I put up three on this blog on Saturday at decent enough prices. Two were very well backed yet I did not have a winner. The aggregate distance they were beaten, however, was half a length.
I do not know whether that means I am in form or not but I do know that if I owned a cat it would probably have got a kicking that evening! (That is a joke, by the way – we’re all animal lovers here).
I think I may have said this last year, but if you are looking for massive outsiders to run great races and finish seventh please go to another column for your 33-1 kite flyers!
I am very happy to concentrate on the front end of the market at this meeting and I believe I am backed up by the stats.
If you had not looked beyond horses at 12-1 for the entire meeting for the last five years you would have made a small profit of 5% at Betfair SP, according to the Proform software.
Conversely, if you had bet all that were bigger than 12-1 and you would be living in cardboard city. This meeting is a marathon and I see little point in making life too difficult nowadays
I always used to look for a result in one of my favourite races of the first day but the 2m4f Ascot Stakes has not been won by anything bigger than 12-1 in the last 10 years so it is simply not worth it.
Willie Mullins, who has won it three times in the past six years, runs five this year but the jockey who won for him last year, Ryan Moore, rides the intriguing Chelkar, who has not been seen in UK or Ireland and not on any racecourse for 600 days.
He has only ever run over 10 furlongs, exactly half the distance of this race, yet Mullins gets Moore to ride this one above much more recently blooded types.
He has won three of his five career races so knows what it is about and if the market comes for him in the way it can in this race I will be more than happy to join in.
The Coventry Stakes is not always absolutely top-class but I do believe this year’s race will prove to be very strong indeed.
It does look as though either Aidan O’Brien or John Gosden will take it with two horses, who look head and shoulders above the others.
I prefer the Irish runner, who will be bidding to be the sixth juvenile by his sire Scat Daddy to win at this meeting in the last five years.
Ryan Moore has been on three of the five so far. This horse bolted up by seven and a half lengths on his second start after missing out through lack of experience on debut. He followed up in good style in a Listed even on better ground. I believe, if anything, that horses by Scat Daddy prefer the ground to be fast and it is going to be “scorchio” on Tuesday. He has the impressive Gosden runner Calyx to beat.
Charles Hills may have the best sprinter in the world in Battaash, who won decisively, though narrowly, in the Temple Stakes at Haydock on his comeback.
It was a strange betting market that afternoon, with bookies just looking for any excuse to lay this coiled spring of a horse. They paid the price that day and I reckon Battaash will have lost the freshness after that run and will lead chief rival Lady Aurelia throughout.
Dave Nevison's best Royal Ascot day one bets: