22.0 ‘COLOMBO’ GOING CLUE TO KINGS STAND: A sound surface could put Cristoforo Colombo in with a shout in the Kings Stand Stakes at 22.0 on BETDAQ this morning. That’s Daqman’s verdict on the first-day Royal Ascot stats and facts one week ahead. Follow his previews every day this week.
DAQMAN EXPECTS THUNDER TO STORM HOME: Daqman tries to deliver winning nap number 12 in his current sequence of 11111110411042112, after yesterday’s best bet was beaten a neck. He goes for Big Thunder at Lingfield tonight.
2.30 Royal Ascot Tuesday (Queen Anne Stakes) Royal Ascot’s first day is the story of attack from America, Australia and South Africa, so strong that their flagbearers dominate the betting for the Queen Anne and the Kings Stand Stakes.
In the opener, America’s Animal Kingdom, the Dubai World Cup winner, has been out of the first two only once in 11 starts but that very fact and his seeming preference for 1m 2f suggest that he is a vulnerable odds-on favourite over this mile on foreign soil.
However, the star Queen Anne winners Refuse To Bend (2004 Eclipse) and Frankel (2012 Champion Stakes) took 1m 2f laurels, too.
Only France (2005 Valixir and 2010 Goldikova) has wrested the Queen Anne from home hands in the modern era.
You can rule out a quarter of the field since older horses (over five) simply don’t win this. And you can even chop back on Group winners, unless they won Group 1 (nine out of the last 10).
That stat suddenly makes Animal Kingdom’s shade of odds on more palatable, since second-favourite Declaration of War has won only at Group-3 level.
Trade Storm is Group 2; Gregorian Group 3 and Aljamaaheer has won only a Listed. Too many, it seems, have Queen Anne legs.
BETDAQ VALUE: Beauty Parlour, just 10-1 with Power, was 20.0 on BETDAQ this morning. Elusive Kate, 12-1 with Ladbrokes and 10-1 in a place, was 16.5.
3.05 Royal Ascot Tuesday (Kings Stand Stakes) Seven of the last 10 Kings Stands have been won by foreign speed stars, compared with just 2-20 in the two previous decades.
Such has been the pace of change to global racing, and today’s news is that this is South African sprinter Shea Shea’s sole target for the meeting.
But it was the Aussies who blasted a hole in the home hold on this race with Choisir (2003), then their raiders Scenic Blast, Miss Andretti and Takeover Target took three from four (2006-2009).
We now expect a 59-to-59.70-second race whereas, before Choisir, that had happened only three times in 25 years. In the decade since Choisir, we’re talking nine times out of 10!
Shea Shea clocked 56.41 and 57.02 on turf in Dubai this year, defying the swoop of the Hong-kong flying machine, Eagle Regiment, who had done 56.32 at Sha-Tin and our own Sole Power, who returned 57.02 in the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket.
My figures don’t account for the different tracks or the changes to the Ascot courser, but they serve to show the insane Usain bolt up that prestigious and very fast straight.
This year’s Aussie attacker is Shamexpress, who clocked 57.95 at Moonee Valley in January and, at age four to the six years each of Sole Power and Shea Shea, should be the improver of the trio.
What the two raiders have over our Sole Power is that both have won over 6f, whereas Sole Power’s success is limited to the minimum and this 5f will stretch him to the limit.
Reckless Abandon (needs an easy surface) is in among them at the front of the market, his Group wins all at 6f after his success in the Norfolk Stakes (5f good to soft) at the royal meeting last June from Gale Force Ten, who has reached the frame in the French and Irish 2,000 Guineas.
As a three-year-old, Reckless Abandon is bidding to emulate the likes of Dayjur (1990), Pivotal (1996) and Equiano (2008). Second-season animals won five out of seven in the 1980s, including back-to-back winners for jockey Cash Asmussen on 1986-7.
The American ace, who was five times French champion, must have had a cupboard full of secretaries. Whenever I wrote something nice about the guy, I would get a letter of thanks on his personal notepaper and in those days he was often in the headlines.
With this astute humility and artistry in the saddle, the man from Laredo was a big hit in England, France and America.
BETDAQ VALUE: Ballydoyle’s Cristoforo Colombo, who drops back from his fifth in the 2,000 Guineas, was 22.0 on BETDAQ this morning, though only 14-1 with Ladbrokes and two others in the Racing Post’s market guide.
He could take in the St James’s Palace Stakes but his stablemate, Magician, has that under wraps, and he is an intriguing small-stakes tilt at the enemy in this Kings Stand, as a colt who needs firmish ground but has raced most of his career with cut.
Only about a length off Dawn Approach at Royal Ascot in last year’s Coventry, and little more than two lengths behind Reckless Abandon in the Middle Park Stakes (good to soft), with Gale Force Ten just in front of him.
3.45 Royal Ascot (St James’s Palace Stakes) Toronado stands alone as the home hope, splitting Irish (Magician) and French (Sky Vendome) 2,000 Guineas winners in the BETDAQ market, with Magician’s form boosted by Trading Leather on Sunday and Style Vendome’s by Intello in the French Derby.
But the sandwich in the middle looks dog-earned and dowdy at around 11-4 second favourite – bookie and exchange – unless Toronado is transformed from his seven-lengths-plus defeat by Dawn Approach in the Newmarket Guineas.
He certainly seemed not to run his race and the horse he beat four lengths in the Craven, Havana Gold, was just threeparts of a length behind Style Vendome in the French Guineas.
However, if ‘Havana’ is any yardstick, his six-and-a-half-lengths defeat by Magician at the Curragh suggests that the favourite will light up this royal race.. and the Ballydoyle cigars.
BET 5pts win PIPPY (4.05 Salisbury)
BET 4.2pts win WHISTLING SENATOR (4.20 Fontwell)
BET 3.2pts win TORNADO BOB (8.40 Worcester)
BET 10pts win (nap) BIG THUNDER (9.00 Lingfield)
DAQ MULTIPLES: 4 x 3pts win trebles and 1pt win acca Big Thunder (9.00 Lingfield), with Raushan (3.30 Salisbury), Ghanaian (4.35 Salisbury) and Gold Mine (5.05 Salisbury)
ANTE-POST: bet (to win 30 points) 1.4pts win CRISTOFORO COLOMBO (22.0, Kings Stand Stakes, Royal Ascot)
DAQMAN’S TARGETS: An ordinary day with singles to win 20 points. Daq Multiples and the ante-post bet are as stated.
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