ROYAL ASCOT PREVIEW 2014

The world’s best flat racing festival, Royal Ascot, kicks off tomorrow and with the ground drying out all over England, the going is forecast to be no worse than good (good to soft in places).
RYAN MOORE is riding like a man possessed and, despite his being shunned by wealthy middle-east owners thus reducing his opportunities, he should prove hard to beat in the Champion Jockey market. On the conditioners side, Aidan O’Brien is always hard to beat but, this year, it could pay to support SIR MICHAEL STOUTE, who has had a good comeback year so far and who has some cracking entries.

TUESDAY, JUNE 17

The Queen Anne Stakes [Group 1; 4yo+; 1m (str); 1430 GMT; 8.30am]

VERRAZANO is a very intriguing entrant second time on the turf as he ran a most promising race in the Lockinge at Newbury despite sweating up profusely in the preliminaries and obviously needing the run. This is another straight track but he’s likely to be better suited by the emphasis on speed (synthetic track winners do very well at Ascot) and he’s sure to be cherry ripe now. #8 Toronado is the likely Hannon runner instead of Lockinge winner Olympic Glory but he hasn’t exactly set the world on fire after exchanging wins with Dawn Approach (6l behind Olympic Glory over course and distance last August in the QEII Stakes) and makes his re-appearance here so the Aidan O’Brien import who was only beaten for stamina in the US Triple Crown is the value bet.

QUEEN ANNE STAKES SELECTION: #10 VERRAZANO

The King’s Stand Stakes [Group 1; 3yo+; 5f; 1545 GMT; 9.45 Ja Time]

Equiano in 2008 is the only 3yo to win this race in the last 10 renewals but every now and then a special 3yo comes along and HOT STREAK (NAP OF THE DAY) has proven, with his impressive defeat of his elders in the Group 2 Temple Stakes on last, that he can add his name to the list of illustrious 3yos (including Dayjur) to win this race. Shea Shea could chase him home.

KING’S STAND SELECTION: #16 HOT STREAK (TUESDAY’S NAP)

St.James’s Palace Stakes [Group 1; 3yo colts; 1m(Rd); 1625GMT; 10.25]

A keenly anticipated renewal of rivalry between 2,000 Guineas winner, Night of Thunder, and 2nd,KINGMAN (BANKER BET OF THE MEETING), who swopped places in the Greenham and the Guineas. The selection has plenty of scope for improvement and will relish both the easier underfoot conditions and the one turn mile which places more emphasis on speed than the stiff Newmarket straight mile.

SELECTION: #1 KINGMAN (BANKER BET OF THE MEETING)

 

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 18

The Jersey Stakes [Group 3; 3yo; 7f (str); 1430 GMT; 8.30am Ja Time]

Sheikh Hamdan who has owned 2 of the last 6 Jersey Stakes winners, has four entries of which #15 Muwaary appears best but he’s dropping back in trip after a strong finishing 4th in the French Guineas so it could pay to oppose him with one of #11 Glorious Empire, unbeaten in 2 runs on polytrack and with unlimited potential now switched to turf (acted up and refused to enter stalls on intended turf debut on soft ground), and #7 BIG TIME, 5th of 11 behind Kingman in the Irish 2,000 Guineas on re-appearance, who gave the strong impression he’s trained on and has a big race at this trip to win this year.

JERSEY STAKES SELECTION: #7 BIG TIME

Duke of Cambridge Stakes [Gp 2; 4yo+ f/m; 1m(str); 1545 GMT; 9.45am]

#1 Sky Lantern will be popular but looks vulnerable on re-appearance under a Group 1 winning penalty while #8 INTEGRAL out-battled on her re-appearance in the Group 3 Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket (9f) by the race fit Esoterique (re-opposes) will have come on a ton for that run and is just the sort of older filly with which Sir Michael Stoute has excelled over the years.

DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE SELECTION: #8 INTEGRAL

Prince of Wales’s Stakes [Group 1; 4yo+; 10f; 1625 GMT; 10.25 Ja Time]

Now that Cirrus Des Aigles has been ruled out with a minor injury, the way is clear for Arc winner #8 TREVE (WEDNESDAY’S BANKER) to confirm her place at the top of the totem pole.

SELECTION: #8 TREVE (WEDNESDAY’S BANKER)

 

THURSDAY, JUNE 19
The Gold Cup (Group 1; 4yo+; 2m 4f; 1625 GMT; 10.45 Ja Time)

By Thursday the ground may have dried out even further which could scupper the chances of #10 Tac De Boitron who proved better than ever when winning the Sagaro Stakes over 2 miles at Ascot this year. Progressive Goodwood Cup winner #3 Brown Panther is another who has returned better than ever this year (2 for 2 in Group 3s at Chester and Sandown) but has stamina to prove while #14 LEADING LIGHT (BANKER) although not raced beyond 15f, has repeatedly given the impression that he should have no problem at 2 ½ miles and looks like a true superstar in the making.

GOLD CUP SELECTION:#14 LEADING LIGHT (THURSDAY’S BANKER)

 

FRIDAY, JUNE 20

The Coronation Stakes [Group 1; 3yo f; 1m (Rd); 16.25 GMT; 10.25am Ja]

The French have this year’s best fillies but the like of Miss France and Avenir Certain are likely to go to the Prix De Diane leaving English 1,000 Guineas 2nd, #8 Lightning Thunder and #11 MY TITANIA to fight it out. The latter is preferred with fewer miles on the clock and reports fresh after missing both the English (dirty scope) and Irish (ground) Guineas. She has bags of improvement to come this year.

CORONATION STAKES SELECTION: #11 MY TITANIA

 

SATURDAY, JUNE 21

The Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2; 4yo+; 1m 4f; 1545GMT; 9.45am Ja)

Sir Michael Stoute has won this race seven times and this seems the ideal moment for his TELESCOPE (SATURDAY’S BANKER) to fulfil his early promise and prove himself a really top class colt.

HARDWICKE STAKES SELECTION; TELESCOPE (BANKER)

The meet’s two big handicaps are:
The Royal Hunt Cup [Wednesday; Class 2 Heritage Handicap; 3yo+; 1 mile (str); 1700GMT; 11.00am Ja Time] in which I confidently expect Sir Michael Stoute to triumph with ABSEIL (NAP OF THE MEETING) who looks every inch a Group horse still in a handicap. The doubt was whether or not he would get a run but he has squeezed in at the foot of the weights and is a very good thing indeed.

ROYAL HUNT CUP SELECTION: ABSEIL (NAP OF THE MEETING)

The Wokingham (Saturday; Class 2 Heritage Handicap; 3yo+; 6f; 1700GMT; 11.00 am Ja Time) is always a real cavalry charge in which long time favourite Intrinsic, like ABSEIL, will need some of the heavier weighted ones to come out for him to get a run. But, regardless of whether or not Intrinsic runs, this year’s renewal suits the likes of NINJAGO (SATURDAY’S NAP) to a “T”. At likely 20/1 odds he’s real value for money.

WOKINGHAM SELECTION: NINJAGO (SATURDAY’S NAP)

The 2yos are hard to predict at this time of year but #1 ADAAY, 2 for 2 over 6f, looks good for The Coventry (Tuesday; Group 2; 6f; 1505 GMT; 9.05 am Ja Time); #16 MERDON CASTLE, 1/2l 2nd to Kool Kompany (rec 3 lbs) looks the likely winner of the Windsor Castle (Tuesday; Listed; 5f; 1735GMT; 11.35am Ja Time); while the best bet among the juveniles is #9 DANGEROUS MOONLITE in the Queen Mary (Wednesday; Group 2; fillies; 5f; 1505 GMT; 9.05am Ja Time)

Good Luck!

THE TERRIBLE TOUT

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One Response to “ROYAL ASCOT PREVIEW 2014”

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