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Royal Ascot 2019


Non-Smoking Man
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After Cheltenham, Ascot is the best horseracing festival in the country.

Despite the racing being ultra competitive there are profits to be made for the shrewd, informed horseplayer. I only play in 0-80 and above so the high class of the racing is right up my street.

One of my favourite races at the meeting is the fairly new Commonwealth Cup - a Group 1 sprint for 3 year olds. Its inaugural running was won by the Charlie Hills -trained Muharrer, whom I backed at huge odds after judging his reappearance run to rate a very fast, classy performance. I won, if memory serves about £600 on it having backed it at 33/1 downwards. This year's renewal takes place on June 21.

History may repeat itself as Hills has another lightly raced speed merchant in Khaadem, a recent Listed winner on reappearance scoring a 65 speed figure. He will target the Commonwealth Cup and expect an improved performance there.

Barbill was 4th to Khaadem but was beaten further by a possible French raider, Big Brothers Pride in a Chantilly Group 3. (13/4/19).

Ten Sovereigns, the 2000 gns 5th is an intended runner and if the Breeders' Cup winner Bulletin (trained by Todd Pletcher) makes the trip we have an exciting and hotly contested event on our hands, with many horses who could have made considerable unknown improvement from 2 to 3.

In which case 6/4 Calyx is poor value.

In its favour, Calys is trained by the excellent John Gosden, is a proven Group 1 winner at 2 (Coventry Stakes, and won his reappearance race in a doddle.

Against that, the Coventry win was slow (SF 54) and the form is nothing special. His 3 y.o. debut was quite quick (68) but the second was only 5th n.t.o. and the 3rd, eleventh.

The bet is LAY CALYX @ 6/4 (AND i HAVE DONE). As laying 6/4 is like backing the field @ 6/4 on I allocate 2 points to this wager.

(Calyx is due to run again this weekend.)

Edited by Non-Smoking Man
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Well done in starting this thread, my favourite horse race meeting of the year. I  will say we were very impressed last year with Calyx in the Coventry Stakes and like you said won his reappearance in a doddle, although 6/4 does seem a little short at the moment.  It's a brave man who goes against Johnny Gee.

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I would like to watch or attend one day (not from a betting shop)

my quarrel with this kind of stuff (which is not valid for all people involved - nats) is that enjoying an element of risk seems within itself to impress risk as a value to others. Risk can end in The End.

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The professional or semi professional gambler (which is how I classify myself) hates risk and is always seeking to minimise it by betting when the odds are in his or her favour. You are buying at a price which you consider (having analysed the race) lower than its worth. Its a bit like stocks and shares. Buy lowe sell high. Its just business.I play golf with an ex banker and its much the same, we agree.

If you mean the jockey side of things then they take considerable risk- again minimised by protective bodywear and sophisticated medical back up and recuperation facilities. If you watch a race you will see up to 5 vehicles following the race full of doctors and God knows who to provide immediate expert help to horse and jockey in the event of mishap.

Nobody enjoys risk for its own sake - we leave this to bungee jumpers and lovers of Russian roulette.

What you do find in racing is lovers of the sport.

I think what you might be alluding to in a self-styled enigmatic fashion is the poor sods in betting shops addicted to FOBTs (fixed odds betting terminals) - which are pocket casinos with odds fixed in the machine's favour which are irrisistable to compulsives.

That's a different world to the one I occupy.

If anything I am cautious about the negative spin offs of running a thread like this due to the 'risk' of drawing outsiders into the gambling scenario, They may not have the bottle or skills to survive. But I am not my fellow citizen's keeper.

Yes risk can end in 'The End' as you dramatically put it but suicide (to which I take it you refer and with which I have had personal experience) is a complex subject way beyond the scope of most hifi enthusiasts - except me. I  have studied Emille Durkheim's seminal study on the subject (which arguably was the first proper sociological and scientific study of the same) 'Suicide' which identifies 'anomie' (trans. 'normlessness') as the cause of suicde, not risk taking. The highest rates of suicide are found in people uprooted from society and thrown onto their own resources e.g., men entering civilian life from life in the army (an institution that provides them with a set of secure values)

I have a degree in Sociology and Philosophy and a D. Phil. in Philosophy of Science.

My interst in racing and my betting acumen stems from my active brain  and my analytical skills.

I cant help the losers (and Im not one of them), that's someone else's profession. 

Jack NSM

Edited by Non-Smoking Man
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7 hours ago, Non-Smoking Man said:

The professional or semi professional gambler (which is how I classify myself) hates risk and is always seeking to minimise it by betting when the odds are in his or her favour. You are buying at a price which you consider (having analysed the race) lower than its worth. Its a bit like stocks and shares. Buy lowe sell high. Its just business.I play golf with an ex banker and its much the same, we agree.

If you mean the jockey side of things then they take considerable risk- again minimised by protective bodywear and sophisticated medical back up and recuperation facilities. If you watch a race you will see up to 5 vehicles following the race full of doctors and God knows who to provide immediate expert help to horse and jockey in the event of mishap.

Nobody enjoys risk for its own sake - we leave this to bungee jumpers and lovers of Russian roulette.

What you do find in racing is lovers of the sport.

I think what you might be alluding to in a self-styled enigmatic fashion is the poor sods in betting shops addicted to FOBTs (fixed odds betting terminals) - which are pocket casinos with odds fixed in the machine's favour which are irrisistable to compulsives.

That's a different world to the one I occupy.

If anything I am cautious about the negative spin offs of running a thread like this due to the 'risk' of drawing outsiders into the gambling scenario, They may not have the bottle or skills to survive. But I am not my fellow citizen's keeper.

Yes risk can end in 'The End' as you dramatically put it but suicide (to which I take it you refer and with which I have had personal experience) is a complex subject way beyond the scope of most hifi enthusiasts - except me. I  have studied Emille Durkheim's seminal study on the subject (which arguably was the first proper sociological and scientific study of the same) 'Suicide' which identifies 'anomie' (trans. 'normlessness') as the cause of suicde, not risk taking. The highest rates of suicide are found in people uprooted from society and thrown onto their own resources e.g., men entering civilian life from life in the army (an institution that provides them with a set of secure values)

I have a degree in Sociology and Philosophy and a D. Phil. in Philosophy of Science.

My interst in racing and my betting acumen stems from my active brain  and my analytical skills.

I cant help the losers (and Im not one of them), that's someone else's profession. 

Jack NSM

Understanding of the concept of Russian Roulette is way too disemphasised these days. It holds an or many answers ....

By The Way (b.t.w.) ; when I refer to 'The End' (dramatic pause) I mean the influence of the function (which I will likely never attend now - say -) is related to either your death or the death of others or both. that Both is the real issue I think. It is best to be aware 'that' (posted earlier .. .) we are highly lucky - most children under 12 are lacking clean water or security. Throughout the ,our Whole World.

I'm kind of glad we agreed though :) Interesting conversation people

sorry - edit - I am tired and unwell and it is early. I will leave a tab open and try and respond with more sense factors later. Thank you for your study. We didn't really complete the start of this discussion. Soz! 
Oh an Good Morning.

Edited by Millennium
oops!
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Gambling is entirely up to the individual. Nobody twists your arm to place a bet.

Can we get back on the subject of Royal Ascot. :)

Edited by antonio66
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10 minutes ago, antonio66 said:

Gambling is entirely up to the individual. Nobody twists your arm to place a bet.

Truism, yep.
Anyone going to Hanwell Carnival by the way? Grew up here

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Thankyou for your contribution Millenium but this is an analytic thread devoted to the ins and outs of racing form.

May I repectfully suggest you make your contribution to any wider issues, which may or may not involve the racing fraternity and lovers of the sport, in a thread of your own and to which members can make an appropriate contribution.

You clearly have an interest in psychological matters that deserve further attention in another thread - why not take the lead?

All the best my friend,

Jack NSM

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The Gosden juggernaut suffers 2 big reverses Sat 26/5:

First Calyx, again displaying signs of skittishness (needed a lead to post, played up in stalls), failed to fire, finishing well behind another Commonwealth Cup rival; and, second, Too Darn Hot is beaten in the Tattersalls Irish Guineas after turning out quickly after his second place effort in the Dante.

Trainer Gosden blamed the ground for the defeat of Calyx, despite the need for give in the ground never having figured in any description of the colt's characteristics I can recall.

I doubt he will make it to Royal Ascot, where surely in the hubbub he's likely to encounter there he will boil over in the prelims. He migh t do better 'en France'.

Anyhow my advice to lay it for the Commonwealth Cup looks inspired now. Hurrah! One for the home team! (Out to 6/1 on Betfair from 6/4.)

Jack NSM

Edited by Non-Smoking Man
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ASCOT GOLD CUP (20th June).

It often pays to look closely at the form of some horses who keep winning, both races and the hearts of journalists and the public alike. Often close scrutiny reveals weaknesses - often glaring. (Journalists, pundits, and other professionals are not known for deskwork.)

So it is, I think with Stradivarius - favourite for the Gold Cup. (Not a race I would normally get involved with - its too far and the pace too variable, for time to be  a big issue.)

Few of the protagonists have had more than 1 prep this year so its back to last year's form.

As ever, Group 1s are won by past Group 1 winners.

Strad' won 5 races out of 5 last season. His last 2 wins were group 2s but he did win the Goodwood Cup which was a Group 1 (2m) beating Torcedor half a length. Torcedor only managed 7th n.t.o. Strad was given a 61 speed figure there. Dai Harraild was 4th and that was twice only 6th in its next 2 races.

Previously Strad won the Gold Cup in the slowest time of the day (adjusted). He beat Vazirabad who didnt run again and guess who was third less than a length behind? - the moderate Torcedor.

Prior to that was the victory in the Yorkshire Cup (which he has just won again on his debut run this season). He beat Desert Skyline 3L and DS's form figures after that read 9,6,4,4,5,8.

This is very weak form but he did beat the horses put forward against him that year.

We are looking for a horse that was on a different path last year who wouldnt have been eligible or too young to be going for these staying Group races but who showed the class and form to contend THIS year.

Step forward Kew Gardens - the St Leger winner who is unbeaten when tried over distances over 1.5 miles. The Leger is a Group 1 of course over 1m 6f and KG achieved a 64 speed figure there and a 61 in the other stayers race it won - the Queen's Vase. Dee Ex Bee was behind it in the Leger but is shorter in the betting for the Gold Cup. Cross Counter, the Melbourne Cup winner is also shorter but was receiving 5lbs from Kew Gns when only just in front in the Volltigeur. So the conclusion has to be that Kew Gardens is value @12/1 over the other 2 who are about half his price.

If Kew Gardens stays he has the class and form to be very competitive in the Gold Cup and I hope connections are targeting the race. It should be noted KG beat Lah Ti Dah further in the Leger than Magical did in the Fillies And Mares when LTD next raced.

Ive had £13.40 to win 207. 70.

For accounting purposes its 1 point win @ 12/1

Edited by Non-Smoking Man
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Not much happenning re Royal Ascot at the mo. I have no proper figures on the 2 y.o.s and the handicaps are very much up in the air till we know what's going to run. No Exchange markets there yet and current bookie odds stingey and risky.

Epsom Group 1s look up for grabs. Neither Guineas were quick and the male version definitely looks to have been marred by a 3L track bias. Madhmoon is a place possibility for the Derby having been on the wrong side and looking to improve for the Derby trip. But the 2000 gns might not yield a single group 1 winner. Who knows..?

I dont think Kew Gardens will win the Coronation at Epsom (it didnt run well there last year and wont want it soft) but it need to show its well being with a prominent showing. And it needs to 'hit the line' . This is with the view to a bold show in the Ascot Gold Cup (see above). Ive backed the Godolphin 'Persian' horse for the Coronation but I dont think I want rain for that.

Question of 'powder dry' for the time being...

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Defoe finds 9L improvement to spring a surprise at Epsom in the Coronation Cup.

Connections of Kew Gardens will be delighted with the half length second of their Leger winner, who will not have been cherry ripe for this prep on a course he doesnt like.

Both horses are in the 1.5m Group 1Hardwicke @ Ascot and following today have been priced up at 10/1 each of 2. I would expect Kew Gardens to target the Gold Cup over further being a known stayer but I will be studying quotes from connections as to where they go next.

Tumbling Betfair odds of only 7 suggest the Gold Cup is the target.

Jack NSM

Edited by Non-Smoking Man
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QUEEN ANNE Im straight R. Ascot 18th June.

This is the Group 1 that opens the meeting and which was won by the Lockinge 6th Accidental Agent last year.

Many pundits will be looking at the same Newbury Group 1 mile event for this year's winner. So this is a convenient starting point..

Mustashry won the Lockinge from Laurens and Accidental Agent. Then came Romanised and the O'Brien pair Le Brivido and I Can Fly. Most of these are the leading fancies for this year's Queen Anne,  as the Lockinge is the recognised trial for that race.

My approach focusses on time and form, as ever, and, in common with last year, The Lockinge was comparitively slow - so slow I had to quickly run through all my 1 mile times for Newbury over 2 seasons to check if my standard time is unrealistic. I couldnt find a problem as the miler 'Raise You' (Balding trained) got close to the best time of the day when it won on April 13th, only .6 sec per mile slower than the best, Mohaather.

Was it a good renewal of the race? Not according to the authoritative official form book:

'There was just 6lbs between the field  beforehand and although there was a clear improved winner, he's a 6 y.o gelding who doesnt look a star...so this division still looks wide open.' Raceform p537

In any case Mustashry was beaten by Zabeel Prince beforehand and the latter has gone on to win a Group1 in good time, showing much better figures.

ZABEEL PRINCE is chosen as the likely winner. 12/1

N.B., Zabeel Prince is also entered in the Prince Of Wales over 1 1f 212x miles. Last season he was campaigned as a miler and this year his best performance was his most recent over 1 mile 1f 55x at Longchamp when he 'kept on strongly'. My guess is his trainer Roger Varian (who is in excellent form, ) will opt for the shorter race as it looks easier to win. In the POW you have Sea Of Class, Waldgeist, Magic Wand, Magical and Masar entered.

N.B. (2) I was pleased to see Madhmoon finish 2nd in the Derby following my tentative suggestion in an earlier post. My form supplement arrives today (6th) and I will do the Epsom speed figures straightaway. I expect the Derby time to be poor.

Edited by Non-Smoking Man
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DIAMOND JUBILEE STAKES 22/6, 6F

This is the championship race for 6f older sprinters.

Heading the market is the improved Invincible Army, who won the group 2 Duke Of York beating Major Jumbo in emphatic style by 2L. The form looks solid enough with the Epsom Dash winner, Ornate, back in 9th and reliable yardsticks like Limato and brando in 7th and 4th. The time was respectable without being outstanding - Invincible Army was awarded a 67.

Prior to that, on his debut IA won a Listed race beating an old friend Major Jumbo, by, guess what, 2L.

But group 1s are won by Group 1 horses and the Invincible one hasn't won a Group 1 and , therefore, should not be the 'Jolly'.

If you have the facility the reader would do well to watch the video of the 2018 renewal of the Qipco Champion Sprint at Ascot  on Champions Day. This is a proper high class meeting sponsored throughout  by Qipco and this 14 runner Group 1 was won in scintillating frontrunning style by Sands Of Mali at 28/1.

Was it a fluke you ask? Maybe.., but despite some bad runs in the Summer, Sands Of Mali had done something comparable earlier in the season when runner up in the Commonwealth Cup (Group 1)on good/firm . (Eqtidaar won it.) And, interestingly b4 that had beaten Invincible Army by a nose in a Group 2 @ Haydock on G/S.

That day Sands was given a 75 and Invincible Army a 74 - which does seem a bit flattering as neither has got in the 70+ since.  Nonetheless good performances by both animals. That was a Group 2 and run .41 second faster than the 4 year old Classical Times over the same trip an hour later.

SANDS OF MALI at 11.5 represents value to me considering he holds the favourite on the Haydock run, has run his best race at Ascot, has the best speed figure and is a proven Group 1 winner. (He makes his reappearance at Hamillton today and will be halved in price shortly after if sluicing up. Ive backed it to win £200 at the Royal meeting , though I wont bet today, I dont suppose.

Jack NSM

Edited by Non-Smoking Man
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Looks like you'll be out early the morning of the Diamond Jubilee, doing a rain dance. :D

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