Matchbook’s resident Racing guru Micheál Deasy is swinging for the fences early at Royal Ascot as he runs through the card in search of a few value selections.
14.30 Queen Anne Stakes
I tipped Barney Roy ante-post on the podcast a few weeks ago but now that it’s looking like good ground at best I’m going to have to oppose him. All his best form is on better and it definitely won’t be rattling fast today.
Of the rest of the runners, I think it’s very significant that Dermot Weld has let Hazapour take his place amongst the entries.
He doesn’t send many horses to the Royal Meeting without them having a serious chance of winning.
Hazapour is one of the less exposed horses in this race having had only 8 runs in his career. You could easily have forgotten how strongly he travelled to the front of the Derby field at the 2f pole last summer and he was probably the only shining light in a poor season for his trainer.
He started off this season slowly, badly needing the run at Naas before going on to show his class in the Group 3 Amethyst Stakes at Leopardstown in May. Frankie takes the ride and can be very hopeful of starting his week with a winner.
15.05 Coventry Stakes
Two small bets in the incredibly tough Coventry Stakes.
Guildsman could not have been more impressive at Goodwood earlier this month. He slightly missed the break but that proved no hindrance to him as he went on to travel all over his rivals to eventually win by 6L. Archie Watson produced Soldiers Call to win as a 2yo last year at Ascot and he could have another start in his hands here.
Royal Lytham made a winning racecourse debut 10 days ago at Navan and looked very professional in the manner he did it. He had a nice bit of cover on the rail but knew what to do once the gap presented itself and powered through to win cosily. He is a nice juicy price for this and can run into a place or better.
15.40 Kings Stand Stakes
Battaash is a bit mad but he’s the best horse in this race.
He had a very high profile blip at the Royal meeting last year in this race and it seems to be held against him ever since. I think his jockey and trainer will have learned a lot from how that race was run. He had no cover and essentially burned himself out up front. The winning and losing of this race for him will be in the first 2 furlongs. If Jim Crowley can hold him up a bit and save something for the end of the race he should have too much for them.
16.20 St. James’s Palace Stakes
King Of Comedy is another runner that was questionable to run at the Royal meeting but has been given his chance by his trainer. There is nothing between the top 2 in the betting now and this son of Kingman can provide a bit of value at the prices. He is following the same route as last years winner Without Parole, having won the Matchbook Heron Stakes at Sandown in May.
He proved to be a bit of a handful that day, refusing to go to post until he was dismounted and led down. Prior to that he had been backed as if defeat was out of the question and duly rewarded anyone who did by winning very easily.
He seems the most likely to trouble the TDH and Phoenix of Spain and can place at the very least.
17.00 Ascot Stakes
Mengli Khan is a rare Gordon Elliot runner at Ascot but can reward his trainer with a win here. The distance and ground conditions will be perfect for him and he can continue the Irish domination of this race.
17.35 – Wolferton Stakes
Riven Light is a bit of a miracle horse. He went to Australia for a crack at the Melbourne Cup in 2017 but suffered a potentially career-ending injury and had to have 2 screws inserted in his leg. His genius trainer nursed him back to health and he produced a career-best on his return at Galway last summer, giving loads of weight away to win easily over an extended mile.
There are some quality horses in this race but he has been given a chance due to the fact it is a conditions race and not a handicap.
He ran a cracker 12 days ago to finish second at the Curragh and that will have put him spot on for this.
- 14.30 – Hazapour (10.5) – 1pt Win, 1pt Place
- 15.05 – Guildsman (8.0) – 0.5pt Win, 1pt Place
- 15.05 – Royal Lytham (19.5) – 0.5pt Win, 0.5pt Place
- 15.40 – Battaash (2.0) – 1pt Win
- 16.20 – King Of Comedy (7.0) – 1pt Win, 1pt Place
- 17.00 – Mengli Khan (7.4) – 1pt Win, 1pt Place
- 16.20 – Riven Light (9.6) – 1pt Win, 1pt Place