Royal Ascot 2018 – Day Two

Royal Ascot – Day Two – 20th June 2018:
 
2.30 – Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2) (Fillies) (Class 1) (2yo) – 5 furlongs
 
Key Trends:
 
15 of the last 16 winners had between one and three previous runs that season.
15 of the last 16 winners finished first or second last time out.
14 of the last 16 winners had previously won over five furlongs.
14 of the last 16 winners were won by a horse born between January and March.
13 of the last 16 winners had won their previous race.
Favourites have won 7 of the last 16 renewals.
5 of the last 16 winners returned at a double figure price.
Wesley Ward has trained the winner of two of the last three renewals.
Successful Trainers include Wesley Ward, Richatd Hannon and Mick Channon.
The average price of the winner over the past 16 years is 17/2.
 
Race analysis:
 
Juvenile races, even at this level, can be a bit of a crap shoot with each runner open to differing amounts of improvement for any manner of reasons. Wesley Ward has introduced two Fillies in the past three seasons that have turned this race into a procession. He is represented this season by Chelsea Cloisters who was an easy eight length winner on her sole outing to date at Keeneland. She is related to some useful winners and could be anything. There are plenty of positives emanating from her connections and she could be potentially the next superstar off the WW conveyer belt. Shades Of Blue represents last season’s winning yard and she showed a useful level of form on debut over C/D last month. She beat a subsequent dual winner and Come On Leicester, who improved to win next time out and re-opposes here. She showed a smart turn of foot that day and could be well drawn next to the stands side rail. On a line through Satisfying, if Shades Of Blue is of interest then Kurious must be. She was an impressive winner of a Sandown Novice race 13 days ago, showing a good attitude in the process, and her owners were responsible for last season’s winner. She is currently trading at around four times the price of Shades Of Blue, which is hard to fathom. Another anomaly in the current market is the price comparison between Servalan and So Perfect. Representing Jessie Harrington, Servalan improved on her second start when winning a Naas Listed race over six furlongs and in the process beat So Perfect (Aiden O’Brien) by three lengths. She was only beaten narrowly on her debut over today’s trip and she could be well suited by a fast run five furlongs on a stiff track. Having saddled a winner at this meeting last season, Matthieu Palussiere sends over Forever In Dreams. She is two from two, having won over both five and six furlongs. Her latest form has been franked but both her starts were on ground softer than good and she faces much faster conditions here. At a big price Little Kim has to be respected given the yard can do little wrong at present. She ran out an impressive winner on debut at Carlisle and, while that form will need improving on significantly, that’s quite possible given the manner of victory. The Trainer has a 16% strike rate with his Juveniles in Group company in recent seasons.
 
Selection:
 
Servalan – 1.25 pts e/w @ 10/1. (Bet365 – 1/4 odds first 4)
 
 
3.05 – Queen’s Vase (Group 2) (Class 1) (3yo) – 1m6f (1m6f34y)
 
Key Trends:
 
This race was upgraded to Group Two status and decreased in trip down to 14 furlongs for the first time last season. That may lead to some established trends changing over the forthcoming seasons.
 
13 of the last 15 winners had never run at Ascot before.
11 of the last 15 winners had at least two previous victories.
11 of the last 15 winners had been placed last time out.
10 of the last 15 winners had previously won over at least 12 furlongs.
Favourites have won 6 of the last 15 renewals.
Of the last 15 winners Mark Johnston and Aiden O’Brien have been responsible for five winners each.
Sir Michael Stoute has won this race four times.
11 of the last 12 winners have come from a single figured stall.
5 of the last 12 winners have come from stalls 7 or 8. 
The average winning SP over the past 15 years has been 11/2.
 
With the race distance dropped to 14 furlongs the draw has a more important part to play now there is a much shorter run to the first bend. In the inaugral running of the race last season five of the first six placed were filled by horses drawn in single figures. 
 
Race analysis:
 
Aiden O’Brien has won four of the last eight renewals of this race and his representatives fill three of the four places in the early market. Kew Gardens is the choice of Ryan Moore and was the winner of a Listed race on his final start as a Juvenile. He was a beaten favorite in two Listed races in his first starts as a three year old and dropped right away after cutting out the early running in the Derby. He is better than that and he suggested at Lingfield on his penultimate outing that this longer trip could unlock further improvement. However he is related to several who have been successful over shorter and he may find some of these staying better than he does. Southern France is the lowest rated but least exposed of the O’Brien trio. He has already won over both 12 and 13 furlongs from three career starts and it’s likely he will be rated above 95 in time. He has already shown his versatility toward ground conditions but he will need to find plenty of immediate improvement if his stablemates run to form. Nelson is the highest rated horse in the race and he beat stablemate Kew Gardens comfortably in a Group Three over a mile at Leopardstown last season. He followed that with a narrow defeat to Roaring Lion in the Group Two Royal Lodge at Newmarket over the same trip. Stepped up to ten furlongs he was a narrow winner on his return in the Group Three Ballysax Stakes but followed that with a disappointing effort in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial last time out. He is bred to stay this longer trip and, if he does, he could be very difficult to beat. Last year’s winning Trainer, John Gosden, saddles two. On what they have achieved so far, Stream Of Stars looks to be favoured over Almoghared. Stream Of Stars improved on her debut effort when winning a C/D Maiden over 14 furlongs and that form was boosted when the third subsequently won a handicap off a mark of 85. He is a full brother to a very good two mile winner so he is open to significant improvement given this stiffer stamina test. It’s needed because his form falls way short of the best of the O’Brien battalion. but it;s always dangerous to underestimate the sudden progression a horse can make from this yard. That comment also applies to Almoghared who is a half brother to the imperious Taghrooda. He followed a second on his debut over 12 furlongs by winning over the same trip at Chepstow last time out. They came on contrasting ground and he is a horse who obviously has his fair share of ability and potential for further progression. However this is a baptism of fire compared to what he has faced so far and he faces a very stiff task. Given his record in the race the Mark Johnston pair demand respect. The best of them could be Lynwood Gold who could find plenty of improvement now he returns to quicker conditions, on which he is two from two.  
 
Selection:
 
No Bet .
3.40 – Duke Of Cambridge Stakes (Group 2) (Fillies & Mares) (Class 1) (4yo+) – 1m on the straight course.
 
Key Trends:
 
13 of the last 14 winners had won previously over a mile or further.
13 of the last 14 winners had won a Group Three or better.
13 of the last 14 winners had run at least once that season.
12 of the last 14 winners had a top three finish last timeout.
12 of the last 14 winners were aged four years old.
10 of the last 14 winners had run at Ascot before.
7 of the last 14 winners had won at Ascot before.
5 of the last 14 winners returned at a double figure price.
Favourites have won five of the last 14 renewals.
Cheveley Park Stud have owned 4 of the last 14 winners.
The average price of the winners over the past 14 years is 8/1.
Only one Filly from the ten to carry the five pound Group One penalty in this race has been placed.  
 
Race analysis:
 
Hydrangea is a short price to take this affair and she comes into this campaign of the back of a progressive season last year. She showed herself to be from out of the top draw with Group One victories over a mile at Leopardstown and 12 furlongs here on Champions day. Sandwiched between those efforts she was only just beaten in the Group One Prix de l’Abbaye over ten furlongs by stablemate Rhododendron. She was said to be in need of the race when finishing runner up in a Group Two at the Curragh on her return and she’s likely to be at her peak here this afternoon. She will have to do what ten Fillies before her have tried and failed, winning under a five pound penalty, and she may be better over further than a mile as a four year old. There appears plenty of pace in the race which will suit but she looks worth taking on at cramped odds. Aljazzi was runner up in this race last year and enjoyed a progressive campaign, winning a Group Three comfortably at Sandown last September. She reappeared at the same track in the Group Two Bet365 Mile and was only beaten three lengths into third against her male counterparts. That suggests she could be in for further success this season and that may start here. Tomyris ran in the Coronation Stakes at this meeting last season on only her fourth start and went into the race on the back of a Listed victory at York. She finished sixth in the Coronation without enjoying the best of runs and used that as a springboard to finish placed in two subsequent Group Three races at Goodwood and Doncaster. Her final race of the campaign came in the Group One Sun Chariot at Newmarket where she was badly hampered soon after the start. She reappeared with a narrow victory over Lincoln Rocks in a Group Three at Lingfield. She stayed on well over the seven furlongs and the step back up to a mile here will suit. Wilamina has some decent form to her name. Last season she had a Listed success and a second in a Group Two at the Curragh to her name and she has improved in her two outings as a five year old this time round. A second to Godolphin’s Wuheida in a Group Two at Newmarket on her return was followed by victory at Epsom in a Group Three at the Derby meeting. Urban Fox and Tribute Act come here via the same handicap over C/D. Tribute Act represents a Trainer who has successfully bridged the gap between handicap company and Group company here in the past and, although worse off at the weights with her narrow conqueror, she was the eyecatcher and could outrun her current rating. Urban Fox was placed in Group Three, Group Two and Group One level as a Juvenile and kicked off her three year old season with a second in a Group Three at Newbury. She followed that with a midfield finish in the 1000 Guineas before looking ill at ease on the Epsom contours when disappointing at the Derby meeting. Given a short break afterwards she finished her season with three fourth placed efforts from four starts in Listed events here and at Newbury. Subsequently sold for 425,000 Guineas she produced a lifetime best when beating the aforementioned Tribute Act on her debut for William Haggas.
 
Selection:
 
Urban Fox – 1 pt e/w @ 11/1 (Bet365 – 1/4 odds first 3).
 
 
4.20 – Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series) (Class 1) (4yo+) – 1m2f (1m1f212y)
 
Key Trends:
 
16 of the last 16 winners had previously won over at least 10 furlongs.
15 of the last 16 winners have returned at 17/2 or shorter in the betting.
15 of the last 16 winners were won by a 4 or 5 year old.
13 of the last 16 winners had previously won a Group One. 
13 of the last 16 winners had run at least once that season.
13 of the last 16 winners finished in the top three last time out.
8 of the last 16 winners were winners last time out.
8 of the last 16 winners had run at Ascot before.
Favourites have won 6 of the last 16 renewals.
The average winning SP over the past 13 years is 9/2.
 
Race analysis:
 
Unless Cracksman under-performs this is his race to lose. With only the seven runners going to post there is no e/w appeal so it’s a race we will sit out and enjoy. 
 
Selection:
 
No Bet.  
 
 
5.00 – Royal Hunt Cup (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) (3yo+) – 1 mile on the straight course:
 
Key Trends:
 
15 of the last 16 winners had won over a mile before.
13 of the last 16 winners were aged 4 or 5 years old.
9 of yhe last 16 winners were aged four, including the last 7 from 9.
Favourites have been unplaced in 12 of the last 16 renewals.
12 of the last 16 winners have returned at a double figure price.
12 of the last 16 winners carried 9-01 or less. (8 of the last 10 carried between 8-11 and 9-05)
10 of the last 16 winners had run 2 or 3 times that season.
10 of the last 16 winners had run at Ascot before.
The average SP of the winner in the last 16 years is 16/1.
8 of the last 10 winners have come from a double figure draw.
20 of the 40 placed horses in the past 10 years were drawn in stall 20 or higher, add another 15 if accounting for a double figure draw.
Only five of the 40 placed horses in the past 10 years was drawn in single figures. 
8 of the last 10 winners were rated between 87 and 102.
8 of the last 10 winners came into the race on the back of at least a 19 day break.
Race analysis:
 
As with all the handicaps at this meeting, owing to the number of runners, we will restrict our analysis to the horses we will support.
Escobar – Turns out here just six days after winning at Haydock on his third start for David O’Meara. Highly promising as a Juvenile he was though to have Classic potential by his former handler, Hugo Palmer. However his three year old campaign didn’t amount to much and he was subsequently sold for 100,000 Guineas at the Horses In Training sale in October. The change os scenery has seen him improve with each of his three outings for his current yard culminating in a career best when winning from a mark of 95. He quickened up well as his jockey did no more than push him out for a comfortable two length victory. That has seen his rating rise to 102 but he gets in here under a five pound penalty from a mark of 99. That still leaves him seven pounds below his peak mark for his former yard and he could still have some untapped potential after just 12 starts. 
     
Cape Byron – Disappointed on his only start in Dubai in February but had shown plenty of ability in four previous starts, two as a Juvenile and two as a three year old. Connections took the decision to give him wind surgery before his reappearance over a mile at York last month. He was well backed for that return but had to settle for fourth with both Love Dreams and Aflaak, who both re-oppose today ahead of him. He sweated up at York but still finished best of those to come from off the pace. He has a C/D win to his name and it’s likely we haven’t seen the best of him yet. He may have a big handicap in him from his current mark for his powerful in-form yard and they enlist the first time cheekpieces.   
Tricorn – Had a very likeable progressive profile as a three year old last season before disappointing on his final start in a Listed race at Newmarket in July. Subsequently gelded and was off the track for nearly 300 days prior to finishing in midfield in a 16 runner Newmarket handicap last month. It was a run that was likely needed and, although a subsequent third of six, beaten four lengths, at Nottingham can be considered slightly disappointing it came with his first encounter with soft ground. A return to better ground on a track where he was third in the Britannia from just a three pound higher mark at last season’s meeting could see him in a better light. He may still have some potential after just nine starts and the first time blinkers may eke out a bit more.
 
Selections: (Skybet – 1/5 odds first 7)
 
Escobar – 1 pt e/w @ 14/1.
 
Cape Byron – 1 pt e/w @ 16/1.
 
Tricorn – 0.75 pts e/w @ 20/1.   
 
 
5.35 – Jersey Stakes (Group 3) (Class 1) (3yo) – 7 furlongs:
 
Key Trends:
 
15 of the last 16 winners had run at least once that season.
12 of the last 16 winners had 4 or more career starts.
10 of the last 16 winners had won previously at 7 furlongs. 
9 of the last 16 winners had finished first or second last time out.
9 of the last 16 winners had previously won at Listed level or above
Favourites have been unplaced in 8 of the last 16 renewals.
7 of the last 16 winners ran at Newmarket last time out.
7 of the last 16 winners had run at Ascot before.
The Irish have won 3 of the last 6 renewals.
The average winning SP over the past 16 years is 10/1.
 
Race analysis:
 
This race is capable of producing a high class winner and this year’s renewals contains more than few who could end up fitting that bill. James Garfield carries a five pound penalty for a Group Two win last September but four of the last seven winners have done so and it’s hard to crab what he has achieved this season. He won the Group Three Greenham at Newbury on his return in April and followed that up with a midfield finish in the 2000 Guineas. He was only beaten just over four lengths on his second attempt at a mile and he may have found things happening a bit too quickly dropped back to six furlongs for the Group Two Sandy Lane at Haydock last time out. The return to a stiff seven furlongs will suit and a big run wouldn’t surprise. Following his devastating win in the Vintage Stakes last season, Expert Eye was touted for top honours. However he hasn’t achieved what he was expected to and he didn’t beat a rival when last seen in the 2000 Guineas. He has demonstrated that he has the inherent talent but it’s likely he will never realise it unless he learns to settle. The drop back in trip could help in that regard but there are much safer conveyances in this field. In the same ownership Purser has won his last two starts for John Gosden but they were narrow victories and he probably needs to improve to get the better of some of these. That’s entirely possible and his attitude and tenacity are good assets to have as he tries to climb the ladder. Representing the same yard is Emaraaty who is vying for favouritism. He was a very expensive purchase as a yearling and produced a lifetime best by some way when just losing out to Society Power at Goodwood last time out. He is ten pounds better off with that rival here and it will be a surprise if he doesn’t reverse the for with that rival. Society Power’s yard also saddle Headway who lost any chance in the 2000 Guineas by ‘boiling over’ in the preliminaries. He was as very good Juvenile and, if he proves more tractable pre-race, he will be a threat to all. He was a narrow loser in the Coventry at this meeting last season and quicker ground over today’s trip is probably what needs at this time. Aiden O’Brien is the only Trainer to have saddled more than one winner in the past decade and he is doubly represented. St Patrick’s Day is a full brother to none other than American Pharoah but he hasn’t been seen out this season and is likely to come on plenty for this outing. Could It Be Love is the yard’s other entry and, on this occasion, she looks much more interesting. She was a close eighth in the French 1000 Guineas before finding only one too good in the Irish 1000 Guineas.That arguably sets the form standard here and it’s not surprising to see her fighting out for favouritism with Emaraaty.
 
Selection:
 
No Bet.