BUCANERO FUERTE 16/1 generally – 0.5 POINTS E/W (5 places, 1/5 odds)
BOBSLEIGH 18/1 generally – 0.5 POINTS E/W (5 places, 1/5 odds)
A bit like the first race where we have 3 horses in the race who are very strong in the market and then the rest, according to the betting, have no hope.
The strong favourite is the Aiden O’Brien trained horse, River Tiber, who no doubt deserves to be favourite and will be a hard horse to beat. If I was asked who I think will win the race, then I would probably say River Tiber, but I would want at least 11/4 to get involved and at 15/8, I can’t back him at that price. He has won both his starts over in Ireland but his last win was not as convincing as his price suggested, although this step up to 6f will no doubt help.
Asadna has been all the rage recently after winning a race at Ripon very impressively. Trouble is winning a race at Ripon is a lot different to winning a race at Royal Ascot and if they thought he was that good, surely he would have started off in a better race.
I am happy to play two horses in this race both at nice prices in BUCANERO FUERTE and BOBSLEIGH.
We will start with BUCANERO FUERTE who was a good winner at the Curragh in March, winning by 3 lengths on Soft ground. Although he won on soft ground, I think he will be an even better horse on this better ground. They have not run him since as they must feel it was not needed but the manner in which he won, tells me BUCANERO FUERTE is a very good horse. If this horse was trained by Aiden O’Brien and came into this race after one run like he has, he would not be 16/1.
BUCANERO FUERTE is trained by Adrian Murray and is from a lovely family. He is a full brother to the decent Beat Le Bon who accumulated over £300k in prize money so we know he is from good stock.
He will also progress nicely and I have no doubt he will outrun his huge odds. E/W.
BOBSLEIGH is another horse who is overpriced and much of that is down to being trained by a lesser trainer in Eve Johnson Houghton. BOBSLEIGH was a good winner at Epsom last time out in the Woodcote Stakes and you can even mark the performance up, as he had to come around the whole field and still won going away.
That race is a good race and often you find horses who go on to Royal Ascot and win or place. Over the last 10 years that race has produced 3 Royal Ascot winners in Pinatubo who went on to win the Chesham Stakes, Burratino who went on to win this race back in 2015 and Baitha Alga who won the Norfolk Stakes in 2014.
I have checked the times of Burratino against BOBSLEIGH when both won the Woodcote Stakes, on exactly the same ground, and and just 0.17 seconds separate them. Buratino won in 1m 8.82s while BOBSLEIGH won in 1m 8.99s and you could argue that BOBSLEIGH had to cover more ground given he went on the outside.
Other horses in the past 10 years who have won the Woodcote and gone on to run well at Royal Ascot are Oscula (3rd Albany Stakes 2021), Cardsharp (3rd Norfolk Stakes 2017). That means that at least 50% of the winners of the Woodcote Stakes have gone on to Royal Ascot and at least placed.
That stat alone means BOBSLEIGH is great value at the price. E/W.
HIGHFIELD PRINCESS 9/4 generally – 1.5 POINTS WIN
My NAP of the week is HIGHFIELD PRINCESS and I would be very surprised if she is beat here. She is 5/2 but I would back here at anything all the way down to 7/4, I think she is that far ahead of the field.
In my opinion this is as weak a Group 1 that you will see all week and it really is not going to take a lot of winning.
She has had one run this season when 2nd at York in the Clipper Stakes. She drifted badly in the market that day and was only 80% fit, yet still nearly won the race. It was clearly only a run to get her 100% for this race.
She is back down in trip to 5f which is a trip that saw her win the Nunthorpe Stakes at York and Flying Five at the Curragh last year.
She will no doubt travel through the race extremely well and in my opinion it is all about just pushing the button and setting off for home.
It is her race to lose and with no real superstars or proper group 1 horses in the race, this really should be a formality. WIN.