197-POINT ASCOT PROFIT AFTER 18.0 HUNT CUP HIT: Daqman, who won 110 points on the opening day of Royal Ascot, went for a 100-point hit in one race yesterday, the cavalry-charge Royal Hunt Cup. He would settle for the 16-1 SP but there’s always a bit extra on BETDAQ, and he bagged 18.0 offers about easy winner, Settle For Bay. Royal Ascot profits are 197 points thanks to another hit with Poet’s Word.
WON 10-1 LAGOSTOVEGAS (Ascot Stakes at 12.0 BETDAQ)
WON 9-4 WITHOUT PAROLE (St James Palace Stakes, nap)
WON 2-1 CALYX (Coventry Stakes)
WON 16-1 SETTLE FOR BAY (Hunt Cup, 18.0 BETDAQ)
WON 11-2 POET’S WORD (Prince Of Wales’s Stakes)
BACK AND LAY, DAQMAN DARES THE BIG HEADLINES: Daqman’s the man who writes his own headlines BEFORE the racing starts! Just look at these back-and-lay beauties so far, with two favourites, Chelsea Cloisters and Cracksman, both condemned.
CALYX AND COSMIC ON THE DRAW Calyx W 2-1
HE’S A STAR WITHOUT ANY DOUBT Without Parole W 9-4
VEGAS WORTH SPIN OF THE WHEEL Lagostovegas W 10-1
IT’S NO OPEN GOAL FOR CHELSEA! Chelsea Cloisters 0 fav
CRACKSMAN’S NOT THE LAST WORD Poet’s Word W 11-2
SETTLE FOR A HIGH STALL AT 18.0 Settle For Bay W 16-1
OUR MAN’S NOW 134 POINTS CLEAR OF PRICEWISE: His Royal Hunt Cup success sent Daqman into a 4-1 Ascot-week lead over Pricewise of the Racing Post, with their totals now 34-10 for winners, with a 134-point gap between them to level stakes (Daqman +49 profit, Pricewise loss of -85).
ASCOT SHING-SHONG FOR SHANG
2.30 Royal Ascot (Norfolk Stakes) This is the one, you guys! So say my American friends of Shang Shang Shang and, if he wins, they want to be on Moonlight Romance in Saturday’s Windsor Castle for a Wesley Ward double. There’ll be some champagne and sing-song after racing at Ascot then.
Shang Shang Shang, for whom Joel Rosario, riding at a 38% strike rate in the US, has flown over specially, beat Moonlight Romance at Keeneland in April before that one scored by a wide margin at Belmont last month.
So far at the royal meeting, her trainer has suffered setbacks with Lady Aurelia and Chelsea Cloisters, both favourite, both well beaten on the first two days, but this is the race that set the Ascot flags waving for Ward when he won it with No Nay Never in 2013 and now, that the layers are fielding against him (Shang was 6.0 this morning), you have the value to bet.
Ironically, the biggest danger may be Land Force, huge at 9.6 on BETDAQ this morning, and a son of No Nay Never.
Aiden O’Brien has won this twice in three years with outsiders at 12-1 and 14-1, and Land Force was third in the Marble Hill, in which last year’s Ballydoyle winner of this, Sioux Nation, was an eight-lengths loser in sixth.
IT’S RIGHT UP FRANKIE’S STREET
3.05 Royal Ascot (Hampton Court Stakes) No, Masaarr is not the Derby winner, Masar (‘path’ or ‘core purpose’), but they must think a lot of this particular Masaarr, favourite for his last four starts and now upped to the Pattern after winning only a class-3 handicap.
He was third, after being hampered and switched, behind today’s favourite, Key Victory, in a big autumn field at Newmarket.
But, following the form through to the French Derby, Key Victory finished behind Hunting Horn, who had been placed in two Classic trials in the Spring.
In other collateral form, Crossed Baton beat Derby runner-up, Dee Ex Bee, over today’s trip in the Blue Riband Trial, but was behind Nordic Lights in the Dante and has drifted like a lonely dog on a raft this morning to well over my betting weir for such a horse and trainer to 20.0 BETDAQ.
Wadilsafa is the unknown, a Frankel colt with a future, but all these five – Key Victory, Hunting Horn, Wadilsafa, Nordic Lights, Crossed Baton – are in high stalls, 9, 10, 12, 13 and 15.
It doesn’t mean they can’t win but it does knock their value, when recent winners have come from 2, 5, 6 and 7 (twice), and the two races this week on the turn have been taken by stalls 2 and 6.
With Crossed Baton ‘not wanted’ by the market, maybe the John Gosden bet is Main Street, another with a future, but already progressive, and a dual winner on AW, which seems to portend a good result on this fast and furious track.
One they’ve overlooked is Vintager (stall 7), second in the Esher Cup to the Dante fourth, and then beaten only two lengths at Sandown by Tuesday’s Group-1 hero, Without Parole.
In an open race, the value appears to be Frankie Dettori’s choice Main Street (18.5) and Vintager (26.0), with Hunting Horn (7.6) solid on class.
SUN MAIDEN FOR SUPERB STOUTE
3.40 Royal Ascot (Ribblesdale Stakes) Every year we say it. Another master class by Sir Michael Stoute and his team in preparing an older horse to get to the top late in life; this time the five-year-old Poet’s Word.
On paper, his improvement is clear, as Cracksman came to yesterday’s Prince Of Wales’s Stakes on 130 with Poet’s Word on only 119, having to make up literally seven lengths on Champion Stakes form.
Today Sir Michael, who completed a double yesterday with a successful reform job on unruly Expert Eye, runs Sun Maiden in this Ribblesdale Stakes, the ‘Ascot Oaks.’
Once again, John Gosden and Aidan O’Brien have overtaken him in this race in the last decade but are still behind him for Ribblesdale wins overall, and both are behind him in the market this morning.
Sun Maiden (at 4.0) seems to have only Wild Illusion to beat, since that one holds Magic Wand, Perfect Clarity, Sarocchi and Sizzling on Newmarket and Epsom Oaks form. I’ll go with the stable in form.
PLAY STRADIVARIUS FOR THE CUP
* 4.20 Royal Ascot Gold Cup guide and Daqman’s order in*
1 Stradivarius Last year’s Queens Vase winner here, got within a length of Order Of St George in the British Champions Long-Distance Cup last October, staying on as if he needed today’s extreme trip. BETDAQ 3.05 taken.
2 Order Of St George Gold Cup star of 2016 and second last year, with 13 wins and seven places from 24 starts, he has scored on firm ground three times.
3 Torcedor A late improver that Sir Michael Stoute would be proud of nurturing. In fact, its Jessica Harrington to whom plaudits are due. Goodwood winner of the Sagaro and has got within half a length of Order Of St George on the way up.
4 Desert Skyline It’s been a great year for him. He’s a tough and dour stayer. And that’s just the trainer! Skyline has been beaten four times by Stradivarius but loves a long trip (won Doncaster Cup).
Vazirabad French Gold Cup legend, with 15 wins and five seconds from 22 starts, he’s the same age as Order Of St George but better than ever, says trainer Alain de Royer Dupre. However, it’s his first trip to England and first run on ground firmer than good.
Sheikhzayedroad A nearly horse, beaten by Order Of St George, Stradivarius and Vazirabad. Hopes of a place if one or two of them are off colour, says the trainer.
Max Dynamite A long way behind Order Of St George in the 2016 Gold Cup and beaten by Stradivarius in the Yorkshire Cup on the last day. But excellent third in the Melbourne Cup, which is his target again.
Mount Moriah Third in the Irish St Leger and fourth in the British Champions Long Distance Cup. In both cases the winner was Order Of St George.
Scotland Said to be back to the form of his King Edward V11 Stakes third (2014) and Gold Cup sixth, beaten less than four lengths in 2015. But seen only once since 15th of 17 to Order Of St George in 2016.
SOLE ANOTHER HANDICAP GODSEND
5.00 Royal Ascot (Britannia Stakes) High stalls have been best on the straight track this week and in past results of this race: seven out of 10 in double figures.
That’s why single-figure stalls are 18-1 and more with the bookies for this Britannia Stakes and a minimum of 27.0 on BETDAQ this morning.
In fact, the stands-side group raced in midfield in the Royal Hunt Cup yesterday, so that the result by stall was 22, 17, 13, 19. And today’s potential front-runners are in 9, 13, 15, 16, 19, 26, 30, 31 and 32.
I’m looking for class performers, like Il Primo Sole (drawn 28 and 17.5 on BETDAQ) who ran in the French 2,000 Guineas for the punters’ godsend stable, and Landshark (in gate 18 and huge at 48.0 in the orange), dropping down from the Irish 2,000. Both look well handicapped.
Aidan O’Brien is not the punter’s favourite in handicaps but James Cook (35.0), brother to Found, ran in the Dante and this drop back in trip, again from a class race, could be the answer.
2.30 Royal Ascot (win 20)
BET 4pts win SHANG SHANG SHANG
BET 2.25pts win LAND FORCE
3.05 Royal Ascot (win 30)
BET 4.5pts win HUNTING HORN
BET 1.5pts win and place MAIN STREET
BET 1.25pts win and place VINTAGER
3.40 Royal Ascot (win 30)
BET 10pts win (nap) SUN MAIDEN
4.20 Royal Ascot (win 20)
BET 10pts win STRADIVARIUS
5.00 Royal Ascot (win 50)
BULL’S-EYE BET 3pts win and place IL PRIMO SOLE
BULL’S-EYE BET 1.5pts win and place JAMES COOK
BULL’S-EYE BET 1pt win and place LANDSHARK
5.35 Royal Ascot (win 20)
BET 3.5pts win FIRST ELEVEN
BET 2.5pts win CROSS COUNTER
3.40 PERFECT CLARITY
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