Royal Ascot 2021
Royal Ascot 2021 Ante-Post Portfolio
Commonwealth Cup: Fivethousandtoone 16-1
King’s Stand Stakes:
Winter Power 5-1
Prince Of Wales's Stakes:
You have found the Girdys Gee Gees Royal Ascot page. Here you will find all the Royal Ascot tips, Royal Ascot news and details of the betting for all thirty-five races at Royal Ascot 2021. If you were looking for Royal Ascot dress code advice and fashion hints you are on the wrong page, sorry, horses I know, strappy dresses and big hats, not so much!
Sunday 20th June
Great fun, and lovely to have some normality back, but unfortunately a losing week as I finish -6.05 to level stakes. There were some shocker results and I think the Bookies would have to admit it was a good week for them.
Saturday 19th June
Hats off to all involved that they even raced on Friday, very much touch and go for a while there. The rollercoaster ride continued for me with a couple of winners and an each-way pay out on Friday making it quite a nice afternoon's sport, the only real down side being Alcohol Free winning after I had deserted her – it could drive you to drink! It remains soft going unsurprisingly but no more rain is forecast.
Listed Chesham Stakes Seven furlongs
Charlie Appleby had this pencilled in for New Science nice and early saying earlier this month “New Science is on target to run in the Chesham after his first start. Physically he’s done well for his run. He had an easy week but is in full work now. We are looking forward to taking him to Ascot.” I was impressed with his win at Yarmouth, tipped on here, and I am sticking with him for this. I have 6-1. Point Lonsdale is the obvious danger the brother of Broome having also won on debut.
Group Three Jersey Stakes Seven furlongs
Appleby is double handed in this with Naval Crown and Creative Force. Talking in the build-up the trainer said “Naval Crown is going to drop to seven for the Jersey. As we saw in Dubai, he’s got a lot of natural pace. He lost nothing in defeat on his first run back in the Free Handicap, and ran a gallant race in the Guineas. The pace angle is very much his forte.” He added “We might step Creative Force up from six to seven to run him in the Jersey as well. On what he has achieved he deserves to be at Ascot. On his pedigree, there is no reason why he shouldn’t step up to seven.” On jockey bookings it looks as if Naval Crown is the main hope but for me Creative Force stepping up in trip is the one. He's certainly bred to stay this far and what we’ve seen of him so far you’d expect him to. Listed Carnarvon Stakes victory at Newbury last time was on good-soft and he is the pick at 5-1 in the hope Appleby gest off to a flyer on day five. Mutasaabeq is feared after a fair run in the Guineas.
Group Two Hardwicke Stakes One mile, four furlongs
My St Leger tip last season, and winner for me at Newbury, Hukum will bid to double his Royal Ascot tally in this. The Owen Burrows-trained four-year-old won the King George V Stakes at the summer showpiece meeting last season (I weren’t on). He went on to follow up in the Group Three Geoffrey Freer at Newbury, before finishing fifth in the St Leger at Doncaster. After placing fourth over ten furlongs on his seasonal reappearance in the Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown in April, Hukum successfully stepped back up to a mile and a half in last month’s Listed Tapster Stakes at Goodwood on soft ground. Trainer Owen Burrows said: “He’s been in good form since Goodwood, so the plan is to run in the Hardwicke. Aidan (O’Brien) will have one or two, I guess – it’s always a strong race. I’m looking forward to getting our horse back on some decent ground, and we’ll see what he can do.” I have the 13-2. Broome looks the big danger with Mogul out of salts so far this season and the Dirty Dozen member can’t be backed at the moment. Logician is another that hasn’t looked as good recently but could bounce back.
Group One Diamond Jubilee Stakes Six furlongs
This could be a real cracker with plenty in with chances and they all know each other pretty well. Most of the likely early dash appears to be housed in the lower number stalls so it will be interesting to see if they split here or all go up the middle. The one time Starman has disappointed was on the Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes here on soft last back end so the recent weather must have connections concerned. The soft underhoof conditions will suit Art Power, fourth in the Champions Sprint last year, but he needs to improve for his sixth to Starman in the Duke of York Stakes on return to action last month. Dream of Dreams also likes to get his toe-in, eighth in Champions Sprint last term, and won on his seasonal reappearance at Windsor as a warm-up for this. Glen Shiel, winner of the Champions Sprint in the Autumn has to be considered. Happy Power reverts to sprinting but he might be becoming a seven-furlong specialist. Art Power might, just might, have more to offer as a lightly raced four-year-old and should improve for the run at York and is a tentative pick at 6-1.
The Wokingham Stakes Six furlongs
Another tricky heat up the six strip with yet again several holding strong claims. Punchbowl Flyer arrives off the back of two wins and will no doubt blaze the trail down the stands side. Kings Lynn drops to calmer waters having finished seventh in Group 1 King's Stand earlier in week and is 7lb well-in under his penalty so has to be considered but running style will require some luck in running. Yard is in fine form though. Fresh and Pendleton meet again and are also both shortlisted but might both be on the wrong side of the draw. Aberama Gold is about the most consistent of the lot lining-up and is the each-way pick. The four-year-old should be able to settle just behind the early pace on the stands side and should be there or thereabouts at the finish. I am on at 14-1.
The Golden Gates Stakes One mile, two furlongs
King Frankel keeps running well but finding one to good, barring that ridiculous win at Pontefract, and looks a solid bet for a place. Alfaadhel looks a progressive type and an opening handicap mark of 98 may have under estimated the Roger Varian trained chestnut. His win at Chester was on good-soft so ground shouldn’t be a major concern and I can see him picking them all off up the straight here. I have the 5-1.
The Queen Alexandra Stakes Two miles, six furlongs
The marathon to end the week. Falcon Eight took the Chester Cup last time and clearly has a chance; as I have said before Dermot Weld don’t send them across the Irish Sea just for a day out. He and Stratum are the top-rated pair in the race and under the race conditions have obvious claims. You can’t be sure what Stratum will show up but on his best form he’d probably win. Morando was far from disgraced when fourth in the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup last season. He was staying on in both starts this term over much shorter, fourth behind Japan in the G.3 Ormonde Stakes and third behind Hukum in the Listed Tapster Stakes, and this ultimate test may suit. The grey has plenty of form on softer ground and is the speculative punt at 13-2.
We race! The fourth day of Royal Ascot will go ahead as planned after the track passed its inspection.
Day four of Royal Ascot must pass a 12.45pm inspection following a bucket load of rain overnight and Friday morning.
As I write 'there is a risk to racing' according to Ascot clerk of the course Chris Stickels. All being well the rain is easing and we should be alright but it is going to be very different ground to the first three days and there has already been a number of withdrawals. At this time all my selections still run but there will be Rule 4 deductions galore! Fingers crossed they will be able to race.
Friday 18th June
An annoying Thursday. Yes, I am talking through my pocket but Mr Dettori and Mr Moore must be annoyed with themselves for their rides on Stradivarius and Sir Lamorak respectively. Frankie looked to be trying to be too clever and he got the Champ in all sorts of problems and as for Ryan, to my eyes, he gave Sir Lamorak way to much to do. There is nothing I can tell these two about race riding obviously but both must have gone to bed pissed off with themselves; I certainly did!
And into Friday we go. It’s a tough card with competitive Pattern races and some real handicap puzzles to be solved. It is hissing down at Triple G Towers again and is at Ascot I am told. The going is now Soft
Group Three Albany Stakes Six furlongs
Hello You destroyed the field at Wolverhampton on her debut and that form is looking fair plus trainer Ralph Beckett enjoying an excellent season with his juveniles so she has to be on the shortlist. Prettiest is well bred and knew her job when winning on debut at Naas but that looked good rather than impressive. The money came for Flotus on her debut and she looked decent winning over the 6f at Goodwood, though it’s hard to know what she beat; form of the other runners since not red hot. That said she was very pleasing on the eye and put the race to bed in a matter of strides. She is the pick at 3-1.
Group Two King Edward VII Stakes One mile, four furlongs
Alenquer will be a relatively short price here having beat the Derby winner Adayar in the G.3 Classic Trial at Sandown. You would expect improvement to come and it is the best form on show easily. He won on soft as a two-year-old and I am on at 2-1. Yibir is one I have talked of before and though not beaten far in the Classic Trial at Sandown it is hard to see him reversing the placings. Gear Up hasn’t lived up to the hopes connections must have had for him and looks held especially with a penalty. The Mediterranean needs to improve on what he has done so far but is open too improvement.
Group One Commonwealth Cup Six furlongs
Fivethousandtoone is the ante-post punt here at 16-1 that I took in May. As mentioned in the earlier piece a tilt at the 2,000 Guineas was considered but a few niggly problems meant that plan was put on hold. A fair two-year-old campaign saw him get off the mark at the second attempt before finishing second in the 6f G.2 Mill Reef Stakes and seventh, fading late on, in the 7f G.1 Dewhurst Stakes. Andrew Balding has had this as his target for a while and it was nice to hear Matti Penrice, a groom at Park House Stables, describe the power the colt has up the gallops as ‘incredible and terrifying’ in a recent preview video. As for being drawn in two it might not be as big a disadvantage as we may have thought earlier his week; the going is a bit of an unknown. Campanelle is an obvious danger coming back to sprint distances whilst Dragon Symbol has done little wrong in his career to date and though this needs improvement again he might have it in him. Suesa comes across the Channel with a perfect four from four record at Chantilly.
Group One Coronation Stakes Old mile (round)
Alcohol Free is a member of the Dirty Dozen for the season and was my 1,000 Guineas bet, fifth behind Mother Earth. I think she proved she can stay eight furlongs that day but this is a stiff eight and it’s got to be getting sticky with this rain. Mother Earth won the 1,000 Guineas and nearly secured the British/French 1000 Guineas double and she clearly sets the standard here. Stablemate and Irish Guineas winner Empress Josephine looks a big threat with both her wins being on heavy the weather won’t concern her whilst Pretty Gorgeous, who disappointed in the Irish Guineas, could bounce back to form and the rain is helping her chances as well. Novemba was a surprise winner of the German 1000 Guineas and is interesting being pitched at this. I’ve plumped for Pretty Gorgeous who travelled well for a long way in the Irish race and should strip fitter for that run. I have 5-1.
The Sandringham Stakes One mile (straight)
A fiendishly difficult affair for us punters with several in with chances. The early pace looks to be spread across the track which makes things no easier. Glesga Gal, Friendly, Beheld and Belief all have form claims and were considered. A'shaari is one of my Dirty Dozen and in fact my long range 1.000 Guineas ante-post punt. She clearly has not lived-up to those high hopes and has finished midfield in two Listed heats this season over 1m2f. Drop to a mile should help and her win at two was over 7f at HQ on soft ground so the rain should not be an issue. Mark of 90 on handicap debut may prove workable and at 20-1 she is the each-way pick.
The Duke of Edinburgh Stakes One mile, four furlongs
Another puzzle to be solved. Zabeel Champion arrives in cracking form and a mark of 103 might not stop him yet though more in required here. He just caught Grand Bazaar last time on the line and that one re-opposes with a 2lb pull at the weights; he is expected to blaze a trail out of fifteen. Aaddeey hacked up last time at Newmarket but has a 13lb rise to contend with here after that. Quickthorn was an equally impressive winner last time on good-soft at Haydock, in fact more so I think, and has been hiked 13lb in the OR’s as well for his trouble. The four-year-old gelding is a tentative pick at 9-2 as he should get a nice lead into the race with a lot of the likely leaders drawn near him and he can swoop late off the turn.
The Palace of Holyroodhouse Stakes Five furlongs
And we finish the day with yet another headscratcher over the five-furlong strip. Warrior Brave is due to rise another 7lb after this and in theory is well in here, was just denied in a Listed heat at Sandown at the weekend. Equality is a progressive colt and is on the shortlist as is Boomshalaa who has an obvious chance if continuing in the same mood as last time. Mo Celita has a stack of 1’s next to her name since joining Adrian Nicholls, all on softer going conditions. She has of course risen up the ratings but could have one big run in her yet before the handicapper has her in his grip and she stays six so the stiff five here holds no fears, in fact should suit. I have the 7-1 in the hope she can blast out of twelve and run another big race.
Thursday 17th June
A couple of winners on Wednesday made it a much nicer day and I enter day three of the meeting –2.5 to level stakes. Plenty of top class action again today and some class handicaps to get stuck into. With the threat of thunderstorms overnight I have held off till Thursday morning for any bets just to see how much the going had been affected and all the best are BPG barring One Ruler that I backed last night. As it turns out they missed the worst of the rain overnight at the track and the going remains unchanged at good to firm for day three of Royal Ascot. There is the chance of a passing shower and even heavy downpour though so keep an eye out for updates as the going could change quickly - it's hacking down at Triple G Towers as I write.
Group Two Norfolk Stakes Five furlongs
Wesley Ward has once again got a strong looking hand in this race with Lucci and Nakatomi in the line-up. Lucci won over five on Turf at Belmont Park out the stalls on the B of the bang and never saw another horse. Nakatomi won over 4½f on Dirt at Keeneland on what was pretty sloppy going. Stablemate Happy Soul was second that day and has won his two starts since giving the form a solid look so very interesting that Lucci is shorter in the market and is clearly considered the better of the two. I am taking them on though. Cadamosto was an eyecatcher on debut winning at Dundalk on the Polytrack over five, went clear in the final furlong with real enthusiasm. A couple behind have come out and won since giving the form a fair look. I have gone with the Ballydoyle inmate as that was a nice win whilst still looking a little green at times. I have the 5-1. This should be a great race.
Group Three Hampton Court Stakes One mile, two furlongs
Mohaafeth was a late scratching from the Derby after the ground eased and the overnight rain must have been a concern again here though it appears it hasn't been that bad. If they get no more rain he has to be considered, if they get more and the ground eases who knows. One Ruler is one of my Dirty Dozen for the season and as I said in that write-up breeding suggests mile to a mile-and-a-quarter will be his game. Far from disgraced in his two runs this season so far, sixth in the 2,000 Guineas and Derby, I still think he can win races and this trip might prove perfect. He has the penalty to shoulder but the easing in the ground will suit him, won the Autumn Stakes on soft and second in the Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes on heavy. I took the 6-1 with Paddy Power on Wednesday in the hope that the storms would come being in his favour and against the jolly. The colt also has form on good as well so even if it doesn't soften that much he still has a big chance and I am happy enough with the bet. Another of the Dirty Dozen Secret Protector also runs and this one has a place chance.
Group Two Ribblesdale Stakes One mile, four furlongs
Late Oaks absentee Noon Star tops the market here having finished second to Snowfall in the Musidora; the winner of course stamped that form and then some in the Oaks. Sir Michael Stoute’s charge was ruled out of the Epsom Classic just 48 hours before the race because of a blood disorder and if fit and well here must have a big chance; has form on good and good-soft ground. I have the 9-4. Divinely was a well-beaten third in the Oaks at Epsom thirteen days ago and can fill one of the places again whilst Listed winner at Newbury Eshaada could also go well.
Group One Gold Cup Two miles, four furlongs
Trueshan won the Long Distance Cup here in October, Stradivarius having an off-day, and the five-year-old has a chance again if the jolly isn’t on his a-game. Serpentine takes a huge step-up in trip and it will be interesting to see how the Derby winner goes. Santiago is another interesting one trying an extreme trip, has gone okay in Cup races without winning. Aidan O’Brien said in an interview in the build-up ‘He’s in good form and the plan at the minute is to run in the Gold Cup. The trip is an unknown for him, but we’ve trained him to peak for Royal Ascot and hopefully he’ll be able to prove his stamina for this longer trip.’ Stradivarius has ruled the roost since 2018 and looked as well as ever when winning the G.3 Sagaro here on his return to action. I think you can ignore the end of last season with a crack at the Arc proving fruitless (still not sure why they bothered) before he put in probably the worst run of his career when clearly not himself on Champions Day He is looking to emulate the Yeats and land a fourth Gold Cup and on all known form he has a massive chance of doing so. He is a little weak in the market which is a surprise, probably down to the rain but unless it goes heavy I think he should prove top of the class again. That said I have happily taken 11-10.
The Britannia Stakes One mile (straight)
The first of three handicaps to finish on Thursday and the draw will likely play a part again. Aerion Power drawn one and Raadobarg drawn 24 both arrive bang in form bidding for a four-timer and have to be considered. Air To Air also arrives in form also having won his last two with what appeared something to spare in a handicap at Doncaster last time. Up 8lb for that but that might not stop him, will need the breaks though as is likely to arrive late. Horoscope is lightly raced and arrives having put in a solid third at the Curragh on handicap debut and could be in the shake-up if a low draw proves favourable; mixed results yesterday with high looking the place to be still but a couple running huge races from a low draw. He has form on softer ground so the rain not a major concern for this one. I am on at 12-1 each way.
The King George V Stakes One mile, four furlongs
Sir Lamorak had options at the meeting and it is interesting he comes for this. A winner twice this season from two starts over 1m2f, one on the All-Weather at Dundalk and last time on good ground at Leopardstown he is on the upgrade and an official mark of 85 may under rate the colt. Aidan O’Brien ‘We’re still discussing where he will run. His two main options are the G.2 King Edward VII Stakes and the King George V Handicap. Whichever one he goes for, he’ll appreciate the longer trip and firmer ground.’ The overnight and ongoing rain not great news but this colt could be the Group horse in a handicap here and as long as it doesn't get bottomless he should have too much for this field. 4-1 looks a decent price and I have it.
The Buckingham Palace Stakes Seven furlongs
The lucky last is another tricky handicap with the draw to be considered; most of the likely early speed appears to be drawn high. On The Warpath is a pretty consistent type and at his very best a mark of 105 isn’t too harsh. He could run a race at a big price. Aldaary has won three of his four starts to date, unbeaten run ended at Goodwood last time, but it was still a fair effort. Tongue tied for the first time here and no surprise if there is more to come yet. Boardman completed a hat-trick at Chester last time with what looked a bit in hand three weeks ago; up another 6lb for that but is clearly in good heart. Blue Mist and Bielsa are others with chances. The one with the burden of the Triple G cash to carry is Lord Campari each-way at 11-1. He has been running in much better company, sixth in the Lockinge Stakes last time, and has a chance to get back to winning ways here off a mark of 102. Prominent running style no bad thing in a race such as this, softening ground probably a plus and the stiff seven might prove his ideal trip
Wednesday 16th June
A shocker of a day Tuesday with not a sniff of a winner, they all ran well but none of them could get the job done, though with some of the results I doubt I am alone, 66-1 and 33-1 winners of two of the handicaps surely making it a nice afternoon to be a Bookmaker. If you had one of them well played. Palace Pier won at long odds-on and probably got a few multiples running for people but Battaash would have ruined a few of them! On to day two and hopefully yesterdays loses will be making their way back to me this afternoon. It's another cracking card, and I think should prove a better day for us punters. All the best today are best odds guaranteed bar Love who I of course am on ante-post.
Group Two Queen Mary Stakes Five furlongs
A tricky affair for us punters to get things underway on Wednesday. No great surprise that the Wesley Ward trained filly Twilight Gleaming heads the market. She improved for her debut second taking a 5f Belmont maiden last month making every yard and going clear with ease; it's hard to know what she beat but she beat them easy as you like. I have 9-4. Yet from Ballydoyle and the other American raider Artos head the dangers.
Group Two Queen’s Vase One mile, six furlongs
I have gone back and forth between two here; honestly it almost came down to a flip of a coin which one to back. Kemari goes for Charlie Appleby having been an impressive Maiden winner at Yarmouth over 1m3f last month following a second on his debut over 1m2f. After only two runs and stepping-up in trip he could be anything as they say. Wordsworth is a full brother to St Leger winner and Triple G favourite Kew Gardens and simply has to be shortlisted. Won his maiden at the Curragh in April before just losing out to stablemate in Navan Listed race last time. I have gone with Kemari at 15-2 as he was looking better the further they went at Yarmouth and really did catch the eye.
Group Two Duke of Cambridge Stakes One mile (straight)
Improving Lady Bowthorpe is the one for this her second to Palace Pier in the Lockinge over the mile at Newbury is fair form obviously and she beat Queen Power in the G.2 1m1f Dahlia Stakes before that; Queen Power won the G.2 Middleton Fillies' Stakes after that over 1m2f franking the form. She has won here over a mile before but that was on the round course when she won the G.3 Valiant Fillies' Stakes last year. I think the King Power owned filly is slightly better over the longer trip whereas the eight is just about perfect for the selection. Get on at 9-4.
Group One Prince Of Wales's Stakes One mile, two furlongs
I backed Love ante-post at 2-1 – missed the 9-4 messing about. Aidan O’Brien’s filly has not been seen since winning the Yorkshire Oaks by five lengths in August, following her wins in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Oaks at Epsom. The ground should be fine and she goes well fresh, see 1,000 Guineas, so the layoff does not bother me. Stepping down in trip from her last two runs is of little concern either, in fact this may prove her ideal trip! With Lord North now a non-runner she is odd-on and I am very confident. The only danger on paper is stable mate Armory who surely wants it softer than it is. Audarya won the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Keenland last back end and may have more to offer yet but doesn't quite look the quality of the jolly whilst Sangarius appears to be treading water and has never quite fulfilled his promise.
The Royal Hunt Cup One mile (straight)
Good old fashioned cavalry charge time as they fly down the straight mile. Yesterday those drawn high appeared to have an advantage on the straight course and the likely frontrunners here are all drawn high. Astro King is lightly raced and improving and as such shortlisted. Haqeeqy and Brunch are others improving with fair chances but both might need luck in running with this many lining-up with their running style. Maydanny was seventh in this last year, arguably on the wrong side on that occasion, is likely to be toward the front and is drawn high. A return to a mile and faster ground conditions should suit and the five-year-old is the pick at 20-1 each-way.
Listed Windsor Castle Stakes Five furlongs
There was a fair bit of chatter about Ruthin in the build-up to the meeting the filly having won on debut at Keeneland and Dettori is booked to ride. What I've seen on the video she looked decent and the runner-up won next time. She should have too much raw speed for these and the draw bang in the middle of the field means Dettori can take her where ever he wants. Get on at 9-4 and watch her blast clear. Armor might be the one to follow her home with Dig Two another in with a place chance.
The Kensington Palace Stakes Old mile (round)
Another wide-open affair with a number you could make a case for and the draw could play a factor. The early pace looks spread across the field so it will be interesting to see where they go, near side, middle or far! Ffion would have been considered if the rain had arrived but it aint. Lights On is two from two this season, Dreamloper second to her last time here on the straight strip (1lb better at weights today), and they both have to be on the shortlist. Stunning Beauty beat Lights On by over seven lengths when they were three-year-olds and might have returned to form at the perfect time. She put a disappointing campaign in Meydan behind her returning to winning ways at Doncaster last time The draw might prove a poor one but she will likely be to the fore early and could be well in off a mark of 96; was tried at Group Two level in Dubai. I am on at 9-1.
Tuesday 15th JuneDay one of Royal Ascot is nearly upon us and I am going up nice and early with all the best for day one on overnight. Its the sort of day if you get it right you could nick a nice few quid with some open races and decent prices to be had, you could also easily back seven losers! Lets hope it's a good day.
Group One Queen Anne Stakes Mile (straight)
We are straight into top-notch stuff here and the best miler in Europe, if not the world, is in the line-up in the shape of Palace Pier. Quite simply it is impossible on known form to take the colt on but you don’t want to start a meeting like Royal Ascot backing long odds-on shots. Lope Y Fernandez disappointed in the in Lockinge but the better ground here will suit so is shortlisted whilst Order Of Australia of course won the Breeders’ Cup Mile at a big price and has to enter calculations. Regal Reality is the each-way punt for me though. I think a mile is his game and the ground being on the fast side of good suits. At 18-1 he has a great chance of placing-up.
Group Two Coventry Stakes Six furlongs
Some good young ones here and, despite last year's 150/1 winner Nando Parrado, this is generally a kind race to us punters. Nine favourites or joint-favourites have won in the last fifteen years and the top of the market is very much the place to concentrate as a rule. Ebro River looks to be improving fast and has a chance whilst Gisburn was also considered and some cash has been coming for Dhabab.I have plumped for the Wesley Ward runner though Kaufymaker in the hope the filly can blast clear of the field and hold them off late on. I have the 5-1. Very impressive when winning 6-runner maiden at Keeneland by 6¼ lengths I expect to be doing the betting shop lean late on.
Group One King’s Stand Stakes Five furlongs
I’ve nicked a few quid taking Battaash on in this in recent years but he finally got the monkey off his back winning last year, he is the obvious jolly but I swore off backing him some time ago and won’t be changing my mind. He hasn’t been seen since the winning Nunthorpe Stakes in August but has won off the back of similar lay-offs in the past. I was on Liberty Beach last season who finished third. She warmed up nicely winning the Temple Stakes at Haydock last month. Winter Power was an impressive winner at York last month winning the Listed Westow Stakes on the Knavesmire, tipped on here. As a three-year-old filly she gets a lump of weight for the jolly and there is every chance there is more to come from her yet. As I have said before she improved pretty much with every run last season and she is bred to be all about speed. The one concern is her prominent or front running style may set this up for a closer, but then again she may slip clear and be gone................ Trainer Tim Easterby said recently “She’s in great order, she couldn’t be better. She was impressive at York, and she’s impressive all the time.” I have 5-1 that I took ante-post.
Group One St James’s Palace Stakes Mile (round)
The three-year-old colts take centre stage here and as you would expect some of the Guineas form is on show, no more so than with Poetic Flare. Having won the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, run in the French Guineas were poor result perhaps down to the ground but quickly bounced back with narrow defeat in Irish 2000 Guineas. Battleground needs to bounce back after a disappointing effort in the 2,000 Guineas where it appeared the track didn’t suit the big boy. He did of course win the Chesham at this meeting last year and will be happier on the fast ground. Highland Avenue didn’t run in a Guineas but could prove very decent and should be backed here. The Dubawi colt won his first three starts this year, before losing little in defeat when failing by half a length to give Mosthadaf 3lb in last month’s Listed Heron Stakes at Sandown - they meet again but off levels here. Charlie Appleby was pleased with that run, and feels Highland Avenue has the credentials to put up a good show The Newmarket handler told Sky Sports Racing last week “He finished second at Sandown. He’s come out of the race very well. I was delighted with the run. He had the penalty. I believe when you go to Ascot you have to be battle-hardened, and he’s put that onto his CV now. Sandown was very much a stepping-stone to the St James’s Palace, as long as he ran well. I’m very much looking forward to seeing him on a quicker surface at Ascot.” I am on at 8-1.
The Ascot Stakes Handicap Two miles, four furlongs
Proper test this and a real puzzle. Cape Gentleman is considered but lugging top-weight round this trip is a big ask. M C Muldoon will head the market for Willie Mullins and Ryan Moore and has obvious claims whilst stable mate Rayapour is interesting having been decent in France before moving to Ireland. Untold Story takes a huge step-up in trip but on pedigree should be okay with plenty of stamina on the dam side; half brother to several winners including stayers Winning Story and Gold Star, 100+ rated in their day. It’s a speculative punt at 20-1 each-way but the chestnut colt could be well in off a mark of 95.
Listed Wolferton Stakes One mile, two furlongs
This looks a wide-open affair with several in with chances, Patrick Sarsfield, Solid Stone and Forest Of Dean being just three. Felix was second to Forest Of Dean in the Winter Derby but faces that rival 5lb better off in the weight here. Ran a huge race in the G.1 in the Dubai Turf to finish third and Oisin Murphy rides again here which is seen as a big positive. At 11-2 he is the one for me in what should be a cracker of a race.
The Copper Horse Stakes Handicap One mile, six furlongs
The lucky last on day and it’s a pretty open affair. Global Storm goes particularly well at Newmarket but was third here in the Golden Gates handicap last year over what would now appear an inadequate 1m2f. Won over 1m6f at HQ last month to set up a run here. The chestnut rarely runs a bad race, appears to go on any ground, and may be on a workable mark still being so lightly raced for a four-year-old especially over this trip. I am on Saldier at 11-4; several of my mates on at bigger I should confess but I missed the move earlier this week. A grade 1-winning hurdler a mark here of 103 looks very lenient the seven-year-old being rated as high as 159 0ver the sticks. Moore rides for Mullins which is a partnership you always have to respect (see M C Muldoon earlier on card) and as I say money has been coming. My biggest concern is will the ground be too fast.
11th June 2021:
Group One 1m2f Prince Of Wales's Stakes
I have been dithering a bit but have pressed the button and backed Love for the Prince Of Wales's Stakes at 2-1 – missed the 9-4 messing about. Aidan O’Brien’s filly has not been seen since winning the Yorkshire Oaks by five lengths in August, following her wins in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Oaks at Epsom. The ground should be fine and she goes well fresh, see 1,000 Guineas, so the layoff does not bother me. It's a step-down in trip from her last two runs but as Aidan O'Brien said about her recently 'She’s never run over a mile-and-a-quarter, but everything about her would suggest that it should suit her well.' I have dithered as O’Brien did mention the possibility that Love could run in the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh later this month recently and that has me a little worried with no NRNB concessions. Faint heart never won fair lady though and I am on. The only dangers on paper, and I am not that scared by them, are Lord North and she gets the fillies allowance from him and I would argue she should be rated higher than him anyway and stable mate Armory who surely wants it softer ideally than it’s going to be. All you need is love, all you need is love, all you need is love, love, love is all you need..................
10th June 2021:
I am sitting on my hands somewhat re ante-post punts for Royal Ascot as mentioned before but I have taken the plunge on one today that is beginning to shorten a little.
Group One 5f King’s Stand Stakes
I have taken 5-1 about Winter Power in the King's Stand. I swore off backing Battaash ever again many moons ago and though better last season with his behaviour I still can't have him at short prices. Winter Power was an impressive at York last month winning the Listed Westow Stakes on the Knavesmire, tipped on here, and a a three-year-old filly she gets a lump of weight for the jolly. Trainer Tim Easterby appears very happy with her and I think she is the one to take Battaash on with. She is already 9-2 in places and I think may get smaller yet as the big meeting approaches.
8th June 2021:
Crowds will of course be much smaller a Royal Ascot this year than normal but the good news is as well as the usual coverage on the dedicated channels ITV Racing has announced that every race at Royal Ascot will be broadcast live on its channels next week. The coverage will flip flop between ITV's main channel and ITV4 to accommodate coverage of the European Football Championship. The coverage of Royal Ascot, which runs from Tuesday to Saturday will begin at 1.30pm through to 6.30pm each day. The Opening Show will also be broadcast between 9-10am from Tuesday until Friday before switching to a 9.30-10.30am slot on the Saturday. Settle into your armchair and enjoy.
7th June 2021:
We do not have long to wait now, just over a week until Royal Ascot 2021 gets underway. I am holding off from any further ante-post bets just yet as the long range weather forecast suggests we may see thunder storms by the end of next week which could of course play havoc with the going. Also, we have
seen news of one or two taking up engagements we might not expect, such as Mohaafeth now being likely to contest the Group Three 1m2f Hampton Court Stakes next week rather than as might have been expected the 1m4f Group Two King Edward VII Stakes. With none of the Bookmakers going non-runner-no-bet just yet (come on, get your act together) ante-post punting is still a real minefield for the meeting unless you are sure where your selection is going. My advice right now is keep your powder dry until things become a little clearer as we go through this week.
1st June 2021
Some of the UK’s top charities are in line for a major cash boost after the country’s biggest betting operators agreed to donate all of their profits from a flagship horse race. Prostate Cancer UK, Marie Curie, the three Armed Forces charities and Care Radio will all benefit from the Britannia Stakes, which takes place at Royal Ascot on June 17. Betting and Gaming Council members Flutter (Paddy Power, Betfair, Sky Bet), bet365, Entain (Ladbrokes, Coral), William Hill, Kindred (Unibet), BetVictor, Betway, Rank Group (Grosvenor Sport), the Tote and Fitzdares have all signed up to the fundraising initiative. They will hand over all profits they make from win and each-way bets, after levy and duties are deducted, on the big-field heritage handicap. And if they do not make a profit on the race, the operators have agreed to make a donation to the charities. It follows the success of last year’s Britannia Stakes fundraising drive, when £250,000 was raised for a range of good causes. The BGC hopes the initiative will help punters enjoy a race where, even if they lose, charities are guaranteed to win.
26th May 2021
A crowd of 12,000 will be able to attend each day of Royal Ascot next month following confirmation from the course the five-day fixture has been selected as one of the government's pilot events for June. Tickets will be rarer than hens teeth still bearing in mind that they average over 60,000 each day in a normal year but some at least a crowd of sorts will be present. A statement on the official site reads:
This announcement means that all those who rolled over their 2020 bookings can now be accommodated and an allocation of Royal Enclosure Badges and Queen Anne (General Admission) tickets will go on sale this Friday, 28th May.
24th May 2021
The first of the ante-post punt for Royal Ascot are one, it's in one of the most competitive races on the card but faint heart never won fair lady and all that.
Group One 6f Commonweath Cup
Owned by King Power racing Fivethousandtoone is by Frankel out of Promised Money, a fair sprinter out in Ireland in her career who in turn is by Dark Angel, that top producer of speedsters, out of a sprinter in the shape of Hartstown House so there is plenty of speed on the female side of the breeding. A crack at the Guineas was mooted over the winter but a few niggly problems meant that plan was put on hold. A fair two-year-old campaign saw him get off the mark at the second attempt before finishing second in the 6f G.2 Mill Reef Stakes and seventh, fading late on, in the 7f G.1 Dewhurst Stakes. Andrew Balding sees the delays in his season prep as a blessing in disguise saying in his Kingsclere magazine 'looks made for the G.1 Commonwealth Cup which will be his first major target'. At 16-1 he is the speculative ante-post punt with Campanelle, current ante-post favourite, feared most if she does come for this.
18th May 2021
Good news bad news announcement today. The good news is Royal Ascot will be able to welcome spectators this year, the bad news is it will be only 4,000 on each of the five-days. There is the possibility that come June 15th (first day of the meeting) that up to 10,000 will be able to attend but even then the chances of most of us getting a ticket are limited to say the least. I was resigned to not going this year anyway, already booking tables in various watering holes around East London that will be showing the action, and at least a crowd of sorts will be present which is no bad thing.
Royal Ascot to permanently expand meeting to seven races each day18th January 2021
Royal Ascot will stick with the seven-race cards each day of the five-day meeting after its revised schedule proved popular with bookmakers and connections in 2020. It has been announced on the official website this morning:
Ascot Racecourse today announces that Her Majesty The Queen has graciously consented to approve the extension of Royal Ascot to seven races each day from this year’s Royal Meeting (15th to 19th June).
Royal Ascot 2021 Order of Running:
Tuesday 15th June
The Queen Anne Stakes (Group 1) | 4+ One mile (straight)
The Coventry Stakes (Group 2) | 2 Six furlongs
The King’s Stand Stakes (Group 1) | 3+ Five furlongs
The St James’s Palace Stakes (Group 1) | 3 C Old mile (round)
The Ascot Stakes (Handicap) | 4+ Two miles, four furlongs
The Wolferton Stakes (Listed) | 4+ One mile, two furlongs
The Copper Horse Stakes (Handicap) | 4+ One mile, six furlongs
Wednesday 16th June
The Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2) | 2 F Five furlongs
The Queen’s Vase (Group 2) | 3 One mile, six furlongs
The Duke of Cambridge Stakes (Group 2) | 4+ FM One mile (straight)
The Prince Of Wales's Stakes (Group 1) | 4+ One mile, two furlongs
The Royal Hunt Cup (Heritage Handicap) | 3+ One mile (straight)
The Windsor Castle Stakes (Listed) | 2 Five furlongs
The Kensington Palace Stakes (Handicap) | 4+ FM Old mile (round)
Thursday 17th June
The Norfolk Stakes (Group 2) | 2 Five furlongs
The Hampton Court Stakes (Group 3) | 3 One mile, two furlongs
The Ribblesdale Stakes (Group 2) | 3 F One mile, four furlongs
The Gold Cup (Group 1) | 4+ Two miles, four furlongs
The Britannia Stakes (Heritage Handicap) | 3 CG One mile (straight)
The King George V Stakes (Handicap) | 3 One mile, four furlongs
The Buckingham Palace Stakes (Handicap) | 3+ Seven furlongs
Friday 18th June
The Albany Stakes (Group 3) | 2 F Six furlongs
The King Edward VII Stakes (Group 2) | 3 CG One mile, four furlongs
The Commonwealth Cup (Group 1) | 3 CF Six furlongs
The Coronation Stakes (Group 1) | 3 F Old mile (round)
The Sandringham Stakes (Handicap) | 3 F One mile (straight)
The Duke of Edinburgh Stakes (Handicap) | 3+ One mile, four furlongs
The Palace of Holyroodhouse Stakes (Handicap) | 3 Five furlongs
Saturday 19th June
The Chesham Stakes (Listed) | 2 Seven furlongs
The Jersey Stakes (Group 3) | 3 Seven furlongs
The Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2) | 4+ One mile, four furlongs
The Diamond Jubilee Stakes (Group 1) | 4+ Six furlongs
The Wokingham Stakes (Heritage Handicap) | 3+ Six furlongs
The Golden Gates Stakes (Handicap) | 3 One mile, two furlongs
The Queen Alexandra Stakes (Conditions) | 4+ Two miles, six furlongs