Anticipation Building For A Fantastic Week Of Racing At Ascot

By Dave Stevos

Desert Law was probably a shade unlucky not to pick up some place money for us in the Scottish Sprint Cup on Saturday at Musselburgh. His cause wasn’t helped by Martin Lane losing his irons at the start, and he didn’t enjoy the clearest of runs at a vital time. All things considered I think he did well to finish fifth and with a bit more relief from the handicapper he is more than capable of landing another race or two this season.

This Tuesday all eyes will be on Ascot as the Royal meeting gets underway. All the superstars of the equine world will be going through their last few days of preparations and there will be some titanic clashes during the week. However, the weather has taken a turn for the worse and after a downpour at the weekend the ground has eased to good to soft, at the time of writing. The forecast suggests that there is more rain on the way and by the time racing starts on Tuesday it could well be proper soft ground.

That will change things in a big way for a lot of the more fancied horses and there have been a number of market moves already. Jet Setting showed how good she was with cut in the ground when accounting for Minding at the Curragh, and that form was franked in no uncertain terms at Epsom.  She has been very well backed for the Coronation Cup on Friday and with ground conditions likely to be in her favour she will be a tough nut to crack at odds of 4/1 with Bet365.

Another filly I am really looking forward to seeing is Quiet Reflection, who landed a lovely touch for us in the Sandy Lane Stakes a couple of weeks ago. She has already proven that all ground comes alike to her, and she has been the subject of a market move over the weekend. Her main market rival in the Commonwealth, the Wesley Ward trained Acapulco, is at her best on a firm surface and if the rain continues to fall she may not take her chance. She has also been declared for the King’s Stand on Tuesday so Quiet Reflection is now into 11/4 with Bet365. If you are going to back her I would take those odds, as I believe she could go off a lot shorter on the day.

On the opening day I really like the look of an Irish colt in the 2yo Listed Windsor Castle Stakes and Mister Trader looks too big a price at odds of 12/1 with Boylesports. Darren Bunyan’s son of Hellvelyn hacked up in a maiden on the opening day of the flat season at the Curragh (5f yd/sft), making all for an easy 4L win. He was quickly stepped into listed company on his next outing and he ran a cracker in second behind Caravaggio, again over 5f at the Curragh (yd/sft).

That horse is currently a warm order for the Coventry and if he wins that then Mister Trader will shorten up considerably for this weaker race. With the ground in his favour and with Pat Smullen booked everything points towards a big run from this fella. He is drawn to attack in stall 4 and at odds of 12/1 with Boylesports he is my each way selection for Day 1 at Royal Ascot. I will be previewing the biggest races throughout the week exclusively for Bettingtools, so make sure to check back before racing starts each day if you want to find out what I fancy.