ROYAL ASCOT PREVIEW

AUTHOR: Lewis Williams

STAR RACING PREVIEW: Royal Ascot Tuesday

Welcome to Royal Ascot 2024. I’ll be kicking off with four selections from the card to start what looks to be the best betting week of the year, writes LEWIS WILLIAMS.


2.30 AscotQueen Anne Stakes (Group 1) 1m (Str)

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Facteur Cheval at a current price of ? with starsports.bet is a bullish bet to start Royal Ascot with a bang in the Queen Anne curtain raiser. The son of Ribchester went from strength to strength in his 4yo campaign, beaten just a length in the St James’ Palace behind Paddington before running the best of the chasing pack behind the unstoppable Big Rock in the QE2 ahead of Tahyria.

The Dubai Turf win at 20/1 back in March was the pinnacle of his career to date and showed he is up to the task of beating the best after 6 efforts finishing in the first 3. That win, unlike Audience’s win in the Lockinge, truly wasn’t a fluke with all the main guns firing and that form most recently received a substantial form boost after the Japanese runner Namur, whom was behind by a neck in Dubai, ran just half a length behind globetrotting superstar Romantic Warrior in the Yasuda Kinen, establishing himself as the best Japanese miler around.

The Dubai Turf 4th Measured Time of Appleby’s also struck with ease in the Grade 1 Manhattan Stakes recently, providing yet another boost for Factor Cheval’s chance and clearly separating that form from anything that Charyn has to offer at a price of ? . The Roger Varian trained 4yo finished behind the main selection in last year’s St James’ Palace and his Doncaster Mile win doesn’t ooze as much class and neither does his Sandown bet365 Mile win, beating a Lord North who was beaten further by Facteur Cheval.

Although Monday’s Racing Post front page is swarmed with pro Audience notions from connections, adamant that his Lockinge win wasn’t a fluke, I think that’s exactly what it was, and even though he may very well have been crying out for a mile his whole career, I’m happy to go against him at a short enough current price of ? .


3.45 AscotKing Charles III Stakes (Group 1) 5f

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The ultra consistent Mick Appleby talent Big Evs heads the market for the King Charles III Stakes and at a current price of ? with starsports.bet, I’m finding it extremely hard to make a case that he doesn’t win on Tuesday. A 4-time winner as a juvenile including the Flying Childers and the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint completes his glittering 7 race CV which hasn’t been done any harm by Flora Of Bermuda being good enough to go close in Saturday’s Scurry Stakes when 2nd, and Starlust striking easily at York leading to him being raised to 1lb higher than Big Evs. Both of whom he demolished last year.

With that said, I thought the son of Blue Point was short enough at 4/7 for his seasonal debut in York’s Listed Westow Stakes, but he proved me wrong and Tom nursed him along throughout the race to strike with a huge amount of dominance, hitting the line with plenty left in the tank. There are no stones left to throw at this horse and if natural career progression occurs, we’ll be left wondering how he went off at what might look like a big price after the race.

The vibes around Achilles Stakes winner Believing at a current price of ? are immaculate and although there’s every chance Australian runner Asfoora can do a Nature Strip from the front at ? , I’m hoping Big Evs will be able to outclass that duo and claim his 6th career victory.


4.25 AscotSt James’s Palace Stakes (Group 1) 1m

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2000 Guineas form from England, Ireland, and France all collide in what looks to be the race of the week in the St James’ Palace Stakes. Notable Speech understandably heads the market at a current price of ? with starsports.bet taking the tried and tested Coroebus route from two years ago when landing this race at a favourite’s price. The gaps appeared at the right moments for that horse and although I expect this son of Dubawi to remain unbeaten on Tuesday, I’m happy to let him win at a price that short in a race where nothing is certain.

Rosallion is the obvious danger at ? but I have doubts about his ability to reverse the Newmarket form despite an strikingly confident ride by Sean Levey when winning the Irish 2000 Guineas, beating Haatem by a neck, and simply confirming the aforementioned Classic form.

Henry Longfellow at ? was ridden with spectacular amounts of conservatism in the Poule d’Essai des Poulain. Despite hitting the line with running left in the tank, the first 4 home from that day being separated by just 4 lengths doesn’t fill me with confidence regarding that form. Winner Metropolitan comes to Ascot at a current price of ? which I’m happy to avoid for the aforementioned reason relating to Henry Longfellow, on top of a less than inspiring Prix de Fontainebleau run – even if he wasn’t fully tuned up.

French contender Darlinghurst is a fascinating contender at a current price of ? whose campaign strikingly resembles that of the 2023 Arc winner Ace Impact. After being campaigned in the winter at Cagnes-Sur-Mer just like the Cracksman colt, he struck in a Listed Chantilly contest which looked ordinary at the time, but that was until 2nd placed Wootton Verni won the Prix Greffulhe beating Group 1 juvenile winner Sunway before that horse was beaten 4 lengths in the Prix du Jockey Club when things went wrong for him. That retroactive form also links to Darlinghurst’s Prix de Guiche win in May, where the 2nd placed First Look was beaten just two lengths in the same Prix du Jockey Club. He is a massive price at ? .

Alyanaabi arguably hit the line the best of the horses placed 3rd to 6th in the Newmarket Classic and a recent chat with Jim Crowley has filled me with confidence for a horse seemingly forgotten in the market who was beaten less than 5 lengths that day. Don’t get me wrong he shouldn’t be your favourite, but a current price of ? might be underestimating a horse who went through that tactically messy race looking like the potential winner from the front end, where the first 2 home came from off the pace on the other side of the course. Although Notable Speech could well win and remain unbeaten, it must be noted that if he is beaten, you are effectively getting a huge ? that Alyanaabi is able to reverse the form with Rosallion by a mere three lengths, in a race that will certainly be run with differing tactics this time around.


5.40 AscotWolferton Stakes (Listed Race) 1m2f

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The penultimate race of the opening day sees Israr at a current price of ? with starsports.bet and I think that is more than fair. There’s no knocking his Middle Eastern form in the Bahrain International Trophy behind Spirit Dancer but ahead of subsequent Ormonde Stakes winner Point Lonsdale, proving that taking the scalp of Derby winner Adayar in the Princess Of Wales’s Stakes in July was no fluke. A flat run in Doha preceded a fair effort in the Gordon Richards Stakes when third behind Okeechobee and Desert Hero, and possibly hitting the front a bit too early before being collared by that chasing pack.

That run at Sandown preceded what was arguably a career-best effort from Israr at Chester. Although he was defeated that day in the Huxley Stakes by just over a length, the 4yo winner set the track record in the process by over two seconds (as would have Israr if he won). The Stoute-trained Ulysses colt looks set to run big races in Group 1 middle distance races this season and is currently a single figure price for the Eclipse & King George.

Israr is the best horse in this race and I can’t back Torito at a current price of ? which was once identical to the selection, and although Botanical’s form with Measured Time is eye-catching, I find he’s short enough.


RECOMMENDED BETS
BACK Facteur Cheval to win the 2.30 at Ascot 1pt at 3/1 (⭐ ? CLICK TO BET NOW)
BACK Big Evs to win the 3.45 at Ascot 1pt at 4/1 (⭐ ? CLICK TO BET NOW)
BACK Alyanaabi to win the 4.25 at Ascot 0.5pts E/W at 18/1 (⭐ ? CLICK TO BET NOW)
BACK Israr to win the 5.40 at Ascot 2pts at 7/2 (⭐ ? CLICK TO BET NOW)


PROFIT/LOSS (JUN 2024): -7.70 POINTS


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