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Royal Ascot day one: Friend in need of backing

15 Jun | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Royal Ascot day one: Friend in need of backing

French challenger Solow looks worth opposing in cracking Queen Anne

Day One of Royal Ascot is arguably the best of the whole week with the card getting underway with three group one contests in the first 4 races.

The opener, the Queen Anne Stakes, could be the race of the meeting here with the impressive Solow taking on Hong Kong raider Able Friend and current best of the British Night Of Thunder.

Solow looks far too short at 6/4 currently. Visually, he’s looked a real star but both his Group 1 wins have come over slightly further trips with a bit of cut in the ground.

His best run is probably his easy success in the Dubai Duty Free but he beat a slightly out of form The Grey Gatsby in that contest over a trip that didn’t suit the beaten horse, so he still has a lot to prove for all he might be the real deal.

The likes of Night Of Thunder (5/1) and Toormore (8/1) are closely matched on Lockinge form and there is a case for Toormore finishing ahead of his stablemate but Night Of Thunder has beaten Toormore in all four of their meetings so far, meaning it is Night Of Thunder who is more likely to come out on top of the pair.

Both could be vulnerable to a real star though and we might just see that in the form of Able Friend. He’s won his last 6 starts very easily and although he has to prove himself away from Sha Tin, the only course he has ever run at, his turn of foot will be a useful asset here.

He might just have too much speed for the favourite and looks a better bet at 9/4.

Power hat trick looks likely in Kings Stand

This year’s Kings Stand Stakes looks a great contest and it just looks impossible to oppose Sole Power who is bidding to record his third consecutive win in this contest.

The 7/2 chance seems ideally suited by this course when the ground is fast and even though he’s now an 8 year old he looks to be getting better and faster still. His win in the Al Quoz in Dubai in March is proof of that as he won the race nicely this year having been beaten there for the past 4 years.

Muthmir (9/2) is a very promising sprinter and should be suited by this stiff 5f but he still has to prove himself at this level.

A bigger threat might be Jack Dexter at 25/1 who seems to be getting quicker with age. He’s struck up a nice partnership with Fergal Lynch this season and is one of the most consistent horses in the field.

Ray Ward and Broxbourne can last marathon trip

Gleneagles looks almost certain to win the St James Palace but isn’t much of a price so for punting purposes, so it should pay to concentrate on the Ascot Stakes, a handicap run over the Gold Cup distance of 2.5 miles.

Two runners really stand out and they are Ray Ward at 6/1 and Broxbourne at 14/1. The former was unlucky in this race last year and is only 3lbs higher this time around. His prep run for this, over just half this trip, saw him run an absolute cracker considering he faced an impossible task and all being well he’s guaranteed to run a big race.

There is a little more risk involved in backing Broxbourne but not much. He last ran on the flat in 2013 and his form had tailed off for Mark Johnston, not a surprise really after a typically busy campaign for the trainer which saw him take in 16 races in just 10 months.

He’s only 1lb higher than his highest winning mark on the flat, relishes this sort of test, has great course form and has bounced back to form for Nicky Henderson, a trainer who won this in 2011.

Assuming he’s as good as he was he’ll go close and if he has improved for the change of yards he’d most likely win.

Royal Ascot betting

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