It’s that time of year. The sun is shining, the suits are hired, it must be Royal Ascot. Top hats galore and top-class action from all around the world. Australia and America join in today, along with British and Irish. Day One is set to be a cracker. Here are my selections and naps for the one of the best meetings of the Summer.
Scroll down for Selections on all seven races, live on ITV Racing and Sky Sports Racing.
PADDINGTON TO BEAR THE BRUNT
NAP: St James’s Palace Stakes (GROUP ONE) – PADDINGTON @ 5/2 (William Hill, BetVictor)
There are many races this week which punters are saying are ‘the races of the week’. This is one of them, with the English and Irish Guineas winners facing off. Chaldean is 3lbs higher than his Irish counter-part, 119 to 116. But there is one thing that lets the Frankel colt down. The draw. Since the turn of the millennium, four winners have come from stall one. Many horses are boxed in on the rail and haven’t room to move. Paddington is drawn wide in eight, and if he can get a better start he had in the Irish Guineas, he’ll be hard to get past. Read more on his chances on Best Of Bets.
Keep an eye out for Indestructible, the Craven winner. He’s already tipped up on Best of Bets, and he isn’t without hope. He underperformed in the English Guineas but has been kept fresh for this race. Firm ground will suit him, given he won by five-and-a-half lengths as a two-year-old on the surface, and a good outside draw in stall nine. 50/1 (General) seems overpriced.
And don’t discount Isaac Shelby, who’s a decent each-way price of 9/1 (General). He won the Greenham Stakes, where Chaldean unseated. He almost made up for it when narrowly losing in the French Guineas. The ground will be a little firmer, and could go well, with a half-decent draw in stall three.
PERFECT STORM IN THE COVENTRY
E/W BET: Coventry Stakes (Group Two) – Cuban Thunder @ 50/1 (Betfred, William Hill)
I feel Cuban Thunder is overlooked. He’s experienced enough with two races under his belt, including a win last time out, which came in the Frank Whittle Partnership Conditions Stakes. Lusail, Repartee and Queen Olly are recent winners of the race who haven’t had bad careers since then. Dominic Ffrench Davis has a good record when prepping Amo Racing’s two-year-olds. Kevin Stott has chosen to ride Bucanero Fuerte, but Rossa Ryan isn’t a bad substitute. Stand-side draw might be where the winners come on the straight course this week, worth to keep an eye on.
MOORE AND MULLINS TO BRING IT
Handicap Best: Ascot Stakes (Heritage Handicap) – Bring On The Night @ 9/4 (Unibet, Betfred, William Hill)
Willie Mullins is operating at a 57% strike rate. Over the jumps, in the off season. He’s a genius. He has a good record at the Royal meeting as well with four winners in this race. Those four winners came in a period of six years between 2012 – 2018. Ryan Moore was on three of them. Moore is currently operating at a 33% strike rate and has also won leading rider at Royal Ascot nine times. Bring On The Night has been raised 4lbs since last year’s second, and hasn’t been seen since. Bring on the Ascot Stakes I say!
Keep an eye out for Themaxwecan who loves the firmer ground. He raced in last year’s race, finishing midfield off a mark of 97. After that race he went and won a race at Ascot over two miles on firm ground with Jamie Spencer on board. This time he’s 92, 5lbs lower than last year’s mark. He hasn’t got a great record over two miles, but with a good mark and good conditions he could certainly get a place at 40/1 (General)
14:30 – Queen Anne Stakes (GROUP ONE) – Modern Games @ 9/4 (Unibet, William Hill), Chindit e/w @ 14/1 (William Hill)
15:05 – Coventry Stakes (Group Two) – Givemethebeatboys @ 4/1 (Unibet, William Hill, BetUK), CUBAN THUNDER E/W @ 50/1 (Betfred, William Hill)
15:40 – King’s Stand Stakes (GROUP ONE) – Highfield Princess @ 5/2 (Unibet), Twilight Gleaming e/w @ 25/1 (Boylesports)
16:20 – St James’s Palace Stakes (GROUP ONE) – PADDINGTON (NAP) @ 5/2 (William Hill, BetVictor), Indestructible e/w @ 50/1 (General)
17:00 – Ascot Stakes (Heritage H’cap) BRING ON THE NIGHT @ 9/4 (Unibet, Betfred, William Hill), Themaxwecan e/w @ 40/1 (General)
18:10 – Copper Horse Handicap – Absurde @ 6/1 (Betfred)
The very best of luck!