Royal Ascot (Queen Anne, Kings Stand, & St James Palace Stakes) Preview.
Kicking the Royal Ascot selections off with the Queen Anne Stakes and the one that its extremely hard to get away from is Richard Fahey’s Ribchester. He won the Lockinge at Newbury comfortably by over three lengths and looks very tough to beat again here which is shown in his price. A couple of each way alternatives to look at for value purposes look to be Lightening Spear for David Simcock who was second behind the market leader at Newbury. Another to maybe consider as an each way chance is the mare Usherrette if she does line up here, she’s been arguably disappointing since winning here last year but could bounce back to form at decent odds. These pair are 7/1 and 10/1 respectively. Ribchester is certainly the one to beat here though and should take this, he’s trading at a general 5/6.
Selection: Ribchester 5/6 – Lightening Spear 7/1 EW – Usherette 10/1 EW –
The Kings Stand
Moving onto the The Kings Stand and it certainly looks a fascinating contest with some of the best sprinters in the world on show. And due to that it’s been increasingly difficult to pinpoint a winner. A couple of my personal favourites head affairs with Wesley Ward’s Lady Aurelia and former Wesley Ward now AP O’Brien mare Acapulco. Acapulco is a horse that’s as big as my garage and can be as impressive as her size on her day. She made a winning start for Coolmore when landing a Group 3 on debut and looks certain to give another big showing here. Marhsa for Sir Mark Prescott is another that looks sure to give another bold showing following a reappearance win in a Group 3 at Newmarket on the back of last season’s Group 1 triumph in the Prix de L’Abbaye. However the one i’ll be siding with is Wesley Ward’s Lady Aurelia now dropped back to down to five furlongs. She won her reappearance well last month after being found out over six last year. She destroyed the field in the Queen Mary last year and a repeat of that kind of performance makes her very hard to oppose, she’s trading at a general 7/2.
Selection: Lady Aurelia 7/2
St James Palace Stakes
This year’s St James Palace looks to be a rematch between the 2000 Guineas first and second in AP O’Brien’s Churchill and Richard Hannon’s Barney Roy. Churchill is the current favourite to win again following his Irish/English Guineas double at the top of affairs trading at a general 8/13. However i’m of the belief that Barney Roy might just reverse the form here. He had a very trouble passage in the 2000 when blocked in by Aiden’s two other runners and still ran on well enough to get to within a length to Churchill. I think with a less troubled run he could certainly give the market leader more than enough to think about and I genuinely he believe he could beat him here. He’s currently trading at a general 9/4.
Selection: Barney Roy 9/4