s BYWORD, who was 1/2l 2nd to GOLDIKOVA on last, there is another unexposed improver from across the channel that can put the much raced Twice Over in his place twice over.


The Royal Hunt Cup (Class 2 Heritage Handicap; 1 mile straight; 4:25 p.m., GMT) is the most popular betting race of the meeting and so earns its place in this year’s preview although not a pattern event.  It’s usually won by lightly raced improvers and two fit that bill this year in Mull of Killough, 3rd in the Lincoln and 5th to Tartan Gigha in the City and Suburban at Epsom, who gives every indication that he’s primed for one of these and RIGGINS (nap) who is a six year old who has only run 6 times in life and who shouted his well-being from the rooftops with a close third to the same Tartan Gigha in a competitive handicap at Newmarket.  He is a blot on the handicaps.

SELECTION:    RIGGINS (Wednesday’s nap)


The feature of the entire meeting is the ASCOT GOLD CUP (Group 1; 2m4f; forecast going good to soft; 3:30 p.m. GMT).

Manifest has long been the ante post favourite for this race since improving (again; had won his maiden by 19l on his second start after unraced as a 2yo; then 2nd to Harbinger in the John Porter over 1 1/2m) to win the Yorkshire Cup by 8l from Purple Moon (re-opposes).  Has yet to race beyond 14f but looks every inch a stayer and will relish the likely cut in the ground.  In the absence of Kite Wood, the Yorkshire Cup was not as competitive as it might have been and it’s left to be seen how much he accomplished there but there’s no doubt that he has what it takes to make up into a top stayer one day.  His current price suggests that he is already that and there’s no value whatsoever in backing him here.  That said, there are no holes in his form or potential and he’s going to run a cracker.

Kite Wood will run here for Godolphin and his masterful performance in winning a 2m French Group 2 at Longchamp on May 23 by 3/4l from Kasbah Bliss proved him to be a high class stayer but his second in the St Leger hinted at stamina doubts for this extreme trip and his style of running (leader) and his high strung nature could see him end up making the running for the stronger stayers.

The two to concentrate on betting-wise include the Michael Stoute trained Ask (a high class performer over shorter trips who has less to prove than the favourite having already won at 2m; has won two Group 1s namely the Coronation Cup at Epsom and the Prix Royal-Oak at Longchamp; and has a perfect record when fresh having won on all three of his last reappearances).  He’s 7 years old now though and could be vulnerable to a young improver like AGE OF AQUARIUS who is the Ballydoyle-anointed successor to Yeats who won this race 4 times.  He was 1 1/2l second to Harbinger in the Ormonde at Chester on reappearance (all Aidan O’Brien’s horses have needed their reappearance this year) and this form brings him close enough to the favourite Manifest that normal improvement could well see him create the upset.  He also has a lot to prove stamina-wise but he was tapped for toe in finishing second to Profound Beauty in a listed 14f race at Leopardstown on last in the manner of one who badly needed extreme distances.  The value bet here is to take AGE OF AQUARIUS (BANKER BET) to defeat the favourite Manifest and to have a saver on the reverse forecast with those two.  Ask won’t be far away at the end and is the sort to keep on the right side for the Goodwood Cup.


The Brittania Stakes (Heritage Handicap; 3yos only; 1 mile straight; 4:25 p.m. GMT) is the second of the three popular betting big handicaps.  This one is the most difficult because it’s restricted to three year olds who could be anything at this time of year.  However, Michael Bell’s HYPNOTIZED (nap) has had his name on one of these handicaps since running a most eye-catching second to Soul Station at Goodwood in a 9 runner 0-85 handicap over 9f in May.  This is the note of the Racing Post’s race-readers:

Things did not go the way of Hypnotized considering the                                  pace was probably not as quick as he would have liked                                       (too keen at Newmarket on his previous start) and that                                       he had to wait until over 1f out to get a clear run. He                                                finished strongly when in the open, but was always being                                held by the winner, who had nicked a few lengths. This                                      improving colt won´t mind returning to 1m and looks the                                   type to do well in strongly run races with plenty of runners,                               and the Britannia Stakes is an obvious target.

Subsequently, trainer Michael Bell has been quoted as saying: “He’s heading to the Brittania at Royal Ascot, a race that we’ve had in mind for him all along.  The handicapper put him up 7lb for getting beat the other day (at Goodwood) which I thought was plenty, but the pair did pull five lengths clear and he’s the ideal type for a big handicap.”

Get in early and often!!!

SELECTION:    HYPNOTIZED (Thursday’s nap)

FRIDAY, June 18

Friday’s Group 1 is the Coronation Stakes (3yo fillies; 1 mile rnd; 3:50 p.m.) where the dreadfully unlucky Jamaican born Brit, Noel Martin will hope that his Jacqueline Quest gains compensation for her wheelchair bound owner’s dismay at her disqualification after passing the post first in the 1000 Guineas at 66/1.  But that looks very much like it was her only chance at glory as she ran on the favoured side of the track and it seems certain that at least MUSIC SHOW, who was behind her that day, will reverse the form.

In fact, the Irish 1000 Guineas seems the strongest form for all that they finished in a heap and MUSIC SHOW (1/2l 3rd, staying on) and Lillie Langtry (3/4l 5th, also staying on, having hit a flat spot on her seasonal reappearance in this Classic) are the two to concentrate on.  MUSIC SHOW, who has secured the services of Champion Jockey Ryan Moore (riding out of his skin this year), is preferred especially as the ground might be riding a shade slow.  If they both get tapped for speed again at a mile (very possible) then look for Anna Salai (coming on by leaps and bounds; 2nd in Irish 1000 Guineas; caught very last stride) to hang on in what should be another thriller



The last day of the meet is sprinters day and the Group 1 is the Golden Jubilee (British leg of the global sprint challenge) over 6f (3:50 p.m.).  A lot depends on how the Aussies fare in the earlier 5f King Stand Stakes as many do try for this sprint double and Choisir won both races in 2003.  Running plans are still up in the air but, at this early stage, it’s last year’s Diadem Stakes winner SAYIF that is the tentative pick.  If there is cut in the ground, Main Aim will prove very, very hard to beat.


And the final of the big handicap trilogy is the Wokingham Stakes (Class 2 Heritage Handicap; 6f; 4:25 p.m.).  As usual, a multitude will be in this cavalry charge up the straight 6f sprint course and the draw is sometimes very important as being drawn too far away from the early pace can be a severe disadvantage. Despite all the variables, this year’s renewal promises to be very profitable as a betting medium as I give two horses vastly superior chances to the rest and the selection is my NAP OF THE MEETING.

I begin with Genki the winner of last years Stewards Cup (the comparable race at Glorious Goodwood) freewheeling down Goodwood’s very quick downhill sprint course.  Ascot is uphill (the exact opposite) but Genki has had this race pencilled in ever since winning at Goodwood; has won twice at Ascot; and very much caught the eye on reappearance in a 6f handicap at Newmarket on Guineas day when he was victimized by the draw yet still managed to finish 4th of 23 runners that day.  This showed him to be better than ever this year and whoever beats him on Saturday, wins. I think that will be Sir Michael Stoute’s ENACT (NAP OF THE MEETING).  Although she got the run of that same Newmarket handicap (from in front), she was clearly in need of the run (reappearance also) and will come on a ton for the effort as this was her first run since October.  She travelled like the winner for the entire trip until tiring visibly well inside the final furlong.  As I say, she did have the run of the race and a favourable low number draw (Genki drew 25) but she is a 4yo filly from a master trainer renowned for improving fillies with age whilst Genki, a 6yo, albeit lightly raced, will not have much more in the tank.  Look for ENACT (NAP OF THE MEETING) to make every inch of the running and hold on from a fast finishing Genki.  The straight forecast is also recommended.


Treble of the meeting is CANFORD CLIFFS; GOLDIKOVA and ENACT.

Good Luck!

2 Responses to “ROYAL ASCOT PREVIEW 2010”

  1. racing mad Says:

    excellent tips,i will be following your tips in future.

  2. racing mad Says:

    excellent tips

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