It’s now less than a week until the start of Royal Ascot, one of the oldest and most prestigious horse racing meetings in the world. Read on, for part two of our Royal Ascot preview, plus information on how to get up to £200 in free Royal Ascot bets, courtesy of Bet365.
Royal Ascot 2011 – Day 2 Preview
(All odds correct at time of publication)
Royal Ascot’s second day features another six races of the highest quality; four Group races, a Class 2 Heritage Handicap and a Listed race. The highlight is the third race on the card, the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, but we kick off the Royal Ascot Day 2 preview with race number two, the Windsor Forest Stakes.
Race 2 – The Windsor Forest Stakes (Group 2)
The Windsor Forest Stakes is only for fillies and mares aged four or older and the race is run over a mile. The race was created in 2004, as an incentive to keep some older female horses in training, rather than sending them to stud earlier than necessary.
Most fillies show their greatest improvement between the ages of three and four, and five of the seven winners of this race were aged four, so it makes sense to place extra importance on four year old horses when looking to bet in the Windsor Forest Stakes.
Six of the seven Windsor Forest were trained in Newmarket. Sir Michael Stoute has won the race three times, but his sole entrant – Heavenly Dawn - is unlikely to land this year’s race.
There are plenty of other Newmarket based trainers with a reputation for getting the best out of fillies though, such as Luca Cumani, who has the useful looking Seta entered in the Windsor Forest Stakes, and William Haggas, whose best chance looks likely to be Shamandar.
There is currently no betting available for the Windsor Forest Stakes.
BetPal.com verdict: Seta each-way
Race 3 – The Prince of Wales’s Stakes (Group 2)
The feature race on the second day of Royal Ascot is undoubtedly the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, the day’s only Group 1 race, which is run over a distance of 1 mile and 2 furlongs and is open to four year olds of either gender.
The odds on favourite for the race is the New Zealand bred So You Think (best price 1.57, Betfair), who has recently moved to Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle stables and landed the Tattersall’s Gold Cup.
The French trained Planteur is rated by the bookmakers as the closest rival to So You Think, but his record of one Group 1 win pales into insignificance when compared with the CV of So You Think, which already boasts six Group 1 wins.
If you prefer to bet on horses at larger odds, it’s worth considering a couple of trends. All of the last ten Prince of Wales’s Stakes winners were aged four or five, and nine of those ten had already scored in a Group 1 race (the exception to that trend was only narrowly beaten by the great Goldikova in a Group 1).
The 2010 Derby winner – Workforce - is available to back at 19.00 on Betfair and he could offer some value. Already a proven Group 1 performer and the right age according to the Prince of Wales’s Stakes trends, the main doubt over him is the slightly shorter trip, but it would be dangerous to write him off.
BetPal.com verdict: So You Think to win
Race 5 – The Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2)
The Queen Mary was first run in 1921 and is for two year old fillies only, taking place over 5 furlongs.
The Brian Meehan trained Shumoos is the favourite for this year’s renewal, at a best price of 3.00, while Richard Fahey’s Miss Work Of Art and the Barry Hills trained Angels Will Fall can both be backed at around the 8.00 mark.
It might be worth taking a chance with Richard Hannon’s Best Terms however, due to the trainer’s impressive record in the race. Hannon, who has a reputation as a specialist when it comes to training two year olds, won Royal Ascot’s Queen Mary Stakes for the first time back in 1981 and has since landed the spoils a further three times.
Best Terms is widely available to back around the 17.00 mark.
BetPal.com verdict: Best Terms each-way
The other three races on the card are the Group 3 Jersey Stakes, which kicks the second day of Royal Ascot off, as well as the Royal Hunt Cup Heritage Handicap (Race 4) and the Sandringham Handicap (Race 6), a Listed race.
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