ROYAL ASCOT VALUE FAVOURITE OR BOGY RACE? Do the odds about the favourite for next week’s Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot allow for the race’s graveyard of great horses? Daqman continues his countdown to the big meeting, previewing the races one week ahead.
FITZWILLY WON 100/30: DAQMAN started the day yesterday with a non runner and ended with a 100/30 WINNER with Fitzwilly at Lingfield. It ended up being a small losing day but he remains 55 points up in last three days.
IS CRACKSMAN REALLY THE LAST WORD?
4.20 Royal Ascot, (Prince Of Wales’s Stakes, Wednesday next) Jack Hobbs, Found, Treve and Camelot, heroes of Arcs and Derbys, have all been beaten in this race recently, and the only favourite to score in the last five years, Free Eagle, never won another race.
So can you bet odds on the favourite, Cracksman, even though he has a standout rating of 130?
Winners in the last seven seasons have come to this Group 1 off between 117 to 125, and just one of Cracksman’s rivals (Benbatl) has a mark higher than 120.
But ever since Sir Michael Stoute chose this for Poets Word (119) – ‘I want a Group 1 for this really good horse not a Group 2’ – his odds have contracted from 9-1 to 4-1 with bookmakers, though still 6.4 on BETDAQ.
Cracksman and Poet’s Word were one-two in the Champion Stakes on the soft last backend but seven lengths apart. Third home? It was the winner of this Prince Of Wales’s Stakes in the same British Champions Series, Highland Reel.
Has Sir Michael Stoute, famous for improving older horses, got something up his sleeve yet again? If you think so, then BETDAQ has the value bet.
5.00 Royal Ascot, (Royal Hunt Cup, Wednesday next) Recent form is the key to many a race. Not so in the Royal Hunt Cup, which is often won by horses who have been prepped with the odd race or, in some cases, none at all.
What they do have in common is strong form from the previous year’s Royal Ascot, sometimes in the Hunt Cup itself, or in the Cambridgeshire of the previous autumn.
If a race in the same year is a guide it’s the Victoria Cup run early in the season at Ascot over a furlong shorter, in which Zhui Feng was placed last year before winning the Hunt Cup.
So what are the qualifiers? Zhui Feng was pipped into second in the Victoria Cup this time around, trying to give a massive 23lb to Ripp Orf.
The draw may play a part. High numbers had a huge advantage in the Victoria Cup: 13 beat 11, 18, 14, 8, 20, 23, 22, 22 and 28.
The Hunt Cup winners by stall in the decade show a similar bias: 27, 33, 11, 24, 33, 6, 33, 11, 4 and 26.
Just one favourite won: others came in at 8-1, 10-1, 12-1, 16-1, 20-1, 25-1 (twice), 28-1, 33-1 (twice)
WORTH ANOTHER LOOK
2.20 Chelmsford The Mark Johnston Middleham winning machine is hitting full strength at the moment with 12 winners in the last 14 days and his I’ll Have Another looks worthy SUPERNAP material in the seven furlong opener at Chelmsford this afternoon.
At a current even money on BETDAQ, that looks fair enough value as the filly showed great promise at Redcar on debut when a head second to Jensue. She only just failed to get up in the closing stages that day and gave the distinct impression that today’s extra furlong will prove ideal.
None of the runners from that race 15 days ago have been out again subsequently so it’s hard to judge what the form is worth but with the stable in such good form it’s fair to say she should have a leading chance in this company over the extended trip.
Simon Crisford’s Ghost Queen only beat two home on debut at Goodwood on soft ground and didn’t give any immediate impression that she would be better suited by the step up in trip – so the dangers probably lie with the debutants.
Kahina, a Camelot filly out of Close Regards comes from the Hugo Palmer yard and has an interesting pedigree but the stable are only 1-11 from their two-year-olds this season and their sole winner didn’t win on debut.
7.10 Kempton Only a class 5 officially but judged by the entry it could easily be a class 3.
A lot of the top stables have representatives with preference going to the experience of the Luca Cumani trained Fairlight.
He was very green on debut at Nottingham but stayed on well to take third and the stables runners usually come on a great deal. Cumani’s last two runners have both won.
7.30 Hamilton Seen The Lyte is an important non runner here and may leave this sprint handicap at the mercy of Mr Wagyu.
He’s out again quickly after winning at Ripon last week and might be up to defying the resulting 6lb penalty as he looked value for more than the official half length winning margin.
Richard Fahey puts the cheekpieces on Cameo Star for the first time which might see him go close and the handicapper has dropped him 2lb but his only career win has come over five furlongs and the six furlongs here at Hamilton takes some getting.
DAQMAN’S BETS (staked to win 20 points including SUPERNAP)
SUPERNAP BET 20.0pts win I’LL HAVE ANOTHER (2.20 Chelmsford)
BET 4.0pts win FAIRLIGHT (7.10 Kempton)
BET 14.4pts win MR WAGYU (7.30 Hamilton)
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