Neil provides us with his best bets and tips for Saturday’s race meeting at Royal Ascot on 18/06/2022.
Royal Ascot Best Bets 18/06/2022
Race 1 CHESHAM STAKES (Listed) – 18/06/2022
No2 ALZAHIR (Each Way)
Trainer: John Gosden – Jockey: Frankie Dettori
In what has proved a topsy-turvy week for the Gosden/Dettori combo, ALZAHIR can come to the rescue and post a big earning run in the final juvenile race at the meeting.
The Sea The Stars colt had his colours lowered by just a short head by Naval Power on his Newmarket introduction after commanding plenty of interest in the betting ring.
He’s got stamina in abundance on both sides of his pedigree, but can show he has the zip to upset ALFRED MUNNINGS in this. The latter impressed on his debut at Leopardstown and will be heavily bet to improve Aidan O’Brien’s already great record in the race, but he is not a value option.
LEGEND OF XANADU powered home in a Listed race at Epsom under William Buick and is one that can trouble the judge at longer odds, while FAISAL ROAD and ONE WORLD give Gosden extra strings to his bow.
Faisal Road, a grey son of Kodiac, defied a market drift to deliver at Yarmouth while One World prevailed by niches at Haydock.
Prediction: 1st ALZAHIR, 2nd Alfred Munnings, 3rd Legend Of Xanadu
Race 2 JERSEY STAKES (Group 3) – 18/06/2022
No3 ALFLAILA (Each Way)
Trainer: Owen Burrows – Jockey: Dane O’Neill
This is one of the most open Jerseys I can remember for a while, though Godolphin’s NOBLE TRUTH will take out a fair chunk of the betting handle on the race and is carded to go off favourite.
He’s entitled to have a big say if in the same form as for his latest run, but granted he is over twice the price of Noble Truth, ALFLAILA has to be worth each way support.
He enjoyed a black type-earning juvenile season, but looked better than ever when returning from a seven month absence to bolt up in a Class 2 over this course and distance.
SAMBURU takes a three race unbeaten record to the battlefield but is making a fairly big class jump, while MONAADAH has an identical profile and is a fascinating runner for Saeed Bin Suroor, and greatly impressed with the way he outpointed the reopposing AUDIENCE at Sandown.
Prediction: 1st ALFLAILA, 2nd Monaadah, 3rd Noble Truth
Race 3 HARDWICKE STAKES (Group 2) – 18/06/2022
No2 BROOME (Nap)
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien – Jockey: Ryan Moore
HURRICANE LANE’s reappearance is one of the highlights of the final day, and the Frankel colt is scheduled to start a shade of odds on for the Appleby/Buick combination.
He assembled a trio of Group 1 successes in 2021 including the St Leger, and signed off with a creditable third placing in the Arc.
He’s likely to be close to his best for this mid season reappearance, but might still find seasoned older campaigner BROOME too hot to handle.
Broome counted the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud among his triumphs last year, ran a cracker at the Breeders’ Cup, and had a good blow after his comeback run at the Curragh. He’s been made fitter and could be hard to peg back under Ryan Moore.
SOLID STONE has been leading Derby winner Desert Crown in his work in Newmarket. Supplemented into this, he will most likely keep Broome company near the front, and along with THIRD REALM take home a minor cheque.
Prediction: 1st BROOME, 2nd Hurricane Lane, 3rd Solid Stone, 4th Third Realm
Race 4 PLATINUM JUBILEE STAKES (Group 1) – 18/06/2022
No19 ALCOHOL FREE (Each Way)
Trainer: Andrew Balding – Jockey: Rob Hornby
This has a more open look to it than Tuesday’s King’s Stand, with 27 runners representing a total of five countries.
On the back of Nature Strip’s commanding triumph, stablemate HOME AFFAIRS is skinny enough at around 9-4, granted he is not held in quite the same esteem despite having beaten him in a Group 1 Down Under.
CAMPANELLE goes for back-to-back triumphs in the final Day feature and looked as sharp as ever taking out a conditions race at Keeneland in April.
DRAGON SYMBOL should in theory and on the book finish close to Campanelle and is a lively outsider, while SACRED looked the real deal in taking out the Hungerford Stakes last August, but has endured training issues.
Roughies RUN TO FREEDOM and VADREAM could run above their market prices, but for the win I like ALCOHOL FREE.
Last season’s Coronation Stakes and Sussex Stakes heroine hasn’t performed to near that level in two races this season but bringing her back to a spring distance could prove an ace card by trainer Andrew Balding.
Prediction: 1st ALCOHOL FREE, 2nd Home Affairs, 3rd Sacred, 4th Run To Freedom, 5th Vadream
Race 5 WOKINGHAM HANDICAP – 18/06/2022
No25 FRESH (Each Way)
Trainer: James Fanshawe – Jockey: Danny Tudhope
Fanshawe is prone to pull a rabbit out of the hat at this meeting, and in FRESH he surely has a sprinter that has a lot of bases covered.
The Bated Breath gelding finished second in this contest 12 months ago, and has had a repeat bid on his agenda ever since. He ran a cracker to take home a minor cheque in the Victoria Cup over seven furlongs here last month and will not mind returning to the 1200 metres distance.
CHAIRMANOFTHEBOARD is one that could rattle a few cages although some easing of the ground would undoubtedly assist him. He’s one to put into the exotics and can earn.
BLACKROD is an upwardly mobile sprinter from a stable that excels with five and six furlong performers. From his last four races he’s won three and finished third in the Ayr Gold Cup, making him one to take seriously.
James McDonald is a most eye taking jockey booking for the Tim Easterby-trained LAMPANG, while QUARANTINE DREAMS makes most appeal of the Irish hopes in the field.
Prediction: 1st FRESH, 2nd Chairmanoftheboard, 3rd Blackrod, 4th Lampang, 5th Quarantine Dreams.
Race 6 GOLDEN GATES HANDICAP – 18/06/2022
No13 KNIGHTSWOOD (Each Way)
Trainer: Mark Johnston – Jockey: Jason Hart
It’s been a rare blank at the meeting so far for Johnston, but in KNIGHTSWOOD he has a horse that can change things.
The Decorated Hero colt attracts me off just three career starts with victories on each of his outings on turf. He needs to raise his game to win, but that is not out of the question and he needs taking seriously.
MISSED THE CUT and PHANTOM FLIGHT have identical profiles to the selection and represent upwardly mobile trainers George Boughey and James Horton.
They are in with a shout but the two that are more likely to earn are HONITON and FALLING SHADOW who give Godolphin and trainer Charlie Appleby a powerful double spearhead, going into battle off convincing successes last time.
ALDOUS HUXLEY also competes for the ‘Boys In Blue’ and has earned his welter burden with a narrow defeat in Listed company.
Prediction: 1st KNIGHTSWOOD, 2nd Aldous Huxley, 3rd Honiton, 4th Falling Shadow
Race 7 QUEEN ALEXANDRA STAKES – 18/06/2022
No13 SINGLE (Each Way)
Trainer: Mick Channon – Jockey: Rob Hornby
TRUESHAN could end up being a warm favourite for the finale should thunderstorms reach the track, but if they don’t he won’t run.
EARLOFTHECOTSWOLDS turns out quickly after finishing down the field in the Gold Cup, while WORDSWORTH commands a deal of respect having finished second in last year’s Queen’s Vase and fourth in the Sagar Stakes, both at this course.
He should enjoy the step up in trip and is the one to beat, but at massive odds SINGLE is worth backing to get into the frame.
The Nathaniel mare needs to raise her game, but like one of the other mares in the field URBAN ARTIST could do so, as she’s a certain stayer and will be finishing off her race when some of her foes have cried enough.
Prediction: 1st SINGLE, 2nd Urban Artist, 3rd Wordsworth