Royal Ascot Day One Preview

By Samantha

Action kicks off on Tuesday for the 2019 Royal Ascot Festival and here is Samantha’s preview of the card….

Queen Anne Stakes

This is a ridiculously open excuse for a group one and any of them could win it. The Lockinge was a lot of these’s prep run for this – Mustashry (1st), Laurens (2nd), Accidental Agent (3rd), Romanised (4th), Le Brivido (5th), Sharja Bridge (10th), Beat The Bank (11th), Mythical Magic (12th) and Lord Glitters (13th). Mustashry is a gelding and put up a really good performance to land the Lockinge. He’d had the benefit of a run before which out him spot on. He won’t want any rain. LAURENS was one of the top milers last year, winning four group ones. She was second in the Lockinge and may have needed the run that day as she was second in the 1000 Guineas and won the Prix Saint-Alary last time. Accidental Agent was a shock winner last year and his third in the Lockinge when not fully wound up will stand him in good stead.

Romanised won the Irish 2000 Guineas last season and was very keen in the Lockinge but stayed on well. Myself and Luke both fancied this horse to place then and lots of people seem to agree hence the shortening price. Le Brivido is the favourite and his Lockinge fifth was pretty encouraging and he has won here before but isn’t a worthy favourite. Beat The Bank is better than his eleventh suggests as he’s a multiple group two winner. Appalling record in group ones, it may not be his day in this but isn’t without a chance in this. Lord Glitters is so consistent and Sharja Bridge won over course and distance in October.

Godolphin have the trio of Dream Castle, Barney Roy and Mythical Magic. Barney Roy went to stud but has come back and won a Listed at Longchamp after coming second over course and distance. Dream Castle is the only horse to not have won over this trip or course but he won two group ones in Meydan in March. Mythical Magic is a pretty consistent horse but ran badly at Newb last time. Dermot Weld runs past year’s Derby fifth Hazapour and won a group three on his second start this term.

Olmedo is French and won a group one a year ago. He’s a bit of an unknown. Stormy Antarctic is a globe trotting superstar and has won two group races so far this year. Each way claims. Matterhorn is very good on the All Weather and placed on his last two at group level. Rounding off the field is Prix Foret winner One Master, who won here before but that was over his ideal 7f trip.

Selection – Laurens

⭐Luke’s Pick – Romanised ⭐

Coventry Stakes

Aidan O’Brien has four – Arizona (main photo) , Fort Meyers, King Of Athens and Royal Lytham. The former is the pick of Ryan Moore. He was second on debut behind a smart horse and ran incredibly to win by eight lengths to King Of Athens, who’s only ever run that was. Royal Lytham, by exciting sire Gleneagles, won nicely on debut last time and will come on for it. Fort Myers won on debut and was only just beaten after rearing as they jumped off.

Archie Watson is very good with his juveniles and Guildsman won incredibly well on debut. Leading player. Threat also won convincingly on debut and is stepping up in trip for the first time. He beat a horse called Electric Storm by over a length and Well Of Wisdom beat that horse by a half length on his debut and then finished third, behind Fort Myers. I was there when Majestic Sands won on debut. He was very green and, even though he’s a half brother to stayer Trip To Paris, he should have the pace, stepped up to six furlongs for the first time. 40/1 is a big price.

Light Angel won well despite hanging on his second try and comes from the John Gosden camp. Monoski was beaten on debut by a horse with some nice entries this week and then won a class two by six lengths. He’s a promising individual. Coase, Lord Of The Lodge and Maxi Boy are defending their unbeaten record. Golden Horde was fourth at Newbury behind Light Angel. Makyon won by six lengths really nicely last time but Ropey Guest and Kuwait Direction haven’t won yet.

Selection – Arizona / Majestic Sands EW

⭐Killian’s Pick – Arizona ⭐

King’s Stand Stakes

BLUE POINT won this last year, beating Bataash (pictured) and Mabs Cross. He has since won three times in Meydan, in a group one, two and three. He had a bit of a break before this but will now be on song. Battaash is arguably the fastest horse in the world and he showed that when winning at Haydock last time beating Mabs Cross. He’s a very quirky sort and the trainer must be absolutely fed up of being asked, “Which Battaash will turn up??” If he handles the prelims, he will probably win. The stiff five furlongs may not suit him. Mabs Cross is so incredibly consistent but has been behind Battaash a few times.

Enzo’s Lad has a very emotional story and it would be nice if he could win. He’s a dual group one winner in his native New Zealand. Sergei Prokofiev probably hasn’t reached his ceiling but he isn’t up to this standard. That yard also has Fairyland. She didn’t stay one mile in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Curragh but she is a winner at group one level over six furlongs. She’s hung her first five furlong run. Another filly is Signora Cabello, who won two group twos, including at this meeting, last year and placed in the Prix Morny. She’s returning to five furlongs.

Soldiers Call placed in the Abbaye at two years and won the Windsor Castle before that. He placed in a Listed race over this trip last time but will need to have improved significantly from two to three to figure. Equilateral is Battaash’s stablemate but will really need to step up as he was beaten by Mabs Cross last time when she had a penalty. Imprimis is still improving at five years old and has won his last two in America. Frankie is an interesting jockey booking. Houtzen is a multiple winner from Australia but this is a huge step up. Judicial is a quirky old boy and finally won a group race last July. He struggled in group one company.

Selection – Blue Point

St James’ Palace

This looks a very exciting race. PHOENIX OF Spain (pictured) won the Irish 2000 Guineas on his first start this term beating Too Darn Hot and Skardu. He was a nice juvenile, winning the group three Acomb. Too Darn Hot went into the Dante and Irish 2000 Guineas with a large hype about him but he found one too good each time eventhough he was unbeaten at 2. Pheonix Of Spain holds him to the Curragh form. Both bypassed the English 2000 Guineas but Skardu and Royal Marine ran in it. Skardu won the Craven Stakes at Newmarket, beating Royal Marine, and then finished best of the far side group in the 2000 In this third. He doesn’t quite have the star quality of some of these but he’s ultra-consistent. Royal Marine won a group one at Longchamp on his last two year old run and finished fourth in the Craven on his second start at three. He then finished thirteenth in the 2000 so definitely needs to step up.

Aidan O’Brien has three – Circus Maximus, Van Beethoven and The Irish Rover. The former won at Chester in the Dee Stakes and then ran in the Derby and finished sixth, at home at the trip, but he reverts to a mile in this. He’s Aidan’s best chance of a winner based on the betting but there is no way he has the speed. Van Beethoven has ran eight times since winning the group two Railway Stakes. He was seventh behind Phoenix Of Spain in the Irish 2000 so needs to improve. The Irish Rover was last in the winners enclosure in a class two at two so warrants 150/1 odds.

Fox Champion and King Of Comedy have good records. The former has won three of his four starts but this is a mammoth step up in grade and he made all to win last time. King Of Comedy has also won three of his for starts but was victorious in his last two. He won the Heron Stakes last time by a wide margin and is definitely on the up. Shaman was last seen second in a Group One at Longchamp behind the smart Persian King. He was fifth in a group one behind winner Royal Marine though. Bell Rock is one of the outsiders. He won on debut and was sixth in the Heron Stakes behind King Of Comedy.

Selection – Phoenix Of Spain

Ascot Stakes

The majority of the top national hunt trainers are represented here. Gordon Elliott has Batts Rock and
Mengli Khan. The latter is extremely interesting as he’s a grade one winning hurdler and a winning chaser. He won over a mile on the flat with Hugo Palmer. Batts Rock has Frankie on board and he is a three times winner on the flat. Willie Mullins has BUILDMEUPBUTTERCUP. She won two national hunt flat races with Mick Channon and ran in Listed company on the flat before transferring to Willie Mullins where she won on debut for them. Not had much luck since, she could be well handicapped with Ryan Moore on. Nicky Henderson has The Cashel Man and Gunnery but both haven’t won on the flat for a while. Snow Falcon goes for Noel Meade and he’s a multiple winning hurdler and chaser but has won two races on the flat also. Coeur De Lion and Percy Street come from good jump yards who have been successful in this code.

Ian Williams’ horses usually dabble in both codes with success but not so much the pair who are running in this from his stable – The Grand Visir and Time To Study. The former, a son of Frankel, exited the race in the most dramatic style on huing debut at the first obstacle but he is four from eleven on the flat. Time To Study won five times for Mark Johnston before coming to Williams’ and should be well at home at this trip but is majorly out of form. Keith Dalgleish had a four timer at Carlisle on Monday and he has Mixboy with Paul Mulrennan, who clocked up 1000 winners recently, on board. He’s a nice little jumper and won over two miles two on the flat last time out easily. He is huge value at 25/1.

Cosmeli put in an improved run last time but him and Jukebox Jive need to return to form. Ulster and Youbass both represent Archie Watson with the former preferred as he has won two and came third three times on his last five outings. Kerosin won last time and ran creditably on the all weather over the winter. Not Never has won two of his last three over jumps and Mancini was in good form early last year but is yet to revive that. Fun Mac hasn’t won since 2017 but just about gets this trip.

Selection – Buildmeupbuttercup / Mixboy

⭐Killian’s pick – Mengli Khan⭐

Wolferton Stakes

Some nice horses line up in this Listed contest – in particular MAGIC WAND and Latrobe. The former is a filly and gets weight from all the boys. She won the Ribblesdale on this card last year and went globe trotting over the winter. Her best trip is one mile four. Latrobe won the Irish Derby in 2018 but hasn’t ran very well since. Mountain Angel has been in incredible form winning at Epsom the last twice. He’s won here before and this looks within his capabilities. Addeybb won three on the trot in 2017/18 but was well beaten last time out and followed in the big priced shot in this Master The World in November.

Godolphin have four – Mountain Hunter, Zorion, Oasis Charm and First Nation. The former won twice in Meydan in February but was twelfth of thirteen behind the smart Almond Eye last time. Zorion was second to Mountain Hunter last time but hasn’t won since when he was with Jim Bolger in June 2017. Oasis Charm won in Meydan over one mile two furlongs in January and his only two starts last term. Been kept in high company and should go well. First Nation was fifth last time in the group three Earl Of Sefton, one place behind Elarqam. That form has worked out incredibly well as the first horse Zabeel Prince won a group one in France; second Forest Ranger won a group race next time; Mustashry won the Lockinge and Elarqam won a Listed last time but is penalised for that in this. Willie John followed him in the last day so has a bit to find.

Willie Mullins sends Riven Light. He was only beaten a short head ten days ago and his colours have tasted Royal Ascot glory before. He has a 50% strike rate on the flat. Star Of Bengal is lightly races having won two of his four starts but this is a step up. Global Giant was last seen winning at Dundalk last year and Dolphin Vista and Zihba will struggle.

Selection – Magic Wand

⭐Luke’s Selection – Magic Wand ⭐
⭐Killian’s Selection – Riven Light EW⭐

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