Darren Goodbody outlines his 3 best bets of the week at Royal Ascot 2016 with best prices at time of posting.
QUEEN ANNE STAKES
Interesting stat’s is that over the past six renewals of this race when an outside Britain trained five year old has been entered in this race they have won, Haradasun (2008 A.P.O’Brien), Goldikova (2010 Freddy Head) and last years winner Solow (Freddy Head), this year we have A Shin Erwin, Cougar Mountain and TEPIN. A Shin Erwin represents Japan trainer Hidemasa Nakao and the Listed Prix De Montretout winner will relish any rain that hits Ascot on day one. She is lovely bred by Shamardal with the bloodline through mud lark Monsun, but her 66/1 price tag reflects that she is not on the radar here.
Cougar Mountain comes here for trainer Aidan O’Brien, they won this with Declaration of War back in 2013 and the son of Fastnet Rock ran a blinder in this last year when behind Solow. He would of been a lot closer in my opinion if given a more vigorous ride by Ryan Moore and only went behind eventually by just over a length with Esoterique just a neck in front. I would be surprised if he even runs if the ground stays soft with all of his four runs being labouring on the ground.
American challenger is Tepin, the mare has been unbeaten since last October when landing the Grade 1 First Lady Stakes at Keenland by a comfortable five lengths. She went on to the Breeders Cup and showed her class once more when beating Mondaliste by just over two lengths in the Grade 1 Breeders Cup Mile, her turn of foot was impressive that night recording a 1m 36.69 time.
Since then she has grown over the winter and her first run back in February came in the Grade 3 Endeavour Stakes at Tampa Bay when once more she pulled away from her rivals with ease. Since then she has landed the Grade 2 Hillsborough Stakes, Grade 1 Jenny Wiley Stakes and most recently the Grade 2 Distaff Mile Stakes.All her past three runs have come on firm ground, but she looks versatile on any ground on what she has shown, will she be able to handle a straight mile is second guessing, but she is looking to share Goldikova’s status as another mare landing this race over the past six renewals, she does look the real deal.
TEPIN : 2pt Win @ 6/1 (Hills)
Ballydoyle have a strong hand here in CARAVAGGIO, the unbeaten juvenile has been impressive on both runs. His win in the Listed Marble Hill Stakes could not of been more eye catching when winning under hands and heels when ridden by Ryan Moore. The combination had paired up to land this race back in 2011 with now stud sire Power, he probably deserves his 5/2f ante-post status and could be very hard to beat this year.
I have always thought a lot of Richard Hannon’s Mehmas who went into my tracker when landing a hot conditions race at Newbury when beating National Stakes winner Global Applause who reversed that form in that race.My reservation here is the ground, he has been drawn in stall 1 which I am not positive about and could find one or two too good here.
One that could give Caravaggio a race is Mark Johnstone’s Yalta, he has a similar profile to Caravaggio coming into this unbeaten. His Novice win when beating Repton has been franked with the runner up going on to win around the same company and that form has got even stronger when Tallulah Rose won at Bath recently. The fourth Pleaseletmewin also franked that form when winning on the all weather last month. His step up to Class 2 company saw him win again when beating Wedding Dress who has disappointed since. He does have potential and represent a winning combination from last year with Buratino, he looks a good each way chance.
CARAVAGGIO : 2pt Win @ 9/4 (Paddy Power)
Acapulco returns after last years all the way success in the Queen Mary Stakes when beating the useful Easton Angel by a length and a half, since then both horses have improved even further, Easton Angel recently blitzed his field when landing the Scurry Stakes by over two lengths at Sandown last weekend.and could be heading for the Curragh for the Sapphire Stakes next month. Wesley Ward’s speed ball has since won a schooling job at Turfway Park and more recently the Listed Sidney Stakes at Churchill Downs, but even though she took a liking to Ascot last year this is could be entirely different ground she will contend.
Karl Burke’s QUIET REFLECTION has impressed me this year when landing the Group 3 Prix Sigy on heavy ground and more recently brought that form more forward when winning the Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock Park pulling away from her rivals in very quick fashion easing down at the line. She had the Group 3 Pavilion Stakes winner Gifted Master put well in her place that day along with Buratino who won the Coventry Stakes at this meeting last year.
QUIET REFLECTION : 2pt Win @ 11/4 (Betfair)