Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Neil Morrice: Royal Ascot Day 1 Preview

Neil Morrice: Royal Ascot Day 1 Preview

Neil Morrice Best Bets

Neil Morrice brings us all of his best bets and tips from Day 1 at the Royal Ascot, including video analysis for each race! 

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Royal Ascot Best Bets

Race 1 BUCKINGHAM PALACE HANDICAP: No11 - GREENSIDE
Trainer: Henry Candy - Jockey: Marco Ghiani



Now that the stable has put put a winner on the board there should be more to come from the Henry Candy stable, and GREENSIDE looks a sound investment to get into the money from his wife draw, especially with the capable Marco Ghiani taking 5lb off his back. Although one of the oldest horses in the field, the nine-year-old likes this course and has a good record fresh. Furthermore, he often attracts strong market support. Almost certain to head the betting is DAARIK, an unexposed winner of three of his five career starts for John Gosden. He gained a snug triumph at Newcastle last week and with Frankie Dettori on his back will carry a welter of punters’ money. KAESO is another that operates well at this venue, running well in the Victoria Cup and International Stakes last season, and should be a lot sharper for his readying run in the same race as Daarik. Prolific scorer MUTAMAASIK started favourite for each of those four successes last year interspersed between turf and the all-weather. This is a different ball game for the Dubawi gelding, but he merits close inspection. At longer odds, GLEN SHIEL is more than capable of having a say, and he’s going to be spot on after a pleasing run back at the start of the season two weeks ago.

Prediction

1st GREENSIDE
2nd Kaeso
3rd Daarik
4th Mutamaasik
5th Glen Shiel

Race 2 QUEEN ANNE STAKES (Group 1): No4 - DUKE OF HAZZARD
Trainer: Paul Cole - Jockey: PJ McDonald



If DUKE OF HAZZARD maintains the progress shown on his final three starts of the 2019 campaign he can upset the applecart in one of the most open Queen Annes in memory. The four-year-old landed a Listed contest at Newmarket and a Group 3 at Goodwood under McDonald before showing further improvement to take out the Group 2 Celebration Mile back at that course in August. The way he’s been training at Whatcombe suggests he’s more than ready for the step into Group 1. Two distaffers are amongst the 16-strong field and John Gosden’s TEREBELLUM commands abundant respect under the irrepressible Dettori. She shouldn’t be adversely affected by dropping back to a mile after cosily landing the Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket and is without question the joker in the pack. MUSTASHRY disappointed in this 12 months ago but looked back to near his best when landing the Group 2 Challenge Stakes on his final start of 2019. He’s been working with plenty of gusto and has solid win and place prospects. CIRCUS MAXIMUS is no stranger to success at this meeting, having lifted the St James’s Palace Stakes last year, with the Prix du Moulin also in his locker before the end of that campaign. Under the O’Brien/Moore banner he is going to prove widely popular. FOX CHAIRMAN has attracted support in ante-post exchanges and this lightly-raced individual could progress to get into the money.

Prediction

1st DUKE OF HAZZARD
2nd Terebellum
3rd Mustashry
4th Circus MAXIMUS
5th Fox Chairman

Race 3 RIBBLESDALE STAKES (Fillies’ Group 2): No5 - FRANKLY DARLING
Trainer: John Gosden - Jockey: Frankie Dettori



Owner Sir Philip Oppenheimer saw Star Catcher sail home in this 12 months ago and must fancy his chances of another collection with FRANKLY DARLING, following her wide-margin success at Newcastle earlier in the month. That was a big improvement on what the daughter of Frankel had shown on her only juvenile start at Yarmouth, and strongly suggests she’s capable of this big class jump. Having picked up some black type on her Newmarket return, TREFOIL enters calculations for Ralph Beckett, whose fillies have been in good order. She has a similar profile to the selection, holding scope for abundant progression. The Gosden team can also look to a solid run from MISS YODA, whose Listed success at Lingfield was visually impressive. As a winner of all but one of her four starts, she figures to contend, and should not be underestimated. BORN WITH PRIDE would be the one to beat on the evidence of her Listed triumph on her only juvenile start, but an underwhelming effort in the Kempton Classic Trial leaves her with a fair bit to find. Aidan O’Brien saddles ENNISTYMON, but she struggled to get home in a Leopardstown maiden and has even more progression to make in order to figure.

Prediction

1st FRANKLY DARLING
2nd Trefoil, 3rd Miss Yoda
4th Born With Pride
5th Ennistymon

Jockeys Ride Horses

Race 4 KING EDWARD VII STAKES (Group 2)
Trainer: A P O'Brien - Jockey: R L Moore



The so-called Ascot Derby looks to have fallen into the lap of MOGUL, who will start at prohibitive odds to deliver en route to Epsom and has the look of a first-day banker. The form of the Group 1 at Newcastle in which he finished fourth has been given a hefty boost with its winner Kameko going on to land the 2,000 Guineas. Apart from that, Mogul did absolutely nothing wrong, and in a race dominated by horses from his stable he should deliver and enhance his position in the Derby market. ARTHUR’S KINGDOM figures to cause him most problems after showing he’s decent with a second in the Criterium at Saint-Cloud on his final start last year. Frankie Dettori is an eye taking booking for the son of Camelot, who may well prove the hare they have to chase. Unbeaten in two, MOHICAN HEIGHTS should relish this stiffer stamina test, having scored cosily enough on his debut for David Simcock in a Listed race at Salisbury. Hat-trick seeker PAPA POWER proved a well backed winner of a maiden and novice on the all-weather before the lockdown and has the potential to get into the money without unduly troubling the Coolmore colts.

Prediction

1st MOGUL
2nd Arthur’s Kingdom
3rd Mohican Height
4th Papa Power

Race 5 KING’S STAND STAKES (Group 1): No1 - BATTAASH
Trainer: Charles Hills - Jockey: Jim Crowley



BATTAASH will never get as good a chance to end his Ascot hoodoo in a race that has cut up to leave him an automatic odds-on chance. Three times he’s come here and failed, on occasions letting his temperament get the better of him. But with a behind closed doors scenario sparing him of the noise of the crowd, and old adversary Blue Point retired, he should make short work of a bunch of opponents that are not as yet at least Group 1 class. The filly LIBERTY BEACH might be capable of mounting a challenge as she was very quick at two and showed she’d trained on when easing home in a Listed sprint at Haydock. KURIOUS is another distaffer that can’t be safely ignored, twice showing her liking for the stiff Sandown five last summer and hailing from a stable that has a good record with its sprinters over the years. EQUILATERAL was a big fancy for the Commonwealth Cup here 12 months ago, only to fail to menace. A stable companion of Battaash, he’s a quirky individual but has at least looked somewhere near back to his best since being gelded. GLASS SLIPPERS caught a lot of people by surprise with her Prix de l’Abbaye triumph last autumn and needs to show that was no fluke. However, with Kevin Ryan behind her she’s in the right hands to go further forward this year.

Prediction

1st BATTAASH
2nd Liberty Beach
3rd Kurious
4th Equilateral
5th Glass SlippersHollywoodbets Back on Track Punters' Challenge

Race 6 DUKE OF EDINBURGH STAKES (Group 2): No5 - JUBILOSO (Nap)
Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute - Jockey: Ryan Moore



JUBILOSO came back with leg trouble after contesting the Atalanta Stakes at Sandown but the standard of her work in recent weeks makes her look like a proper Group 1 filly. Moore has ridden last season’s Coronation Stakes winner in most of her stronger exercise and connections are convinced she’s going to develop into an exciting miler this year. In order to win today, she needs to thwart stablemate QUEEN POWER who won her winding up gallop for this by a wide margin, suggesting she’s greatly benefitted from her comeback second at Newmarket. MISS O’CONNOR is trying to make this a nap hand of victories and to remain unbeaten for William Haggas but all her form is on the soft, which is not the terrain she’ll encounter in this. NAZEEF is a more rock-solid rival to the selection, entering the fray on the back of a Listed win at Kempton. She displayed a telling turn of foot that day, and if utilising the same weapon can get into it.

Prediction

1st JUBILOSO
2nd Queen Power
3rd Nazeef
4th Miss O’Connor

Race 7 ASCOT STAKES (Handicap): No1 - VERDANA BLUE
Trainer: Nicky Henderson - Jockey: Ryan Moore



National Hunt trainers have regularly plundered this race, and amongst their number is Nicky Henderson, trainer of VERDANA BLUE. The eight-year-old beat Champion hurdler Buveur D’Air in a Grade 1 at Kempton, utilising her excellent turn of foot to pull off one of the shocks of the season. Then on her last run on the Flat she finished fourth in the Group 3 Sagaro Stakes here, but all things being equal competing off top weight on favourable ground and with a full 19 rivals against her is the recipe for success for Moore’s mount. Henderson sent out Veiled to win it in 2011 and it should be another ‘V For Victory’ in the shape of Verdana Blue, who can swoop to conquer. DUBAWI FIFTY ran well to a point in the Cesarewitch after beating all but Who Dares Wins in the Northumberland Plate. He’s not easy to predict, but has one of these big staying handicaps in him and is one to include. LAND OF OZ completely zoned out when three from last in the second leg of the autumn double, but had progressively picked up six of his previous seven races for Sir Mark Prescott. He should be all the better for a very encouraging second to Collide at Chelmsford a week ago. MOON KING made a winning reappearance at Haydock and has room for manoeuvre off his current mark, while SUMMER MOON has to be included on the evidence of his third behind Stratum in the ‘Ces’.

Prediction

1st VERDANA BLUE
2nd Dubawi Fifty
3rd Land Of Oz
4th Moon King
5th Summer Moon

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