Monday, June 13, 2011

Royal Ascot Tuesday

Swiss Spirit won on Saturday for a winning recommentation.

Tuesday kickstarts the Royal Ascot meeting and I must say that this year's programme looks the most exciting in years. Many of the superstars are there and the coming of raiders from many parts of the world bring a true international and intriguing  flavour to the meeting.

The first race starts with a bang with the much-anticipated Canford Cliffs/Goldikova clash. Unless the ground gets very soft,  I cannot see another horse in this race taking the spoils. It will be the first time that these 2 milers will clash and one way to compare their form is through the opposition they beat or got beaten by. They were both beaten by Makfi, another high-class miler, but those races did not show a true measure of their capabilities. The great thing about Canford Cliffs is that at 4 years of age, he's on the upside and can even be better than what he's shown to date. You feel Goldikova has already reached the top (although that might be good enough to win tomorrow!). One thing to be concerned with Canford Cliffs, in my opinion,  is that not many Lockinge winners have done well after winning at the Newbury showcase.

There is little doubt in my mind that one of these 2 champions will win this.  With both being at odds-against, I will recommend playing both to Win, Place as well as couple them in an Exacta. The end product should be a positive return.

The King's Stand Stakes is a tale of foreign raiders against what the best locals can offer. The Americans are represented by Bridgetown and Holiday For Kitten and are always dangerous in speed races.  But if they are in their best form, the Australian Star Witness and the Budapest Bullet Overdose should be the major contenders for the big prize. If Overdose had his form of a couple of years back, he would be my favourite to win this race. There were excuses in his last flop that soft ground would be more to his liking, and that he will relish the softish side of the racecourse tomorrow . I don't really buy that. If he hasn't improved markedly from this last race, there's no chance he'll play a part in this race whether the going is soft to his liking. Star Witness has to be considered since horses from Down Under have done so well in this race. He's been beaten quite a few times by Black Caviar, so he's used to racing in big company.

There are too many question marks regarding these 4 raiders to give a sure recommendation on this race. I believe one of them will win this and if I were to guess, my preference would go to Star Witness.

The St James' Palace Stakes will go to Frankel. That's the banker of the Tuesday meeting! He is easily recommended as a Win. The race is wide open for Places; Dream Ahead will need the run, Dubawi Gold might find this race one too many, and I don't think Grand Prix Boss is that high-class a horse that his connections are making him out to be. Wootton Basssett, to me, looks like a decent Place prospect, if one is really looking for a punt.

Win: Frankel
Win (couple): Goldikova/Canford Cliffs
Exacta: Goldikova/Canford Cliffs
Place: Goldikova, Canford Cliffs

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