Picks for the Royal Ascot Festival

Three Picks for the Royal Ascot Festival – And How to Find Your Own

A good pick for Royal Ascot is always a nice thing to have, but have you ever wondered about the process that tipsters go through to get to their answer? Not only will I give you a couple of (hopefully) good tips for this year’s festival, but I’ll also walk you through exactly how I got to my decision. That way, you can rattle through the form yourself and see if you can beat the tipsters on the remainder of the races.

St James’ Palace Stakes

When it comes to online gambling sites, it seems that the world has made up its mind about the winner of the St James’ Palace Stakes. Notable Speech. The three-year-old has an unbeaten record and has raced exclusively over a mile. So, any questions about distance or ability should be discounted. However, at odds of 11/8, does the colt actually represent good value? Let’s unpick the race to find out.

One Mile Specialists

Looking at one-mile distances in quality races, there are just four potential competitors to Notable Speech. Henry Longfellow, Rosallion, Metropolitan, and Darlinghurst. All of these horses have good records at this distance, so how do we pick them apart?

Ground Conditions

It’s always tricky predicting ground conditions when placing ante-post bets, but Ascot does make it easier with its regular updates. Ascot reports the ground is currently good, good to firm in places, with watering taking place. It seems highly unlikely that the track will be soft, this time next week, which should favor all of the most fancied horses, excluding Metropolitan.

Group Wins

In terms of class, all of these horses have won a Group 1 race this year, excluding Henry Longfellow and Darlinghurst. However, Henry Longfellow won a string of Group 1’s in his two-year-old year, and Darlinghurst has an unbeaten record, including a Group 3 and a Listed Race. For me, this is where we can start to rule out horses. Based on the ground and the class of the races won, this rules out Metropolitan and Henry Longfellow. So now, we’re left with Notable Speech, Rosallion, and Darlinghurst.

Head to Heads

Notable Speech and Rosallion both came head-to-head in the Qipco 2000 Guineas this year, with Notable Speech taking the win by an impressive one and a half lengths. Darlinghurst has never come up against either horse, having raced entirely in France until now. His distances have varied from seven and a half furlongs, to 1m1f too and his Racing Post rating is 12 points lower than Rosallion and 16 lower than Notable Speech. For me, we can cross him out as a winner – though potentially a great value each way bet!

The decision is between Notable Speech and Rosallion. Notable Speech’s only major win was the 2000 Guineas, taking all his other wins in the all-weather at Kemptown. The comeback that Rosallion made after his defeat in the Qipco 2000 Guineas, to win the Irish 2000 Guineas was impressive. Though he did win by only a head. The fact that Rosallion has also won a further Group 1 race, and placed in two other Group races gives me the confidence that this horse might just have the experience and class to pip Notable Speech to the post.

King Charles III Stakes

Now that we’ve unpicked the St James’s Stakes, let’s take a look at a race that many Ascot tipsters are disagreeing over – The King Charles III Stakes. Running over a distance of just 5 furlongs, this race is the ultimate test of speed.

5 Furlong Winners, From the Last Year

At distances this short, most horses have little flexibility, usually 6 furlongs is the limit. Unsurprisingly then, there are 12 runners who’ve won a 5-furlong race in the past 12 months. If we shorten that even further to those who’ve won a 5 furlong race this season, it’s narrowed down to 7 runners. Omit those who haven’t yet won a group race and we’re down to 5. This seems like a good place to really get stuck in

Head to Heads

The horses we are left with are: Big Evs, Moss Tucker, Crimson Advocate, Seven Questions, and Kerdos. Let’s take a look at any head to heads. In the Breeder’s Cup last November, Crimson Advocate was well beaten by Big Evs, this combined with her only Group win being a 2-year-old fillies race means she’s out.

Both Seven Questions and Kerdos have come up against each other twice, each taking one win. However in the race that Seven Questions won, Kerdos was badly hampered. Moss Tucker has yet to race any of these picks but has run against and been well beaten by others in the race. For me, this makes Big Evs seem like a good pick to win at current odds of 7/2. However, Seven Questions is as good as 33/1 at the moment, and if his win in the William Palace House Stakes wasn’t a fluke, that seems exceptionally good each-way value.

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