Royal Ascot is coming

Unfortunately I’m still not well enough to be recording videos. I hope to be well by the weekend but can’t promise anything. Instead I thought I would write a blog!

Irish Handicap Marks – This is ridiculous

You can start betting on all the races on Day 1 of Royal Ascot and yet as it stands we still don’t know the handicap marks for the Irish horses. 2 of these in Bring On The Night and Vauban are favourite and worse still Vauban might not even qualify!

To be honest, Bring On The Night was rated 93 and beaten last year by a horse who is now a whopping 19lb higher. He should DEFINITELY be rated higher than 100 based on a natural rise and then these silly collateral form increases after the event.

Barry Beasley (whoever he is on twitter – I can’t verify his knowledge) is suggesting that Vauban will be eliminated!

Why you should check things out yourself!

Previews are all well and good but sadly many of these are poorly researched & many people just believe what is being said. I was skipping through the Royal Ascot Preview from At The Races to hear if they discussed about the above and the first thing I hear is Matt Chapman suggesting Saga for the Royal Hunt Cup off 102.  (Skip to 1:13:00)

There’s a problem though…..

Saga 106

That’s right, Saga is 106 not 102. Poor again from AtTheRaces and Matt Chapman. This website isn’t even ‘special’ or ‘premium’ content. Anyone can access it!

The Handicap Marks we do know!

I’ve been through every race at Ascot for the last 2 years and looked at their handicap marks when they finished in the first 5 in the Non-Handicaps and the first 6 in the Handicaps. I know the handicap marks in the non-handicaps feels pointless but sometimes it can show that a horse was highly rated coming into a non-handicap last year/2 years ago but has since dropped to a decent mark AND runs in a handicap.

An example of this comes up below and also later in the week with Vintage Clarets. He was given a rating of 103 after finishing 3rd in the Coventry in 2021 but is now only rated 87. Could he sneak in a handicap at Ascot?

Vintage Clarets

Ascot Stakes

The Ascot Stakes is a race I want to look at despite not knowing Bring On The Night’s mark currently. Last year he was beaten by Coltrane who was running off a mark of 98 with Callum claiming 5lb off his back as well. He’s now rated 117 so you can understand why Bring On The Night is favourite as a mark of anywhere between 93 and 100 and he looks well handicapped.

Due to this, it means Bring On The Night is 11/4 and that means there are some great prices for others that have great chances. Ryan Moore has been booked to ride Bring On The Night and incredibly he’s finished 2nd for the last 4 years and even when Mullins won it in 2018, Ryan picked the wrong one. They did team up in 2017 and 2015 with Thomas Hobson and Clondaw Warrior but both of these had been given recent runs.

In 2019 the Mullins/Moore pair split 2 Ian Williams horses in The Grand Visir and Time To Study whilst they also finished 2nd to an Ian Williams horse in 2019 when Reshoun beat M C Muldoon and it’s Ian Williams that I want to side with this year.

As it stands Ian has 4 entered in the race but I’m not really sure I can give East Asia a chance over this trip. The other 3 however all look to have great chances.

The Grand Visir Ascot

The Grand Visir – won this race in 2019 off a mark of 100 and yet could run here off 95 this year. He went back to Royal Ascot in 2020 and finished 2nd in the Queen Alexandra & 3rd in 2021. He was rated 104 & 105 on those 2 occasions which means he wouldn’t have been able to get in the handicap so he had to run in the Conditions race. When beaten in 2020, he was 2nd beaten a neck to Who Dares Wins (rated 107) and 3rd behind Stratum (won again the following year) and Calling The Wild (finished 3rd the following year).

His form at Royal Ascot really stacks up and he will definitely stay this trip and looks nicely handicapped. His effort in the Chester Cup wasn’t as bad as his 9th position suggests. He was running on strongly late on. The only concern at this stage is he doesn’t have a provisional jockey booking but I think Ian will need to be mob handed to beat the Mullins ‘good thing’

Law Of The Sea – As many of you know, I strongly believe this is what he needs. He was unlucky in the Chester Cup on his first start for Ian when finishing 4th despite pulling for 3/4 of the race and then not getting a clear run. I suggested afterwards that this race should be the plan but he was dropped back in trip to 2m at Haydock and I think this was to see if he had the speed for the Northumberland Plate. I hoped he did but watching the race, he came off the bridle earlier than hoped before slowly closing on the winner, only losing by 1/2 length at the finish. I think back up to this trip and he’ll go very close and is well handicapped.

He does have a bit of Royal Ascot form to his name as well when finishing 5th in the Group 2 Queen’s Vase in 2021 for John Gosden when owned by Godolphin. He set a slow pace that day and was arguably out-kicked which in hindsight was against him as I think he stays really well. Richard Kingscote has been provisionally booked.

Zinc White – is the 3rd Ian Williams horse that could certainly also go close. He was a very good winner of the Chester Plate (Chester Cup consolation race) when beating the Ante-Post favourite for the Chester Cup (didn’t get in). His last 4 runs however have all come on soft ground (3 of those were wins). I don’t think we are going to get soft ground at Ascot and that would be a negative. Jim Crowley has been provisionally booked.

It’s very possible however that Jim and Richard have simply been provisionally booked to stop them being booked on other mounts. For me, I think Ian’s best 2 chances here would be Law Of The Sea with Jim Crowley on board and The Grand Visir with Richard Kingscote on board.

Ascot Stakes Odds

These 3 are
Law Of The Sea @ 14/1
Zinc White @ 14/1
The Grand Visir @ 33/1

It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see any of those who run here that are beaten for Ian run again on Saturday in the Queen Alexandra Stakes (Reshoun finished 5th in the Ascot Stakes last year before finishing 2nd 4 days later in the Queen Alexandra Stakes)

Copper Horse Handicap

Currently trying to work out why Alright Sunshine is 50/1 for this and why Stowell wasn’t given an entry but more on that later this week!

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