York Ebor Festival – Day One Advice

The opening day of arguably the best flat meeting of the summer (albeit a biased verdict..), and there is plenty of top quality action to get stuck into.

The big talking point of the day is the clash between proven Group One horse Al Kazeem, and the young pretender who’s not certain to stay, Toronado.

Al Kazeem is a class-act, and a worthy favourite on all facts and figures we’ve seen so far, however Toronado could just be that something special, and as Hughes comes there swinging two out, we are set to see just how good the apple of his eye, really is.

It’s a race to strictly enjoy, even without any financial interest, and it’s all set to be a cracker.

However, there are plenty of big prices to get involved with on Wednesday, and none more competitive than the opener, for which Above Standard heads the market at 8/1.

He sneaks into the race near the bottom of the weights, after racking up a successful 5f double on the Knavesmire in June, before a close fourth at Glorious Goodwood.

Drawn 18 of 19, the 5yo seems to have everything in place for a big run, and with Mick Easterby’s charge clearly on an upward curve, the course and distance winner looks set to go off shorter than the current 17/2 on Betfair.

The trainer and jockey have a solid strike-rate at York, and should go very close to getting off the mark at the first chance.


Elsewhere on the card, there is an outsider in the penultimate race that has been seemingly overlooked by the bookmakers, despite having solid form at the Yorkshire track.

Martin Chuzzlewit has always been extremely well-regarded by connections, and the 4yo son of Galileo has ran well in handicaps at the venue over the previous two seasons.

He lacks tactical speed which suggests the step up in trip is definitely up his street, and should he manage to curb the seeming regression, he has moer than enough talent to make a serious impact on proceedings.

His last race, he started second favourite behind Montaser, who has since been tried at Group level, and he ran well for much of that contest depsite taking a keen hold early on.

A change of pilot in the shape of William Buick, could well give the horse the boost he needs to regain some of his best form, on which he would surely go close.

The 16/1 available at the minute looks too tempting to resist, and if he manages to settle early on, he should give us a good run for our money.

In the finale, a class two nursery, there is only two horses in single figures which show just how competitive it is on paper.

Ventura Spirit looks a solid favourite given his close third to current Acomb favourite The Grey Gatsby, but we turn to the already proven class act in the race.

Coulsty didn’t really kick on from his explosive debut at Leicester when he hacked up by five lengths, yet he still has the best form in the book at the minute.

He finished down the field behind No Nay Never at Royal Ascot, before finishing second in a conditions stakes at Newmarket, and third behind the highly regarded Bunker in Deauville.

He carries top weight, but with Richard Hughes in the saddle, he is fancied to go very close a cracking each-way price of 10/1.


1 point win: Above Standard @ 8/1 (Various)

1 point win: Martin Chuzzlewit @ 16/1 (Ladbrokes)

1 point win: Coulsty @ 10/1 (William Hill/Ladbrokes)

0.25 e.w patent: Above Standard/Martin Chuzzlewit/Coulsty @ 1682/1 (Ladbrokes)





Royal Ascot Day Two – Advice

Day two of the five-day Royal Ascot festival looks like a punting minefield, with a number of very competitive handicaps.

However, there are still plenty of classy horses on show for us to get stuck into, yet I am very keen on the chances of two fillies.

The first comes in the shape of Chigun, from the Lady Cecil stable. It would be a very poignant victory, in memory of her former trainer Sir Henry Cecil, who sadly passed away recently.

He was always a dab hand when it came to training fillies, and no doubt his wife will have picked up many of his tricks and techniques, as-well as understanding how to treat individuals.

henry cecil

Chigun was last seen cosily landing a Group three in Ireland, under the expert guidance of Tom Queally. She has came on since her defeat earlier in the season, to Dank who also re-appears on Wednesday.

Chigun looks one still firmly on the upgrade, and with Lady Cecil’s stable being in great form, the 7/2 looks tremendous value.

Her main challenger looks set to be from the favourite Duntle, having already had a course and distance win to her name, after landing the Sandringham last year. She will strip fitter from her last run in Ireland, and another bold run is expected. Yet, at the odds, I am more inclined to side with Chigun, who is nearly double price at the minute.

Our other main selection of the day is classy filly, The Fugue.

She lines up against the males in the Prince of Wales’ Stakes, having had a lengthy lay-off since her third in the Breeders Cup Filly and Mare’s turf.

She is a ten-furlong specialist, having won two of her three starts over the distance, her only defeat coming at the Breeders Cup.

Her mix of high cruising speed, and a magnificent turn of foot will come into play on Wednesday, as there is set to be a strong gallop set by Windsor Palace.

Her two main rivals look set to be favourite Al Kazeem and last year’s Derby winner, Camelot.

The pair locked horns at the Curragh last month with Al Kazeem coming out on top in a tactical affair.

However tomorrow Camelot’s staying ability will come more into play with a truly run race, and a stiff galloping track. I expect Camelot to reverse the placings, however he may find one too good if The Fugue is wound up to her full potential.

Of the other races on the card, there are very few that really interest me from a betting perspective, as there looks to be many races that are just too close to call.

If I was pushed to select one more on the card, it would have to be Garswood in the opener, who looks set to appreciate the step back to 7f.

He landed a 7f listed handicap very comfortably at Newmarket before going on to disappoint slightly in the Guineas, when he was never really in the race.

Richard Fahey is in good form, and the current 5/1 does appeal in what looks an open race.


2 points win: Chigun @ 7/2 (Various)

1 point e.w double: The Fugue & Garswood @ 41/1 (Paddy Power)