Wednesday, 16th June 2021
It was a poor day for me on Day 1 at Royal Ascot with both my horses running disappointing races – one way or another….
I’m not one for straight-off-the-bat inquests – and I certainly don’t look for excuses. Bottom line – neither horse performed as I expected. End of….
This is horse racing – and horses regularly disappoint. They’re bred for it. Pundits, analysts, and tipsters get it horribly wrong too – on a daily basis – and I’m no exception. It’s one of those things – part and parcel of the game….
I can look at the detail – and cry myself to sleep – next week when it’s all over. Not that it will make any difference. You don’t get two goes at this game….
No matter. There is still plenty of racing to come this week – and plenty of opportunities for redemption….
This afternoon, we’ve got the Royal Hunt Cup and the Kensington Palace Stakes. You’ll find my selections here….
Tomorrow – the focus of today’s email because I’m always 24-hours ahead of the game here at ATC – it’s all about the Britannia and the Buckingham Palace Stakes….
Let’s move on….
The 3yos go at it up the straight mile in tomorrow’s Britannia Stakes at 5.00….
The complexities of solving a 29-runner puzzle like this are compounded by a weather forecast that predicts plenty of rain in the early hours of the morning and for several hours before racing….
We can’t know exactly how that’s going to affect underfoot conditions. But – assuming the forecast rain falls – it will take the edge of the track at the very least….
That would be good news for Joseph O’Brien’s LIFFEY RIVER. He certainly won’t mind rain. I see him running a big race under Shane Crosse – and he represents a decent bet at 22s….
He took a big step forward on handicap debut over an inadequate 7f last time at the Curragh under top weight – and the return to a mile will likely improve him again….
Last season he was sent into a G2 after winning a maiden at Punchestown – and he wasn’t good enough to figure on the day. He appeared to need his seasonal debut ahead of that race at the Curragh and I think he’ll be somewhere close to spot-on tomorrow….
We haven’t seen the best of him yet. I think he’s been building up a head of steam in the early part of this season and if he builds on his last time out effort then he will go close tomorrow….
Each-way backers take note: 888 Sport and Boylesports are paying out 1/5 the odds on the first 6 home. Most firms are up with general place terms of 1/4 the odds on the first 4 home….
The Buckingham Place Stakes at 6.10 has also attracted a massive field – and I’m sweet on a horse on the bounce-back….
Kevin Ryan had a good winner yesterday and his BIELSA can give him another good day up at 7f for the first time….
The Wokingham – which Ryan won last year with Hey Jonesy – was an obvious option for this horse but I think connections are right to roll the dice at the longer trip….
Bielsa has rediscovered his form this term over 6f – without managing to get his head in front. A wind-op in January and the application of cheekpieces appear to have helped him the 6yo….
He narrowly failed at York last time when beaten into 2nd place – his best performance since 2019. He kept on very strongly in the closing stages – and there’s a good chance the 7f will be the key to him finally delivering on his promise….
I see him going very well under Silvestre De Sousa – whose been a key component in this term’s rejuvenation – and he starts from a handy draw in stall 25….
Bielsa goes on any ground – and that’s a bonus tomorrow with underfoot conditions a matter of speculation and guesswork. The 16s is fair enough….
Each-way backers take note: Sky Bet are paying out 1/5 the odds on the first 7 home. Multiple firms are up with 1/5 the first 6. Bet365 are offering the bigger 1/4 fraction – but only on the first 5….
Nick’s contrarian picks….
To recap on where my idea of the value lies tomorrow afternoon….
In the Britannia Stakes (5.00 @ Ascot).
In the Buckingham Palace Stakes (6.10 @ Ascot).
That is my take on where the value lies – but you will no doubt have your own ideas and that’s exactly as it should be.
That’s all from me for today. I’ll be back tomorrow. Meanwhile….
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Until next time. Stay tuned.