ROYAL ASCOT – JUNE 23
Corresponding Placepot dividends during the last six years:
2016: £1,251.10 (6 favourites – 1 winner – 2 placed – 3 unplaced)
2015: £139.40 (7 favourites: 3 winners - 1 placed - 3 unplaced)
2014: £84.20 (7 favourites: No winners - 4 placed - 3 unplaced)
2013: £195.20 (7 favourites: 2 winners - 2 placed - 3 unplaced)
2012: £257.60 (6 favourites: 3 winners - 1 placed - 2 unplaced)
2011: £2,568.10 (6 favourites: 2 winners & 4 unplaced)
Average Placepot dividend: £749.27
39 favourites - 11 winners - 10 placed - 18 unplaced
Friday's Placepot permutation at Royal Ascot:
Leg 1 (2.30): 2 (Alpha Centauri), 9 (Fairyland) & 5 (Clemmie)
Leg 2 (3.05): 2 (Best Solution), 1 (Best Of Days) & 4 (Crystal Ocean)
Leg 3 (3.40): 3 (Caravaggio) & 4 (Harry Angel)
Leg 4 (4.20): 7 (Winter) & 1 (Dabyah)
Leg 5 (5.00): 2 (Belgravia), 13 (Wisconsin) & 12 (Time To Study)
Leg 6 (5.35): 17 (Mainstream), 7 (Cape Cova), 19 (Rare Rhythm) & 4 (Soldier In Action)
Suggested stake: 432 bets to 10p stakes
Overview for Friday - please scroll down to the bottom of the page
2.30: February and March foals tend to dominate this two-year-old contest on the penultimate day of the royal meeting. ALPHA CENTAURI, FAIRYLAND and CLEMMIE all qualify via foaling dates and it's a case of 'drawing lots' to a fashion to decide which horses to include in my permutation. The trio all possess plenty of ability from what we have witnessed thus far, even though Clemmie’s form figure is not quite so encouraging. What is on her side however, is the fact that she is a sister of Churchill who has performed so well, irrespective of his eventual demise earlier this week. Churchill won the ‘Chesham’ here having also finished third on his third start to offer encouragement towards Ryan Moore’s mount.
Favourite factor: 11 favourites have claimed toteplacepot positions via the last 15 renewals, statistics which include four winners.
3.05: I was thinking that this looked to be an inferior renewal of the 'King Edward VII' until I researched the official ratings of winners in recent years which makes BEST SOLUTION (112), BEST OF DAYS (110) and CRYSTAL OCEAN (110) thoroughly decent declarations. Compare this to the 92 rating of Eagle Top a few years ago and you will catch my drift. The trio is (arguably) listed in order of preference ahead of Sir John Lavery who has something to prove now following a tepid effort at Lingfield, notwithstanding having to prove himself under these fast conditions.
Favourite factor: This is the best race for favourite backers throughout the five days, with nine of the last twenty market leaders having prevailed, a top priced winner of 12/1 being recorded during the study period. Five of the other eleven market leaders finished out of the frame.
3.40: Being a self-confessed 'trend anorak', I have come out in a nasty rash with only two contests to work. That said, three horses stand head and shoulders above the opposition here and even then, BLUE POINT looks booked for third spot behind CARAVAGGIO and HARRY ANGEL. Unbeaten in five starts, CARAVAGGIO demands top billing, albeit the presence of HARRY ANGEL is likely to unnerve the O’Brien team to a fashion. It’s pointless to weigh up the form lines other than to say let’s just sit back and watch what should be a fascinating event. It gives yours truly great pleasure saying those words as I have cribbed ‘speed races’ at the top level for more years than I can remember now but at last, we seem to have a sprint worthy of the media attention the contest has received. Add the Wesley Ward runner into the mix and we can say that we have a true international race which should produce either an exhilarating performance or a fantastic finish. Enjoy.
Favourite factor: The inaugural 9/4 favourite finished nearer last than first before last year’s 7/4 favourite made amends on behalf of the majority of punters.
Record of the course winners in the Commonwealth Cup:
1/1—Blue Point (good to firm)
4.20: A two horse race in one of the top potential events of the week is a disappointing scenario, with WINTER seemingly having frightened all but DABYAH away from the renewal of the Coronation Stakes. The latter named John Gosden filly has plenty of ground to make up on WINTER via Fred Darling/1000 Guineas form lines but then again, fillies (in the broader sense) have their own minds is what should and should not happen in life, including those performing on a racecourse! Let’s hope (at least) that this pair pull clear of their rivals, justifying why so many top trainers have run scared of the favourite.
Favourite factor: The biggest priced winner during the last sixteen renewals was the 12/1 chance that scored in 2012, during which time eight market leaders have won, albeit those figures include four joint favourites. 13 of the last 25 market leaders have secured toteplacepot positions.
5.00: The BHA have confounded many of the top names in the sport by reducing this event by two furlongs but then again, we can’t have too many races at Royal Ascot where the punters have the edge over bookmakers can we! Okay, I hear you say that a 33/1 chance won last year with the 10/3 favourite finishing out of the frame. That fails to detract from the fact that six of the last nine favourites had won this event without an odds on market leader in sight, so why ‘change the rules’? Using another angle, the BHA are quick to dismiss ‘ordinary’ race history when an event is change by half a furlong or so, yet the stats remains in place at Royal Ascot as far as the figures are concerned. Hypocrisy beyond belief but then again as regular readers know, I usually ignore what the BHA call ‘new races’ when only ‘protocol’ has changed! Upwards and onward is positive mode by suggesting that Aidan O’Brien can win this race for the fourth time in five years via either BELGRAVIA or WISCONSIN. It’s difficult to weight up the home brigade from a win perspective, though TIME TO STUDY should reach the frame having scored over this distance at Musselburgh last time out.
Favourite factor: 12 of the last 20 favourites have secured toteplacepot positions of late, statistics which include seven winners. 18 of the last 20 winners of the Queens Vase were returned at odds of 7/1 or less.
5.35: Mark Johnston has saddled two of the last seven winners, whilst ten of the last sixteen winners have carried weights of 9-2 or less. Four-year-olds have won nine of the last twelve contests, with five-year-olds claiming the other three renewals. Indeed, five-year-olds secured the first four placings last years, alongside six of the first seven horse home. Sir Michael Stoute (MAINSTREAM) and Mark Johnston (SOLDIER IN ACTION) have won five of the last nine renewals between them with Michael holding the edge 3-2 going into today’s event. A 'short list' of MAINSTREAM, OASIS FANTASY, RARE RHYTHM and SOLDIER IN ACTION emerges taking all the facts and stats into consideration, the quartet being listed in marginal order of preference. The reserve nomination is awarded to Master Carpenter with Rod Millman’s runners continuing to excel under the radar.
Record of the course winners in the Placepot finale:
1/3—Star Storm (good)
1/1—Appeared (good to firm)
1/1—Mistiroc (good to firm)
1/1—Manjaam (good to firm)
Favourite factor: 13 of the last 21 favourites have claimed toteplacepot positions, statistics which include four successful market leaders.
Trainers with their relevant number of runners (three or more) on the Royal Ascot card on Friday with their relevant ratios at the track this week:
11 runners—Aidan O’Brien (2/22)
7—Mark Johnston (0/13)
6—John Gosden (1/20)
6—Roger Varian (0/8)
5—Charlie Appleby (1/14)
3—Wesley A Ward (2/7)
85 declared runners
Corresponding Placepot dividends from last year:
Ayr: £34.40 – 6 favourites – 4 winners – 1 placed – 1 unplaced
Bath: This is a new meeting on the calendar
Market Rasen: £14.80 - 6 favourites - 4 winners & 2 placed
Newmarket (July course): £288.80 - 8 favourites - 4 winners - 1 placed - 3 unplaced
Redcar: £29.00 - 6 favourites - 3 winners - 2 placed - 1 unplaced