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Royal Ascot 2018

Non-Smoking Man

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Jack lambert
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Day 3 :

I can think of various words to describe todays card from a punting perspective, but I will settle on 'trappy'.

Stable form is important at 3 and 4 day festivals such as this. Going well are the Newmarket stables of John Gosden and Sir Michael Stoute. Charles Hills, who trains Equitorial, favourite for the Sprint Championship for 3 y.olds, is drastically out of form (35 losers on the bounce when I looked a couple of days ago), as is Robert Cowell. also famous for training sprinters. Aiden O'brien has had a couple of his Group 1 fillies run disappointingly, and had only been hitting the crossbar (another topical metaphor there) up till sweeping the board with a 1,2,3 in the Queens Vase (Group 2).

O'Brien's form, or lack of it, is a slight concern to me as I have backed his Merchant Navy in Saturday's 6 furlong Championship, the Diamond Jubilee.

Another trainer with an excellent past record at Royal Ascot is Wesley Ward, responsible for Shang Shang Shang in the opener - a 2 y.old 5 furlong event. But his runners have so far shown little despite the trainer extolling their chances (notably Lady Aurelia. Ward trains in the USA where sprinters are trained to race hard from the gate so expect this one to blaze the trail. Will it last out over Ascots uphill course?

Nobody knows and considering these juveniles can improve lengths between races, I am content to pass this one and watch only.

The second race is the Group 3 (the least valuable and prestigious of the Group races) Hampton Court, won last year by Benbatl, the Derby 5th or 6th, and that is the level. There are 2 horses in this (Hunting Horn and Key Victory)who ran unplaced but close up in the French equivalent, the Prix Du Jockey Club and I suppose thats the best form on offer. But its untested form.  The others have indeterminate credentials, so the race is another watcher. Wadilsafa has a good speed figure and is trained by Owen Burrows, who IS in form, but is stepping up from maiden company and should be found wanting in a Group 3. I will be watching him for a possible bet when he returns to more appropriate company.

The Ribblesdale is a middle distance fillies Championship - Ascot's Oaks, if you like. The runner up in that race goes - Wild Illusion - and is vying for favouritism with an impressive maiden winner from the Stoute yard who missed the Oaks to wait for this race - Sun Maiden. Throw in the Chester Oaks Trial winner Magic Wand, who sorely disappointed her backers in the Epsom Oaks (me included) and you have an interesting 3 way contest. But no bet.

I dont take much interest in long distance races, so the Gold Cup, over 2.5 miles, whilst a great spectacle and of huge value, doesnt float my boat, and the Britannia, the mile handicap which follows is ludicrously difficult to unravel. A comment that applies equally to the concluding event the 1.5 mile King George V Handicap.

Jack NSM

(I have just got rid of over half my Alpha Centauri bet at advantageous rates, following the eclipse of It Could Be Love, runner up to it in the Irish 1000 Guineas. The form has been devalued do you see..I have £20 at 5/1 and laid £12 off at 4/1)

 

Non-Smoking Man

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DAY 4 (Friday).

In action today after swerving the whole day yesterday bettingwise.

2 30 The Albany - for 2 y.o. fillies over 6 furlongs. Not involved.

3 05 The King Edward V11 Stakes - for 3 year olds, usually goes to a failed Derby contender and a prep for the Leger over further. Not involved.

3 40 The Commonwealth cup over 6 furlongs for 3 year olds......

I had a huge win in the inaugural running of this race with Muharrar whom I backed at long odds and who won easily. On this occasion I originally thought that I couldnt separate the front 4 or 5 in the betting but I have found a chink (or 3) in the armour of the favourite Equilateral.

Against Equilateral:

1. His trainer is out of form having recorded 26 losers on the trot (Afaak, second yesterday, did run well however);

2. He is stepping out of maiden company into a Group 1 - a massive step up in class which very few horses can manage, even easy winners ,like him, who look impressive.

3. His winning time at Doncaster (the race that set everyone's pulses racing) was the fastest of the day adjusted for class but the second was  only rated 83 and that gives Equilateral, who won by 8L, a speed figure of only 63. I have 11 horses in today's race with a superior figure (eg., Sioux Nation (79), Fleet review (76) Speak In Colours (75) (Sands of Mali (75) etc.

4. The form of that race (Sun Bets Download The App Novice Stakes worth £3K to the winner) appeared good when the runner up won 2 handicaps on the bounce, but in retrospect it doesnt look so good: a) a diiferent jockey took over Foxtrot Lady next time - an up and coming apprentice who could claim 5 lbs and she was dropped 3 lbs in the handicap, making her 8 lbs better in than against Equillateral; b) the 3rd and fourth finished 8th and 9th next time out and the 5th Jazz Magic was 8th beaten 12L. Not so good now is it?

5. The draw: Equilateral is drawn 2 on the far rail which didnt look the quickest yesterday and, more importantly 'on the wing'. The jockey will have difficulty getting cover and the horse may over race in the early stages, expending valuable energy. Further the main opposition is drawn middle to high and in a cluster - that's where the race could develop.

Win or lose (and you can never be dogmatic) Equilateral is poor value and the opposition has strength in depth, therefore the bet is to LAY EQUILATERAL FOR A PLACE.

Ive staked around £28 at 2.2, 2.4 (just bigger than evens, some at 3 places, some at 4 places), so I win around £30 if Im right.

It will be an exciting race and there is extra interest for me as im putting my judgement to the test.

4 20 Coronation Stakes.

Im with Alpha centauri here but ive laid off the majority of the bet due to the form taking a knock (It Could Be Love only 3rd in the Jersey). I have £8 left at 5/1. She could still win if ICBL was amiss or off her game.

5 00 Sandringham : 1 mile fillies handicap. Not for me.

5 35 Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes. 1.5 mile 3 y.o. handicap.

Ive been poring over this all week but have missed the prices. I like 3 in the race, all relative outsiders: Walton Street, Eynhallow and Clear Skies. The first 2 ran 1st and 2nd in a valuable Meydan handicap over this trip and Clear Skies is an unexposed Aiden O'Brien filly who has been mixing it in small field Listed company. I have a hunch that Eynhallow will enjoy the fast pace and uphill furnish and come out of the clouds to snatch it. I had about £8 up at 15.5 for days on Betfair but it has gradually shortened and I have no bet. Clear Skies might improve to win it and my sole bet at this stage is £4 to win @ 20.

Jack NSM

 

Speedskater

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Kevin Graf
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I have been watching the Royal Ascot on live US TV (right now it's the Albany Stakes (Group 3).

With over four hours of live coverage each day, I'm only watching some of it.

NBC Sports Network commentators do the fill between races, then switch to 'itv' commentators when a race is ready to start.

Just how many different horse's compete over the week?

 
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Non-Smoking Man

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101 runners today at Royal Ascot, Kevin.

The U.S. has a flagbearer trainer in Wesley Ward who has a good record at the Royal Meeting and won the opener yesterday with the 2 y.0. Shang Shang Shang. Othe American trainers and owners are attracted by the meeting and the Ascot management are proactive in offering incentives to US and Australian connections to make the trip.

The Breeders' Cup  meeting, an annual event across the Atlantic, in its turn attracts the cream from  European shores. Its hard to win there and hard to win here as the competition is fierce.

(And luckily for me Equilateral, my Lay Of The Day, folded in the face of  classier and speedier opposition in the Commonwealth Cup - fading to beat only half the runners home.)

Jack NSM

 
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Non-Smoking Man

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Wow! Alpha Centauri destroys the field in the Group 1 Coronation! Well, what on earth happened to 'It Could Be Love' beaten all ends up the other day in the Jersey , who ran this filly close in Ireland..? headscratcher...

Still £40 up and made £32 laying Equilateral. And no losers (so far..)

Jack NSM

 

Non-Smoking Man

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A notable success for David Elsworth, trainer of Dash Of Spice in the last. DofS was carrying an 11 lb penalty for winning the Investec 0-104 handicap at Epsom and the result was never in doubt from the moment De Souza pressed the trigger entering the straight. (A good ride from the Champion who had his mount in exactly the right place all the way.)

I escaped somewhat as the Meydan form I was going on when looking at Walton Street and Eynhallow didnt measure up. It was a similar story with Benbatl. (Note to self to ignore Meydan form next year.). On this occasion I was lucky my bet wasnt taken up but it also shows how discipline can be an advantage as I wouldnt accept the lower price,

 

Non-Smoking Man

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Day 4 :

The first three races interest me but im not getting involved with them financially. (Though listening to the Racing Post podcast it was mentioned that Aiden O'briens runners (and 4 of them won ) in the Chesham have all gone on to be group 1 winners and Sepetember has gone close in a Group 1.)

(The Hardwicke looks extremely weak and i dont fancy the favourite Crystal Ocean. having said that I dont like any of the others.)

The Diamond Jubilee, a Championship Group 1 for older horses over 6 furlongs (the old Cork and Orrery if memory serves) is, howver, a cracker chock full of classy speedsters.

Harry Angel is the right favourite being a dual Group 1 winner last season and having beaten most of these at some point. There is a chink or two in the armour however - he was turned over by Librisa breeze (runs here) at the back end and his prep race was unimpressive and he recorded a poor speed figure. He won in the heavy and also on good to firm so the ground should be no problem. (i actually had a decent bet on him in last year's Commonwealth Cup at this meeting when he was touched off by Caravaggio, and it has been noted that he has lost every time he has tried his luck at the Ascot course.)

I have backed Merchant Navy at 5.8 antepost, and another Aussie sprinter, Redkirk Warrier is also in the field to add 2 imponderables to the puzzle. (Imponderable becuase we dont know what the form is worth. We will by 4 21.)  The track record may be at risk on this going. I also have £2 at a massive 85 on D'bai in this race on the grounds it recorded a very good speed figure last time out. It cant win according to the ratings but it could surprise...

The Wokingham, the penultimate race, is one I could get involved in as I would estimate half my bets come in sprint handicaps rated 0-80 and above. This a 0-110 and total prize money is an astonishing £175K. 25 runners go to post and they will be spread right across the track. Bookmakers love events like this as they are real moneyspinners.

Ive laid Dreamfield the favourite, but laying John Gosden trained favourites in handicaps is a risky business so stakes are small. I would suggest Major Jumbo as a likely outsider who will go close but, unless I can get 33 I will just watch the race for future winners.

Actually I made a special study of last year's Wokingham and it turned out a very poor guide to future winners. You can never tell...

The final race is a 2m 5f conditions race (i.e., non handicap) and is not my cup of earl grey but Fun Mac ran second to Magic Circle in the Chester Cup off level weights and may have an EW chance at around 14/1. Not sure I will actually have a bet - rules are rules!

Its been an excellent meeting..

Jack NSM

PS Ive obtained 36 to £4 Major Jumbo and another £2 @ 38 yet to be taken up. Ive resisted Fun mac as Thomas Hobson beat it last year in this race, though it could place.

 
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Non-Smoking Man

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High drama as Harry Angel gets upset in the stalls and misses the break - handing the race to second favourite Merchant Navy, who wins in a rough finish. Is there a stewards?

Hope to keep the race as i have £15 @ 5.8 the first past the post.

J

 

Non-Smoking Man

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Merchant navy keeps the race.

The Wokingham went to seasonal debutante Bacchus, who defeated the extraordinarily short Dreamfield in a close finish win my win bet (at 35/1 plus) a very honourable third. A small profit but Dreamfield, had it won, would have cost me £40

That's it for me for the meeting. I will summarise with a profit and loss ledger in my next post.

Jack NSM

 

Non-Smoking Man

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Royal Ascot : Non Smoking Man's profit or loss:

Stake:                                                                             Return

£10 Benbatl

£8 Alpha centauri                                                     £48

Lay Sergei Prokovief                                                £24

£7 Could it Be Love (net after laying off)        

Lay Equilateral                                                          £32

£8 Alpha Centauri (net)                                           £48

£4 Clear Skies

£15 Merchant Navy                                                 £87

£6 Major Jumbo

Lay Dreamfield                                                           £14

Total Stakes £58                                                      Total returns £253

Total profit £253- £58              =  £195

6 winning bets and 4 losing bets. Percentage profit about 200% on turnover.

 
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