With thanks to Jerry Squires, here are his notes from London Racing Club's 2014 Royal Ascot preview night, held last Thursday.
Lee Mottershead - Chair, Racing Post Chief Correspondent
Paul Bittar - BHA Chief Executive
Nick Smith - Ascot, Head of Communications
Simon Clare - Coral, PR Director
Words of Wisdom
- For horses that are short prices now, on the morning the bookmakers may push them out, for a short while at least, to draw in business.
- Track are watering to get "good to firm, good in places" for the start of meeting but it will dry out very fast.
- Rain is forecast for second half of week but regardless Thursday night would be a watering point so going may well change on the Friday.
St James Palace
All preferred Kingman, may get 6/4 on the day. (See VERY special offer - click banner for details)
War Command E/W (but they all wanted to see this in a sprint)
Toormore was stable fancy before the guineas, maybe come back to form for an e/w chance.
Toronado (Richard hughes says this is a ‘stunning’ horse and has progressed from three to four). However general feeling that this is not a good thing at around evens.
PB – liked Olympic Glory (won’t run, wants soft)
NS – liked Verazzano, ran on well in Lockinge so proved will act on turf and O’Brien has used that race as a spring board for Ascot before.
SC – Soft Falling Rain, long season last year so can forgive. Mike de Kock (MDK) a bit negative on his chance, but may have been bluff, as he has been backed.
PB – Hot Streak his bet of the week, Shea Shea often finds one too good. Darwin e/w at longer odds
NS – Sole Power and Shea shea (MDK buzzing about this one) could both beat Hot streak.
SC – Due Diligence improving fast, could be interesting
Rest of Tuesday
Qatar racing representative said their best chance of a winner all week was Mind of Madness in the Windsor Castle
NS – Hootenanny wherever it runs (entered in Windsor Castle)
PB – The Wow Signal in the Coventry
SC – The Great War will be 2/1 on the day
Prince of Wales
Treve will win, 4/6 reasonable but someone may do a promotion at evens on the day to small stakes.
Mukhadram each way or 6/4 without Treve a great price (NS)
Duke of Cambridge
General feeling 11/4 was a big price about Sky Lantern
PB – Integral (Sky Lantern first time out after hard season ??)
Royal Hunt Cup
NS – thought Chil The kite had a decent chance, against Abseil though Stoute very sweet on him.
SC – Abseil dominates market but given unknown over draw/pace happy to take on. Will be bigger than 5/1 on the day. Farraaj could improve.
PB – likes Stirring Ballad (last year's big gamble)
Other Wednesday races
PB – Alkasser if Weld brings over (entered in Jersey and Wokingham)
SC/NS – Tiggy Wiggy in Queen Mary.
Note: Wrighty (a mutual friend of Jerry and mine) said Cock of the North was backed off the boards at Sandown and started very poorly, given no chance in race but ran on very well.
PB – Leading light
SC – Brown Panther if he stays
NS – Race far superior to last year - Leading light bet of the meeting, back on the day.
Other races on Thursday
SC - Hors de Combat in the Brittania
My notes seem to have taken a turn for the worse here so apologies
Kiyoshi would be an emotional winner (John hills)
PB – did not fancy that one but liked Rizeena
Initial thoughts were that French horses were staying in France for Prix de Diane. However, if it's soft in Paris, Miss France will come over and if she runs she wins!! [She ran in the Prix de Diane, and is not coming over].
Without Miss France an American horse (Wesley ward) [Sunset Glow] and Radiator (Stoute) both got positive mentions.
SC – Cannock Chase and some Cumani horse ridden by Dettori in the Buckingham Palace [Sir Mike]
PB – Miners Lamp in King Edward
NS – Snow Sky in Edward VII, missed Derby for this (PB thinks he might want it softer)
Look out for what comes from King's Stand and runs again here. Very open race.
NS – Astaire, American Devil
PB – Aljamaheer or Hot Streak (if dbls up)
PB – Dandy Man and Shropshire (Deja vu)
SC – Ashpan Sam, Rocky Ground if declared – Draw critical though
NS – Started with no clue and then something convinced him York Glory to repeat last year's success
Rest of Saturday
SC – Arab Spring (if runs, Stoute said wouldn’t recently), Gospel Choir and Cursory Glance
PB - Gospel Choir will (yes WILL) win the Hardwicke.
Someone mentioned Ninjago
They all put forward some "best bets"
PB – Gospel Choir
SC - Kingman
NS – Tiggy Wiggy
Tiggy Wiggy was the Charity bet