Twist’s N Turn’s Ascot Naps
ASCOT WEEK – DAY 1
If any of you are unsure of the meaning of the term “ dosage index” , please check it out on Wiki if you feel the need.
This information is being passed to me from a team of very well regarded individuals. I’m part of a “ proofing “ team if you like. This is not your typical “ a nods as good as a wink “ type of ‘tip’
These guys are knowledgeable. They do have stable access. They do have gallop reports, and they do have a number of vg contacts within the horse racing industry. That I can guarantee is true and I can also guarantee these guys make their living from their skills and knowledge.
This is the first time I’ve had access to this and out of respect to the people sending me it I wouldn’t normally post this on an open forum. It would be unfair. As I say though, it is free of charge this week so I don’t mind. I’m not taking business away from them.
2.30 Queen Anne Stakes
The straight mile at Ascot does not confer the usual advantage for prominent/front runners. Last year’s result highlights this broader statistic well as Accidental Agent traded at 500 on the exchanges in running before rallying from the back quartile of the field to win. The most likely pace setters here are probably Matterhorn and Laurens.
DREAM CASTLE has been working well (albeit with inferior horses such as Global Heat and Leaders Legacy who are a minimum of a stone behind him in ability). However, you can expect to see him travel well through the race. It would be a surprise if he was good enough to win and the race would need to be a sub-standard renewal.
LE BRIVIDO undoubtedly had a poor draw, raced on the unfavoured part of the track and was hampered at a vital stage at Newbury in the Lockinge last time out. This is only the 8th run of his career and only the 3rd for Aiden O’Brien. Some progression remains plausible. Those closest to Ballydoyle say that Le Brivido has come out of the Newbury race well.
MUSTASHRY is another very good work horse at home. He is often pitted against staying types such as Crystal King, but nevertheless he had worked as if he had progressed, at the age of 6, prior to winning the Lockinge. The performance ratings suggest that if he were to reproduce his Newbury run, then that level would have been enough to win every Queen Anne Stakes in the past 5 years. That makes his price potentially appealing. On the flipside, that run was the first time in 17 starts he had produced such a number.
LAURENS was flagged up to me during the Spring as a filly that had improved in physique and looks since last year. She was reportedly 95% fit for the Lockinge and lost 11 kilos in weight after the race. She has improved in terms of fitness for that run and so it is reasonable to expect her to finish closer to Mustashry than she did at Newbury.
LORD GLITTERS disappointed in the Newbury race but does reserve his best for this course and is reported in good form by the stable. He ran well in this race last year, but is another year older.
This looks a trappy opening race, not least because it could be a sub-standard year, full of exposed horses. In addition, I am not receiving any strong information that is unknown to the market. LE BRIVIDO is one of the few that could have some progression yet to be tapped and if you can secure 4 places, has each-way merit
3.05 Coventry Stakes
ARIZONA looks an obvious favourite. Aiden O’Brien has an outstanding record with his 2yo’s at this meeting over 6f+ (8/42 with a +59 profit). Arizona is a son of No Nay Never (who is himself a son of Scat Daddy, who has a great record with his progeny at Ascot…74% surpass their previous best rating) and is bred to appreciate Ascot’s stiff 6f at this stage of his career. His dosage numbers are 3-3-8-2-0….he will probably prove best at a mile next season and so 6f in the June of his juvenile year is fine. His win last time out was achieved in a fast time and I am told that he has come out of that race well and will progress. His draw in 3 could be a potential negative.
From the same stable, FORT MEYERS has a much stouter pedigree, with a dosage index of 0.85 and a centre of distribution of 0.0. He will be a 10f+ horse in time and this would need to be a race where there was a pace collapse for him to excel. He is held in regard though and you can expect to see him staying on well, though unlikely to quite have the pace to win a Coventry if it is up to scratch.
As with every year, the winner of the Coventry will surpass their previous best effort to win this race. Therefore this makes it a bit of a guessing game. Estimating who will improve the most is difficult without having some information on every runner, which is, of course, not possible. One whom I have got some background on is MAXI BOY who works well with the stable’s other Royal Ascot possibles and who impressed Ryan Moore when winning on him last time out. His trainer believes he will prove better later this year at 7f+ and his dosage of 4-3-11-3-1, suggests this could be the case.
This race is full of February/March foals (the most mature) who have won impressively last time out and are open to progression. It would take really strong information for me to recommend a meaningful bet.
3.40 King’s Stand
Prominent racers are very much favoured over this sprint trip.
BATTAASH is the outstanding sprinter in terms of raw ability. He has performance ratings that would win this race in 4 of the last 5 years. If he runs to form, it is unlikely anything else in this field can win. The doubt is the horse’s temperament and consistency. However, he looks a simple horse to read…..he has run 11 times since 2017….and the only times he has been beaten is when he has either got worked up and sweated beforehand, as he has done twice at York, or, when he has used excessive early pace and tried to make all, as he did at Ascot and Longchamp. Avoid those 2 scenarios, and Battaash can run to a level that the others cannot match. Prior to his win at Haydock, I was told that Battaash had calmed down over the Winter and was looking a happier horse and becoming more tractable in his work. This information was born out by his performance at the Lancashire track. It could be that he has turned a corner. He has drawn stall 12 here, which may be a nuisance as he doesn’t have any speed around him. To avoid him seeing daylight, he will have to switch a little and that could mean some lost ground/impetus if he gets caught behind midfield/hold up horses. That aside, the optimal strategy here is to see how he takes the preliminaries and back him only if all seems well. You may (or may not?) forgo a little bit of price, but it is clear that 7/4 about a calm Battaash is better value than 2/1 about a worked up Battaash.
SERGEI PROKOFIEV is another son of Scat Daddy with exceptionally fast dosage numbers of 6-6-7-1-0…dosage index of 3.44 and a centre of distribution of 0.85. This race has been the plan all Winter and his run in the Palace House at Newmarket was merely a prep and some experience against older horses over the minimum trip. Although he was hardly lightly raced as a juvenile, he was messed about a bit with different running plans (often brought about by his propensity to pull). By the Autumn however, connections were happy he had been taught to settle and he produced a complete race in the Group 3 he landed at Newmarket. A fast pace here will suit him ideally and granted that, he could be finishing as fast as any other horse based on sectional analysis. 8/1 looks reasonable each way value if 4 places can be secured. Mathematically, less so if only 3 places offered.
4.20 St James Palace Stakes
Hold Up horses can often struggle on the round course here, especially if the pace is not a strong one.
BELL ROCK was highlighted to me during the Spring. His work was such that the plan was to run in the Craven prior to the Guineas. Unfortunately he met with a minor setback and that plan was abandoned. As soon as Bell Rock recovered, plan “b” was hatched, to win the Heron Stakes and then run in this race. Bell Rock was too fresh in the Sandown race and pulled his chance away behind King Of Comedy. Andrew Balding had all but decided to forget this race, but Bell Rock has worked well again and persuaded his trainer to let him run. It is a leap of faith in terms of the form-book, but Bell Rock is certainly not a 100/1 shot. This doesn’t look a vintage renewal of the 3yo’s 1m Group 1.
Only PHOENIX OF SPAIN has achieved a rating that is similar to previous winners. His Curragh run would have won this race twice in the past 5 years if repeated. He is a scopey horse who always looked likely to be better as a 3yo. He is a front-runner and so tactics are relatively simple and he looks progressive. I am told he lost little weight after Ireland and has come out of the race well. His dosage index of 1.4 and centre of distribution of 0.17 offer encouragement because they suggest that if something takes him on for the lead and makes it a test of stamina, then he should be equipped.
John Gosden has to be respected and runs two. TOO DARN HOT was the star juvenile, but he was small as a 2yo and hasn’t grown much. His dosage of 0.75…-0.07…points to stamina and indeed he is a brother to the middle distance pair, So Mi Dar and Lah Ti Dar. He might struggle in this race if it is slowly run and turns into a 2f sprint once they enter the straight. That said, I am told that tomorrow is the best shape that Too Darn Hot has been in all year.
KING OF COMEDY was recommended to me for the Heron Stakes on the back of some excellent homework with Lord North. He is a very good work horse at home, but does display temperament on the course. At Sandown he had to be dismounted and walked to the start. His dosage suggests 8f is likely to be his optimum.
Twists own pick’s
2.30 1 e/w Le BRIVIDO @ 13/2 Boyles, 6/1 Lads, Betfair, BetVic, PP, BlackType, 888, Spx (4 places),
3.40 4 BATTAASH @ 7/4+ (if calm during prelims). No bet if sweating or worked up.
1 e/w SERGEI PROFOKIEV @ 9/1 Skybet (4 places) or 11/1 Hills, Unibet (3 places)
4.20 0.5 e/w BELL ROCK @ 100/1 Betfair, Paddy Power
1 PHOENIX OF SPAIN @ 9/4 Lads, Unibet, Black Type