TERRIBLE TOUT’S 2016 ROYAL ASCOT PREVIEW

A rather wet Ascot gets ready to host yet another Royal meeting this week and it promises to be one of the most competitive sets of races for a very long time. Few can be considered certainties and the soft ground is likely to cause several upsets.

TUESDAY, JUNE 14

Queen Anne Stakes (G1; 4yo+; 1 mile; Good to soft; 1430GMT; 8.30JaTime)

High-class US filly Tepin could have her problems with this straight uphill mile but added to her lasix treatment AND her usual nasal strip being disallowed, she literally has a mountain to climb so it might prove wise to give her a huge swerve.

French mare #13 ESOTERIQUE was a length 2nd to Solow in this last year on good going (#10 Toormore  2l further back in 4th) but was even better in August winning a Group 1 at Deauville on very soft by 1 1/2l from Territories; Toormore 3 1/2l 5th; #4 Belardo 5 1/2l 7th ) and again in October (good to firm) when beating Integral in the Group 1 Sun Chariot. She has had a decent blowout (2l 3rd to Attendu in a Group 3 7f at Deauville) and the iconic Andre Fabre will ensure she reports cherry ripe at her optimum trip on her preferred surface. Another French filly, #12 Ervedya, who won the Coronation Stakes here last year (good to firm) by a head from Found and a below standard Group 1 Prix Moulin at Longchamp (very soft) is next best

QUEEN ANNE SELECTION: #13 ESOTERIQUE/Danger #12 Ervedya

King’s Stand Stakes (Group 1; 3yo+; Good to soft; 5f; 1540GMT; 9.40JaTime)      

Wesley Ward’s #21 Acapulco, who showed blinding speed to win last year’s Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes (2yo fillies; 5f; good to firm) and then made a bold bid to be the first 2yo since Kingsgate Native (2007) to win the Group 1 Nunthorpe (York; good to soft; 2l 2nd to #20 MECCA’S ANGEL) will return better than ever but it seems the slow ground could be her undoing.

The aforementioned MECCA’S ANGEL should relish all conditions here and is a confident pick to turn the tables on unbeaten this year #14 Profitable (beat MECCA’S ANGEL by a nk in the Grade 2 Temple at Haydock on good to soft but the selection was reappearing after 9 months off and was repeatedly intimidated and bumped inside the final furlong).

KING STAND SELECTION:       #20 MECCA’S ANGEL (NAP OF THE DAY)

St James’s Palace Stakes: [Group 1; 3yo c; 1m (Rd); Good to soft, soft places;
1620GMT; 10.20Ja]

#6 Galileo Gold won a muddling 2,000 Guineas in which the 90-rated Kentuckyconnection was 5l 5th and then was firmly put in his place by #1 Awtaad (then rated 106) in the Irish 2,000. He tends to race keenly and is unlikely to get the fast early gallop he’ll need to settle here.

In the meantime, #7 THE GURKHA (BANKER BET) was awesome in trotting up in the Group 1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains (French 2,000 Guineas).  It’s only a matter of how far here.

ST JAMES PALACE STAKES SELECTION: #7 THE GURKHA (BANKER)

 

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15

Jersey Stakes (Group 3; 3yo; 7f; Good to soft; 1430GMT; 8.30amJaTime)

Always a lively betting heat. John Gosden’s pair (drawn side-by-side) of #16 Remarkable [marked improvement in blinkers to win a maiden at Southwell and a strong 6f handicap at Donny (good to soft); then excellent 2nd in a 6f listed event at Newbury to out-of-class Log Out Island (fancied for the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup) looking for all the world as if 7f would be perfect] and #7 Castle Harbour [two for two lifetime including a nice win in a 7f York handicap off 86; needs to improve; should improve; Frankie rides] will not be easily beaten.

Of the two, I prefer #16 Remarkable but, if #3 GIFTED MASTER decides to go here instead of the Commonwealth Cup they won’t see where he turns. The likely strong early gallop should also suit #19 Thikriyaat to a “T” and he is very much one to keep on the right side.

JERSEY STKS SELECTION:#3 GIFTED MASTER (WEDNESDAY’S NAP)

Prince of Wales’s Stakes (Group 1; 4yo+; 1¼m; Good to Soft, soft places;
1620GMT; 10.20JaTime)

It’s impossible to see beyond #1 A SHIN HIKARI a Japanese star who proved his compatibility with soft ground on last by winning the Group 1 Prix D’ispahan at Chantilly by 10l from Group 1 winner Dariyan.

PRINCE OF WALES SEL: #1 A SHIN HIKARI (MEETING’S BANKER BET)

 

THURSDAY, JUNE 16

Gold Cup In Honour of The Queen’s 90th Birthday (Group 1; 4yo+; 2½m;
1620GMT; 10.20amJa)

#9 MIZZOU was beaten by the quick ground last year; is better than ever this year and won’t go down easily but 4yos have won the last four renewals so #17 Order of St George who’ll relish the underfoot conditions must be in with a glorious chance. He’s stepping up to 2 ½ miles from 14f for the very first time and often sweats up badly so Class, track experience and style of running give #9 MIZZOU the nod.

GOLD CUP SELECTION:   #9 MIZZOU

 

FRIDAY, JUNE 17

Commonwealth Cup (Group 1; 3yo; 6f; Good to Soft; 1540GMT; 9.40amJa)

Much will depend on whether #7 Gifted Master and #15 Acapulco decide to go here. In their absence, the race seems between #10 Logout Island (improved on last in a first time hood to beat Remarkable, runs in the Jersey, but will have lots of competition for the lead here) and #18 QUIET REFLECTION visually impressive on reappearance win at Haydock.

COMMONWEALTH CUP SELECTION: #18 QUIET REFLECTION

 

Coronation Stakes (Group 1; 3yo f; 1m; 1620GMT; 10.20amJaTime)

#15 Qemah and #5 Besharah are worthy of respect but neither has won a Group 1 while #8 JET SETTING defeated 1,000 Guineas/Oaks winner Minding in the Group 1 Irish 1,000 Guineas and is at a great value price.

COMMONWEALTH CUP SELECTION:#8 JET SETTING(NAPOFTHEDAY)

 

SATURDAY, JUNE 18

Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2; 4yo+; 1½m; Good to Soft, Soft places; 1540GMT)

Sir Michael Stoute has dominated this race (won 4 of last 6 renewals) and he saddles #3 Dartmouth and #7 EXOSPHERE (Ryan Moore rides). I won’t be opposing the best jockey/trainer combo in Europe.

HARDWICKE SELECTION:       #7 EXOSPHERE (Saturday’s BANKER BET)

THE BIG HANDICAPS

Everyone loves a punt on

  1. The Royal Hunt Cup (Wednesday; 1m str; 1700GMT) where #8 Convey is favourite but may be victimized by the ground so it’s to the likes of #10 BALTY BOYS (2 1/4l 4th last year on good to firm and drawn on “wrong” side; 3lbs lighter this year PLUS useful 5lbs claim from Callum Shepherd) we look for a winner. He’s the NAP OF THE DAY. Good runs can be expected from #19 Donncha (knocking on the door in these big handicaps) and #30 Librisa Breeze (unexposed on turf);
  2. The Wokingham ( Saturday; 6f; 1700GMT) where it’s early days yet and the draw will be important (high numbers preferred). Outback Traveller and Golden Steps should run well but old timer NINJAGO has long promised to win one of these and shouted his well-being on his sole run this year over 5f at York. He has been laid out for this race and is a handicap snip!  He’s THE  NAP OF THE MEETING.

Good Luck!

THE TERRIBLE TOUT

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