Royal Ascot 2022
Royal Ascot 2022 Ante-Post Portfolio
Queen Anne Stakes: Master Of The Seas 10-1 each-way
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 2022. 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!
This year at Royal Ascot £8,652,500 of prize-money will be up for grabs and the Royal Ascot Tuesday card, featuring three Group One races, becomes Royal Ascot’s first £2 million day. The gates open at 10.30am on all five days with the Royal Procession due at 2.00pm and the first race each day off at 2.30pm. The first six races can be seen on ITV each day with the seventh race broadcast on ITV4, Sky Sports Racing will also broadcast all 35 races.
19th June 2021
What a great five-days racing at Royal Ascot. It was tough at times with long odds-on shots to big double-figure winners, ranging from 1-6 to 50-1, but I managed to find nine of them meaning I finish the week on a level stakes profit of +5.2 points.
Royal Ascot Saturday
After another afternoon where I managed to find three winners, happy days, I go into day five +7.2 to level stakes; it’s a winning week now, only by pennies at the moment, no matter what happens on Saturday but I want to nick a few quid more yet. Day five at Royal Ascot is a tough one but hopefully I have a winner or more up my sleeve yet, watch out Bookies here we come again.
2:30 Listed 7f Chesham Stakes
Alfred Munnings is short for the opener following his 7f Leopardstown debut last month but with the team from Ballydoyle in form, especially their two-year-olds, the son of Dubawi does look a good thing. I was surprised to see him at 5-4 with Power on Friday evening and took that fully expecting to see the colt odds-on Saturday morning; he is Evens as I write. One World is actually the one I fear most despite appearing to be the Gosden number two, Frankie Dettori confirmed to ride Alzahir.
3:05 Group Three 7f Jersey Stakes
Noble Truth was the first horse on my shortlist for this and he will take his chance off the back of his 7f Listed King Charles II Stakes victory. He has a couple of wins on good-firm to his name so the going will be fine, and with the yard in form and William Buick riding well, the son of Kingman is the pick at 4-1 with Coral. Samburu is three from three and improving with every run so has to be feared.
3:40 Group Two 1m4f Hardwicke Stakes
Dirty Dozen member and firm favourite at Triple G Towers Hurricane Lane was installed as ante-post favourite for this early, annoyingly as with other members of the dozen to follow earlier in the week at odds-on! To tell the truth I at no point over the winter expected the colt to start his four-year-old campaign in this as the G.1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud was muted as an early season target in interviews over the winter. The Arc is surely the aim for the season but this is as good a place as any to start and if anywhere near his best he surely is a good thing. Appleby is reportedly delighted with him after an extended winter break and his recent racecourse gallop. 4-6 was about earlier this week and I took, drifted a bit since which is annoying and I can only assume because of the quicker ground, but I simply can’t see him getting beat. Broome is good but has the best part of half-a-stone to find on OR’s whilst Mostahdaf steps up in trip and could get involved but was no match for Bay Bridge in the G.3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes last time and the winner was found out at the top-table earlier this week.
4:20 Group One 6f Platinum Jubilee Stakes
Sir Henry Cecil believed that 6f at Ascot races more like 6.5f, and he knew a thing or two about the game. I saw a stat in the build-up that only two of the last twenty winners of this had not run over at least 7f at some point, so even though it’s a sprint one that stays is required. It has been one of the hardest races of the week for me as three from the Dirty Dozen list of horses to follow were entered for this, last year's Jersey Stakes winner Creative Force, Sacred and Minzaal; and they all run! Firstly, we have to look at the raider from the land down under in the shape of Home Affairs. He actually beat empathetic G.1 Kings Stand winner Nature Strip in the 5f Black Caviar Lightning at Flemington in February and the fact his trainer, Chris Waller, has decided to throw just the one dart at this and not run Tuesday's winner suggests confidence is very high within the camp. He is too short for me now though. Creative Force had a solid campaign as a three-year-old with his trainer Charlie Appleby giving him time and chances to learn his trade. Six furlongs certainly seems to be the ideal trip for the son of Dubawi and he signed off winning the G.1 Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes in October over track and trip. Disappointing in the G.1 Al Quoz Sprint at the Dubai Carnival he needs to bounce back but Appleby rates him – if I could have two bets in this he would be one of them. Minzaal clearly had his problems following a promising two-year-old season in which he won the G.2 Gimcrack and was third in the G.1 Middle Park Stakes. He only run twice at three following a freak injury sustained in his box, finishing second in a Listed heat at Ascot in October before returning to that track to finish third in the G.1 Champions Sprint Stakes behind Creative Force over C&D on Champions Day. It’s the filly member of the Dirty Dozen for 2022 in the shape of Sacred that I have gone with here though; she will make her seasonal debut as a four-year-old in this. The William Haggas trained filly ran three time as a three-year-old winning the 7f G.3 Nell Gwyn Stakes and the 7f G.2 Hungerford Stakes with a seventh-place finish in the 1,000 Guineas sandwiched in-between. After that win at Newbury, she was put away for the winter rather than a tilt at the Breeders’ Cup Mile and as I said in the Dirty Dozen piece it can pay dividends for connections in 2022. Seven would appear to be her ideal trip but at there are no seven-furlong Group One’s in Europe until the Prix de la Foret in October so she drops to six here. It is a stiff six-furlongs though and I can see her finishing strongly off what is likely to be a strong pace and provided she doesn’t get too far behind early she can get in the mix late. I have 10-1 with Power that she can rope in the Aussie.
5:00 6f Wokingham Stakes (Heritage Handicap)
Tabdeed has been running consistently without winning for a number of months but has duly slowly dropped from a career high rating of 112 to the 102 he gets in here with – has won a G.3 off 104 in the past. Third in the Listed Nifty Fifty Achilles Stakes last time behind Raasel and Dragon Symbol he caught my eye in the entries last week. Of what we know about the draw this week stall 14 of 28 is fine allowing Hollie Doyle to put her mount where she likes early all being well. The chestnut gelding looks a solid each-way bet to me at 14-1 seven places with Power. The various other ones in with chances include Blackrod and Silver Samurai whilst Fivethousandtoone is one I have spoken of before, and tipped, but he surely can’t win here.
5:35 1m2f Golden Gates Stakes (Handicap)
Blue Trail caught my eye early for this in the entries, won at Epsom last time when I tipped him but without Buick still on-board! I won't be on here though as Falling Shadow is also here for the Charlie Appleby yard. I tipped him on three-year-old debut at Newbury over the 1m2f last month when he got his first official win having ‘won’ at Wolverhampton in December as a two-year-old on his second start but was disqualified for a prohibited substance later. Form of that win looks fair and he is likely a Group performer in the making and is the choice of Buick. I have gone with Falling Shadow at 6-1 with Hills but wouldn’t put you off backing the other one each-way. Missed The Cut is the jolly and very much feared.
6:10 2m6f Queen Alexandra Stakes (Conditions)
The lucky last of the five-days and it's the marathon of the week over two-and-three-quarter miles; it is in fact the longest professional flat race in the world. It will surprise no-one that a number of the Jumps trainers often have tilt at this prize with Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott amongst the recent winners. Trueshan is still favourite this morning, but is unlikely to run with ‘firm’ in the going description and has to be doubtful to run. Wordsworth might stay and would be there or thereabouts if he does but I am not convinced he will on what we have seen of him – faded out of contention in the two-mile G.3 Sagaro Stakes here in April for example. Falcon Eight does get a trip and despite perhaps disappointing in this last year, soft going certainly did not help, Dermot Weld's gelding finished a fair fifth in the Chester Cup last month, won it in 2021, and that should have put him spot on for this. We all know the old shrewdie doesn’t send them across the Irish Sea simply for a day out and the seven-year-old is the pick at 5-1.
Royal Ascot Friday
Day three was a fair day with the three winners, you can’t moan at that, and I go into day four, Friday, -0.3 to level stakes – not ideal but I will take it after the results this year ranging between winners priced at 1-6 and 50-1 and several at double figures! Into day four we go and it doesn’t get a whole lot easier but I hopefully have a few winners up my sleeve.
2:30 Group Three 6f Albany Stakes
Mawj was an impressive winner on debut at Newmarket, second won on the All-Weather since, and has to be high on the shortlist whilst Queen Olly looked potentially useful when scoring on debut at York but the yard aint having the best week and she will likely have to settle for minor honours. Mediate is two from two and the No Nay Never filly looked decent winning the G.3 Coolmore Stud Irish Ebf Fillies Sprint Stakes at Naas on her second start. This has been the plan since according to her trainer Aidan O’Brien and the fact he feels “She’s one that will get further in trip as the year goes on” is also seen as a positive over a stiff six here. I have the 4-1 with Power early.
3:05 Group One 6f Commonwealth Cup
Richard Fahey is confident Perfect Power is firing all cylinders ahead of the Commonwealth Cup and said in the build-up “We tried him in the Guineas and I think I was quoted as saying we were just trying to stretch the elastic band too far. I’m more comfortable training him as a sprinter than I was a miler and he’s probably happier what I’m doing with him now,” There has been no question about what to do with El Caballo he is all about sprinting and arrives with six wins in seven starts to his name the only time he was beaten was when second on debut. Won the G.2 Sandy Lane Stakes as his prep for this and has to be on any shortlist. Go Bears Go disappointed in the Sandy Lane Stakes finishing fourth but was perhaps given too much to do from the back of the field there having stumbled leaving the stalls. I tipped him that day and think he is better than the bare form suggests. He did win the G.3 Commonwealth Cup Trial Stakes over track and trip prior to that on good-firm. I am prepared to give him a second chance and have the 9-1.
3:40 1m4f Duke of Edinburgh Stakes (Handicap)
The Queen (gawd bless her) has a runner in the shape of Just Fine who was third in what looks a fair race at York last time that was won by Gaassee who was at the head of the market for this at one time. He found a bit of trouble in running there and with Ryan Moore onboard again is fancied to give Her Majesty a winner at the meeting finally after a few near misses. I have 5-1 with Hills. A few quid has been around for Candleford and that one is feared most.
4:20 Group One 1m Coronation Stakes
With Homeless Song not here the race has lost a little lustre. 1,000 Guineas winner Cachet has to be considered but may again set this up for a closer as she did in France. Pizza Bianca the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf winner last year has cross ed the pond and adds a little international flavour – she is owned by American TV icon and celebrity chef Bobby Flay. She won a Stakes race at Pimlico as her warm-up but looks up against it in this field. I backed Tenebrism for the Guineas and as I said at the time I was hoping they’d send here to the Breeders Cup at the end of her two-year-old campaign. She didn’t appear to stay the mile at HQ and though she could improve for that run I can’t have her here. I noted John Gosden saying in an interview in the build-up that Inspiral was “like a little bud that’s stayed tight, she hasn’t blossomed yet....” She clearly has been behind this year having missed a number of engagements but if she has now blossomed will surely be capable of winning this. Dettori desperately needs a big winner and I have taken a chance she is ready to go at 3-1 with Power and that Frankie hasn't completely lost the plot.
5:00 1m Sandringham Stakes (Handicap)
No major clues on the draw so far make this a little harder still, like it wasn’t hard enough! I tipped Crenelle when beat at Newmarket last month in the Listed Betfair Pretty Polly Stakes over 1m2f. She may be well treated here of a mark of 92 dropping back to a mile but Dettori in the saddle is having a mare of a week (hopefully will have won the previous race) and as I said in the build-up he simply doesn’t win handicaps at Royal Ascot. Heredia is three from three and showed the right attitude making a winning seasonal debut over 7f at York last month, blowing the start and finding trouble in running but still getting up late. A 7lb rise in the ratings shouldn’t prevent her stretching her unbeaten record to four. I am on at 9-2 early with Hills.
5:35 Group Two 1m4f King Edward VII Stakes
Ottoman Fleet has had just two starts having finished second on debut he won a Listed heat at Newmarket on his second start on good-firm Obviously liked by the team at Moulton Paddocks Charlie Appleby said in the build-up stepping up to a mile-and-a-half should suit and Ascot was always the aim. The trainer thinks he will be a nice middle-distance horse for the second half of the season. I have the 15-8 with Hills this morning. Changingoftheguard is the obvious danger but hopefully the selection has plenty of improvement to come yet.
6:10 5f Palace of Holyroodhouse Stakes (Handicap)
A good old-fashioned cavalry charge this one with plenty in with chances. The early pace looks to be drawn high and that is likely to prove important. Wesley Ward and Irad Ortiz Jnr have had a bit of a nightmare trip thus far but Ruthin has to be of interest in handicap company, albeit off top-weight, having looked like winning the Listed Windsor Castle here last year over track and trip before losing out in the final half-a-furlong. She won a Listed race at Keeneland as her prep and might be able slip clear of the field and be hard to peg back. At an each-way price and Hills paying six places, 16-1, she is the tentative pick. Ladies Church, Korker and Latin Lover are all considered.
Royal Ascot Thursday
On to day three and it is Gold Cup day. I am on record as saying if you can find a winner a day at the big meetings like Royal Ascot and then have one or two days where you nick two or three, you’ll being doing alright. Well, I tipped one winner Tuesday and one Wednesday so I am due a multiple winner day fingers crossed. None of the big stables have really shone yet, hopefully today is the day, as I am quite Appleby and O'Brien heavy on Thursday.
2:30 Group Two 5f Norfolk Stakes
A full-brother to the very fast if somewhat untrustworthy Battaash, it is no real surprise that The Antarctic cost 750,000 guineas as a yearling and he arrives on these shores two from two with wins over five-furlongs at Tipperary and Naas to his name so far. Comes for this rather than the Listed Windsor Castle yesterday and I am actually quite confident this one can win this so much so I took 7-2 overnight with Power. Walbank has been backed and is an obvious danger having won last time after losing out to Noble Style on debut.
3:05 1m4f King George V Stakes (Handicap)
There are a few pretty big names on the roll of honour for this race including Hukum and good old Brown Panther. This looks a wide-open renewal with several in with chances. Berkshire Rebel was being spoken of as a potential stayer by the team down at Park House Stables at the start of the season. You can put a line through his run in the G.3 Chester Vase last time and back in handicap company over a fairly testing 1m4f he could get involved at a big price. Secret State is interesting for Charlie Appleby stepping back up in trip having won over 1m2f at Chester and a mile at Nottingham last time. The trainer is on record as saying that drop back to a mile wasn’t ideal but they wanted to get the three runs under his belt and get a handicap mark. The runner-up at Chester has boosted that form winning since and the son of Dubawi is the pick at 5-1 with Coral.
3:40 Group Two 1m4f Ribblesdale Stakes
Emily Upjohn being rumours to perhaps be running through the ante-post market into disarray a bit as unsurprisingly she went odds-on immediately. I didn’t think they would run her and John Gosden announced on Monday that she wouldn’t be here tweeting “We feel Royal Ascot is coming too soon and she will be freshened up for targets at the end of July in either the Irish Oaks or the King George.” I backed Life Of Dreams against her in the G.3 Musidora Stakes and the Godolphin owned filly put in a good-effort on only her second start finishing second there. Connections were apparently a bit disappointed with that so you can expect more hopefully. Dam Endless Time stayed and she should get the trip. I am on at 6-1, again with Coral, for a quick fire Appleby, Buick double. Magical Lagoon was just denied in a Navan listed event on her reappearance and is the danger.
4:15 Group One 2m4f Gold Cup
Stradivarius is back again and will be fancied by many but the eight-year-old just isn’t the force he once was. Trueshan is the one with recent form in the book but won’t want it too quick underhoof and is perhaps vulnerable. Kyprios is the talking horse and if the four-year-old stays the trip he will be a danger to all. He destroyed the field in a G.3 over 1m6f at Leopardstown in May and certainly looks to be the new kid on the block for the Cup races. The trip is an unknown but connections know what it takes to win this and won’t be ‘trying their luck’, the fact the chestnut colt is their one dart suggests they must rate him. He looked a stayer of serious potential in Ireland this spring and is the selection at a skinny 15-8 with Hills.
5:00 1m Britannia Stakes (Heritage Handicap)
It’s the straight mile again and so far this week it appears a high draw is the place to be. Tranquil Night is in 30 and that clearly helps on what we have seen thus far and the gelding is a horse I like. Stablemate King Of Time is the Charlie Appleby number one listening to an interview he gave a few days back, is the choice of Buick, and is perhaps the Group horse in a handicap here. Also drawn high in 29 and with a handicap mark of 93 that looks very workable as they say the son of Kingman who is three from three can remain unbeaten before taking a step-up into Pattern class after this. I have 11-2 with Hills. Saga and Whoputfiftyinyou are definite dangers.
5:35 Group Three 1m2f Hampton Court Stakes
Team Gosden sends their one-time Derby hopeful Reach For The Moon for this and the colt will no doubt be popular with many being owned by the Queen (gawd bless her). Second over a mile in the Heron Stakes at Sandown on his seasonal reappearance, I actually backed him whilst adding the concern was the trip would be too short. As it turned out it was but it was a good effort on seasonal debut and over a more suitable trip here, he can get back to winning ways you would expect but he is odds-on and unbackable. Claymore was second in the Craven Stakes behind Native Trail before running in the French 2,000 Guineas. He never got involved at Longchamp but had the worse of the draw and that run can easily be forgiven. I have backed him each-way here at 15-2 as the one most likely to follow home the jolly and pick up the pieces if Reach For The Moon doesn't win.
6:10 7f The Buckingham Palace Stakes (Handicap)
The draw will naturally be a talking point for this and a look back at the results thus far is never a bad idea; especially the Royal Hunt Cup and the Britannia earlier in the day. Silent Film is one I have talked of and backed before and he arrives with a victory at Meydan and Sakhir to his name already this year and as Charlie Appleby said recently, he is on an upward curve. Quite lightly raced for a four-year-old the gelding should have more to give yet drawn in 30 from what we know so far as I write that’s no bad thing and I think he is Group class, or at least will be after this. I have 8-1 with Coral. Montassib, Tactical and Chiefofchiefs of are just a few from the shortlist.
Royal Ascot Wednesday
Day two dawns and we have plenty of decent action to look forward to including a couple of sprints that will be very, very fast. A disappointing day one for me with just the one winner and a couple of bad luck stories, it's early in the week though and I have plenty of fancies for day two.
2:30 Group Two 5f Queen Mary Stakes
My first ante-post bet of the meeting was the Wesley Ward trained American raider Love Reigns at 3-1 for this. I was very impressed by her debut victory at Keeneland where she won with ease over 5½f winning by an impressive 9¾ lengths that could have been further, she certainly looked very, very fast. Talking last week Ward said of the filly “She had about the best debut race I’ve ever had here at Keeneland – she won by almost 10 lengths and just scampered away from them. The guy that gives the figures here really didn’t want to give her a figure because he was sort of unsure thinking ‘how could she run that fast? She has had three or four pieces of work since then and all of them have been nice and steady and beautiful breezes. Every horse that kind of engaged her, she just exploded away from them. She’s coming over the Queen Mary and we’re really excited about her.”
3:05 Group Two 1m6f Queen’s Vase
Nahanni never really got into the Derby being slowly away and getting no run when Kirby tried to make a move on him about two out. He did stay on though into seventh and the way he did suggests the extra two furlongs here could suit. He has taken the race well according to connections and Appleby thinks the step-up in trip will suit. At 9-2 he is the pick. Perfect Alibi can get in the shake-up for the Queen (gawd bless her), whilst with a record of two from two Eldar Eldarov is unexposed and could be anything especially stepping up significantly in trip and has been backed steadily over the last few days.
3:40 Group One 1m2f Prince of Wales's Stakes
Bay Bridge has been brought along at a steady pace by Sir Michael Stoute and won on his seasonal bow as a four-year-old in the G.3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown. The colt tries his luck in a Group One for the first time here and looks a classic late maturing type his trainer is famous for doing so well with. G.1 Japanese Derby and G.1 Sheema Classic winner Shahyrar is over from Japan and has the form in the book with those two victories. It comes down to whether you think Bay Bridge has more to offer yet or whether Shahyar is the class act in the field and his experience at the top-table already will pay dividends. Trainer Hideaki Fujiwara seems confident saying recently “I believe the Prince of Wales’s Stakes is the ideal spot for the horse.” Even John Gosden is on record as saying he fears the Japanese raiders these days and I think they can gain their first Royal Ascot victory here. I have the 7-2 this morning with Hills.
4:20 Group Two 1m Duke of Cambridge Stakes
We are on the straight mile for this and it looks a competitive renewal. Mother Earth dances every dance is seems and this will be her twenty-first career start, she is a very tough and admirably consistent filly. Saffron Beach was fourth in the G.1 1m1f Dubai Turf at the Carnival in Meydan back in March having signed-off her three-year-old campaign winning the mile G.1 Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes, Mother Earth second, a reversing of the places from the 1000 Guineas earlier in the season. It should come down to these two again and with Mother Earth getting 5lb off her rival in this my preference is, just, for her at 100-30 with Hills.
5:00 1m Royal Hunt Cup (Heritage Handicap)
The draw will naturally be a talking point for this, the problem is this early in the meeting there aren’t many results to look back over for any major draw bias clues for the big-field handicaps. My advice is do take note of where the runners went on any of the races so far up the straight course and if the jockeys appear to be favouring the near or far side rails. With Noble Dynasty not here who was reportedly being aimed at this one from the shortlist has been crossed off. Several of the likely frontrunners are drawn high and I have decided to go that side. Symbolize has gone well up the straight course here more than once in these type of races and put in two very good efforts in big-field handicaps here last back end. Blew the cobwebs away when second at Thirsk in April as his prep for this and with the yard's excellent 5lb claimer Harry Davies in the saddle a big run is expected. I have the 17-2 early with Hills each-way, six-places. Legend Of Dubai, Dark Shift, Magical Morning and Totally Charming are among a number in with chances for the cavalry charge.
5:35 Listed 5f Windsor Castle Stakes
This has been a bit of a Bookies Benevolent Fund in recent years with plenty of big price winners including Flashmans Papers at 100/1 in 2008; last year's winner Chipotle went off at 22’s. Aidan O’Brien hasn’t gone for this prize often but he won it in 2015 and 2019 so when he does saddle one you should take note and he has one this year. Little Big Bear was in the Coventry and this but comes for the shorter race. By No Nay Never he should have plenty of speed and having been beaten on debut over six at the curragh, losing out by a short-head, he went to Naas and won very well over five showing the opposition a clean pair of heels in the final furlong. Aidan O’Brien said recently “We were a bit disappointed to see him beaten the first day, but we were delighted with his performance at Naas on his second start. We’ve always really liked him and his form looks strong. He isn’t short of pace and five furlongs is fine for him.” I took 2-1 with Coral this morning.
6:10 1m Kensington Palace Stakes (Handicap)
They use the round course for this and though the draw isn’t perhaps as important you certainly don’t want to get too far back in the field or stuck out wide throughout. I tipped White Moonlight at Chelmsford City at the start of the month when she was third in her first start in nearly three years. As I mentioned then the filly was actually one of my Dirty Dozen in 2020 but hasn’t been seen since her two-year-old campaign of 2019! I find it interesting that Godolphin have kept her in training for three years without a run and I really expected her to go on and be Group class back in 2020. That run will have blown away the cobwebs and she is a speculative bet for this at ?-1 as she could prove a lot better than her handicap debut mark of 92 in time. Power were 15-2 early and I have that.
Royal Ascot Tuesday
It is one of the best weeks of the year, possibly the best, it is Royal Ascot week. As they say, Royal Ascot, like nowhere else and I say that as a man who has lost money at the meeting the last three years, the last two were nightmares for most punters mind you. Fingers crossed we won’t have any late inspections to pass this year as we did in 2021 with day-four nearly lost following torrential downpours and the formbook thrown out the window with extreme going conditions. We start the week on good to firm-good in places going.
Five-days and thirty-five races in total, here we go.............
2:30 Group One 1m Queen Anne Stakes
We are straight into top-class action with the older milers in a race that has been won by some big names down the years. Master Of The Seas was my ante-post each-way bet for this but he won’t be here so I’ve done my money already! Sadly, the field has also come down to just seven runners meaning only two-places for each-way punters. It’s a sorry state of affairs but it’s a no bet race for me to start the meeting. Dirty Dozen member Baaeed has been odds-on for this since the Bookies chalked-up and the four-year-old colt arrives with a perfect seven-race unbeaten career record in place and about half-a-stone in hand on his rivals according to official ratings. He is as close to a certainty as you will get but is unbackable at long odds-on so it is a case of which horses might chase him home. Real World was closest to the favourite in the G.1 Lockinge Stakes and will surely be one of those fighting for place money again; His trainer Saeed bin Suroor knows what it takes to win this as the leading trainer for the race with seven wins to his name. Those are the two for the forecast if you fancy one.
3:05 Group Two 6f Coventry Stakes
With Aidan O’Brien having the likes of Blackbeard, Little Big Bear and Age Of Kings to choose from I held off from any ante-post bets in this as you simply couldn’t be sure what the master of Ballydoyle would send where with the five-furlong Norfolk Stakes on Thursday to consider. Blackbeard and Age Of Kings are the two left in with the former looking the stable number one. As Noble Style doesn’t run, who was another on my shortlist, it does like O’Brien can saddle his tenth winner of the race. Blackbeard has looked pretty good thus far and won the 6f G.3 Marble Hill Stakes last time in impressive fashion. A son of No Nay Never out of Muirin, Urban Sea is the big name on the dam side of the pedigree being the dam of Born To Sea this one's Grandsire (and of course Sea The stars and Galileo) suggesting he should get further in time. I have a bit of the 3-1 with Hills early.
3:40 Group One 5f King’s Stand Stakes
Aussie raider Nature Strip will be fancied by many, he has been backed into favouritism, but most of his best form is over six and on softer going, in fact his last win was on heavy. One thing you can be sure of is with Golden Pal and Nature Strip in the line-up they will not be hanging about – blink and you miss this! Golden Pal has been topping of the shortlist for this for a while for me. Having won the G.1 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint last back end the four-year-old made a winning reappearance in the G.2 Shakertwon Stakes at Keeneland in April as a warm-up for a trip over here and it appears his trainer Wesley Ward couldn’t be happier saying before his raiding party left for the UK “I’m so excited for this horse I can’t even tell you. He’s the best I’ve ever brought to Ascot in all these years, and I’ve brought some good ones, but this guy is the fastest of the fast. He’s really matured from last year to this year mentally and physically he’s gotten bigger and stronger, as any horse would from three to four, but he’s just a pure athlete and this is his year.” I have the 7-2 with Hills early.
King's Lynn and Man Of Promise should chase them home.
4:20 Group One 1m St James’s Palace Stakes
Run on the Old Mile which starts on a spur and joins the round course at Swinley Bottom, it rises steadily from the stalls before the horses swing in to the home straight and the two-and-a-half-furlong run-in, Dirty Dozen member and 2,000 Guineas winner Coroebus heads the market but like fellow Dirty Dozen Member Baaeed earlier on the card is odds-on! “There’s no getting away from him, he’s the horse that everyone is excited to see on the first day,” Charlie Appleby told the Godolphin website “We are happy with his draw in stall two and he heads to Ascot in good form.” This has always been the plan and he is the obvious one to beat. I hate tipping odds-on but that is what he is and I have 4-5 with Hills this morning. My Prospero takes a big step-up in class but is very much the one improving and might be the one to chase the selection home.
5:00 2m4f Ascot Stakes (Handicap)
This is a real test of stamina and the Jumps trainers often throw a dart or two at this and anything Willie Mullins sends across the Irish Sea is always worth a look at whilst dual-purpose trainer Ian Williams has saddled two of the last three winners. Pied Piper caught my eye in the entries having been my bet for the G.1 Triumph Hurdle back in March at Cheltenham. Rated 145 over the sticks his flat rating is 96 so in theory he is well-in for this. I also noted Jamie Spencer booked early for the ride, Mr Marmite of the weighing room he aint everybody’s cup of tea but when Gordon Elliott sends one on a raid and secures one of the top Flat jockeys to ride you have to take notice. Tongue tie goes on and I have taken a bit of the 7-1 with Power. Bring On The Night has to be considered as does Coltrane.
5:35 Listed 1m2f Wolferton Stakes
Originally a handicap when introduced to the meeting in 2002 in 2018 the race became a Listed heat. I had a very long short list for this from the entries and it is quite a tricky race for us punters. There were a number entered that I was pretty sure wouldn’t be here but you can never be certain so I waited to bet and it has to be remembered a wide draw over this trip here doesn’t help. Star Safari and Foxes Tail are both drawn high and though shortlisted that has made their jobs that bit harder. The draw hasn’t been overly kind to Arista either but she gets weight off the entire field and was second in a fillies and mares G.2 at York last time. She has been in with some decent ones in her career and I think is overpriced at 20-1 and worth an each-way punt in this, I am on with Coral.
6:10 1m6f Copper Horse Stakes (Handicap)
Having first been run in 2020 this is a handicap in which there are basically no trends to help us punters try and find the winner and with an entries list as long as your arm it was never one I was going to bet on ante-post. Cleveland was on my mind as an each-way punt for the G.1 Gold Cup but he will run in this. I noted Aidan O’Brien saying in an interview “We weren’t sure about him getting the trip going to Chester and he travelled well around there, so I don’t think he’ll have any trouble coming back down in trip at Royal Ascot.” He is short enough at 2-1 but I have that with Hills as I think he has to be backed as I am convinced he is the Group horse in a handicap here.
8th June 2022
The first losing bet of Royal Ascot is confirmed six-days before the meeting even begins with Master Of The Seas ruled out of the Queen Anne Stakes! Charlie Appleby said via Godolphin’s Twitter account: “Master Of The Seas will now bypass the G1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal @Ascot after disappointing in his last piece of work.”
6th June 2022
The weather forecast for this week is pretty unsettled, raining here at Triple G Towers as I write, with low pressure threatening wind and rain as the week progresses. With that in mind it might pay to hold off on some of the ante-post bets for now, especially if you fancy one that requires an extreme of going conditions. Next week for Royal Ascot the weather looks likely to be pretty settled at the moment but with a few big thunderstorms forecast to be around later this week if your fancy has a preference for soft or firm ground I would certainly advise waiting before punting for now; who knows what the weather my bring come Tuesday 14th June. French raider Sealiway for example will want to get his toe-in if he runs in the Princes Of Wales’s Stakes on the Wednesday whilst Japanese hope Shahryar will want to hear his hooves rattle on firm ground. Golden Pal is another, high on my shortlist for the Kings Stand Stakes, the American speedball won't want it wet!
I have taken a chance on one more ante-post bet today and that is Master Of The Seas at 10-1 each-way for the opener the Group One Queen Anne Stakes. Baaeed has been odds-on for this since the Bookies chalked-up and in theory only has to show-up to win. That said I can't back him at 1-3 and the Godolphin owned four-year-old looks the most likely to chase him home, and nick this if the jolly has an off day. I noted Charlie Appleby saying in an interview recently “If you asked me what race I would like to work back from it would be the Queen Anne as he stays nine-furlongs and that’s a stiff mile there. We all know Ascot is an important part of our calendar and in our team he’s a big player.” I agree that the stiff mile should suit perfectly and as long as it doesn't come up too soft, as it did for him on Champions Days last year in the G.1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes over track and trip, he looks a solid each-way investment to me for the opening race of the Royal meeting.
The following may seem somewhat obvious but merits stating anyway - Frankie Dettori loves Ascot. He of course famously rode the “Magnificent Seven” here back in 1996 and statistically he tops the list of jockeys at the track for number of winners and percentage strike-rate. He also loves the big occasion, as I have stated more than once on this website, and there is arguably no bigger occasion in the Flat racing game than Royal Ascot. He has a very good record at the Royal Meeting and the jockey that loves being in the spotlight more than any other simply has to be considered in any Pattern races during the five-days of the meeting. He has ridden twenty winners in Pattern class races at the Royal Meeting in the last four years, 2018-2021, whilst during the same time frame not one of his rides in handicaps have triumphed; I am not saying he doesn’t try in the handicaps (heaven forbid) but he brings his A-game for the big prizes, simple as that. Any horse he is on is always a point or two shorter than perhaps it should be in the market simply because of the ‘Frankie factor' but you ignore him in the Pattern class races at your peril.
I have followed Wesley Ward and his American raiders on a number of occasions at Royal Ascot, his Love Reigns is my first ante-post bet this year, and he has a small but select raiding party crossing the Channel in the next couple of days. He usually houses his horses in Newmarket for Royal Ascot but this year they will be based at Chelmsford racecourse. Talking this week he said “They ship out Wednesday at 4.30am, so they should arrive late on Wednesday night if they don’t hit any traffic. I figured that after a long flight they can jump right off and straight into bed as Stansted to Chelmsford is only a few miles away, whereas Newmarket means a little longer on the lorry. They’ll have an easy day on Thursday and Friday, Saturday, Sunday they’ll have a couple of gallops there at Chelmsford and then we can move into Ascot in good shape.” He has twelve previous Royal Ascot victories to has name and his runners this year looking to add to that tally will be Golden Pal (King’s Stand Stakes), Campanelle (Platinum Jubilee), Love Reigns (Queen Mary), Seismic Spirit (Windsor Castle) and Ruthin (Palace of Holyroodhouse Stakes).
31st May 2022
My first ante-post punt for Royal Ascot has been placed, it is a bit speculative as you can’t even be sure the filly will run in the race at the moment but I have taken a chance. Wesley Ward's Love Reigns looks very, very fast! She won with ease over 5½f at Keeneland on Debut 29th April winning by an impressive 9¾ lengths that could have been further. By US Navy Flag, who was of course champion two-year-old, and won the G.1 6f July Cup at three she is out of Humble And Proud an unraced mare whose sire was the high-class sprinter Pivotal. She has three winning half-siblings that all won at sprint distances in their careers, including Glorious Empire who was a multiple winner in the States. The Group Two Queen Mary Stakes on the Wednesday over five-furlongs looks tailor made for her and I have backed her to win that at the 3-1 that is available today.
Royal Ascot 2022 Order of Running:
2:30 The Queen Anne Stakes (Group 1) 4+ £600,000 One mile
3:05 The Coventry Stakes (Group 2) 2 £150,000 Six furlongs
3:40 The King’s Stand Stakes (Group 1) 3+ £500,000 Five furlongs
4:20 The St James’s Palace Stakes (Group 1) 3 Colts £500,000 Old mile
5:00 The Ascot Stakes (Handicap) (Class 2) (0-100) 4+ £100,000 Two miles, four furlongs
5:35 The Wolferton Stakes (Listed) 4+ £110,000 One mile, two furlongs
6:10 The Copper Horse Stakes (Handicap) (Class 2) (0-105) 4+ £100,00One Mile, Six FurlongsWednesday
2:30 The Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2) 2 Fillies £115,000 Five Furlongs
3:05 The Queen’s Vase (Group 2) 3 £262,500 One mile, six furlongs
3:40 The Prince of Wales's Stakes (Group 1) 4+ £1,000,000 One mile, two furlongs
4:20 The Duke of Cambridge Stakes (Group 2) 4+ fillies & mares £175,000 One mile
5:00 The Royal Hunt Cup (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) (Open) 3+£175,000 One mile
5:35 The Windsor Castle Stakes (Listed) 2 £100,000 Five furlongs
6:10 The Kensington Palace Stakes (Handicap) (Class 2) (0-105) 4 fillies & mares £100,000 Old MileThursday
2:30 The Norfolk Stakes (Group 2) 2 £110,000 Five furlongs
3:05 The King George V Stakes (Handicap) (Class 2) (0-105) 3 £100,000 One mile, four furlongs
3:40 The Ribblesdale Stakes (Group 2) 3 fillies £200,000 One mile, four furlongs
4:15 The Gold Cup (Group 1) 4+ £500,000 Two miles, four furlongs
5:00 The Britannia Stakes (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) (0-105) 3 colts & geldings £120,000 One mile
5:35 The Hampton Court Stakes (Group 3) 3 £100,000 One mile, two furlongs
6:10 The Buckingham Palace Stakes (Handicap) (Class 2) (0-105) 3+ £100,000 Seven furlongsFriday
2:30 The Albany Stakes (Group 3) 2 fillies £100,000 Six furlongs
3:05 The Commonwealth Cup (Group 1) 3 colts & fillies £500,000 Six furlongs
3:40 The Duke of Edinburgh Stakes (Handicap) (Class 2) (0-105) 3+ £100,000 One mile, four furlongs
4:20 The Coronation Stakes (Group 1) 3 fillies £500,000 Old Mile
5:00 The Sandringham Stakes (Handicap) (Class 2) (0-105) 3 fillies £100,000 One mile
5:35 The King Edward VII Stakes (Group 2) 3 colts & geldings £225,000 One mile, four furlongs
6:10 The Palace of Holyroodhouse Stakes (Handicap) (Class 2) (0-105) 3 £100,000 Five furlongsSaturday
2:30 The Chesham Stakes (Listed) 2 £100,000 Seven furlongs
3:05 The Jersey Stakes (Group 3) 3 £110,000 Seven furlong3:40 The Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2) 4+ £225,000 One mile, four furlongs
4:20 The Platinum Jubilee Stakes (Group 1) 4+ £1,000,000 Six furlongs
5:00 The Wokingham Stakes (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) (0-110) 3+ £175,000 Six furlongs
5:35 The Golden Gates Stakes (Handicap) (Class 2) (0-105) 3 £100,000 One mile, two furlongs
6:10 The Queen Alexandra Stakes (Conditions) (Class 2) 4+ £100,000 Two miles, six furlongsAscot Racecourse has announced order of running changes to the Royal Ascot programme for 2022, relating to the day three (Thursday) and day four (Friday) cards. The changes follow discussions with the Horserace Betting Levy Board and media rights partners and are as follows:
Thursday (16th June in 2022) The Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes moves from race two to race six, with the King George V Stakes moving to race two in a straight swap.
Friday (17th June in 2022) The Group 1 Commonwealth Cup moves to race two, the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes moves to race three and the King Edward VII Stakes will be run as race six.
Nick Smith, Director of Racing and Public Affairs at Ascot Racecourse, said: “These changes provide a more balanced programme with the conclusion of Thursday and Friday more varied, where there were three handicaps in place last year. Placing a likely large, competitive field race second on the card every day, in the 3.05pm slot, is expected to increase betting turnover based on Levy Board data.”