The 2016 Royal Ascot Carnival got underway last night with a bang as our best bet landed in the first race of the day securing us a strong profit for Day 1 to take forward into the carnival. I have to admit, it’s a strange feeling as the first day normally gets the better of me at this carnival, so it’s good to be in this position. One clear standout bet today on a shorty while two e/w chances I feel are both over the odds in the first two races of the day should have us in a good position come end of day. No rain hit the course overnight so we are on a drying soft track. As always, I hope you your form matches up with mine. Good luck and happy punting.
Day 1 Results: +6.5 units
Skyracing (TAB) form guide – this is what we use for the basics – http://www.skyracing.com.au
Speedmaps and form from Punters – http://www.punters.com.au/form-guide/
I find all of the best early odds at www.bestodds.com.au
Our results are updated daily here – Betting Spreadsheet
Red means Top pick. Blue means second pick and Green refers to a saver pick. Orange means the pick looks value.
Royal Ascot Race 1
The focus goes on one runner here to start the day – Gifted Master. This is a horse that ran a sizzling rating two back at course over the 1200m on a surface that wasn’t dry. This not only gives us the confident that he will handle the track, but also that he should handle the conditions here. You can then look to the previous two prep before that when he won a 1400m race as a 2YO by 4.6L… then next start in a 2YO-Group 3 race over 1600m he won also. There’s no doubt his best rating run was over the 1200m at this track two runs back… but it’s also clear in my mind that last start was a forgive run and he is ticking over fine for this today up and is crying out for the distance increase. The main threat today looks ot be Thikriyaat who looks to have further improvement to come here… will appreciate a battle and most importantly is bred to get the ground.
Comments: I’m confident that we are on the right horse in this grade today. If he reproduces a run that rates as well as the two back run at course over 1200, then I find it hard to suggest any of his competition can produce a better run. Even if he produces a run a few rating points below what was shown two runs back, he is there abouts against the rest of the field as well… so I think we are in a good spot on the each-way here instead of savering off or betting on two horses in the race.
Strategy: Gifted Master for 1.25 unit Each-Way @ $9.60/$3.50
Royal Ascot Race 2
One of those races where you have to guess a bit outside of what we have already seen to date. The favourite is an American horse that won over 900m with 53.5kg by a lazy 7 lengths… the race was the real deal and the sectionals are blistering…. but the ground is a huge disadvantage today for mine… taking a lot of that sprint out of the legs.. not to mention the extra 100m and the up and down nature of this course compared to that seen back home. Yes, there is no doubt the American horses get the best drugs as a lead into their 2YO year and that is always a huge advantage, but I can’t bet into the price on offer today with all the factors against.
Barroche is the stand out here for mine. I’m looking for a horse to sit out the back with the tempo expected to be solid from the get go. Barroche will settle behind them and most importantly finish the race off with a huge sprint, something the sectionals don’t lie about.. this horse has the class and sectionals to match to pick up this big group late, as long as the horse handles the ground. With no rain overnight, I think we are fine ground wise. Another gamble of sorts I guess.
Comments: You can’t be overly confident on any horse in this race, but I really do feel Barroche is the overs in this race today and i’m happy to play.
Strategy: Barroche for 0.5 units Each-Way @ $17.50/$5.20
Royal Ascot Race 3
I’m not overly confident to play in this race, but I do have to give you my thoughts. Usherette is well under the correct odds. Yes, it was a good win last start, but the ratings suggest a number of very good horses ran significantly below thier best ratings.
Jazzi Top is a horse I know will handle the track and most likely the conditions of running today. Most importantly, Dettori takes the ride from a positive barrier and I expect him to settle her in a winning position. Lucida is the other threat… the runs two three and four back are all more than good enough to win here and the horse will handle the conditions.
Comments: Happy to sit and watch here.
Strategy: Back both Lucida and Jazzi Top.
Royal Ascot Race 4
1. A Shin Hikari: Just how good is he? I think he may just be one of the best we will see going around at Royal Ascot in a long time. He destroyed a classy Group 1 field last start in France on a wet track franking his ability to handle all conditions. The ratings don’t lie… it was one of the best runs of the year last start rating several points higher than any horse in this race has reached… furthermore, his Group 1 win the previous start in Hong Kong was more than enough to beat any horses personal best as well. He is the bet of the night.
2. My Dream Boat: Beaten 14L last start by A Shin Hikari. Obviously will enjoy the ground, but the last two starts were not good enough to suggest a win here.
3. The Grey Gatsby: Doesn’t handle a wet track and is most likely not to run today by all reports. Group 1 winner over 2000m in the past, his form lines frank his ratings as the 2nd best chance here, if it was a dry surface. Couldn’t have on the ground.
4. Tryster: I think he is one of the horses coming into this race with potential we haven’t fully seen released. Group 1 winner over in the UAE, that run showed his clear ability.. but he failed to abck it up. Goes well fresh, but is a big unknown on the ground.
5. Western Hymn: This bloke is super consistent. He is no world beater but he always seems to put in some very handy runs and is there or there abouts at the end of the race. Unfortunately, he is also a non-winner with a string of places on his record in the top class. The ground will be no issues, but he will have to produce a personal best run to feature in the finish again here.
6. Found: Produced her best run ever (even better than G1 win over Golden Horn) three runs back over the 2000m on a Soft track. Will get a similar surface today but has certainly been disappointing the last two starts. Ratings out of those two runs were well off what we know she can produce. Two runs 0 win at track also a bit of a concern… did find two very good horses to beat her the last two starts but was well beaten both starts.
Comments: I’m super confident today on the chances of A Shin Hikari. This is the type of horse where i’m more than happy to be outlaying 5 units at a price sub $2. The price still represents value in comparison to what my ratings throw up, significant value.
Strategy: A Shin Hikari for 5 units @ $1.67