20-1 SHOT IS A RIDICULOUS PRICE SAYS DAQMAN: With three jackpot wins already in Royal Ascot week, Daqman dares one at 20.0 in the opening race, declaring these Betdaq offers as ‘ridiculous.’
FINAL FLING ON ASCOT OUTSIDERS: It’s part of a final fling on Ascot outsiders which includes bets at 30.0, 29.0, 21.0 and 18.0.
THREE JACKPOT WINNERS, ONE AT 12-1: The rain put a damper on his jackpot spree of the earlier part of the meeting, including a 12-1 winner. But the rain has set in now and he is confident of finding an edge again. He scored with Nathaniel (WON 11-4) in yesterday’s ‘Ascot Derby’, the King Edward V11 Stakes.
BEST BETS COULD BE LAYS: Daqman suggests moving out of the orange into the green if you can get offers about horses that won’t like the ground. His last three lays – two of them for a place – were all successful.
They’re wellie-throwing contests. I wouldn’t trust the form for the Golden Jubilee and the Wokingham as far as I could throw a muddy wellie along Ascot’s five and six furlongs today at the end of a week which started with a close-run thing for a record on fast ground.
The only consistency is that high numbers have come out best overall in the draw, whatever the going. Though the bias has been undone by superior runners in conditions races, the big straight-course handicap results by stall have been: Wednesday 24-30-25 (good); Thursday 23-15-18 (good to soft); Friday 29-28-2 (soft).
2.30 Royal Ascot (Chesham Stakes): Form could be meaningless here, too, since 13 maidens in 35 years have been successful in this. Richard Hannon has won this twice in three years but sons of Lawman, like Fort Bastion, have won only on top of the ground.
Aidan O’Brien has a first-time winner in Maybe but, since he won it in 1999, he’s had six in the frame without winning. Saver only.
The one I shall be on is Self Centred. The last time a filly won this race it was the same trainer, Barry Hills, with Whazzat in 2004. The debut run of Self Centred has been boosted by the third in her maiden, Samitar, which won the Albany yesterday.
Self Centred’s sire, Medicean, got horses which did particularly well on soft, even heavy ground, and she is a ridiculous price this morning at 20.0 on Betdaq.
3.05 Royal Ascot (Hardwicke Stakes): Afsare and Campanologist are both winners on firm ground at the royal meeting but Campanoligist, via So You Think, and Calvados Blues, by Rewilding, have both had their form boosted during this Ascot week.
Drunken Sailor won the race which has been a Hardwicke key but the stable has not fired at Ascot. Front-runner Poet is a back-and-lay bet at 14.5 but I can’t see Await The Dawn being beaten.
Await The Dawn has taken a similar route to this taken by Macarthur, a previous Ballydoyle winner of this, and he’s already won on the soft.
3.45 Royal Ascot (Golden Jubilee): Kings Stand runner-up on Tuesday, Star Witness has won on soft, and four failures in that race have gone on to win the Golden Jubilee over the extra furlong.
Amico Fritz (21.0 on Betdaq), fifth in this last year, has a much better chance than he had then on firm ground. He and Star Witness both have high draws.
But so has Bewitched, improving all the time, loving it soft, and with the stamina to get 7f and win a Group-3. They grey filly can hold Genki again (see Ascot last October), despite the weight difference, with that one saddled with the ‘coffin box’, stall one.
The same 7f soft-ground qualifications apply to Dalghar, second in a Group 2 over 6f here, but Andrew Balding has had a disappointing Royal Ascot.
Hooray is your back-and-lay bet at 12.0. This is much more her cup of tea, though she deserved to have a go at the Guineas. Beat Rimth on the soft in the Cheveley Park. She was going to be a banker if the rains came but that stall-2 draw has me worried.
4.25 Royal Ascot (Wokingham Stakes): If the stats get their way, the winner will be a class-2 winning four-year-old carrying 8st 11lb or more, drawn between 23 and 29, from a top sprint stable and a winner on the soft.
Stand up Colonel Mak, 30.0 on Betdaq this morning; he ticks all the boxes. Nasri is interesting, as a 7f scorer with similar credentials. Both Nasri (18.0) and Colonel Mak will enjoy the strong pace. In fact, Nasri (holds soft-ground winner Fathsta) likes to be up there, and – at 18.0 – is a back-and-lay bet.
Both Nasri and Colonel Mak were behind Waffle at Doncaster in the early Spring, but were having their first runs of the season, whereas he’d been out already. In any case, Waffle is a nearly horse; has won only his maiden more than three years ago.
High Standing and Cheveton have both won on soft but are as high as they’ve ever been in the ratings and are unlikely to show any improvement at age six and seven. Luis Rey struggled on soft when I saw him at Naas.
Hoof It, who holds Waffle, on last year’s form, ran Cheveton to a short head on the soft at Haydock last October, but that was over 5f and I’m not sure he’ll get the 6f in today’s conditions (the same applies to Masamah). But Hoof It is the right age and Kieren Fallon is booked for a stable in form.
My third choice against the field, however, is Macs Power (11.5), who reappeared in a race that has produced five previous winners of this. He is Listed class (see hampered run at Doncaster, November) and has shown the stamina to win at 7f.
5.00 Royal Ascot (Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes): All 10 favourites this decade have bitten the dust and, in this case, Modun could be eating mud. Firm ground and a rise of 15lb have seen his odds ease this morning, despite three defections early doors.
I once fancied driving across to the Ile De Re when on a French holiday but the toll to go over the bridge was prohibitive. Ile De Re’s 29.0 is better value and gives me an each-way chance. The French are doing very well this year and ’Ray’ loves it soft. So does Taqleed.
Averroes has run well on heavy ground and comes from a race which throws up Duke Of Edinburgh winners. Another key race pinpoints Sharaayeen (has beaten Life And Soul and Foxhunt), and Sharayeen’s dam was by mud-lover Turtle Island.
5.35 Royal Ascot (Queen Alexandra Stakes): Royal Ascot has been robbed of its finale duel, with front-runner Overturn defecting on this ground against power-finisher Elyaadi, second in the Ascot Stakes last year.
Otherwise it’s pin your punt on the handicap donkey, with the exception of Listed winner Dayia, who is a winner on the soft and for whom Olivier Peslier has been booked. Win this ‘Ollie’ and I might forgive you putting up 2lb overweight on Goldikova. I might.
WIN-40 JACKPOT: 2.1pts win and place SELF CENTRED, with 2.1pts (saver) MAYBE (2.30 Royal Ascot)
WIN-30 JACKPOTS: BET 3pts win HOORAY, 2.8pts win STAR WITNESS, 1.5pts win and place AMICO FRITZ and 2.6pts win (saver) BEWITCHED (3.45 Royal Ascot)
WIN-30 JACKPOTS: BET 2.8pts MAC’S POWER, 1.7pts win NASRI and 1pt win and place COLONEL MAK (4.25 Royal Ascot)
LAY to win 10pts MODUN, plus WIN-30 JACKPOTS: BET 3.75pts win SHARAAYEEN and 1.7pts win and place AVERROES (5.00 Royal Ascot)
BET 3.75pts win DAYIA and 2pts win (saver) ELYAADI (5.35 Royal Ascot.)