As explained a few weeks ago, I find ante-post that much trickier on the flat, as races can be very heavily reliant on weather, draw and a more diverse landscape in terms of the big races and potential for targets to be changed.
So, with all this in mind, I present to you just the two ante-post bets that we have locked in for Royal Ascot, and it’s an all or nothing play on the first day.
Masseto at 14/1 each-way for the Coventry Stakes at 3.05pm: https://www.whichbookie.co.uk/free-betting-tips/horse-racing/royal-ascot-coventry-stakes-tuesday-15th-june/
Looking at the race, draw and GoingStick readings, which suggest that the stands’ side is slightly faster ground (as of Monday), then Masseto’s draw in stall 10, could be just about ideal for Gavin Ryan to track the pace in midfield and then unleash a withering run down the stands rail. Here’s hoping…
While a little later on the day, we have Chindit at 12/1 each-way for the St James’s Palace Stakes at 4.20pm: https://www.whichbookie.co.uk/free-betting-tips/horse-racing/royal-ascot-2021-st-james-palace-stakes/.
The round mile can be quite heavily draw-centric, and being closer to the inside is usually ideal, so at first glance, Chindit is a little wider than ideal in stall 8. However, with other leading fancies either just inside or wider out still, then it may be passable for Richard Hannon’s colt. The rather large potential spanner in the works, however, is that Ballydoyle have runners in stalls 2, 3 and 4. Perfect spots for them to dictate the race. Hopefully Chindit can prove his under-rated class and overcome this.
In terms of extra bets for day one, there are a couple to be had, beginning in the very first race – the Queen Anne Stakes at 2.30pm. Run over the straight mile, it has long been the domain of the improving four-year-old, and there are three of those creatures running here – Palace Pier, and the Aidan O’Brien-trained duo of Order Of Australia and Lope Y Fernandez.
Palace Pier will be extremely hard to beat, and I wouldn’t be rushing to back anything each-way against him, but I would however recommend a bet on Lope Y Fernandez at 9/2 each-way with Boylesports, in the ‘market without Palace Pier.’
Lope Y Fernandez is a horse that very much polarises opinion, as those that wish to crab him can point to his poor win strike-rate for a horse of his ability. But I would be keen to give him a chance to prove himself a top-notch miler on fast ground, by giving Palace Pier a real race here.
Second only to Pinatubo in the Chesham two seasons ago, a running on third in the Breeders Cup Mile (when shuffled too far back from an inside draw), and a blisteringly fast time when winning at Leopardstown on seasonal reappearance – all these point to the potential to flourish now Ballydoyle have found Lope Y Fernandez his particular niche.
The other bet comes in the very last race – the Copper Horse Stakes at 6.10pm, and I am taking on the Willie Mullins-trained hotpot Saldier. Far be it from me to suggest that Mullins has got it wrong, but when entries were first revealed, I would have been 95% sure that Saldier would be running in the Ascot Stakes earlier on the card, and M C Muldoon in the Copper Horse Handicap. However, they are doing exactly the opposite.
Which means that I’d be keen to take them on, and most notably with the Kevin Ryan-trained Throne Hall at 9/1 each-way with Sky Bet in the Copper Horse Handicap at 6.10pm. Sky Bet are offering a whopping 6 places, and while you can get 10/1 elsewhere, regular followers will know I much prefer the extra safety net.
Throne Hall will relish stepping back up to 1m6f, after chasing Ilaraab in vain at York, and he is related to the likes of Appeared and Apparate, who are both winners at Ascot.