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Horse Racing

Andrew Halligan – 2022 Royal Ascot Day 1 Tips

2022 Royal Ascot Day 1 Tips by our man Andrew Halligan

Sit back, relax, and enjoy what Royal Ascot brings to the table. The five-day racing spectacular is nearly upon us.

Runners from all over the globe will descend on the hallowed turf at Ascot, not to mention the thousands of avid racegoers from all ages getting ready to enjoy the 2022 edition of Royal Ascot.

14:30 – 1m Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes – 2022 Royal Ascot Day 1

Have we run out of superlatives for the superstar Baaeed? I’m sure we’ll find another one after he trounces his opponents in the Queen Anne Stakes.

But at 1/7, we’ll look at who will follow him home, and I think we have one in the shape of ORDER OF AUSTRALIA about 18/1.

He finished 8th in the 2021 renewal of this race in which Palace Pier was an impressive winner. He has a 2nd behind Baaeed to his name when they met in the Prix du Moulin at Longchamp last September.

He’s had some very good placed efforts in Group 1s last term, but finished off last season with a last of 12 when 6/5 fav for the Keeneland Turf Stakes at Keeneland.

But, with Aiden O’Brien horses in top form this season I can see Order Of Australia coming out of the Queen Anne Stakes with a massive run.

15:05 – 6f Group 2 Coventry Stakes – 2022 Royal Ascot Day 1

My selection here is a horse that has taken my eye since his debut back in April at Dundalk, but what he did at the Curragh was impressive, and that horse is BLACKBEARD (currently around 11/4).

The son of No Nay Never arrives here on the back of an impressive win in a Group 3 at the Curragh where he made all and forged clear inside the final furlong to best EVS Tough Talk by 3 ½ lengths.

Granted, this is going to be a much tougher test. But, he comes from a yard that has won this no less than nine times in the past and, with the stiff uphill finish at Ascot, I can see this playing right into the hands of Blackbeard.

His main danger might well come from his stablemate Age Of Kings (currently priced at around 15/2) who also comes he on the back of an impressive win.

15:40 – 5f Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes – 2022 Royal Ascot Day 1

A race that has representatives from no less than five countries in the line up, but only one can sprint way with Royal Ascot glory.

Since Golden Pals’ blistering return to action, back in April, he has been at the head of the market ever since.

But let’s not forget that all of his best form has been when running over a turning 5f and his two visits to the UK have ended in two defeats.

Yes – he was very impressive at Keeneland, but I’m willing to give him a miss at odds of 9/4.

Nature Strip who comes from the land down under is, in the last few weeks, fighting to take the favourite-tag off Golden Pal, and I would be lying if I said I knew much about his form in Australia.

So, with that said, my selection is going to be MAN OF PROMISE (currently 12/1)

16:20 – 1m Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes – 2022 Royal Ascot Day 1

Here we will see Coroebus looking back up his 2000 Guineas win over stablemate, Native Trail, and we do expect to see him add another Group 1 to his CV.

He has some solid opposition to overcome in the likes of rapidly improving My Prospero and Maljoom, to name but two.

When all is said and done, COROEBUS (even at these prices) should be very hard to beat, and maybe he is one for the Royal Ascot accumulator if you do not want to get involved at the prices.

Berkshire Shadow, the winner of the Coventry at this meeting last year might well outrun his odds of 28/1 if he comes on from his 5th behind Coroebus in the 2000 Guineas.

17:00 – 2m4f Ascot Stakes (Handicap) – 2022 Royal Ascot Day 1

A race like this is always one in which I’ll be concentrating on who the jumps trainers have entered.

Willie Mullins looks for another win in this with Bring On The Night, but the one I will be siding with is the Gordon Elliott-trained PIED PIPER (currently around 13/2).

He was a useful performer on the flat for John Gosden before his move to Gordon Elliot’s yard, but during his time over hurdles is where he has really shone.

He has notched up some top performances with a win over Triumph Hurdle winner Vauban, a demolition job at Cheltenham in January, a 3rd in the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and a Dead-Heat in a Grade 1 Hurdle at the Aintree Grand National Festival (demoted afterwards).

He arrives here on a mark of 96 and if he transforms his improvement and maturity over hurdles to the flat, then this race could suit his strong traveling style.

At bigger prices, Make My Day looks to be in with a chance at roughly 20/1.

17:35 – 1m2f Listed Wolferton Stakes – 2022 Royal Ascot Day 1

This race is as wide open as it gets, and a case can be made for nearly ever runner in the field.

But the one who I have landed on is the 4yo NEW MANDATE (currently 20/1).

Started off the season with a gutsy win on Sir Busker at Ascot before being outclassed by Baaeed in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury.

Back down to listed level in this wide-open field, the son of New Bay, who has already got four wins to his name in nine runs, looks to be overpriced here.

18:10 – 1m6f Copper Horse Stakes – 2022 Royal Ascot Day 1

This should really boil down to whether the Chester Cup winner CLEVELAND (currently about 7/4) can show that form of that win back down in trip. I for one think he will be perfectly fine with dropping down to 1m6f.

He has shown enough pace to be 4 ¼ lengths off Layfayette over 1m2f, and show his improvement for steeping up to staying distance of 2m2 ½ at Chester.

So, with that combo in his locker, 1m6f should not be any problem. Especially in a race where you’d expect there to be plenty of pace on.

Don’t be surprised if you see Alright Sunshine of Keith Dalgleish fighting out for the places at a big price.

NAP – Blackbeard
NB – Pied Piper

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2022 Royal Ascot Day 1 Tips by our man Andrew Halligan

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