Royal Ascot 2009: Day 3 Key Stats

Day three and it's Ladies Day tomorrow at Royal Ascot. Key stats to follow, dear reader, but first let me talk you through a tale of near misses, boo hisses and air kisses, as I recount my day two wagers...

My Timeform and trends papers all over the floor, I was confident of bagging the placepot and a few tasty winners to boot.

I made the opening Jersey Stakes the second hardest race of the day (after the Royal Hunt Cup), and so it proved. My placepot relied on the racecard combo of 6,7,8 and, sure enough, the best I could manage was 4th, beaten a head, with Gallagher. £129.60 lighter already, and it was onwards and downwards...

Royal Ascot Placepot

I'm not sure whether it was a consolation or further kick in the posterior, but I'd back the winner for pennies as an interest wager:


Not quite find a penny, lose a pound, but something along those lines.

Oh well, I had a decent fancy in the next race, so I consoled myself with the knowledge that I'd got it pretty much spot on, and just didn't get paid out.

In the Windsor Forest I fancied Heaven Sent, and I thought Chantilly Tiffany was a decent place wager as well. So I backed them thus:

Heaven SentHeaven Sent looked for all the world like the winner, only to be re-challenged by front-running connections mate, Spacious. Anywhere else in the world, and I'd have been paid out, as they'd have been coupled. But not here!

Chantilly Tiffany ran a cracker, and finished fourth, which is where all good place or each way wagers finish...

At this point, I was feeling really rather sorry for myself, so I re-entered the Tote arena via the quadpot AND pulled on my bottes de combat (betting boots) for the Gallic raiders in the troisieme (3rd) race.

I made it a two horse battle, and was happy to overlook Tartan Bearer. Sir Michael Stoute's horses had a woeful record in the race, and the point was well made in the Racing Post today that he winds them up for bigger pots later in the season.

Vision d'Etat

Allez, Allez! A fine ride from Olivier Peslier, who looked the first beaten, but timed it to perfection to run down Twice Over, with Tartan Bearer just hanging in for second from the late running Never On Sunday.

Back in front (except for a significant wager a bit later on... which we'll get to momentarily), and it was time for the cavalry charge of the Royal Hunt Cup.

Just the 28 of them to post, with three non-runners, and I didn't have a strong fancy, so I didn't bet much. A tenner each way on Cadre, who was a pretty big price on Betfair, and a place wager on ultra-consistent (but perennial place horse) Mias Boy. I knew Gavin had this as his second best handicap punt of the week - the best is tomorrow - and it was hard to see him far away.

Mias Boy place

The 4/1 favourite, Forgotten Voice, was having his first run in a turf race and sluiced up. He is clearly a Group animal masquerading as a handicapper, and I'm preying the Breeders Cup is on the agenda for him. His versatility will give him lots of options, and his inexperience will be lessened between now and then.

Place money again for Mias Boy, as he ran into a noble yet distant third, behind a runaway winner. Cadre was a big price on Betfair for a reason, and was unsighted.

Then came my bet of the day. I was mightily impressed by Don't Tell Mary in the Listed race at Beverley earlier in the year, and I felt that a fast run race - as this was bound to be with US speed machine Jealous Again in the field - would be right up her street.

She'd won by four lengths both starts, and had only been hand-ridden for that. I went in early expecting the price to truncate. My judgement of the market is usually a bit off, and this was no exception. It's always infuriating for me, but there we are. I'd also set up an in running lay in the hope that if she did show as I expected, but then got collared, I could cover my stakes at least.

Queen Mary

This would give me a nice win (£550) if she prevailed, a small profit (£70) if she was matched in running but didn't win, and a hefty loss (£229.75) if she was beaten!

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Well, long and short of it was that she was trounced - as were all the others (though not quite so far as Mary) - by Wesley Ward's second juvenile winner of the week, Jealous Again.

She (Jealous Again, not the misfiring Mary) bounced out and cruised in front a la Canford Cliffs yesterday, and she kicked on again a la Canford Cliffs yesterday, to win by five lengths over five furlongs compared with Canford's six lengths win over six furlongs. The time comparison is interesting:

Canford Cliffs: 1 minute 13.64 seconds (12.27 seconds per furlong)

Jealous Again: 1 minute 0.53 seconds (12.11 seconds per furlong)

Add in Scenic Blast in the Kings Stand...

Scenic Blast: 59.54 seconds (11.91 seconds per furlong)

And the Windsor Castle...

Strike The Tiger: 1 minute 1.28 seconds (12.26 seconds per furlong)

And you can really see the merit of the filly's performance. I don't know where next, but she will be unstoppable on turf over 5f Stateside, I'd imagine.

My measly compensation was that I had Misheer in the quadpot, so was still going on that front. Hoorah. Ahem. £2 lines rolling on to Moneycantbuymelove, Good Again and Photgraphic. (And, of course, as I used the same horses as the placepot, that fourth placing and omission of Ouqba in the opener was getting more and more irritating!)

The last race of the day was the Sandringham Handicap - a Listed handicap at that. 21 runners but I didn't think it was that competitive. I was happy with my three in the quad/place pot, and had picked out Gerard Butler and Eddie Ahern (Good Again) as my punt in the race.

Good Again

Moneycantbuymelove came to mug the Queen's horse, Golden Stream, in the final furlong to take the spoils and land a paltry pot (quad not place) that didn't even return my stakes alas. Good Again traveled like the winner but found disappointingly little when let down, to finish 6th. Indeed, let down was the feeling I finished the day with.

The placepot paid £183.80, and the quadpot a staggering £21.90. Remind me to wipe my mouth the next time I suffer an early placepot bath (and excuse my mealy-mouthed mixed metaphors!).

Bloodied but unbowed, I thank one Gallic victor, and look forward to tomorrow - day three - of this quintet of punting soap operas.


To tomorrow's key stats. By now you probably know the drill, so here we go:

2.30 Norfolk Stakes: A race for juvenile speedy Gonazales', run over 5f. Just eleven to post, and we can get shot of four by observing that each of the last 13 winners had won last time out. Diamond Johnny G, Reignier, Running Mate and Star Rover have not so we've just the seven to conjure with.

3.05 Ribblesdale Stakes: Ten thorougly unexposed 3yo fillies will race over 1m4f. Although recent winners have been a mixed bag, the last thirteen all shared one thing in common: they finished in the first two last time or they ran in the Oaks. We can scribble out five, meaning we're left with five.

3.45 Ascot Gold Cup: The feature on Ladies' Day, and one of the key staying races in the year. Yeats bids for an unprecedented four timer in the race, which would be phenomenal. And his closest pursuer for the last two years, the able but recalcitrant monkey Geordieland, takes him on again. Whether or not time has caught up with Yeats remains to be seen.

Any road, here is a stat to assist in paring down the nine who contest the race: 11 of the last 12 winners were 4-6 year olds.

Whilst this only takes out two, they are... Yeats and Geordieland!

4.20 Britannia Handicap: A mile handicap with 30 runners. Oh joy. Time to retire to the bar methinks... but that's no use to you. So, a stat to carve that large mob down to a smaller infraction, is six of the last seven winners were officially rated 90 or higher. 13 are not tomorrow, so you may want to scrub them out.

4.55 Hampton Court Stakes: 13 3yo's over a mile and a quarter for this Listed race. 7 of the last 9 winners finished in the first three last time out. Over half (7 of the 13) didn't so they may be worthy of overlooking.

5.30 King George V Handicap: With 19 runners over a mile and a half, this race marks the conclusion of a really tough bookie vs punter battle tomorrow. All of the last 12 winners finished in the first three last time out. Scratch nine, leaves ten.

By the way, these stats emanate from the excellent Festival Trends guide, your own daily copy of which you can secure here, should you so wish.


By the time I post tomorrow, it's likely that the first race will have been run at Britain's newest race course, a dual purpose track in Carmarthenshire, West Wales. With apologies to those readers fluent in the traditional tongue of Cwmru (I really hope I've spelt that right), you might be forgiven for thinking that Ffos Las was some sort of anagram (ffoalss?), but we'll soon all know how to spell it, as the track will host both flat and jumps racing.

I have two predictions for this track:

1. It will stay open longer than Great Leighs

2. There will be many an Irish gamble landed, with its proximity to the ferry ports.

The best of luck to Ffos Las - I'm sure they'll do very well - and if you're going there tomorrow night, do leave a comment to let us all know what you made of it. I'm going to try to get down there before the end of the Summer.

That's all for today.

Ciao pronto,


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6 replies
  1. Leo says:

    Hi Matt,
    If all else fails we can arrange a Church
    collection for you next week.

  2. donkers says:

    To be fair Gavin stated in the guide and previews that the races so far have not been strong for stats. It’s best to play with small stakes and maybe do a bit of ‘dutching’ in such circumstances. Stats. like ‘8 of the last 10′ or ’10 of the last 13’ are not relaible enough to start punting heavily on and so far the handicap races have been more about form and the draw than the stats. in terms of finding winners. Quite a few favourites have gone in, whereas at the National Hunt meetings earlier in the year the stats. were able to find angles on races that weren’t reflected by the market. The trouble with Ascot in my opinion is that you’re dealing with a lot of unexposed 2 and 3 year olds which may be progressive or regressive for their second or third run here. So though they may fit most of the trends, several others also fit most of the trends and the very best trends horse (the one that ticks all the boxes) might simply be a dog, may not be suited by the ground, may not have a good draw and any or all of these things render the trends profile redundant, especially if that profile is based on fairly weak historical trends in the first place.

    The other thing is that the size of field in many of the races on the flat is huge compared to Cheltenham and Aintree (apart from the Grand National). Trying to find the winner out of 30 or more horses weighted to have similar chances, or of unknown ability means that narrowing it down to a manageable level is almost impossible. Also I think weight and going has a greater affect on the outcome for jumps than for flat, so some horses carrying big weights over the jumps often have to defy very strong trends to win, whereas on the flat topweights are not necessarily stopped sufficiently to defeat their class superiority and so weight/official ratings trends are weaker.

    Remember, there are still three days to go, and it only takes one 20-1 or more winner to put everything in order as far as profit goes, but you need to be a bit flexible, you don’t have to back in every race or follow Gavin’s selections blindly. Do a bit of research on several horses in a large field, try and find the ‘value’ horses’….those with a strong trends profile but which seem over-priced maybe because they have a decent draw, and don’t bet ‘bundles’ if the analysis still leaves at least half the field in with a good chance or just a very short priced favourite as the only strong trends horse.

    I’m down on the week too, but have had a couple placed in big fields that Gavin ruled out in the latter part of his analysis. If these horses make Gavin’s last five or six, or is in the top rated list, then a small each way punt on a well drawn horse at 25-1 or more is not a bad idea especially as some bookies pay on the first five.

    I’m hopeful that come Saturday evening my investment in the trends guide will have been worthwhile, if not necessarily as profitable as others. Whatever, the amount of time, effort and work that goes into producing these guides is phenomenal and while luck will always play a part, and some meetings will not be profitable, in the long term they are worth every penny for the masses of information they contain and which prove that strong trends DO stand the test of time.

    Good Luck!

  3. Leo says:

    Hi Matt, again.
    Very latest update on Scenic Blast.
    Trainer Dan Morton said in an Australian interview
    today that and quote,
    ” Scenic Blast has come out of Tuesday’s race really well and would next run in the
    July Cup at Newmarket on July 10 over 6f.


  4. Matt Bisogno says:

    Thanks Leo – that’s duly noted. He’ll have to hold onto him a bit longer over 6f, but he definitely looks the one they have to beat.

    Thanks also to Donkers for your considered response regarding Festival Trends. It is an excellent guide, and of course it can’t win every day. We’re only 40% of the way through the week, so let’s see how things develop.


  5. Donkers says:

    Hi Chaps and Chapesses!,

    It’s been another frustrating day for the main selections on Festival Trends thus far. A 12-1 placed horse and a close 2nd at 22-1 in the 4.20 sums up the ‘so near yet so far’. Although those who back each way on the bigger prices would have shown a decent profit.

    Just to illustrate the ‘flexible approach’ to the guide, Gavin noted that no horse with a penalty had been placed in the 4.55. So I had a look in the RP at the form the two qualifiers for this trend today and there was evidence to suggest they were nothing special, one looked more of a 10f horse (was also drifting heavily in the win market) and the other failed another major trend. So I place laid the pair fairly confidently at what seemed reasonable odds and it turned out rather well! There is more than one way to skin a Trends Guide as they say! 🙂

    GB / Ascot 18th Jun / 16:55 To Be Placed
    On Our Way Lay 8252588830 18-Jun-09
    16:58 4.3 100.00 4.3 18-Jun-09 16:58

    GB / Ascot 18th Jun / 16:55 To Be Placed
    Palavicini Lay 8252537833 18-Jun-09
    16:54 4.3 100.00 4.3 18-Jun-09 16:54

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