What are the best bets on day two of the royal meeting?
Day two of the royal meeting gets under way with a high-class renewal of the Group 3 Jersey Stakes and it just gets better and better. Here are my thoughts on the day’s proceedings with suggested bets and best available prices at the time of writing.
2.30: Jersey Stakes, 7f
Last season’s high-class juvenile Ivawood is a red-hot 13/8 favourite for the opener and it’s easy to see why as his form sets a very high standard. Richard Hannon’s colt finished third in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket before filling the same spot in the Irish equivalent and if he runs up to a similar level he’ll be hard to beat, with the drop back to 7f also likely to suit. His jockey Richard Hughes has made him his ‘banker’ of the meeting and he’ll be that for many punters too.
However, that’s all been factored into his price and given he will need some luck in running from his low draw and in a big field of 16, I’d rather back BOSSY GUEST each-way at Ladbrokes’ 10/1 (¼ odds 1.2.3). Mick Channon’s runner was just half a length behind Ivawood at Newmarket and is now 5lb better off, while he too should be suited by the step back in trip.
3.05: Queen Mary Stakes, 5f
William Haggas’ Besharah has been installed as 9/2 favourite for this Group 2 for juvenile fillies having won both her starts, including when beating Kassia (a winner at Sandown since) over track and trip on her debut. She’s bred to get further but is not short of speed and it will take a good one to lower her colours, although she could be better draw in stall four – the stands’ side (high numbers) was by far the quickest part of the track at last year’s meeting.
Besides, there are a whole host of speedy fillies to take her on, including the Wesley Ward-trained pair of Acapulco (stall 20) and Bruised Orange, both of whom are reported to have been flying on the gallops and are ridden by Ryan Moore and Frankie Dettori respectively. It’s a tough race to call and I’m going to have a little each-way on Jamie Osborne’s Lingfield winner SECRET TALE at big odds (33/1 bet365) as she has speed to burn and is drawn next to the rail in 23.
3.40 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes, 1m
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained INTEGRAL won this comfortably last season and, while she carries a penalty for that success, a repeat looks very much on the cards. She went on to add two Group 1 successes, including when beating Coronation Stakes heroine Rizeena in the Falmouth Stakes, and her recent fourth in the Lockinge Stakes, the form of which is working out well, will have teed her up nicely for this.
Rizeena finished a long way behind Integral’s stablemate Bragging on her reappearance at Newmarket, but she has never been at her best at HQ and has been in sparkling form at home since. She’s not one to underestimate and is almost an each-way bet to nothing at Ladbrokes’ 8/1 with three places up for grabs, but the Stoute filly, who is bet365’s 11/10 favourite, should again have her measure.
4.20: Prince Of Wales’s Stakes, 1m2f
An injury to Al Kazeem has robbed this race of some of its strength in depth and it’s even poorer for the absence of California Chrome, who has been ruled out due to a foot abscess. That could well leave the way for last year’s Champion Stakes third FREE EAGLE to make a winning return to action after an absence of 242 days. That would be a big negative ordinarily but his master trainer Dermot Weld is adept at preparing horses for the big occasion and the colt has shown he can go well fresh by winning on both previous seasonal reappearances.
That is is factored into his price of 3/1 (Coral) of course and punters looking for some each-way value should consider Gallic raider Gailo Cop (12/1 Sky Bet), who earned the title of France’s highest-rated three-year-old last season and made a very satisfactory return when chasing home Solow in the Prix d’Ispahan.
5.00: Royal Hunt Cup, 1m
The big betting race of the day if big-field handicaps are your thing. I love a crack with fancy odds the reward for finding the winner and, after some careful thought, I’m going to burden the Roger Charlton-trained TEMPTRESS with the selection at the 14/1 on offer with BetVictor, who are offering five places. She’s the least experienced runner in the field after just six starts, which might be seen as a negative, but time may tell she’s better than a handicapper and is still well treated on her new mark of 98. She sent up 7lb for winning cosily over track and trip on her reappearance and that took her record on fast ground over the straight mile here to 2-2.
Her trainer hinted he would find a Listed race for her next (to earn some ‘black type’ and boost her paddock value), so it’s significant she’s being pitched back into handicap company. Still, given her course record it couldn’t have been too difficult a decision and with James Doyle doing the steering from what is an okay draw in stall 19 – high numbers held sway in last year’s race – she must be thereabouts.
Luca Cumani’s Ayaar was the other one I was interested in ante post, but stall one looks a serious negative and his 10/1 price tag isn’t quite big enough to compensate. Last year’s winner Field Of Dream and runner-up Chil The Kite should again be in the thick of things, although they too could be better drawn in four and ten respectively.
5.35 Sandringham Handicap, 1m
The temptation is to find one to beat Saeed Bin Suroor’s filly ALWAYS SMILE at the current bet365 odds of 3/1, given she is taking on 16 rivals and is now 11lb higher than when taking her record to 3-3 at Doncaster last month. However, that form has been franked and franked again, first by five length success of the runner-up Sahaafy at Newmarket and then by the third Al Bandra, who romped home at Epsom on Oaks day. There should be more to come from the winner too as she was still green last time and was value for far more than her three-quarter length winning margin.
She’s up against no end of nice fillies, mind, and the best of these may be Charlie Hills’ maiden Kodiva, whose third to Irish Rookie and Lady Of Dubai at Newmarket in November looks red-hot form. She rates each-way value at Coral’s 14/1, but the favourite is taken to maintain her unbeaten record.
Nap of the day: Always Smile
Best each-way bet: Temptress