20 Jun 2020

St James's Palace Stakes (Group 1)

Despite the tricky feeling going into Ascot it's been a very good week so far for me. My Key Racing Gold thread on the ENIGMA forum has landed a nice profit every day bar one, and I think we have a very good chance of keeping it going today.

Pinatubo did not look the scopiest last season and unless he was undercooked going into the Guineas (unlikely), that came to haunt him at Newmarket tackling the extra furlong. 

Connections have little option but to come here - by waiting they risk falling further behind - but Pinatubo definitely has a question to answer as these classy slower maturing 3-y-o types come on stream.

On paper Wichita is the one to beat today, but he has a very interesting opponent representing top connections in PALACE PIER and you can see the two of them settling down to fight it out.

John Gosden made a canny move in swerving Newmarket and a has a fresh well-prepared horse coming into this. It's also always a significant sign when he moves a horse heavily up in class to Group 1 company.

Palace Pier cost 600,000 GNS at Tatts Book 1, is bred to be a serious horse and I think Mr Gosden knows he has a very good one on his hands.

The Gosden team are also in outstanding form and there's no one better on the round course than Frankie. It's usually the case he gets first run on Ryan Moore in their Ascot battles, which always gives him a fighting chance. Looks a cracking contest.

3pm Ascot, Palace Pier 1pt win BSP & 1pt 2 places BSP  ** WON 7.78 BSP ( & 3.46 place BSP)...great prices! **

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12 Jun 2020

Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas (Group 1)

A cracking few days on the ENIGMA forum. 3 syndicate horses pencilled in for Royal Ascot and two class 4 handicap winners for the syndicates. Oleg, impressive at Pontefract in his prep for the stayers’ handicap at Goodwood, while Batchelor Boy romped in at Wolvy - both flagged at members.

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The Irish 2000 Guineas today.

With the turning nature of the Curragh Guineas mile, in this race it usually pays to be in the low numbered stalls, especially 1-3 (but 1-6 will do).

Juddmonte's hot favourite Siskin has a plumb birth in stall 2, but has the look of an endangered species surrounded by the Ballydoyle horde on all sides. He's never gone further than 6fl, and with stamina to prove going forwards to dominate, hoping to avoid trouble, looks off the agenda.

If he tucks in and takes a lead he stands to get trapped and be unable to time his run. Taking him on with a lively EW shot looks a solid play and here ROYAL LYTHAM fits the bill.

Miler pedigree

Last seen behind Siskin in the Phoenix Stakes, a running on 3rd after doing the donkey work, he only just failed to get back up for 2nd. They said his saddle slipped, but if it did you really wouldn't know it - although if that is true then he's done extra well.

Essentially, it seemed he was done for toe with his his stamina kicking in too late. He's by Gleneagles and the step up to a mile looks just the ticket. They've reached for the blinkers too; so it might be he just idled, but they are throwing everything at this today and that’s a good sign because he’s far from out of it.

You can see Royal Lytham bouncing out from stall 3 and sitting 1st or 2nd and getting first run. If he's ultimately done for a change of gears he should still be hard to knock out of the frame.

Also interesting to see Aiden O'Brien half-directing punters on to Armoury this morning, which feels like a smokescreen. Hills are offering 10/1 to 4 places about Royal Lytham which feels like a gift if you have an account. But with the new norm, I'll be relying on BSP.

6.40 Curragh, Royal Lytham 1pt win BSP, 1pt 3 places BSP

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7 Jun 2020

Qipco 1000 Guineas (Group 1)

On to the 1000 Guineas. As suspected yesterday Pinatubo looks like he will find things much more difficult this year, as the bigger more scopey 2-y-o’s from 2019 fill out.

Our pick was never at the races; Mums Tipple raced keenly from the break and didn’t handle the undulations. He also underlined the Hannon team are all coming out needing the run. I’m sure they will drop Mums Tipple back in trip on a flat track in due course and he could bounce back.

Meanwhile, today the one I have backed in the 1000 Guineas is John Gosden’s sole entry SHIMMERING owned by Watership Down Stud. Although he rarely wins this race, Mr Gosden has a long history of landing big prices in the top 4. His last nine runners in have produced:

2019, 4th 33/1
2017, 3rd 5/1
2012, 2nd 33/1 & 4th 22/1
2011, 3rd 22/1

In short, 5 out of 9, top 4. Basically, just being there is a very fair indicator the yard feel they have a bona fide chance of a top 4 finish and Gosden is fretting about the draw this morning which is often a sign that they think a horse might even have a win chance.

Frankie is on board for top connections. It’s the sole entry from a top-tier operation who have started in great form. Looks well worth a speculative EW bet.

3.35 Newmarket, Shimmering 1pt win BSP, 1pt 4 places BSP

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6 Jun 2020

Qipco 2000 Guineas (Group 1)

Well here we are, finally back in the thick of the action - if strangely deserted. It’s a Guineas day like no other.

The race revolves around Pinatubo was finished his 2-y-o campaign rated higher than Frankel. Whether he can repeat the feat at a 3-y-o remains to be seen. He didn’t come across as obviously scopey last year, just very talented. 

We all love a champion, so let’s hope he he thrives again.

But there is that doubt and for my money the 2nd best producer of 2-y-o form from 2019 was MUMS TIPPLE in the Goffs sales race at York. In a race that could prove more open than it looks, his price is a bit of an insult.

He carried 5lbs more at York than the winner of the preceding race, the Gr2 Lowther, but ran 1.42 seconds quicker over C&D. RPR 118 on 2nd career start. Both runs have been franked many times.

Everyone knows he finished lame in the Middle Park and was well below the form expected which suggests that can (in fairness) be ignored.

He’s also bred for a mile, perhaps more so than Ballydoyle’s contenders by speedster No Nay Never. 
On top of that the Hannon’s have a long history of form when it comes to landing shocks in Guineas races. 

Since Junior took over Night Of Thunder and Billesdon Brook have kept up the family tradition, while Richard Senior made his career of it. They aim to buy milers, and this is their Derby.

The Hannon’s are widely reported to be delighted with his work - and we know first-hand that they are just as delighted privately as they are in pubic. 

Now it’s down to the horse. It’s going to be a fascinating race and he goes there a contender at a big price.

3.35 Newmarket, Mums Tipple - 0.5pt Win BSP, 0.75pt 3 Places BSP

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