We’ve got another day of competitive racing in store, but I must say I found day four tougher to dig out a bet of any confidence. Value seeking should always be undertaken when punting and that’s what we’ll do today. Sometimes this approach can bite you on the backside, but fingers crossed we get it right today.
3.05 Ascot – King Edward VII Stakes
There is no doubting Battle Of Marengo is the best horse in this year’s King Edward VII Stakes. He’ll take plenty beating, but with his penalty he’ll have to be at the top of his game to fend off a few under-rated animals. The Ballydoyle colt will also have to prove he’s in good form after his decent Derby effort. The two I like against the field are Gatewood and Havana Beat. Both are late maturing sorts so they might still have more to offer especially as they’ll get the quick ground they need today (Hopefully the rain holds off). The pair clashed at Newmarket two runs back where the former came out in top in what is proving to be a half-decent race. Gatewood was beaten a short-head second and Havana Beat was a length-and-three-quarters back in fourth. Gatewood ran like the best horse as he did travel well, but had the benefit of the rail to guide him home while Havana Beat was much wider and in a more slightly unfavourable position. Since then however, both have flopped of sorts and ran below expectation. Gatewood was disappointing in a decent renewal of the Dante, but he wouldn’t be the first to flop at York while Havana Beat had the ground go against him on a track he may not have handled. I’m willing to forgive those runs and at the prices in a wide open event I’ll play both.
1pt win Gatewood @9-1 (Bet Victor)
1pt win Havana Beat @20-1 (general)
3.45 Ascot – Coronation Stakes
This is as competitive a Coronation Stakes as I’ve ever seen with plenty nice fillies of their generation in. English, Irish and French Guineas form will all be tested. Sky Lantern and Just The Judge will renew their rivalry while there is reams and reams of collateral form to take on board. There doesn’t seem to be much pace on meaning Sky Lantern and Just The Judge may struggle with their draws. I’m also of the opinion the latter has had the run on the race in both her recent starts while the former has a chance of upholding their 1000 Guineas run on this stiffer track (no pace is a concern though). With that in mind the ones I have on my radar are Big Break, Rehn’s Nest, Maureen and Snow Queen. The last three mentioned look a touched over-priced to me and if I had to take one it would be the Bolger filly, Rehn’s Nest. The Irish 1000 Guineas runner-up looks over-priced on that run. Drawn very wide she had to come from well off the pace with an interrupted passage. She stayed on strongly at the end and today’s stiff Ascot course should suit her. Her draw isn’t ideal, but given she is near four times the price of Just The Judge, and a draw inside her, I’ll consider it a positive regards beating the favourite. With a plum draw however, Big Break looks the one to beat. A filly that’s always been held in high regard by her trainer she had to miss the English Guineas as she wasn’t ready. She made the Irish Guineas, but there was noise that she’d need the run. If that was the case she ran a cracker from a wide draw with little or no cover early. She covered more ground than the winner, Just The Judge but was still only beaten a length-and-half. The roles are reversed now in terms of the draw and so, she must have a first class chance of turning the form. The two Irish fillies will do for me.
2pts win Big Break @5-1 (general)
1pt win Rehn’s Nest @16-1 (general)
4.25 Ascot – Wolferton Handicap
The day’s last bet will come in the Wolferton Handicap. It’s a competitive race as you might imagine and the Godolphin runner Albasharah will be tough to beat. She fits plenty of the trends for this race and has good recent form and a nice draw, but there is a doubt for me at the prices, the ground. All her form has come on terrain with plenty of cut in it and looking at her recent races she looks a pretty big filly who hits the ground hard. The two I like to take her on with are Ocean War, her stable mate and Mobaco. I can’t help but think Ocean War is close to being the best horse in this race in terms of raw ability. The Godolphin inmate was sent off a 12-1 shot in the 2011 Derby where he reportedly didn’t handle the track. Things obviously haven’t gone according to plan as he hasn’t run since then, 748 days ago. He has a huge task to overcome in this event, but it must be interesting he’s been kept in training under the same owner. His trainer says he’s going nicely so it will be interesting to see how he goes. It’s also worth noting Godolphin have a good record in this race despite not winning it. Mobaco is the other interesting horse here. Now in the care of Luca Cumani, this former French runner made an encouraging start to his British career at Goodwood. He made the running there and was always to be shot at, but looked badly in need of the outing as he dropped away steadily. The winner of that event he takes on again, but this time on nine pounds better terms. He must have a solid chance of turning that form with a run under his belt on better ground and on a stiffer track. The ground may well suit as he looks to have quite a nice action and given his trainer has described him as “a bit of a stayer” the stiff Ascot track will suit. He’s also well drawn in three so hopefully he pings the gates and makes use of that draw. Those two will do for me at the prices.
1pt win Ocean War @20-1 (general)
1pt win Mobaco @20-1 (general)