It is Ladies’ Day at Royal Ascot and after winners priced at 6/1, 7/1, 2/1 and 9/4 over the last two days, we have a strike-rate of 33% at Royal Ascot this week.
Here is our analysis and selections for every race at the Royal meeting, plus all the other British and Irish cards taking place on Thursday, June 16, 2016.
Each day Bet4Causes will provide you with a preview of the day’s racing, offering what the experts feel will be the value bets of the day.
ROYAL ASCOT – DAY THREE
2.30 Norfolk Stakes (Group 3) 5f
FORECAST: Global Applause (2/1), Silver Line (7/2), Red Lodge (5/1), Legendary Lunch (8/1), Peace Envoy (8/1), Prince Of Lir (10/1), Prince Of Cool (16/1), Plata O Plomo (20/1), The Last Lion (25/1), Big Time Baby (33/1), Nuclear Power (66/1)
ANALYSIS: Established in 1843, juveniles contest the Norfolk Stakes which was promoted to Group 2 status 10 years ago.
The last seven market leaders have floundered, but four of the last five winners returned a single-figure Starting Price.
Eleven runners are set to go to post, with £56,710 on offer to the winning connections and nine of them won last time out.
GLOBAL APPLAUSE sets a good standard. He was all the rage on his debut after a sparkling piece of work and duly had backers in clover at Newmarket.
The Ed Dunlop-trained son of Mayson went up to 6f next time at Newbury and on rain-softened ground was well held by debutant Mehmas.
However, he turned the tables on that rival in the 5f National Stakes at Sandown subsequently and this looks his trip for the time being.
Silver Line was a warm order on his Nottingham debut and the Godolphin representative delivered, picking up nicely. His pedigree suggests he would ideally be suited by a bit further, but there is no question he is smart and the only issue is inexperience.
Peace Envoy similarly looked green despite making his third start when winning over 6f at Naas. He beat Lundy by half a length, but that one did not set the world alight in the Coventry Stakes on Tuesday, finishing a well-held 14th. He has a bit to find, but in Aidan O’Brien’s hands, most things are possible.
Red Lodge represents the American barn of Wesley Ward and this speedball made light work of her rivals in a 5f fast-ground maiden at Belmont Park in New York on her second start. She is by 2008 Breeders’ cup Juvenile winner Midshipman, so will not want for stamina. The easy ground is the question. Will she handle it?
The Robert Cowell-trained Prince Of Lir, who cost £170,000 earlier this year, knew his job on his debut in a fast-ground 5f conditions event at Beverley. That was against decent opposition and while in receipt of weight from his five rivals, did the job nicely. It would be no surprise to see him lay it down to the selection.
3.05 Tercentenary Stakes (Group 3) 1m2f
FORECAST: Abdon (3/1), Blue De Vega (7/2), Hawkbill (7/2), Steel of Madrid (6/1), Long Island Sound (8/1), Royal Artillery (12/1), Prize Money (14/1), Mulk (16/1), Race Day (25/1)
ANALYSIS: Formerly known as the Hampton Court Stakes, the last three runnings of this three-year-old contest have been won by the market leader. Sir Michael Stoute, who has saddled the winner twice in the last seven years, is dual-handed with Abdon and Mulk.
Abdon won his maiden in soft ground at Newbury over 1m in August and made a promising return over this trip when a close second to Hawkbill in a Listed race at Newmarket in April. The pair may both find improvement, although the latter would probably prefer a sounder surface.
Mulk won his second start in a weak Chester maiden, having previously run a promising second in the Wood Ditton on his debut. He still showed signs of greenness and pulled a little too much, but should get better the further he goes and is no back number, despite his current odds.
BLUE DE VEGA, trained by Michael O’Callaghan, takes a steep drop in class, having chased home Awtaad and Galileo Gold in the Irish 2000 Guineas last time. That was on yielding ground and ideally he could do with a sounder surface, but should he get this trip, he would take a bit of beating.
Steel Of Madrid is proven over the trip, having scored over it in a Listed four-runner event on quicker ground at Newmarket, but Prize Money is preferred for the place money, having given subsequent Derby seventh Algometer plenty to think about in the Cocked Hat at Goodood.
Long Island Sound is a War Front colt who appears to have actually trained on and he looked a Group horse in the making when winning over 1m at Killarney. He should improve for the step up in trip and the easier ground. He cannot be ruled out easily.
3.40 Ribblesdale Stakes (Fillies’ Group 2) 1m4f
FORECAST: Architecture (3/1), Even Song (4/1), Sovereign Parade (6/1), Queen’s Trust (8/1), Chicadoro (10/1), We Are Ninety (10/1), Shall We (12/1), The Black Princess (12/1), Beauly (20/1), Olala (20/1), Rocaverde (20/1), Ajman Princess (25/1), Dessertoflife (25/1), Capricious Cantor (33/1)
ANALYSIS: Seldom has this proven a good race for favourite-backers, with just three of the last 17 market leaders obliging.
There used to be a time when picking the winner of the Ribblesdale Stakes was easy – you simply followed anything trained by John Dunlop. With his retirement, things have become a little more complicated.
And while Saeed bin Suroor has filled the void somewhat, sending out five winners on this race since 1998, he does not have a runner this year. So bah and humbug to that trend.
ARCHITECTURE is officially rated over a stone superior to her rivals. She also has arguably the best form on offer, having followed up her second in the Lingfield Oaks Trail by chasing home a very fortunate Minding in the Oaks. We say fortunate, because Ryan Moore gave her such a poor ride that she was forced to work much harder than she should have done. His ride On US Army Ranger in the Derby was probably even worse. And for his ride on The Gurkha in the St James’s Palace Stakes on Tuesday… best not go there, either.
Moore partners Even Song for Aidan O’Brien. She is having only her fourth run, having finished almost six lengths behind Swiss Range on her seasonal debut in the Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket last month. She stayed on nicely over that 1m2f trip, shaping as though the extra two furlongs would suit and that she would come on plenty for it. She looks a viable alternative to the likely favourite.
Similar sentiments apply to the Ralph Beckett-trained Chicadoro, who split the pair of them, whilst looking to need every yard of the trip.
Sovereign Parade arrives on the back of a debut win over 10f at Salisbury, a race won two years ago by another John Gosden newcomer who went on to win a Group 3 next time out. She showed plenty of toe, despite taking a while for the penny to drop and this trip is sure to suit. She could be anything, but inexperience is against her.
We Are Ninety would perhaps be the most aptly-named winner of the meeting, and the pinstickers do have a fair chance of celebrating HM The Queen’s 90th birthday in style. Hugo Palmer’s filly defied a muddling pace and a class hike to score in a Listed 10f event at Newbury on her third start in 22 days. That was only the fourth run of her career and she may well get this trip. She had Queen’s Trust, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, two lengths behind her that day, but that form could be reversed. Queen’s Trust was tightened for room when about to make her move and stayed on well, suggesting she would not only get the extra two furlongs, she would relish it. She rates the each-way value in the race.
4.20 Gold Cup In Honour Of The Queen’s 90th Birthday (Group 1) 2m4f
FORECAST: Order Of St George (10/11), Max Dynamite (7/1), Mizzou (8/1), Clever Cookie (10/1), Flying Officer (10/1), Pallasator (12/1), Curbyourenthusiasm (16/1), Scotland (16/1), Mille Et Mille (25/1), Burmese (33/1), Fun Mac (33/1), Sheikhzayedroad (33/1), Tiberian (33/1), Kicky Blue (50/1), Suegioo (50/1), The Twisler (66/1), Wasir (66/1), Griraz (200/1)
HISTORY: Founded in 1807, the Gold Cup is one of the most prestigious races at Royal Ascot. At two miles and four furlongs, it thoroughly tests a horse’s stamina but is not the longest contest of the meeting, with that accolade going to the Queen Alexandra Stakes over two miles and six furlongs on the final day.
Last year, ex-jump jockey Graham Lee, who rode Amberleigh House to victory in the 2004 Grand National, partnered his first Royal Ascot winner aboard the Ed Dunlop-trained Trip To Paris. The winner started the campaign with a rating of 88 and collected three handicaps on his way to Royal Ascot, including the prestigious Chester Cup.
ANALYSIS: A good race for favourite-backers in recent years, with seven of the last 11 ‘jollies’ prevailing.
The last four winners have been aged four and in the past 60 years only two horses aged over six have managed to win this: Drum Taps in 1993 and Yeats in 2008 and 2009.
Aidan O’Brien has won the Gold Cup six times, with Yeats (who also scored in 2006 and 2007), Fame And Glory (2011) and Leading Light (2014).
The master of Ballydoyle would appear to have another outstanding chance in the shape of Order Of St George who won on his season return over 1m6f at Leopardstown just 13 days ago, handling the quick ground comfortably. Last season’s Irish St Leger winner settled better than he has in the past and while that run will have brought him on, he has yet to tackle two miles.
Whether he can back up so quickly on what is likely to be soft ground is doubt enough to warrant taking him on at such a short price.
Willie Mullins and Luca Cumani have both had horses placed in the Gold Cup in recent seasons and their respective representatives Max Dynamite and MIZZOU both hold solid credentials.
The former, who was runner-up in the Melbourne Cup in November, was a below-par third to Pallasator when odds-on in the Henry II Stakes at Sandown (a reliable Gold Cup trial) and may have needed the run. That was on quicker ground, so the winner can be marked up as he will handle ground “as deep as you like” according to his trainer Sir Mark Prescott.
Mizzou won the Sagaro Stakes here en route to finishing three-and-a-half lengths seventh in the Gold Cup last year. He again won the Sagaro Stakes in April and Cumani believes that he needs to find another 5lb worth of improvement to win. He might be right, but he is capable of finding it.
Scotland was sixth in this last year and has had just the one race since, going down a head in a 1m4f Listed event here last month. Quite why Jamie Spencer replaces Jim Crowley is hard to fathom, but it seems a backward move for the Andrew Balding-trained gelding, who lacks experience over two miles, never mind this trip.
Flying Officer was beaten three-quarters of a length in the Sagaro when conceding 5lb to Mizzou and runner-up Clever Cookie, so looks the best horse of that trio at the weights. There is no reason why both should not be in the shake-up and they both could be good each-way value.
The form of that race stacks up well, with the latter coming out and winning the Yorkshire Cup over 1m6f last month (Curbyourenthusiasm a half-length second).
5.00 Britannia Stakes (Heritage Handicap) 1m
FORECAST: Out And About (15/2), Chief Whip (8/1), Folkswood (10/1), Mustashry (10/1), Monarch (12/1), Abe Lincoln (14/1), Defrocked (14/1), Garcia (14/1), Oh This Is Us (14/1), Predilection (14/1), Yattwee (14/1), Manson (16/1), Monteverdi (16/1), Fighting Temeraire (20/1), Perkunas (20/1), Sevenleft (20/1), Taurean Star (20/1), Above N Beyond (25/1), Banksea (25/1), King’s Pavilion (25/1), Nimr (25/1), Palawan (25/1), Speed Company (25/1), Arcanada (33/1), Carrington (33/1), Sea of Flames (33/1), Storm Rising (33/1), Wall of Fire (33/1), Zhui Feng (33/1), Zodiakos (33/1), Kingston Kurrajong (50/1), Mikmak (50/1), Pacodali (50/1)
ANALYSIS: Since 1987, only five market leaders have been successful in this competitive handicap for three-year-olds. Horses carrying under 9st have fared well – in the last 16 renewals, 13 winners shouldered between 8-3 and 8-13, so those at the top of the handicap will have the trends against them.
William Haggas, who win this in 2012 with Fast Or Free, saddles Out And About, who looks to be ahead of the handicapper judged on his length win at Haydock 19 days ago. That was just his third start, having taken a Redcar maiden when previously seen in October. He looks a serious contender.
Chief Whip, a head second to Garcia at Haydock last time off a mark of 92, had previously been touched off at York 10 days earlier and, like the winner, Richard Hannon’s runner remains largely unexposed.
Mustashry might not have beaten much when scoring by six lengths at Thirsk early last month but he is in Sir Michael Stoute’s masterful hands, while Folkswood has arguably the best jockey aboard in William Buick and there was plenty to like about the way he dealt with subsequent scorer Dolphin Vista and Zodiakos at Newmarket. However, he has been raised 9lb since and is still a little immature, according to trainer Charlie Appleby.
Aidan O’Brien saddles Monarch, who did not look straightforward when scoring at Gowran Park. He hung violently left but still managed to score readily and clearly has plenty of ability to match his quirks.
Abe Lincoln has a bit to find with Chief Whip (2nd) and Monteverdi (3rd) on his York run behind Castle Harbour, yet did not get much of a run and he was a beaten favourite in a Listed race at Lingfield previously. It would be no surprise to see him in the shake-up.
MANSON is not yet on the radar, but if the ground dried out, he would have a leading chance. He won a decent handicap at Sandown on his seasonal debut (favourite Defrocked held in fourth) and clearly looks ahead of the handicapper. Connections are eyeing the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington, Chicago, so big things are expected of the Dominic Ffrench Davis-trained Equiano colt. Oisin Murphy is an eye-catching booking and he represents big each-way value.
5.35 King George V Stakes (Handicap) 1m4f
FORECAST: Lovell (4/1), Shraaoh (6/1), The Major General (7/1), Primitivo (8/1), Point of View (10/1), Guy Fawkes (12/1), Harrison (12/1), Midhmaar (14/1), Paris Protocol (14/1), Platitude (14/1), Danehill Kodiac (16/1), Juste Pour Nous (20/1), Navajo War Dance (20/1), Southdown Lad (20/1), Second Serve (25/1), Soldier In Action (25/1), Nietzsche (33/1), Ocean Jive (33/1)
ANALYSIS: There have been just three successful market leaders in the last 17 renewals of this valuable handicap, which is worth £56,025 to the winner.
Godolphin’s trainers have taken this in the last two years and last season’s winning connections rely upon Lovell, a 7f Thirsk maiden winner last September, who was second on his reappearance over 10f at Sandown. He is a colt with plenty of scope and looks a Group horse in the making. Lovell had Harrison and Paris Protocol behind, with the former, trained by Mick Channon, conceding weight. Harrison was a Dante and Derby entry, so is well regarded and should handle the ground.
Sir Michael Stoute has won this race on five occasions since 1983, the last coming in 2008. He is dual-handed this time with Shraaoh and PLATITUDE. The former landed a 1m2f Newcastle all-weather maiden on his third start and was eased down at the finish. He looks a useful handicapper in the making and will no doubt be a popular choice with Frankie Dettori aboard.
No horse has won this with 9-7 on his back since Beekeeper in 2001, who was trained by Stoute. Platitude will also carry top weight, having not been beaten far in the Listed Dee Stakes at Chester on his first run of the season, having been gelded over the winter. He is entitled to come on a bit for that and could be the value in the race.
With Ryan Moore aboard the selection, Aidan O’Brien puts up son Donnacha on The Major General, who looks as though he could be more of a St Leger type, judged on the way he won the Listed Irish King George V Cup at Leopardstown over this trip 13 days ago.
Primotivo won two valuable handicaps at Newbury and Sandown (under a penalty) last month for Alan King and he has improved massively over the winter. He has had four weeks to recover and while he now races off a mark of 95, he may defy that and is a strong contender.
For such an astute trainer, it is surprising that William Haggas has yet to win this prize, yet Guy Fawkes, a facile Redcar maiden winner, could be the one to break his duck. He runs in HM The Queen’s colours, so support in the market is very likely and he rates a fair each-way bet in a trappy finale.
Kempton all-weather winner Point Of View cannot be discounted easily, either, since he is in the hands of Roger Varian, who does so well with three-year-olds.
LUCKY 15 SELECTIONS
GLOBAL APPLAUSE (Ascot 2.30, NAP)
MIZZOU (Ascot 4.20, nb)
SCUDDING (Chelmsford City 1.50)
QUALITY ART (Lingfield 6.50)
RIPON: 2.10 Bear Essentials, 2.45 Fast Shot, 3.20 Hayward Field, 3.55 Salieris Mass, 4.35 San Cassiano, 5.10 Orient Class, 5.45 Illustrious Prince
CHELMSFORD CITY: 1.50 Scudding, 2.20 Eurato, 2.55 Cape Icon, 3.30 Perfect Cracker, 4.05 Golden Reign, 4.45 Scarpeta, 5.25 Ada Lovelace
FFOS LAS: 6.10 Pay Your Way, 6.40 Present Accepted, 7.10 Le Bacardy, 7.40 West Torr, 8.10 Theatre Goer, 8.40 Cape Caster, 9.10 Wabanaki
LEICESTER: 6.30 Metronomic, 7.00 Yourartisonfire, 7.30 Bondi Beach Babe, 8.00 Majestic Hero, 8.30 Compton Mill, 9.00 Bonhomie
LINGFIELD PARK: 5.50 Binky Blue, 6.20 Rajar, 6.50 Quality Art, 7.20 Picansort, 7.50 All The Rage, 8.20 Ambuscade, 8.50 Swiss Cross
LEOPARDSTOWN: 5.55: All Crazy Now, 6.25 Madrugada, 6.55 Kadra, 7.25 Ceol Na Nog, 7.55 Gordon Lord Byron, 8.25 Athenry Boy, 8.55 Don Vincenzo
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