Royal Ascot 2021

Non-Smoking Man

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Welcome to the 5 Day Royal Ascot meeting - the Jewel In The Crown of British flat racing.

Three Group 1 races today:the Queen Anne, over 1 mile for older horses, the Kings Stand, a sprint for older horses and the St James Ppalace Stakes, a mile race for 3 year olds.

Plus the Group 2 Coventry - a 6F race for juveniles usually the province of Aiden O'Brien, or the yankee upstart, Wesley Ward.

I have not been fully engaged in racing form this year and am only offering an amateur's view, flavoured with a bit of experience.

Ive done the ITV Seven so I cant really tip any of those or my winning pile will be reduced.

But when my first horse gets beaten in the 2 30 I shall be sharing..

Good luck anyone punting today..

What do you fancy..?

Jack NSM

 

Non-Smoking Man

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Naturally I opposed the fav in the first - which goes and duly obliges.

Coventry up next - a 17 runner cavalry charge. Wow, this will be exciting.

The O'Briens have a few fancies and Wesley Ward's Kaufumaker will surely show plenty of early pace. Her ability to get the 6th furlong is in doubt but she could do it.

In my failed ITV 7 I picked Masseto for Donnacha O'Brien.

I dont expect it to win by any means but has a solid EW chance.

No bet for me.

Jack

 

Non-Smoking Man

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Masseto was 4th returning a small profit for EW punters.

King's Stand next, over 5F and Battash bids to win it again. He is the highest rated runner in the field , goes on the ground and goes well fresh (this is his first outing of the season) and remained unbeaten in his 3 runs last year.

What can stop him winning again?

He has had a close season hairline fracture to get over. Second, the form of his most recent race was let down by the poor showing of Que Amoro next time out (QA reopposes here). I, myself opposed Battash last year at Goodwood with Glass Slipper so I must have had reservations on time.

What can beat the 'good thing' then since there may be a chink or two in the armoury

Oxted showed good mid season GP1 form but has disappointed a few times since. Wesley Ward has Maven, but Wesley is not shouting this one from the rooftops.

Maybe one of the 3 y.olds can improve past Battash - Winter Power seems the more likely winner of the three.

The others dont look Group 1 performers.

I took Oxted to 'bounce back' in my ITV7 and I will stick with that on the grounds he has the form if you go back far enough and the class to win it if Battash doesnt perform. He is strong in the Exchange market now that Cieran Fallon is back in the saddle. Will be a feather in trainer Roger Teal's cap if he can return this one to his best.

Jack NSM

No bet.

 
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Non-Smoking Man

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Oxted won the King's Stand and did an 11 second final furlong, I just heard from the ITV Racing team.

On to the St James Palace Stakes - a Group 1 race for 3 y.old milers.

The strongest form going in to this race is nearly always the English and Irish 2000 Gns (both Group 1s). Some will fancy the likes of Mostahdaf and Highland Spring from the Heron Stakes, over 1 mile also, at Sandown but that was on soft ground and only Listed Class.

I strongly suggest the winner will come from the home 2000gns and the 2 likeliest are the winner there Poetic Flare, and the close third, Lucky Vega. (The second chooses to go up in distance next time and may be seen later in the meeting.)

I have a hunch Lucky Vega may reverse the form with PF as he is a tad fresher, the latter having had one more race than the selection.

I'm not betting as I havent put in the long hours of study necessary but I am enjoying the racing immensely.

Apart from anything else, its a visual spectacle and a half.

So Lucky Vega for me.

Jack NSM

 

Non-Smoking Man

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The St James' Palace Stakes has been and gone and shown the winner, Poetic Flare to be a dual GP 1 winner with an iron constitution. Hats off to Kevin Manning and Jim Bolger. The English Guineas was the best form.

The next race is a 2mile + handicap with only 9lbs covering the field. The Irish Cesarewitch cant be far off the class of this race and I choose the lightly raced comfortable winner of that race as a safe option to win here - despite this being faster ground.

Cape Gentleman gets the vote, and, a bonus, we get to see the terrific NH jockey and Cheltenham champion jockey, Rachel Blackmore in the saddle.

Jack NSM

 

Non-Smoking Man

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The jockey on Cape Gentleman lay too far out of her ground and the race went to the outsider Reshoon, who was handy all the way. Dettori rides Ascot well and he says you have to on the shoulder of the leaders turning in.

The Wolferton, a Liston contest over 10 furlongs is next and this is wide open.

I came up with Felix, who hasnt done a lot wrong and did well in a very rich Meydan Group 1 last time out. If the form translates to the UK that will make Felix hard to beat. Forest Of Dean and father of Jazz have form which ties in with the selection and so must be dangers.

Jack

 
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Non-Smoking Man

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The last race on the card, the 6 00 o'clock is the hardest puzzle of the whole day to solve.

I picked Brilliant Light from its Meydan form but that was let down by Volcanic Sky and Felix and other Meydan horses.

So I have gone for Throne Hall, ridden and trained by the same connections as Juan Elcano, winner of the Wolferton. One doubt is the trip as its 2 furlongs further but he has improved for each step up in trip and I'm hopeful connections expect him to stay - why run it, if not..? Kevin Ryan likes winners at York - lets hope he's forgotteen where he is!

Jack

 

Non-Smoking Man

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Throne Hall was no good (never travelling) but nor was (not so) Brilliant Light.

The meeting was notable for several reasons: the weather and the 12,000 spectators allowed, the Irish gambles on Saldier and cape Gentleman that went astray, and the eclipse of parts of the middle distance Meydan turf form.

Jack NSM

 

Non-Smoking Man

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Wednesday, Day 2.

Its Royal Hunt Cup Day. (Plus the 10F Prince Of Wales Stakes (Gp1) and the Queen Mary for 2y.o. fillies.)

Ive done my ITV7 (Reshoon blew everyone out of the water on Day 1, so there will be a big pot..).

Tbh, I dont fancy anything - its extremely difficult. I think Aiden O'Brien will win the Queen's vase with a shortie but there wont be any value in it.

Watching brief then, but you have to be in the ITV7 as its free money.

Jack

 

Non-Smoking Man

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Quick Suzy wins the first, beating Wesley Ward's filly, Twilight Gleaming (my ITV7 selection).

Inevitably there's talk about a 'Golden Highway' down the stand side (high nos) as the winner and2nd were drawn in the 20s, following a high draw winner of the Coventry yesterday.

The Exchanges were already exhibiting the suggested bias yesterday with high numbers shortening - that trend will continue, though it may become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The point is to predict the winner of the Hunt Cup, you need to know the track bias.

In the next race, the draw wont matter as we are dealing with the 1m6F Queen's Vase for the classic generation. I had included Aiden O'Brien's Wordsworth in my ITV7, but having seen footage of a small field win in native Ireland Ive gone off it due to its high knee action (which is not suited to firm ground).

It will stay the trip and so will Dancing King and Golden Flame, who have won over it. For the others its a guessing game informed by breeding.

I'll pass on this one, thankyou..

Jack

 

Non-Smoking Man

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Kemari won the Queen's Vase for Godolfin, but I wonder if it will beat the withdrawn Kyprios, for whom there was a lot of money, next time they meet. They went a crawl so the form's dubious.

Fillies and mares over the straight mile next in the Sandringham. A couple of them have to give a penalty away, including Champers Elysees, who won a Group 1 last season and was an excellent 4th in the Sun Chariot following that (hvy ground).

She hasnt progressed this year and is reluctantly passed over until she shows she has trained on.

Onassis has been confined to shorter trips and makes her seasonal debut here - both debit marks - but, by Debawi out of a daughter of Rock Of Gibralter, she is entitled to improve over this mile.

She might outrun her price.

Jack NSM

 

Non-Smoking Man

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Trained by a great trainer of fillies and mares ( as was the late great Henry Cecil), Indie Angel finds 6L improvement to win the Sandringham.

The 10F Prince of Wales next and Aiden O'Brien has the front two, now that Lord North is withdrawn. Love won the Oaks in sensational style last season.

Jack.

 

Non-Smoking Man

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Brunch - 7th.

Windsor Castle Stakes for 2 y.olds coming up next. Wesley Ward has 2 in it - Ruthin, the 3/1 fav, and Golden Bell, my ITV7 selection. (Frankie rides the jolly.

Feature of the run up to the race is the gamble, instigated by the syndicate owner, Nick Bradley, on their horse Kaboo. He advised all and sundry to bet @ 28/1, following a gallop with an older stable companion at Karl Burke's stable.

Kaboo is drawn in the middle - which may not be a bar according to the Hunt Cup where the runaway winner was drawn low.

I went for the WW second string on the grounds it was placed in a more expensive race than Ruthin and we dont know for sure if 'Frankie baby' had choice of mounts.

An interesting race and you dont have to be a worldbeater to win the Windsor Castle.

I wont be betting of course - just enjoying the race.

Jack

 

Non-Smoking Man

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Last race...

Roger Varian has just been interviewed and says that Waliyak is a nice filly and she is a gallop short - one to keep an eye on. Anything can win this.

Jack

 

Non-Smoking Man

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DAY 3 is afoot...

ITV7 entry complete...

I like one in the Britannia handicap - could be a plot horse..watch this space..

Jack

 
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Non-Smoking Man

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The opening juvenile event goes to the Paul Hannigan/Richard Fahey combination with Perfect Power. PP is by first season sire Ardad and cost a cool £110K, so this is a bit back in the coffers for connections.

I selected the O'Brien trained Cadamosto, a respectable 4th.

The next race is the 10F Hampton Court, a Group 3, and I dont fancy anything. I like some of One Ruler's form from last year but has to give away 4 lbs to the rest of the field, some of whom look more progressive.

No advice.

Jack

 

audio_PHIL_e

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Phil
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I used to drive past Ascot racecourse on my way to/from work. Except that I learned to use another route when the racing was on. The main drag through Ascot was crawling (literally) with drunken toffs in grey suits. Anyone else would have got done for being drunk and disorderly (probably at much lower levels of intoxication) but not here ("just high spirits Your Honour").

 

Non-Smoking Man

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Jack lambert
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Its the horses I'm interested in Phil, less so the upper classes.

Actually, ownership has shifted significantly to middle and working classes in large syndicates. Also much bloodstock is arab owned and they neither drink nor bet, as I'm sure you know.

Princess Royal is the Royal doing the honours today and I'm in favour of her as she is genuinely horsey, and has a European 3 Day event Gold medal to prove it. Hereditary privelege is not, however, high up on my list of social and political criteria.

Jack

 
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