Friday, June 22, 2012

Royal Ascot 2012 - Saturday

Without doubt the star of tomorrow's show will be Australian sprinter Black Caviar who bids to record her 22nd consecutive win in the six furlong Diamond Jubilee Stakes at 3.45. Thousands of  fans who have followed the mare half way across the globe promise to generate an atmosphere the like of which Royal Ascot has never seen before. At 1/4 'Nelly' as she is affectionately known is no betting proposition but this is a race to watch, savour and enjoy.

I've had a grim time of it at Royal Ascot this year and I'm far from certain to buck that trend in the concluding Queen Alexandra Stakes, the longest race in the Flat calendar. Horses with form over the jumps have done well in this event over the years, a fact our friends the bookmakers are well aware of.

Those who saw Willie Mullins' Simenon hack up in the Ascot Stakes on Tuesday will be keen to play up their winnings here as the gelding races off the same mark (95); Elyaadi (90) finished 14th in the same race. On official ratings Overturn has plenty in hand over all these rivals; Donald McCain's charge held an entry in Thursday's Gold Cup but obviously connections decided this was the easier task. Having said that, it's worth noting he hasn't won beyond 19 furlongs and was withdrawn from this event last year on account of the soft ground. 2011 winner Swingkeel appears to have been laid out for this again - he goes off a mark four pounds higher and may struggle to concede weight to 18 of his opponents in these conditions. Paul Nicholls saddles Amercian Trilogy, his first runner at Royal Ascot, who will go in the ground and certainly stay the trip. Other jumpers with half decent NH ratings include Kangaroo Court (probably prefer better ground, a comment that also applies to Scotsbrook Cloud) and the two mares Cloudy Spirit and Golden Sunbird. Overturn looked a decent each-way bet for the Gold Cup at around 20/1 but I'm not convinced he'll see out the extra distance in the ground. Simenon is feared but at 16/1 with BetVictor American Trilogy is the each-way selection.

This year's renewal of the Hardwicke Stakes (3.05) looks particularly intriguing with John Gosden, who recorded a 142/1 treble earlier today (Newfangled 7/4f, Fallen For You 12/1 and Gatewood 3/1f), saddling Aiken while likely favourite Sea Moon is trained by Sir Michael Stoute who also welcomed home a winner earlier today - Estimate is owned by Her Majesty The Queen, reported to be 'delighted' with her victory.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Luke Nolan marginally avoided blotting his copybook, managing to get Black Caviar (1/6f) home a head in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. Nolan dropped his hands thinking he had done enough on the mare but Moonlight Cloud (5/1) and Restdiargent (40/1) were bearing down on the leader and only just failed.

Sir Michael Stoute's Sea Moon (3/1f) won a competitive-looking Hardwicke in some style and on that performance rates one to follow for the rest of the season.

Having won the Ascot Stakes in something a hack canter, Simenon (11/4f) returned four days on to record a famous double in the Queen Alexandra Stakes. Selection American Trilogy (14/1) was held up and made his move five from home but he had no chance and was disappointing, beaten a distance and some in fourteenth.