90 POINTS FROM THREE JACKPOT WINNERS IN A ROW: Daqman has chosen only four Royal Ascot races so far for jackpot bets this week and three have provided winners to stakes designed to win 30 points a time. There are two more today, including a 38.0 outsider.
* JACKPOT! TUESDAY: Coventry Stakes: POWER WON 4-1
* JACKPOT! WEDNESDAY: Royal Hunt Cup: JULIENAS WON 12-1
* JACKPOT! THURSDAY: Ascot Gold Cup: FAME AND GLORY WON 11-8
TOMORROW: Don’t miss Daqman’s banker of the meeting, and he returns to his lays sequence after three in a row.
Yes, I know, I keep getting the ground wrong. We’ve had fast times and slow times, with Royal Ascot like an old-fashioned waltz: slow, slow, quick, quick, slow. But we’ve rock‘n rolled with three winning jackpot races out of four. And there’s still two days to go.
2.30 Royal Ascot (Albany Stakes): This could have been on a par with the Queen Mary, since the sixth in that race had been the same distance behind Judy The Beauty at Chantilly. But Judy is out.
We are left with Inetrobil for Kevin Ryan, who won the Norfolk yesterday, and Teolane, trying to follow up Jim Bolger’s ‘Ascot Oaks’ win in the Ribblesdale yesterday with the magnificent Banimpire.
I’m not sure we can leave out Tom Dascombe’s Switcher, Samitar for Mick Channon, who won it twice in four years up to 2007, and Illaunglass for Jeremy Noseda, who had back-to-back wins in 2005-6.
But Teolane, whose stable won this with Cuis Ghaire, has scored over seven furlongs already but had the speed to win earlier over six in a Listed at Naas.
Teolane’s two wins have both been on firmish ground, and the going keeps changing at Ascot as rain softens it and it quickly dries out again, always hard to predict. Teofilo is a first-season sire but Teolane’s dam’s sire, by Busted, has progeny which have acted on any ground.
3.05 Royal Ascot (King Edward V11 Stakes): The ‘Ascot Derby,’ this has gone to horses who have had to miss Epsom for various reasons, like Monterosso last year, or who have done well in the trials but been outclassed at Epsom (Storming Home, Papal Bull)
Genius Beast won the Sandown Classic Trial, Dordogne the Lingfield Derby Trial, Glen’s Diamond the Dee Stakes; World Domination was fourth in the Dante and Nathaniel runner up to the subsequent head Derby second, Treasure Beach.
Nathaniel must be the pick of these but Mijhaar will be a big danger. Mijhaar absolutely bolted up at Haydock and could have taken what then seemed the easier option of the Group-3 Tercentenary Stakes won by Pisco Sour yesterday, though he would have been hard to beat.
Mijhaar slammed Timeline seven lengths at Haydock before Timeline went five lengths clear of 16 others at Sandown, the third in that Sandown race scoring next time out.
3.45 Royal Ascot (Coronation Stakes): Any one of the first six home in an Oaks or a Guineas can usually pick this up; sometimes the Guineas winner herself comes along, like Ghanaati (2009), Attraction (2004) and Russian Rhythm (2003). But not this time. We have an international race instead, with France, Ireland and America represented.
Best of today’s lovely ladies are 1,000 Guineas runner-up Together, the third Maqaasid, the fourth Nova Hawk, Nell Gwyn winner and 1,000 fifth Barefoot Lady, Curragh 1,000 fourth Claiomh Solais and Joviality who beat Barefoot Lady in the Musidora.
But the star-spangled spanner in the works is More Than Real, winner of the Breeders Cup juvenile, which was packed with winners: the second won two afterwards, the third three in a row. Only fifth home that day? Together, favourite here on her seconds in the Irish 1,000 and the Newmarket equivalent.
More Than Real is tempting this morning at 14.0 on Betdaq but this is my biggest going quandary of the week? Is she ground dependent, since most US races are run on firm? The dam’s line gives you hope (her sire and grandsire had winners on the soft).
You’d certainly give the French a chance when there’s cut in the ground but Immortal Verse is a bit of a madam and only when she comes out of the stalls on terms can you be sure of her co-operation.
Nova Hawk was run over by Golden Lilac in the French Guineas but therein lies the collateral: Maqaasid and Immortal Verse were well behind. And Nova Hawk might have done better behind Together in the Newmarket Guineas, had the ground not been firm.
If in doubt, look for an improver. That would have to be Theyskens’ Theory, who got within a length of Together in the Fillies’ Mile over today’s CD last season and demolished a Listed field at York on the way to this. Together could be feeling her Spring exertions and ‘Theyskens’ is less highly tried recently than most.
4.25 Royal Ascot: I believe that Willie Haggas has Green Destiny and Shamali here, then Kalk Bay in the last, admirably placed today and shall back them as jackpot bets. Green Desert – has won on firm and heavy – has none of those going concerns that have cost me this week and looked a Group horse in a handicap at Newmarket in the early Spring.
Spanish Duke will love the ground if it remains good to soft and his jockey, Eddie Ahern, has enjoyed star status at Ascot this week. As a Selkirk, easy ground should be fine for Shamali, twice a winner over course and distance, and he’s improved again since being gelded.
Balducci (also gelded over the winter) could improve for the trip, and Waydownsouth has form in much better company in Ireland, though that has almost doubled his handicap mark.
5.00 Royal Ascot (Queen’s Vase): This looks a modest renewal, with only Namibian and Regent Street up to the level (rated 95-110) of 11 of the last 12 winners.
Neither has won over at least 1m 4f, which nine of those 12 winners had, and – like Borug, L’Hermitage and Qushchi – Namibian isn’t bred for a trip.
Borug, half-brother to an Arc winner, has been in the frame in the Lingfield Derby Trial, which applies to three recent Queen’s Vase winners, but he’s drifted like a dog on a raft this morning, out to 36.0 on Betdaq.
The trainers who win this race are Mark Johnston (twice) Sir Henry Cecil (eight times!) and Aidan O’Brien (five) but Johnston’s Eternal Heart, withdrawn because of the going from the King George V yesterday, seemingly needs the ground to dry out.
I’m left with Regent Street and Solar Sky. On form, that’s no contest since Sunday Bess, runner-up to Solar Sky at Haydock, was stone last in the Ribblesdale behind Banimpire, who beat Regent Street only half a length in the Ballysax at Leoopardstown in April.
5.35 Royal Ascot (Buckingham Palace Stakes): Only once this century at Ascot has a horse from the top half of the handicap won this and that was on very firm ground: the winner usually carries between 8st 5lb and 8st 12lb. Big SPs are the norm: 10-1, 12-1 (twice), 14-1, 25-1 (twice) and 33-1 in the last nine years.
I’m looking for a class-2 distance winner drawn high and from a stable in good form, and I’ve ended up with Smarty Socks, 38.0 on Betdaq this morning.
Rarely do horses improve at six and seven but he’s suddenly shot forward to class-2 success, after languishing most of his career down in class 4. He’s also won with cut in the ground and, since he gets behind early, needs a demanding pace.
The only other winners on an easy surface are Across The Rhine, Advanced, Atlantic Sport, Axiom, Castles In The Air, Excellent Guest, Kalk Bay and Our Jonathan. So only nine of the 32 declared.
Knowing my luck with the ground this week, it will dry out like a road but, over the cornflakes, I’m forced to conclude Kalk Bay is the dark horse, well placed in the handicap and fairly well able to choose the middle of potentially three groups in a split for the prize.
BET 11pts win TEOLANE (2.30 Royal Ascot)
BET 7pts win NATHANIEL and 4pts win MIJHAAR (3.05 Royal Ascot)
BET 3.4pts win THEYSKENS THEORY and 1.5pts win and place MORE THAN REAL (3.45 Royal Ascot)
WIN-30 JACKPOT: 2pts win and place SHAMALI, 1.3pts win and place BALDUCCI and 3.4pts win GREEN DESTINY (4.25 Royal Ascot)_
BET: 6.6pts win (nap) REGENT STREET (5.00 Royal Ascot)
WIN-40 JACKPOT: BET 4.8pts win KALK BAY, and 1pt win and place SMARTY SOCKS (5.35 Royal Ascot)