Next week at Royal Ascot there are 5 short priced favourites that have the bookies trembling in their boots. At the best prices the 'Good Thing' accumulator pays a tempting 19/1!
With all 5 winning impressively last time out and 4 of the 5 having won at Royal Ascot last year they certainly warrant their current position in the betting market.
So, should we jump on the bandwagon? Or is there a weak link in the chain that will once again let the bookies off the hook?
Let's take a look....
RIBCHESTER (Best price 4/5)
He goes in the first race of the meeting, The Queen Anne Stakes, and looks to have an outstanding chance on both the form book and the trends. In 11 runs he's only been out of the top 3 once, that was when the French stewards disqualified him from second place, and was a winner of the Jersey Stakes at last year's Royal meeting. His next 5 starts were all in Group 1 company where he finished 31231 with all defeats being by a length or less. At last year's Ascot Champions Day meeting he was a 1/2 length second to star filly Minding in the QEII and his last win came in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury where he made all to come home over three lengths clear of the field. That has long been the number pointer to the Queen Anne and was a career best performance With plenty of course experience, Group 1 form and a perfect trends profile he's the one they all have to beat.
CHAIN LINK: VERY STRONG - (Great fit for the trends, has the best form on show and impressive last time out. My banker of the meeting)
CHURCHILL (Best price 4/6)
The top 2yo from last year he wound up his Season by winning two Group 1 races including the Dewhurst by a length and a quarter from his stablemate Lancaster Bomber. He's another winner from this meeting last year having won the Chesham Stakes on his second start but it's his form from this year that has seen him go odds-on for the St James Palace Stakes in under a weeks time. First time up he beat the Godolphin owned Barney Roy by a length to land the Newmarket 1000 Guineas and then won the Irish version by 2 1/2 lengths from another Godolphin horse, Thunder Snow. Connections of the runner-ups are keen to take the favourite on again but even though both of them stayed on well through the final furlong to chase him right to the line I'm not sure there were that many excuses to justify backing either of them to reverse the placings. The rest of the field trade at 25/1 or bigger and have a lot to find to challenge the front three, and especially the favourite, in the betting.
CHAIN LINK: STRONG - (Has already beaten the 1st and 2nd favourites and looks to have little to fear from the rest of the field)
ORDER OF ST GEORGE (Best price Evens)
He is coming back next week to defend his Gold Cup crown, having won impressively last year, and will be attempting to join a long list of multiple winners of the race, the most recent of which was his 4 time winning stablemate Yeats. He recorded a staying on 3 length victory last year and looked set to dominate the staying division for the rest of the Season but things didn't quite go to plan as although he won next time up at 2/11 he was then turned over at 1/7 in the Irish St Leger. He was then dropped down in trip for the Arc De Triomphe, where he finished an honourable third, but was once again beaten at odds-on when finishing only 4th in the Stayers race on Ascot Champions Day. We could probably just about excuse that run because it came just 2 weeks after his Arc third but his comeback run was disappointing no matter which way you looked at it. There he was beaten over a length by a horse rated 19lb inferior, again at odds on, and again never looking likely to win. He did get back on the winning trail last time out against a field of inferior rivals but he did more no more than he was entitled to when landing the odds. His Gold Cup task was made a little easier with the announcement that his main rival and the then second favourite, Vazirabad, would miss the race but he'll still have to turn up in at least the same form as he was in last year as he will face what looks like a formidable home team led by the mare Simple Verse and recent trial winners Big Orange and Sweet Selection.
CHAIN LINK: UNDER PRESSURE - (Impressive last year but his form has taken a bit of a dip since. Returned to winning ways last time out but that was a poor race and a few decent stayers have emerged this Season)
WINTER (Best price 4/6)
Another Aiden O'Brien short priced favourite who, like Churchill, has won both the Newmarket and Irish Guineas in commanding style. She was nothing special as a 2yo, picking up a maiden on the all weather at Dundalk on her final juvenile start, but obviously improved tremendously throughout the Winter as she was well backed in the run up to the 1000 Guineas. She comfortably accounted for her stablemate Rhododendron there but was even more impressive when beating another of her stablemates Roly Poly in the Irish version. With most of the top fillies having already been crushed by Winter it leaves the main challenge looking likely to come from John Gosden's Dabyah who hasn't been seen since winning the Fred Darling back in April.
CHAIN LINK: VERY STRONG - (Very impressive in both English & Irish Guineas and looks a very smart 3yo filly)
CARRAVAGIO (Best price Evens)
The fourth O'Brien hot pot and the fourth Royal Ascot winner set to return from last year, Carravagio will contest the newly formed Group 1 Commonwealth Cup over 6f on the Friday of the meeting. After winning his first two career starts he ran out an impressive winner of the Coventry Stakes before following up in a Group 1 at the Curragh by an easy 4 lengths. Kept to sprinting, he began this Season with another facile win from a decent sort over 6f at Naas. The main challenge to his Ascot chances appear to come from the two Godolphin owned runners who finished 1st and 2nd in the Group 3 Pavillion Stakes at Ascot, Blue Point & Harry Angel. It promises to be a cracker of a race but such has been the ease of the favourite's wins throughout his career he looks a sprinting force to be reckoned with.
CHAIN LINK: STRONG - (Has won every race since debut in impressive style but will face a couple of very decent rivals next week)
At Royal Ascot this year I'll be producing the popular Daily Nag email for all Trends Subscribers.
It will list all the Trends Selections, the Top Rated runners and any Highway 50 Ante-Post bets that are running each day. In addition I will also include any system qualifiers from today's and yesterday's blog posts along with any Lay horses flagged up by the stat 'negatives'.
Daily Nag subscribers can also look forward to Placepot Perms, daily updates and notification of any fancies my brother, Gary, has for Ascot each day (these are also available FREE from the Tipsters Review site)
And finally, I'll highlight my 4 best bets of the day from that days selections for a Lucky 15 bet.
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