It’s finally here, Day 1 of Royal Ascot. The best week of flat racing in Europe, the best the horse racing world has to offer descends on Ascot on Tuesday. We’re treated to seven races each day, with eight Group 1s across the week and plenty of competitive handicaps too.
As always, we have you covered, with Royal Ascot tips for each day at the meeting. With so much competitive action, however, it’s the perfect time for my outsiders to strike! I’ve gone through the first day and found three horses that are simply overpriced for their respective races. See all my analysis below, and good luck with your Royal punting!
3.05 Ascot – Coventry Stakes
If there was a dictionary definition for “upset potential”, there would simply be a picture of the racecard for this year’s Coventry. Kaufymaker has been the talking horse for the race, but she’s a filly taking on the boys and you’d have to worry about the six-furlong distance for her.
Nando Parrado caused an enormous shock for Clive Cox and Adam Kirby twelve months ago and I fancy Caturra (20-1) to repeat the feat. A son of Mehmas, he was well backed in a good race on debut at Newmarket. He was outpaced a fair way from home, but he rallied well under minimal urgings and shaped like a horse with a nice future.
The form of his subsequent Bath win is nothing special, but he still looked inexperienced and won cosily. Stepping up to six furlongs should prompt plenty of improvement from him and at odds of 33-1, I’m more than happy to take the chance the progress will be exponential.
5.00 Ascot – Ascot Stakes
Given his record in the race, it’s no surprise that this year’s favourite is M C Muldoon. He has obvious claims with Ryan Moore aboard, but this is far more wide open than the market suggests. I like Dalton Highway (25-1) for the Dermot Weld team, especially with Colin Keane booked.
He’s now an eight-year-old and his recent form has been somewhat uninspiring, but a return to a better surface could be just what he needs. His most recent win came at the Curragh last June and that was his last start on good ground. In fact, three of his five rules victories have come on good ground or quicker, so recent starts on rain-sodden surfaces won’t have been ideal.
Picking up that aforementioned Curragh handicap off a mark of 86 in comfortable fashion, 91 is more than achievable. Weld’s horses have hit form at the perfect time and I’d be surprised if you didn’t see these famous silks weaving their way through in the closing stages.
6.10 Ascot – Copper Horse Handicap
Last year’s meeting cemented Hollie Doyle as a star and Amtiyaz (20-1) could provide her with the perfect end to the opening day. John & Thady Gosden’s son of Frankel has done nothing but improve, going up seventeen pounds on the All-Weather in the winter months.
He was last seen on All-Weather Championship Day at Lingfield, finishing down the field in the marathon. Little went right for him that day, however, running far too free in the opening stages and that meant he had nothing to offer in the straight. It wasn’t a run devoid of promise, and this race should pan out perfectly for him.
Dropping back to 1m 6f, he should have an honest gallop to chase and that’ll help him settle in the early furlongs. This is just his second turf start too and he could feasibly improve for the switch back to the grass. If he does just that, he’s surely in with a big shout at very tempting odds.