Big Priced Outsiders to Consider at Royal Ascot on Day One
2.30 Ascot, Queen Anne Stakes
This year’s Queen Anne looks wide open, though behind Rhododendron at the head of the market there is question marks around many regards distance and ground. With a bit more give in the ground I would side with the French raider Recoletos but I can’t have him on such quick ground over a mile.
Limato has been beaten at all three attempts at a mile, but those were all really competitive group one events and this doesn’t look the strongest of races. This fast ground may help him see out the final furlong and he can go close at 16/1. The U.S. raider, Yoshida brings in some impressive state side form and with quick ground he can figure here if adapting to Royal Ascot; he too is 16/1 and can be dutched with Limato at combined of odds of 15/2.
3.05 Ascot, Coventry Stakes
The John Gosden trained Calyx and the 1.1 million dollar Aiden O’Brien trained Sergei Prokofiev dominate this market, with double figure odds the rest of the field.
I will chance a little on the Joseph O’Brien trained No Needs Never at 50/1 each-way to run in to a place, with up to 5 places available with some bookies. He made a promising debut in a Cork maiden to finish runner-up after being slow away and racing wide; he made up considerable ground to be just beaten half a length.
No Needs Never, 50/1
3.40 Ascot, Kings Stand Stakes
Lady Aurelia comes in to this race in very different form to when she won by 3 lengths here last year and although she could bounce back, I can’t consider her at such short odds. If the occasion doesn’t get to Battaash, then he’s going to be hard to beat. If either Lady Aurelia or Battaash come here with their A-game then they look like providing the winner, but I’ll chance the two international raiders Bucchero and Finsbury Square at big odds to place.
Bucchero is a massive 50/1 and around 80.0 on the exchanges. He finished in front of Lady Aurelia in the Breeders Cup Turf Sprint where he finished a creditable fourth, only beaten just over a length. This quick ground will really suit and he likes to race handily so he could hold on for a place at big odds.
The French raider Finsbury Square finished fifth in the Diamond Jubilee at last year’s Royal Ascot. He won the group 2 Prix du Gros-Chene at Chantilly easily last time and while that was on soft ground he has looked better on a sound surface in the past, so comes here in great form; he is a best priced 25/1.
Finsbury Square, 25/1
4.20 Ascot, St James Palace Stakes
The 2000 Guineas form from England, Ireland and France collide as the 3-year-old colts clash with only the Irish winner Romanised present. Surprisingly John Gosden provides the favourite with his unbeaten Without Parole who was a listed winner last time out.
Wooton went in to the French Guineas unbeaten and was sent off the favourite for that race, but he failed to settle and raced wide throughout to eventually finish fourth, beaten just 2 lengths. I am willing to give him another chance at a best priced 13/2, he has won impressively on good ground so today’s quick ground shouldn’t be a problem.
Tip To Win who finished second in the English 2000 Guineas and Romanised look the most obvious dangers. They both look over-priced, probably because of their connections and I’m tempted to have savers on them both as insurance.