The Royal Meeting is for many the highlight of the flat season and with three Group 1 races on the opening day, it is hard to argue in terms of quality. Irish horses have had plenty of success over the years and with 22 individual runners on the first day alone they will be hopeful of topping last year’s total of 8 winners for the week.
The huge pools throughout the week mean that there is sure to be some spectacular Tote dividends. The 2015 Tote Placepot average of £1,024 and there were individual Tote Trifecta pay-outs as high as £14,848 in the Brittania Handicap.
So all this week we are going to do our best to give you a piece of these huge dividends with our Tote Best Bets. We have a budget of £100 per day and will be posting our selections here each morning.
The opening race is the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes over the straight mile. Endless Drama heads the Irish charge after a satisfactory return to action finishing third behind Belardo in the Lockinge Stakes. The form of that race may come to the fore again here and both are taken for Placepot purposes. Tepin is sure to be fancied by many after her Breeders Cup victory but the forecast soft conditions will not be in her favour.
The Coventry Stakes is usually a high class race with top-milers Dawn Approach, Power and Canford Cliffs taking it in recent seasons. This year Ireland seems to have a particularly strong hand with the unbeaten Caravaggio, Psychedelic Funk and Van Der Decken leading the way. This race is all about future potential though and the winner will certainly be one for the notebook.
The King’s Stand is a real cavalry charge with 20 due to go to post. With the absence of a real superstar you would be likely to get a host of winners if you were to run the race 10 times. With that in mind there could be value away from likely favourite Mecca’s Angel. Profitable has looked very good so far this year and has a strong chance under Adam Kirby while last year’s winner Goldream could be too big at double figure prices.
The St James’s Palace Stakes is shaping up to be the race of the season so far as the English, Irish and French Guineas winners clash with the added intrigue of the return of smart two-year-old Emotionless. Awtaad looks to have an edge over Galileo Gold on their Curragh running and can confirm the form but both might have to give way to The Gurkha whose French win was breath-taking.
The Ascot Stakes is a race that can often go to a horse better known for its jumping exploits and two that are unexposed in this sphere are Jennies Jewel and Sempre Medici. Jennies Jewel has been in the form of her life lately after being covered by Presenting and she will love this soft ground She has run well at this track before over hurdles and could be a major player here. Sempre Medici is exactly the type of horse that Willie Mullins can excel with on the flat and he comes into this race completely unexposed in this discipline. If he can produce his best form from hurdles he could be very well handicapped.
The Windsor Castle Stakes always goes to a speedy sort and there are unlikely to be many faster early than Wesley Ward’s Big City Dreamin. He won this race in 2014 with Hootenanny and knows the type needed to take this. The soft ground could be an issue though and if her early speed is blunted Tote Inside Track contributor Darren Bunyan could be celebrating with his talented and hardy Mister Trader.
Tuesday’s Advised Bets: