Royal Ascot 2017 Preview | 20th – 24th June 2017
Graeme Johnston looks ahead to next week’s Royal Ascot meeting and picks out some horses to follow.
Royal Ascot 2017 – 20th-24th June 2017
Royal Ascot is just a week away and the countdown is well and truly on. It’s the most prestigious week of flat racing anywhere in the world and there is something for everyone.
Each day provides Group race action and there are plenty of big field handicaps for those who like backing big priced runners and there is plenty of value still available.
I’m going to take a look at two races where I think there are overpriced runners who look sure to run huge races at the Royal meeting.
Prince Of Wales Stakes – 21st June 2017
I’m going to start with the Prince of Wales Stakes. One of the big races of the week it’s ran over 10 furlongs and at this stage it looks wide open. Looking through the field there are a few who may have other targets meaning there could be value before the field cuts up, so I’m out to find it.
Ulysses is currently disputing favouritism however he is yet to shine at the top level. As well bred as anything that will be lining up during the week he could still end up top class but he’s quite short in the betting. An impressive winner last time at Sandown this looks his trip and as a likely runner he has to be respected.
Cloth of Stars was well beaten in the Derby last year but aside from that his form has been rock solid. A Group 1 winner, this looks his ideal trip and he seems fairly flexible in terms of ground too. I think he falls short at the very top however if the race does cut up as I suspect it will he could go well.
Hawkbill and My Dream Boat both won Group 1 races last year (My Dream Boat this race) however neither really progressed from that. They both need soft ground and seem to have lost a yard of pace and even though they are likely to run well neither appeal as winners.
The one I like here is the Roger Charlton trained Decorated Knight. Now a dual Group 1 winner he has rapidly progressed in the last 12 months. His win last time out reads well and despite needing to step up to take this I believe he is capable of that and at the odds one stands out as a great each way bet.
Diamond Jubilee Stakes – 24th June 2017
The Diamond Jubilee stakes is the highlight of the final day and one of the biggest 6 furlong races anywhere in the world.
Many of these are entered in the Kings Stand also but it looks fairly straight forward to work out who will race where with the exception of Signs of a Blessing and there is one I really like.
On his day Limato is the most likely winner of this race however that day just doesn’t come around often enough. He needs quick ground and has thrown in a couple of poor performances when the ground goes against him.
He has a new jockey on board and if everything drops right he could win, but I’m certainly looking elsewhere.
Quiet Reflection had a great 3 year old campaign winning the Commonwealth and Haydock Sprint Cup’s providing to be top class especially when the ground is soft.
She ended the season with a whimper and returned at Haydock with a lacklustre performance. She is good, but unless the ground turns heavy she isn’t for me.
Magical Memory was sent off favourite for this last year where he came fourth and after losing his way after that he returned with a promising second at York last time out. He is a talented sprinter but I feel at this level he will always find one too good.
The one I do like is the James Fanshaw trained The Tin Man. He flopped in this last year however he’s a previous course and distance winner and finally got the win he deserved at the top level in the Champion Sprint last October.
He returned behind Tasleet at York but he was conceding weight all round and I don’t doubt for one second he won’t improve dramatically for that. His trainer is a master at preparing his string for the big day and loves this meeting. He strikes me as great each way value currently.
Graeme Johnston’s Royal Ascot Aces
Prince Of Wales Stakes – Decorated Knight each way (11/1)
Diamond Jubilee Stakes – The Tin Man each way (15/2)