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|Spirit Of The Bay||12/112/1||E/W
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Date of Tips: 15/06/2022
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (08:14 15/06/2022) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
If ever you needed a reminder that despite plenty of correct thinking, sometimes betting at Royal Ascot can have its pitfalls – and perhaps it was a case of more fool me being fairly liberal with my day one picks!
The draw factor didn’t seem to correlate with the GoingStick readings, which suggested that stands side would be marginally favoured, but if anything, straight down the centre looked the place to be. Or maybe those horses that got there and won were just the best anyway.
While in the races on the round course, it looked fiendishly difficult to play a hand in the finish if you travelled through the race anywhere wider than the inside rail. Sadly, the three picks we had in the round course races all couldn’t find a position near that inside. It can happen, lessons learned!
With that in mind, and a lack of clarity in my mind, as to exactly where you may want to race on the straight track, I am reluctant to try to find an angle in those races today, as I may be barking up the wrong tree.
At the prices, if I were to have an interest in the Queen Mary Stakes at 2.30, it would be with one or all of Yahsat, All The Time and/or Carmela.
The market looks about right in the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at 4.20, while in the ultra-fiendish Royal Hunt Cup at 5.00 I could make a case for backing one on each side – Intellogent of those drawn low, and Symbolize of those drawn high. Perhaps the result of the Queen Mary Stakes will give us a steer on that.
By the time of the Windsor Castle Stakes at 5.35, we should have a much clearer indication of how the track is riding – so if stall 2 is no hindrance, and also if Yahsat and Carmela have run well in the Queen Mary Stakes, then I could make a strong each-way case at 33/1 in places for Jumbeau, as she caught the eye in the Marygate Stakes at York when not far behind Yahsat.
But for the only cast-iron morning selections, I am leaving it late, and the Kensington Palace Stakes at 6.10.
Being run over 1m on the round course, I am very much looking to horses likely to get a run on the inside from an early stage, and chief among them will hopefully be Spirit Of The Bay from stall 6, who showed she handles Ascot well (albeit on the straight track) when 2nd behind the classy Group 1-entered Soft Whisper.
Spirit Of The Bay’s profile is sharply progressive, and may actually prefer racing around a bend, as 3 of her 4 wins last season came when doing so. The fact that Ascot watered overnight is a help too, as I have an inkling that she may not want it rattling fast.
At 12/1 each-way with Bet365 for 6 places, Spirit Of The Bay really should be very hard to knock out of the frame.
The other one to back in the closing race is last year’s runner-up Ffion, who has a trickier draw to overcome in stall 11, but if there is anyone riding at the moment who can work some early magic, given how high his confidence must be, it is Richard Kingscote.
Ffion was a gallant runner-up behind a stablemate in the race last season, and warmed up for this with a win at Chester 6 weeks ago, in a fashion that was so far removed from how horses had been winning at that meeting, that her winning performance could still be significantly marked up in my view.
There is a bit of 16/1 available with Paddy Power and Betfair Sportsbook, but I am going to recommend backing Ffion at 14/1 each-way with Bet365 also, as they offer 6 places.