I am not getting overly involved, if at all, at Punchestown this week, sorry Jumps fans, but so many of the races out there this week have either two at the top of the market you can’t split or a long odds-on shot that is unbackable at the price. I am getting involved at Ascot on Wednesday as they have a decent card and with a number of ‘trials’ for the Royal Meeting (not sure I like them being called that) I will be keeping a close eye on all the races.
Best bets for the horse racing at Ascot
The Royal Ascot Two-Year-Old Trial Conditions Stakes at 2.25 is well worth a watch but I won’t be betting in it. The two that won on debut, Whistle And Flute and Michaela's Boy both looked nice types whilst Fragrance looked one to watch as well when second to Tajalla at HQ; Dayyan and Bakeel make their debuts and are both bred to be fair juveniles.
The mile Naas Racecourse Royal Ascot Trials Day British EBF Fillies' Conditions Stakes at 3.00 is another race with little form to go on in this case with a bunch of lightly raced three-year-old fillies. The four that have experience all have a win against their name but none of the form has exactly turned out red hot and this might be an opportunity for one of the two we haven’t seen yet. Making a belated debut is 700,000 Guineas yearling Eternal Pearl for the team of Charlie Appleby from Moulton Paddocks. By Frankel out of a Listed winner in France Pearly Steph her grandparents' will need little introduction being Galileo and Kind on the top line and Oasis Dream on the bottom line. One you may not know is the granddam Pearl Banks on the dam side, she as a G.3 winner over 1m3f in Germany and has produced four foals to run, all winners. Getting the allowance she does of 6lb she is worth a punt to get her career off to a winning start at 100-30.
The Group Three two-mile Longines Sagaro Stakes is the main event at 3.35 with a number of the usual suspects lining-up. Princess Zoe aint won since taking the G.1 Prix du Cadran at Longchamp in October 2020 (tipped on here) but her efforts in the Gold Cup here at the Royal Meeting and in the Prix du Cadran again last year were still fine efforts so she isn’t one to write-off just yet; she is best watched though today. I think Tashkhan may have been flattered by his second in the Long-Distance Cup over C&D in November at Champions Day, was getting a chunk of weight as a three-year-old, and I can’t back him for this. Full-brother to a Triple G favourite Kew Gardens Wordsworth ran some decent races last year including placing-up in the G.1 Irish Derby and Grand Prix De Paris. He looked like one that might turn into a ‘Cup’ horse and got his season underway with a win in a 1m6f conditions race at Gowran Park earlier this month. He has all sorts of entries suggesting even ‘the lads’ aren’t sure what to do with him, but one is for the G.2 Yorkshire Cup next month and I think Cup races is where his future lies. I have taken a chance he can start to prove me right at the 5-2 for him to take this.
The mile Listed Paradise Stakes at 4.40 only has four runners but they are all fair types. Valiant Prince has shown his well-being already this year winning a couple of handicaps out in Dubai including one at the Carnival in Meydan (tipped on here) and should take the step into Listed class in his stride. He should get an uncontested lead here and can make every yard a winning one. He is short at 4-5 but looks banker material.Be lucky