Monday, June 17, 2013

Royal Ascot 2013 - Day 1

Animal Kingdom towers above the field in the opening race Prince of Wales Stakes at Ascot. If he is anywhere near his true form and has no problem adapting to the undulations of the track, there is really nothing in the field that can beat him. Signs from connections have been positive throughout his preparations so it looks like he will be tough to beat. Should he fail to fire, I see Elusive Kate and Trade Storm as his nearest pursuers. The former runs very well fresh and has had good form in Group 1 races last year. Trade Storm has been a revelation in Dubai and if he gets the firm ground that he relishes, he has strong claims to be in the placings. Animal Kingdom is short-priced but he should win.

The King's Stand Stakes is an intriguing contest with Shea Shea, the Mike de Kock representative, being another short-priced favourite. This is a big field of 19 runners, so it won't be a surprise if he's turned over. The Aussies have a great record in the race and will be represented by Shamexpress, who although does not seem to have the star power or reputation of Choisir, Takeover Target and Miss Andretti, should be be respected. I think Reckless Abandon represents tremendous value in this race. The son of Exchange rate lost  his unbeaten tag on this seasonal return this year when a good third to Kingsgate Native in the Betfred Temple Stakes a few weeks ago. This race will have brought him on nicely and he's shown very good speed in all his races to suggest that he can be one of the premier sprinters in the country if kept at the 5-6 furlong distance. I see value in having him in the placings.

Finally, the St James Palace stakes looks set to be a dandy. The rather shocking return of Dawn Approach has turned the race upside down. If he's truly recovered from the disastrous Derby and is still the horse that won the Guineas, then he must have a live chance to win. Magician is a top-drawer horse in his own right and his backers will be eager to see if the setback in his preparation will have any effect on race day. Despite his Guineas flop, Toronado is still highly regarded in the Richard Hannon camp. I think we can throw away that race. He showed great speed and the way he floundered in the end definitely meant that something had bothered him. Very possibly his newly-fitted spoon-bit might be the solution to the issue. The vibes from the connections are most positive and I think there is a great chance that he will run to his full potential. I think he's the value Place punt of the race.

Win: Animal Kingdom
Place: Reckless Abandon, Toronado

No comments:

Post a Comment