The King’s Stand Stakes is the first of the Group One sprints this week and will be as fiercely competitive as always. Half a million pounds in prize money including over £300,000 to the winner helps, but the reality is the kudos and breeding potential of winning a race of this calibre is seen as far more important than good old-fashioned money. Last year saw Wesley Ward take this with Lady Aurelia and she is back to defend her crown in 2018 with regular pilot John Velazquez retaining the mount. As always in these features trends and statistics may well help us narrow down the field, so let’s have a look at what history can tell us.
You can also view our King’s Stand Stakes tips here.
- Official ratings mean more than most would think – No winner in the last 21 runnings has been rated above 121 or below 102, with the majority rated 111 to 117.
- The odds are all important – Despite just the two winning favourites, 19 or the 21 winners have come from the top eight in the betting regardless of field size
- Too many races – Not one horse has taken this contest having raced five or more times already this season.
- Previous run – All 21 winners had finished in the first seven home on their last outing before this contest.
Trends – Key Runners
Lady Aurelia ❌✅✅✅
Blue Point – ✅✅✅❌
Washington DC ✅✅✅✅
Mabs Cross ❌✅✅✅
Always one of the races of the season and one eagerly anticipated on the opening day by the sell-out Royal Ascot crowd. Although tight at the head of the betting we expected Wesley Ward’s Lady Aurelia to go off favourite on the day with the popular American trainer likely to feature in more media than most and just about take the edge with the on-course punters. She is an absolute speed ball and already has a course and distance win here after winning the Queen Mary Stakes as a two-year-old in 2016 as well as this race last season when impressively beating Profitable by three lengths. She is class and she will take lot of beating again but fails one of the four key pointers with an official rating of 122, and may not be any value considering that factor.
The same applies to Battaash who has done very little wrong with six wins from eleven starts including a four-length romp in the Prix de l’Abbaye at Chantilly in October and more recently the Group Two Temple Stakes at Haydock when seeing off a fast finishing Washington DC by a head. Charlie Hills’ gelding also ticks three of the four boxes with ease but is another who will need to break the ratings trend this afternoon if he wants to be successful.
Word from the Charlie Appleby camp is that they expect a big run from Blue Point who has improved at home after a last of nine at Sha Tin in April when trying to take on the Hong Kong sprinters on their home territory, but he is better than that and could go well. He also ticks three out of four but in his case he needs to try and become the first horse in 22 years or more to win having failed to hit a top seven finish last time out.
Kachy has been in great form this season and is another for the shortlist but he breaks the five or more races in a season rule and has his work cut out for that reason alone and amazingly only one horse scores a full-house four out of four. Aidan O’Brien’s Washington DC sneaks on to the ratings rule off 111, sits in the top eight in the betting, has only raced three times this season, and finished second last time out. At 16/1 he looks decent enough value according to the trends, and when you consider he finished fast and late to be beaten just a head by 5/2 chance Battaash last time at Haydock, his each way chance is there for all to see.
As you can already see only one horses fits every trend and that is the Aidan O’Brien trained Washington DC who is backable at an each way price and worthy of consideration. He can start slowly and invariably finishes with a rattle but has only won at lower levels with a Group Three at best and needs to pull out all the stops today under jockey Donnacha O’Brien to win this afternoon.
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