Sunday, June 17, 2012

Royal Ascot 2012 - Tuesday

In Diamond Jubilee year the royals have had their fair share of media exposure and there's bound to be more to come in the week ahead. Those interested in the Queen's interest in horse racing may be interested in Julian Muscat's book Her Majesty's Pleasure: How Horseracing Enthralls the Queen.

Of course, book publishing is much like horse racing in that everyone wants to back a winner. Orion Books have the autobiographies of Ruby Walsh and Tony McCoy in their stable but Jon Wood and Jemima Forrester will be hoping they have hit the jackpot with their latest acquisition, having shelled out a six figure sum for a 'racy romantic trilogy' which is likely to appeal to fans of works such as Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. According to Saturday's Times, Fifty Shades ' the fastest-selling paperback in Britain since since records began, overtaking Dan Brown and J.K. Rowling.' Until yesterday evening I thought it was a book about British summers over the past half century.

From the racy to the racing...

The going is reported as good to soft, good in places, for the first day of Royal Ascot which may inconvenience some but is unlikely to inconvenience superstar Frankel who is currently quoted at 1/5 to win the Queen Anne.

In the King's Stand I intend to take a small each-way interest in Stepper Point (50/1 generally). This one disappointed on his seasonal debut in the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket but came back to form at Chantilly the next time when beaten just under two lengths by Wizz Kid, widely tipped for this. It's worth noting that at the time of writing not all layers are offering each-way terms a quarter the odds.

The favourite has obliged in the St James's Place Stakes (3.45) on seven occasions in the past decade while Aidan O'Brien has saddled the winner on six occasions in the past 12 years. Those stats point to Power - I looked closely at Brian Meehan's Most Improved but recent stable form is not encouraging.

I like to back a horse with NH form in the Ascot Stakes (5.00). Nicky Henderson's mare Veiled did the blog a favour winning this last year (Elyaadi has finished second in a race at this meeting in the past two seasons) but Veiled races off a mark seven pounds higher this time. Willie Mullins' Simenon is respected but I'll take an each-way interest in Ashbrittle (tissue price 12/1). This one finished tenth in last year's race off a mark of 92 when trained by Ralph Beckett. On that occasion the gelding was done for toe half a mile from home so I'm hoping slower underfoot conditions will help David Pipe's inmate find the improvement required - he goes off 88 this time with Paul Hanagan doing the steering.

Finally, a book to finish off with... In Royal Ascot week, I was contemplating purchasing Gentlemen's Pursuits: A Country Miscellany for the Discerning (published this week) but I've decided to stick the money on a horse instead, primarily because I'm not really very discerning at all.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Frankel (1/10f) took the Queen Anne in remarkable fashion, winning by an astonishing 11 lengths...

Stepper Point (50/1) finished 13th of 22 behind Little Bridge (12/1) in the King's Stand.

Simenon (6/1) won the Ascot Stakes in a common canter. Selection Ashbrittle (14/1) looked somewhat unlucky in running, being badly hampered two out. He finished eighth, making up ground in the final furlong but, on balance, I still think he would have struggled to make a place without the traffic problems.