By Racinguk.com staff
Royal Ascot day one headlines:
Blue Point stands tall for Appleby and Buick
Without Parole delivers in St James's Palace Stakes
Accidental Agent stuns Queen Anne rivals
Classy Calyx rockets to Coventry triumph
Willie Mullins strikes again in Ascot Stakes
Gosden and Dettori savour magical treble
The great man would have enjoyed this afternoon, with two sons of Frankel – Without Parole and Monarchs Glen – victorious on the day.
And there's a certain Cracksman to come.
However, Frankie Dettori, fresh from a day-one treble, is 1-5 now.
William Buick is 20-1.
Coventry Stakes: Far Group (stalls 1-9, 11, 14): 42% of normalised SP share, median DTW 7.5L, mean PRB 57.4%. Stands group (13, 15, 16-24): 58% of nSP, med DTW 10.3L, mean PRB 43.2%. Data points to > c.2L (c. 7lb) bias against #CALYX group (best to regress observed 2.8L med diff)— James Willoughby (@ProfHindsight) <a href="https://twitter.com/ProfHindsight/status/1009112458185846784?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 19, 2018
John Gosden and Frankie Dettori steal the headlines, the pair claiming a treble as 8-1 Monarchs Glen wins easily.
A steadily run race did not suit some of the runners, including Mirage Dancer, who broke rather slowly.
We are waiting on revised odds for the top jock. Frankie must be favourite now after a Moore blank on day one.
Mirage Dancer is all the rage here as Sir Michael Stoute attempts to become the winning-most trainer in Royal Ascot history.
Will stall one suit over the ten furlongs? The 7-2 chance is ridden by James McDonald.
Sharja Bridge is also solid in the wagering.
I had them well-split. The owner told me his wife and two daughters were in town and that's why Lagostovegas came here. The owner can lay claim to this victory! She worked very fast the other day. I was afraid she would be too keen.
Yucatan flopped last time but is better than that and has cheekpieces on, with 8-1 available.
Meanwhile, over in Stratford, a former stablemate (Iniesta, brother to Found) is running in a handicap hurdle now!
He told Racing UK:
One of the most exciting sprinters in training. Exactly the type of horse that we would like to see to run in the Flying Five and why we wanted to get it upgraded to Ireland’s first ever Group 1 sprint.
The well-backed Dubawi Fifty made the pace here in a relatively uneventful contest under Silvestre De Sousa.
However, despite a fine ride from De Sousa, Lagostovegas picked him up under Andrea Atzeni. Incredibly, Willie Mullins had the first, third (Stratum), fourth (Chelkar) and Whiskey Sour (fifth). What an achievement!
How many of these might we see later in the week?
The Tony Bloom-owned Stratum is friendless in the betting but his stablemate Whiskey Sour is 11-2 now, having been 9-1.
The former Galway winner is the gamble of the race.
Paul Byrne procured the favourite in the next, Chelkar, for Willie Mullins. Byrne sees a big future on the level for the mount of Ryan Moore.
He was bought as a potential Melbourne Cup horse for top Australian Syndicate OTI Racing. Horse was always bought as a flat horse and owners have no intention of hurdling with him.
I have to say I am less than confident about the Irish horses in this but like Look My Way.
He is hardy, one of the most proven stayers in the race, and has perhaps one of the best bits of form.
Willie Mullins' quintet are all relatively strong in the market but Chelkas is most solid at 9-2.
Keep an eye out for Coventry runner-up Advertise, as trainer Martyn Meade is expecting a lot more to come.
"He's run a fantastic race, because he's a horse for another day," he said. "It's a bonus to be able to run him so early in the summer, and he will have learned a lot from that.
"Whether he was drawn on the right side or not doesn't matter now, but it's quite difficult if the runners split and you are racing away from the horse who is making the running. When it came to the race on our side of the track he did it well.
"He showed a bit of greenness, but what he did is the sign of a good horse - he's not just a two-year-old who came here for a day in the sun, but is a horse with a future.
"I'm quite a believer in taking things slowly, but we'll see how he is at home - maybe the way he went here suggests we should go again, and we will certainly consider it."
Very hard to judge. Obviously Chelkar could be very unexposed but long layoff a concern. Whiskey Sour will stay and love ground and is so consistent. Stratum has potential to be well-handicapped, Meri Devie has a great weight and Lagostovegas is always competitive.
You can't knock Without Parole, who has stepped through every level and has now proved himself to be the best of the three-year-old miling colts.
As the older generation over the distance do not look anything special at all, it would seem as if the Sussex Stakes is now his for the taking.
It is an extraordinary success story for American owner John Gunther. He not only bred this horse but the Triple Crown hero Justify.
"He ran a great race," said Charlie Hills of King's Stand runner-up Battaash.
"The winner's a very good horse. If we'd won we might have given six furlongs a go in the July Cup but I think we'll stick to give. There's a race in Ireland on Champions' Weekend that might be an option. We'll have a look."
Of Mabs Cross, the third, trainer Michael Dods said: "Maybe we've dropped a clanger because we haven't got her in the July Cup. We might have to think about that. Obviously the Nunthorpe will be the next target unless we decide to get into the July Cup at a later stage."
He has made his wy down to the start, head bowed in the manner of a horse ready to give all he has.
The clock watchers loved him at Yarmouth – but this is his acid test. He takes on some proper Group One rivals. Racecard >>>
William Buick has just been speaking to us in the press conference after Blue Point’s victory.
After his memorable June, which included winning the Derby, he said: “I’ve been enjoying it, I’m not hiding that, but it’s important to look forward.
“Charlie said the horse had been working well and that he was back to his old self.
“There wouldn’t be anyone who puts more pressure on me than myself. Sheikh Mohammed is where he is because he sets very high standards, and that’s what he expects from you.
Ireland has drawn a blank after the opening three races. Will the raiders get off the mark?
Ken Condon is confident Romanised can run a big race in the upcoming St James's Palace Stakes but the strongest Irish fancy appears to be US Navy Flag, last year's Dewhurst winner.
There seems no confidence behind Gustav Klimt, who can be backed in the ring at 12s.!
David O'Meara was chuffed with his Queen Anne Stakes runner-up Lord Glitters, who was caught late on by Accidental Agent.
O'Meara said: "I'm delighted with Lord Glitters. He has a huge engine and I think like a lot of the horses in the race, he would have preferred a stronger gallop, but I'm delighted with him.
"He was the lowest-rated horse in the race and we were thinking about this race or the Royal Hunt Cup, but he's run a blinder.
"He really likes it at this track and he always seems to run well here, but I don't know where we will go next - we'll talk to the owners."
The David Simcock-trained Lightning Spear again so near but yet so far in a Group One in third.
Simcock said: "Lightning Spear has run really well again, but he does seem to sometimes flatten up the hill here as he hasn't sustained his run.
"He hit the front, but found it a long way home. I'm very proud of him and he's run very well.
"I think the other two horses came from off the pace which helped them but I'm very pleased.
"We'll go for the Sussex Stakes with him now."
American challenger Yoshida, trained by Bill Mott, travelled well into contention before flattening out to finish a creditable fifth in the mile contest.
Jose Ortiz, having his first ride at Royal Ascot, added: "It was a great run and I thought at one stage that he might have a chance of winning. He travelled really well and I'm pleased with the performance."
That's what top-level Flat racing is all about. An enthralling renewal of the King's Stand with Battaash looking to have burned out Lady Aurelia only to get collared close home by 6-1 chance Blue Point.
Another serious achievement by winning trainer Charlie Appleby after the Derby. Blue Point has been a busy chap this season, not being allowed to run on Dubai World Cup night because he burst a blood vessel and didn't do much in Hong Kong later on.
The old Blue Point is back and he's 5-1 from 16s for the July Cup with Paddy Power. It's quite possible he'll head there, I suppose, over a furlong more.
Battaash got to the front, a little sweaty, and brought them along, with Lady Aurelia tracking him and Blue Point in behind those.
Battaash had the mare beaten at little beyond halfway, but Blue Point and William Buick took his measure readily to win, with Battaash just holding on from Mabs Cross who, like Paul Mulrennan predicted, ran a blinder. Result >>>
Dressing smartly at Ascot seems to extend to the action on the track, as Lady Aurelia's outrider is actually wearing a shirt and tie.
The American filly is gaining the edge over Battaash (15-8 against 5-2) in the betting for what is going to be a 'blink and you'll miss it' affair.
You always worry about the temperament of Battaash, and he'd sweated up before leaving the paddock. However, he has gone down to the start reasonably responsibly.
He is narrowing in on Lady Aurelia in the wagering, with 2-1 and 9-4 topping many boards in the betting ring.
Many punters are waiting till close to the off to back Battaash.
His sire, the rookie stallion Kingman, has only had two wins at the track as a stallion, both of them achieved by Calyx.
His subsequent runners will certainly be exciting and Calyx has a cruising speed not unlike his dad.
#Calyx's dam Helleborine won Prix Six Perfections while papa Kingman— Scott Burton (@seenthestars) June 19, 2018
did the job in the Jacques le Marois. John Gosden knows his history and Prix Morny @fgdeauville on August 19 will be next up for the Coventry winner.
She is nice and composed, not nervous. She is nice and calm. She has been here many times before.
The Irish Guineas winner was Condon's first Classic winner; could he be his first Royal Ascot winner?
He's been good since the Curragh and a strongly-run race will suit.
Fair play to those who believed in Calyx, as that looks an absolute machine.
For a second, I almost expected a Frankel-esque performance with Frankie Dettori committing pretty early down the stands side.
All on his own and with nothing to keep him company for perhaps two furlongs, he’s carried on straight as an arrow and won well.
Paddy Power make him their new 5-1 favourite from 16-1 for next year’s Guineas. You’d imagine trainer John Gosden will be looking at the Prix Morny later in the summer and then the Dewhurst.
What a Coventry Stakes!
Calyx dominated on his side to hold on from Advertise and Sergei Prokofiev, who was probably a bit unlucky not to be second, but did not ever look like getting to the winner.
Revised quotes for the 2000 Guineas are ranging around 16-1 about John Gosden's horse.
The money is coming for Calyx in the Coventry and you won't find much bigger than 9-4 about John Gosden's horse.
He would be a feather in the cap of his first-season sire Kingman and did look very exciting in winning on his recent debut at Newmarket.
It's not my kind of bet, so the best of luck if you like a short one.
Accidental Agent is a son of Delegator.
He was bought back by the vendor (8,000 guineas) as a yearling.
You never know! In hindsight, he had not run badly in the Lockinge.
We dreamt of finishing in the first four and this is the stuff you dream of. The rest of the week is an awful lot easier now. - Charles Bishop
A great result for bookmakers to start things up.
My (sort of) selection Lightning Spear looked set to win but only ended up finishing third.
Rhododendron was one of the first beaten, labouring on the fast ground over the trip.
Well, we weren't expecting that!
Accidental Agent has threatened to win a decent race and there was the suspicion that trainer Eve Johnson Houghton was aiming him a little too high in these sort of races.
He does like the course and has been given a terrific ride by breakthrough jockey Charlie Bishop. Still, he did look a 33-1 chance.
It is particularly significant for Johnson Houghton, as Accidental Agent was bred and is owned by her mother Gaie and is the sixth generations of his family.
After all that Royal excitement, it's time to remember that there's also some racing going on today.
The bookmakers are seeing this opening Queen Anne Stakes as a battle between Godolphin and Coolmore, with the latter's Rhododendron just shading Saeed Bin Suroor's Benbatl in the market. There's little between them.
Recoletos was a bit on his toes in the paddock but is a very conceivable winner, having impressed in two strong heads in France this term. The question mark for him is trying quicker ground for the first time.
I've decided to give one final, final, final chance to the enigmatic Limato. He probably doesn't quite get a mile, but this is certainly not the strongest of Queen Annes, and as the gelding is that little bit older, he ought to be sharper for the run in the Lockinge.
How is Lightning Spear so much bigger than the mare?
Deauville has also been quite strong in the market. We are only minutes away!
#RoyalAscot great front running performance from the queens carriage hit the front early in a slowly run race never headed and pulled away nicely in the final furlong,left me with impression there was plenty left in the tank and could go well next time out.— joseph murphy (@srfc1972) June 19, 2018
Kevin Kilbane has his eyes on Royal Ascot.
The former Irish international and football pundit is in Russia for the World Cup – but his eyes are also on the racing.
Asked for his nap today, he lacks hesitation: Battaash.
“Our contract with Al Shaqab runs until July. Frankie is available to ride for them if required.”
Cook adds: "So it appears the Qatari owners have made their own decision to use other jockeys on their Royal Ascot runners this week."
Oisin Murphy seemed very keen on Morando to finish his afternoon off in style in the Wolferton Stakes.
"He's an unknown on this ground but was unlucky the last day and the boss has kept him fresh for this," the jockey said. "He's maybe my best chance of a winner today."
Of Percy Street in the Ascot Stakes, he added: "I rang David Pipe up for the ride, hopefully I've done the right thing. He's trained a Royal Ascot winner before and his Flat form is quite strong."
Murphy is aboard Lockinge runner-up Lightning Spear in the Queen Anne Stakes. "He went very close at Newbury last time and has come out of the race well," he said. "Hopefully he can go one place better."
And of King's Shield in the St James's Palace: "At Epsom last time he didn't go on the track or the ground but he has a nice draw. Without Parole looks a worthy favourite for me."
The market has been quite interesting in the Coventry.
Calyx has gone favourite in the early-morning exchanges, while Sergei Prokofiev is freely available at 3-1.
You can get double-figure prices others in the race, though interestingly there has been money for Sergei Prokofiev's stablemate The Irish Rover, into 12-1 with some firms.
There is considerable confidence behind US Navy Flag in the St James's Palace, Ladbrokes report.
Michael Halford has a big runner or two this week. Previously successful at the Royal meeting, the County Kildare trainer has updated fans with his blog.
Paul Mulrennan rides Mabs Cross in the King's Stand.
Talking to Racing UK right now, he remarkably has said he would not swap Michael Dods' mare for any other runner, even though she is a 20-1 chance.
Martin Dixon gives his nap as Benbatl, while Steve Mellish goes with Coeur De Lion each-way.
The Royal Family are sending out a strong squad for the opening fixture of Royal Ascot with the Queen supported by the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and Lord Vestey up front.
Second carriage contains the Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, whilst the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Earl and Countess of Wessex are in the third carriage.
Finally, along with Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, are Lord and Lady de Mauley (nope, me neither).
Lord de Mauley is a Conservative peer with a long career in banking and seems a pretty accomplished chap.
He is now outright favourite, 7-1 into 5s, as Willie Mullins bids to extend a fine record in the staying test.
Jumps trainers have won then last eight editions!
The world’s biggest social network of sports betting tipsters has counted each colour The Queen has worn since the Royal meeting returned to Ascot after a year at York in 2005, and pink and blue top the charts by some way.
Tuesday, the meeting’s opening day, has seen The Queen plump for pink or blue in eight of the last 13 years, though green was her shade of choice 12 months ago.
His son and assistant Patrick rather helpfully gave me his appraisal this morning – though he is a little in the dark too!
"It's very hard to judge. Obviously Chelkar could be very unexposed but the long layoff is a concern.
"Whiskey Sour will stay and love ground and is so consistent. Stratum has potential to be well-handicapped, Meri Devi has a great weight and Lagostovegas is always competitive."
Cleared up then! Racecard >>>
That is how Ken Condon describes himself on Twitter and perhaps he must be pinching himself looking at it.
One of racing's gentleman, he bids for his first Royal Ascot winner today with Romanised. Racecard >>>
Ascot's clerk of the course, Chris Stickels, reports: "It's been dry overnight and it's a fairly breezy morning with sunny spells. I'm therefore anticipating the ground drying up a little bit before racing and it will probably end up becoming good to firm, or at least good to firm on the straight.
"The forecast is generally dry through the week and breezy. We might have to replace some of the water lost during the day by watering a bit overnight."
However, Ryan Moore is on 48 winners at the meet. One wonders will the 4-5 about him being top jockey look a gift come Saturday evening?
Moore has been the top Royal Ascot rider ever year in the past eight bar 2013. All Moore's six rides are for Irish trainers today: Aidan O'Brien or Willie Mullins.
Check out Nick Luck talking to Ryan Moore now ahead of the Royal Meeting on Racing UK.
You can get 4-5 about Moore winning the top jockey award.
"It's the biggest week of the year," he says.
It says in the racecard that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, better known to most of us as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, are due to be presenting the prizes for the St James's Palace Stakes.
It's a fair guess what is going to be the picture on the front page of most of the newspapers tomorrow if that's the case. Lets hope the pair of them enjoy the day and continue to have an interest in racing.
The Queen Anne is being presented by the Qatari Sheikh Hamad Al Thani, and the King's Stand by the Princess Royal.
I'm sure Craig Revel Horwood is royalty in many households around the country and the Strictly Come Dancing judge will be on the podium after the Ascot Stakes.
The worry is how good is the Kingman-bred Calyx? However, Aidan O'Brien has a stunning record in the Coventry, and there seem to be no negatives about the steed named after the Soviet composer.
And you can get 3-1 this morning.
No Idaho, no Gold Star but nine declared for the Gold Cup on Thursday. Mubtasim is out the Royal Hunt Cup (lame). Stablemate Seniority is in at the bottom of the weights.
I didn't even know that Alex Pantall, one of the top trainers in France for many years, was even on Twitter until now
There's no doubt that Wootton is among the most interesting contenders for today's St James's Palace Stakes. The Godolphin-owned colt flashed through to finish fourth in the French Guineas, having beaten the winner, Olmedo, in his trial. I can't get too excited about many others in the field and the favourite, Without Parole, seems far too short.
If you fancy a wager on top trainer, Aidan O'Brien can be backed at 1-2, with John Gosden 7-2. O'Brien is bidding to win the trainer's gong for the ninth time. He has a dozen runners today.
Welcome all to the Racinguk.com live blog.
Johnny Ward, Tom Peacock and I will be bring you all the latest from the royal meeting over the next five days and hopefully giving you a few winners along the way.
It is currently overcast here after being dry overnight. A generally dry, warm and breezy week is forecast, so cancel out all that soft ground form.
Now for the science bit, as they say on those annoying ads.
The course was watered on Sunday morning to maintain the current going for today.
No further watering is planned before racing today.
Given the current weather forecast, it is likely that watering after racing will take place through the week to replace moisture lost through evapotranspiration.
GoingStick readings at 8.30am today: Stands' Side: 8.6 Centre: 8.8 Far Side: 8.7 Round: 7.8
Stalls: Straight Course: Centre Round Course: Inside
The running rail on the round course is positioned three yards out from approximately nine furlongs out to the home straight. This rail will remain in place until Thursday.
Consequent changes in race distances for Tuesday and Wednesday are:
Old Mile Start - an increase of 5yds.
1m 2f, 1m 6f and 2m 4f Starts- an increase of 11yds.
Welcome to our Royal Ascot blog. I will be keeping you updated on all the drama from here until Saturday evening – it promises to be an epic Royal Ascot.
Perfect Clarity and Wild Illusion are among nine declared for the Ribblesdale on Thursday. Broadway, Crystal Hope and Sizzling scratched.
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