We are set for a sensational Royal Ascot, which takes place between June 20-24 and our top tipster Raceolly has already taken a good look at the latest ante-post markets and has picked out some of his best bets for the iconic Flat racing showpiece….
Trainers and horses are creatures of habit and usually have a tried and tested route to royal Ascot success. This early on there’s value to be had for sure in looking for the trends and stats when it comes to these.
Starting with the Queen Anne Stakes on day one and the favourite Modern Games goes for Charlie Appleby, who despite a very small pool of just the two previous runners he’s yet to hit the board in this. Likewise French trainer Jean-Claude Rouget who’s also yet to hit the board with two runners. William Haggas is of interest having ran five horses in this of which four hit the frame with one winning, he currently has two entered with Maljoom and My Prospero. The latter hits a lot of trends having come from the Lockinge at Newbury, he’s the right age and has previous at the track having placed in two Group 1s here beaten half a length and a neck.
Another of interest is the Saeed bin Suroor runner REAL WORLD who is a little older than ideal for a winner, but has place claims for a yard who has had 32% of their 22 runners in this at least place over the years, with six of them winning. He won the Royal Hunt Cup (2021) here and finished 2nd in this race last year which came after a similar prep and only Baaeed beat him with four lengths back to the 3rd.
David Simcock has hit the frame on a few occasions and is worth a look at this time around again and he currently has two entries in Cash and Light Infantry, the latter coming from the Lockinge which is a tried and tested route and he then finished second in a Group 1 at Longchamp. From a ratings point of view on official ratings My Prospero is rated level with the current favourite Modern Games on 121, but holds multiple entries and likely steps back up and goes Prince Of Wales’s Stakes on the Wednesday instead, next up is Real World off 117 who has this as his sole entry, he doesn’t fit the profile of a likely winner of this being 6 but Saeed bin Suroor has a phenomenal record and he himself finished 2nd last year behind Baaeed so is well worth a bash at a massive 25/1.
The handicaps are much better to gauge with trends and stats and the trainers being creatures of habits for sure and although the Royal Hunt Cup is hard enough to judge when looking on the day there’s value to be hard this far out. There’s a few trainers with a decent strike rate in the Royal Hunt Cup when they line one up with Charlie Hills one that catches the eye boasting a 50% place rate and 25% win rate from his eight previous runners in this.
He has one entry currently in WANEES, who is a general 25/1 chance and is a course winner who finished a close 6th in last year’s Britannia Stakes. 36 previous runners came from Newbury before taking this race in with seven hitting the board and he’s also the winning most age group being a four-year-old, who have won 15 of the last 26 renewals with eight being five-year-olds.
There’s one that catches the eye when it comes to routes taken and stats and that’s KOY KOY, he had his last run at Redcar like 19 previous runners, six of which hit the frame (32% strike rate), hits the age stats being four and ran well fresh last season when 2nd at Chester after a 229-day break. He previously finished 2nd here behind a now 106 rated Saga and three previous winners of this race won it on seasonal debut.
Just the one more to mention at a massive price and that’s Billyb who hits a lot of stats and would be Ann Duffield’s first runner here for some time. She’s had a winner from seven previous runners here though and Billyb would be coming here from Thirsk like 11 others previous, 27% of which placed. When it comes to possible jockeys it’s impossible to guess when it comes to Koy Koy who’s been ridden by a different jockey on every start for George Boughey but Wanees will be ridden by either Jim Crowley or Dane O’Neill who both have good records in this, both having won it previously and boasting 18% and 25% place rates.
There’s only been eight renewals of this race, but there’s already enough to go on to see the trainers that do particularly well in this with Richard Fahey being one that’s caught my eye. He’s had four runners in this with three hitting the board with one winning. He has two entries at this stage and both huge prices in THE RIDLER and Rousing Encore, the first of which is following in the footsteps of Fahey’s last year’s winner Perfect Power. Both won the Norfolk here the year before and started the season in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury, The Ridler didn’t go to the Guineas though and instead went to a race that has been a good prep for this with eight finishing in the places and one winning.
Aidan O’Brien has only had two of his previous 14 runners hit the board in this and currently has the hot favourite Little Big Bear. Keep an eye on Frankie Dettori’s mount for this has he has a phenomenal record in this race hitting the board four times and winning twice from five rides. When it comes to ratings you ideally want to be rated over 112 and finished in the first two last time out, the stand out candidate with those trends in place is MARBAAN who is yet to be reassessed after finishing a head second in a listed race at Salisbury behind a 113 rated older horse, this would be Charlie Fellowes first runner in this, but he has a good record with his three-year-olds at Ascot and if you’d backed them all with £1 win stake you’d be £87.50 richer.
The horses towards the top of the handicap do well in this with no horse rated lower than 99 winning in the last 10 years and six of them aged five, the next best age group being four-years-old who’s had two. Going with five-year-olds rated at least 99 to gauge a shortlist Montassib for William Haggis, who’s won this before and had one placed from nine runners is of interest, Jumby for Eve Johnson Houghton who’s had two places from seven runners in this and SPYCATCHER for Karl Burke who’s had one place from four runners catching the eye.
Horses running in this having ran they’re prep races at Newbury and Newmarket have dismal records especially Newbury who are 0-16 in this which is a huge negative for Jumby’s prep. Spycatcher comes from Ascot which has a 25% place rate from previous runners in this including six winners, three of them from Spycatcher’s last race the Victoria Cup. He has an entry for Leopardstown nine days before this race, a track that has thrown up a place from three runners here if he takes that engagement up. He’s placed at Group level on a few occasions including here behind multiple course winner and two time winner of this Rohaan. Rohaan was the first tjhree-year-old winner of this in 2021 but they do have a decent place record with five of the 15 hitting the frame and they currently have five entries with three of them rated over 99.
Of them, Desert Cop for Andrew Balding and Streets Of Gold for the previously mentioned Eve Johnson Houghton catch the eye. The latter has an entry for Epsom Friday which would be a decent prep for this and would be of interest if taking that chance and running well.