Top hats and tails at the ready, dear reader, for we're about to embark on that most regal of equine festivals, Royal Ascot 2009. And, to help us to the winner's circle at this top notch horsey-fest, I've stolen researched six key trends for the six races tomorrow (and probably put my friendship with Gavin on the line at the same time!).
These stats are of course cribbed from the Royal Ascot Bible, aka Festival Trends.
So, without further ado, and in the name of cutting the fields down to MUCH more manageable sizes, here we go:
2.30 Queen Anne Stakes: More mature milers contest this tremendous opening salvo of the Royal Ascot meeting. The last seven winners had all won in Group 1 company already. Seeing as this race was only upgraded to Group 1 status when the first of those seven won the race, this would appear to be a very significant stat. Add to that the fact that there are only two horses in the race that can boast such top level form, and you ostensibly have a coin flip between Gladiatorus and Paco Boy.
3.05 Kings Stand Stakes: A race for serious speedballs. The last five winners had all finished in the first four on each of their starts that season. Although this stat may not be bulletproof, it does whittle the field down from 15 to seven. It also excludes my ante post fancy, Scenic Blast, who finished fifth on one occasion this season. So I'm hoping for a stat-buster myself here.
3.45 St James Palace Stakes: Top class milers win this. A dozen of the last bakers' dozen (or 12 out of 13 if you prefer) winners finished in the first four last time out, and most of them in Guineas races of some description. If you like this stat, you can eliminate half the field at a stroke.
4.20 Coventry Stakes: The first of the juvenile races, and normally it's a belter. An interesting stat that won't necessarily find you the winner but could reward each way support, is that around a third of all win and placed horses were US bred. There's four in the race tomorrow, and there's rarely more than that, so take note.
4.55 Ascot Stakes: The second longest handicap in the flat racing calendar, and run over 2m4f. 12 out of the last 13 winners were aged 4-6. 13 are this year, but seven are not, so cross those off your list. In fact, I agree with Gavin about a 25/1 shot with a serious squeak here!
5.30 Windsor Castle Stakes: The lesser of the two juvenile events on Day One, but some nice types go to post anyway. All of the last ten winners had between one and three runs to their name prior to entering the stalls at Ascot. This helps us eliminate eight of the 22 starters with a degree of confidence.
So there you are. Six stats or trends to trim four score horses and ten (90 in new money) to a concentrated 49. So, 41 down, another 35 to go!
Naturally, you can get more help from Festival Trends, the videos and emails for which you'll have seen already.
[Incidentally, if you've watched the Queen Anne preview video, you'll note that one of the two horses put up - Virtual - is now a non-runner. The manual has been updated after the 48 hour declaration stage to reflect this, and Gladiatorus is now the choice for both trends and ratings.... though personally, I'd be slightly worried about the Godolphin horses not quite appearing on tip top form at the moment. That said, 8 of the 14 runners in the last week have been in the first three, so maybe they're peaking to perfect pitch pronto...!]
I'll be back tomorrow afternoon and, assuming Gavin hasn't ex-communicated me for revealing too much of his hard work,Â I'll take a look at six more stats that you can use to bash those bookies on Wednesday.
Until then, the very best of luck with your Royal Ascot Day One wagers. Let's get this road on the show!!!
p.s. Get Festival Trends here! 😉