Early Bird – 22nd June

Friday

2:30 Albany Stakes

There has been four winning favourites in the last 15 years though the race tends to throw up a shock with three of the last four winning at a double figure price and even a 50/1 winner in 2007. Key trends are to have have had 1 or 2 races which accounts for the last 15 winners along with born in Feb or March which is 14 from 15 as well as finished in the first three last time out. Finally to narrow it further the last 12 winners were all drawn in a double figure stall. Worryingly this all bodes well for the favourite Just Wonderful who qualifies under all scores. However, the trends also account for La Pelosa, Octave, Byron Bay and Pretty Pollyanna. Ruling out Pretty Pollyanna as it was unfancied on debut at 14/1, surely if they were to be in with a chance of winning a group race at Ascot it would have shown more at home. Byron Bay is particularly interesting as a French horse who will be difficult to assess. But, the 4th and 5th who both had experience have come out and won since, it gets a very favourable RPR for debut run and on good ground so should have no problem with faster. Octave was beaten last time out but that was no disgrace behind Calyx who was mightily impressive when winning earlier in the week. Would still need to improve on that performance though. Finally we have La Pelosa for Appleby and Godolphin. Comfortably won a Kempton maiden on debut though mixed messages about the form as the runner up won a poor race next time but the third was comfortably beat. However, is their only runner in the race so sure to be ready.

Conclusion

I definitely think Byron Bay is worth chancing at an e/w price but with the favourite fitting the trends well I wouldn’t want to be investing any further money in the race.

1pt e/w Byron Bay @ 28/1 Bet365 1/4 odds 3 places

3:05 King Edward VII

A race that does tend to go to those towards the head of the betting, though not always the favourites having only took 1 of the last 11 renewals whereas those priced 9/1 or less are 14/15. All 15 had at least 2 runs that season which would only rule out Wells Farhh Go from those at single figures. 10 of the last 12 winners come from stalls 4 to 8 inclusive meaning you don’t want to be too near the rail and get boxed it but also don’t want to be wide and taking a longer route. So, taking all that into consideration and we have just two… both O’Brien horses which I have been getting wrong all week! Will take a chance on the favourite though Delano Roosevelt who wasn’t disgraced in what could out to be a useful Derby. It is the one that the early money has been for whilst the other Rostropovich is particularly weak in the market.

Conclusion

Derby form looks strong this year and can be boosted by the performance of Delano Roosevelt who will find this much easier. The selection of Ryan Moore and been well backed in the betting in recent days.

1.5pt win Delano Roosevelt @ 3/1 widely available

3:40 Commonwealth Cup

A race I have had good luck in so far though few trends to work with considering its relatively new place in the programme. Bit annoyed actually as Sioux Nation was available at a much bigger price early in the week and have fancied it for some time for this race. Has a tremendous record of 2111 when racing on good to firm ground and O’Brien won this last year with Caravaggio. No penalty for its group 1 win, it clearly sets the standard here. At a bigger price then I think Heartache has to be worth an e/w punt. Easily won the Queen Mary here last year beating an American hotpot in doing so. Things didn’t go its way in France but return to the UK to win the Group 2 Flying Childers putting another hot pot sprinter in Havana Grey in its place. Flopped on its return this year but may well of needed the run with this race surely the target. The meeting has been a touch quiet for the yard but this could soon turn things to life.

Conclusion

Sioux Nation is still a backable price and when getting best odds even if it drifts you get paid at the bigger price. Heartache didn’t show much on its return this season but as a Royal ascot winner already then connections were sure to have this race in mind and so hopefully it has been primed for a big run.

1.5pt win Sioux Nation @ 4/1 widely available

0.75pt e/w Heartache @ 18/1 Skybet 1/5th odds 5 places

4:20 Coronation Stakes

The last 16 winners had all won over 7f or further, whilst only one of the last 16 had returned at a price bigger than 8/1 so once more it is the head of the betting we look. With 13 of the 16 having had one of two runs that season it rules out Veracious who is making its seasonal debut. With all three Guineas winners taking part then the trend on 12 of the last 16 having won a group 1 or 2 already is pretty irrelevant along with the distance winners. 10 of the last 12 came from stalls 5 or higher suggesting the draw is significant again and would rule out two in Clemmie and Teppal. That leaves Alpha Centauri and Billesdon Brook the 66/1 winner of the English Guineas. Mixed trends here as 8/16 winners had come from the English Guineas whilst 8/16 also had Ascot experience. Significant as Alpha Centauri was particularly unlucky here last year when finishing second from stall 1, the only horse in the first 6 to be drawn in a single figure. Its record on good or faster is 1121 that defeat by a neck in the race just mentioned. I see now reason to oppose it here.

Conclusion

Unlucky at Ascot last year this looks a good opportunity in a very competitive race for Alpha Centauri to win again. Has a fine record in conditions and is also officially the highest rated horse in the race.

2pt win Alpha Centauri @ 7/2 widely available

5:00 Sandringham Handicap

Last year was the first time we had a winner from the last 10 years that was priced bigger than 11/1 so despite being a big field handicap the betting is still telling. There may well be something well backed that ends up fitting in that bracket also. One that could be is Betty F who has already seen support. Ridden by Frankie who has won this race 7 times in the past it is clearly a significant jockey booking. Yard had a recent winner and this filly looks well suited to a step up in trip to 1m. Clearly well regarded it can go well. The only horse who looks likely to fit in the trends and should make it below the price usually seen is Di Fede. Has plenty of experience and should be well suited to a strongly run race. With the pair drawn on opposite sides as well they can both be backed.

Conclusion

Trying to fit horses to a starting SP is a difficult job as you never know what may be backed through the day and late on. However, you can at least get a rough idea from certain factors. Either way strength in the betting ring is clearly a factor when it comes to winning this race. Both Betty F and Di Fede have seen a move in the market and with one ridden by Frankie Dettori it could be further backed by blind supporters also. Getting on early may be the best bet.

0.75pt e/w Di Fede @ 16/1 Bet365 1/4 odds 5 places

0.75pt e/w Betty F @ 20/1 Betway 1/5th odds 5 places

5:35 Duke Of Edinburgh

Unsurprisingly this race is dominated in the betting by lightly raced and in form 4 and 5yos which 11 of the last 15 winners were. With 11 of the last 12 also drawn in double figure stall it at least gives us a chance to eliminate a couple of runners. Thundering Blue and Manjaam are coming from the widest two stalls so would do well to get across and take a decent position in the race considering the number of runners. Dash Of Spice is favourite on the back of a convincing win at Epsom. Has gone up 11lb for that though and I would be concerned whether it can transfer its form to a completely different track having had a fine record at Epsom before its latest win. Therefore at a price I would chance Crowned Eagle. Ex Gosden horse who was thought good enough to run in the Derby, it finally seems to be finding its feet. I like the way it has knuckled down and battled all the way to the line the last twice, winning then narrowly beaten by Hamada who just missed out at the weights for this race. Drawn in stall 11 it can take a good pitch and hopefully kick on late to the finish.

Conclusion

Wide open handicap as you can imagine but hopefully we will see a big run from Crowned Eagle for Marco Botti. Yard has been in decent form and have already had a winner at the meeting this year. Hopefully its strong resolution will see it in good stead in this race.

0.75pt e/w Crowned Eagle @ 18/1 Skybet 1/5th odds 5 places