3:40 Kings Stand Stakes
ARECIBO 50/1 generally – 0.5 POINTS E/W (4 places, 1/5 odds, 5 places Sky Bet)
We are taking a chance here with ARECIBO and that is all down to the amount of front runners in the race and the pace wherever you look. It paid off last year for us with ARECIBO coming home 2nd at big odds and the race is set up the same in terms of pace this year.
We have our work cut out with the likes of Golden Pal in the field but that horse did flop in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York last year and his only other visit to Ascot was a 2nd as a 2 year old, in the Norfolk Stakes. He will take some beating if on song and will bomb out of the gates and try and make all. It is not an easy task to do over a stiff 5f at Ascot so if he does win from the front, credit where it is due. Golden Pal (drawn 13) is not the only front runner though, Nature Strip (drawn 10), Winter Power (drawn 1), Tis Marvellous (7), Khaadem (4), Equilateral (8), all like to go forward. That means the pace is predominantly spread out from Stall 1 – 10 with ARECIBO drawn 3. This will mean that ARECIBO will be able to get some cover and travel into the race nicely. He is a very sweet traveller as long as he has the pace, which he definitely gets here. It worked last year in this race when Jamie Spencer was riding and I actually like the look of Rossa Ryan in the saddle this year. He was on board last time out when coming home 3rd to Kings Lynn and Twilight Call in the Temple Stakes. He probably went to the front to soon that day and I am sure the instructions will be to hold on to him a bit longer today. Even so it was a good effort against 2 horses who also run in this race, yet ARECIBO is 3 times the price. That is far too big given he was 2nd in the race last year and in 5 visits to the course, he has come home 2nd three times.
I just think this race could set up perfectly for him and if Rossa Ryan does not get too excited by the way he is travelling, he could get up near the line with the perfect ride. E/W.
4:20 St James’s Palace Stakes
BERKSHIRE SHADOW 33/1 generally – 0.5 POINTS E/W (3 places 1/5 odds, 4 places Bet 365)
Another race and another huge price with BERKSHIRE SHADOW. I can’t believe the price if I am being honest as he should never be 33/1. The favourite is Coroebus who is going to be very hard to beat. He was the winner of the 2000 guineas when beating Native Trail and clearly a very very good horse. But it is worth pointing out that Coroebus has never run anywhere else other than Newmarket on the Rowley Mile. He has never been around a bend before either like he will encounter here and he is drawn in 2, which means if he has a bad start he could find himself trapped behind a wall of horses on the inside. He is still going to be hard to beat but this game is all about finding chinks in the armour and those are the chinks I have found. Whether it will be enough we will find out but it is enough to take him on at a very short 8/11.
The horse I am happy to try and get at least place money with is BERKSHIRE SHADOW who was 5th to Corobeus in the 2000 guineas. I thought he ran a cracker on his first try over 1 mile in the 2000 guineas and it is interesting that they have saved him for this race ever since.
He is drawn in 10 which for the type of horse he is, is a good draw. He don’t like being amongst a wall of horses and trapped and ideally when they turn in around the bend, BERKSHIRE SHADOW will want to come wide with a strong run.
Let’s not forget he was the winner of the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot last season so we know he likes it around Ascot. We also know if he is winning the Coventry Stakes he has lots of speed.
I also feel going around a bend over 1 mile will be better for him as they may go a bit slower and it will give him a better chance to use the speed that he possesses.
I am confident he outruns his huge odds and with a bit of luck in running, he has to potential to go close. E/W.