Where my contrarian money is going at Royal Ascot - Day 2....

Last Updated: 14.06.2016

Tuesday, 14th June 2016

Good afternoon, contrarians,

On the menu today….

  • Plenty of cut in the surface….
  • Where the Indicator points in the Prince of Wales (4.20)….
  • Two against the field in the Royal Hunt Cup (5.00)….

Plenty of cut in the surface….

The rain has continued to fall. Maybe not persistently – but definitely sporadically….

So  much so, that whilst the Racing Post website still has the going down as good to soft this morning, the going stick reading recorded on the British Horseracing Authority website suggests the going is now soft.

Unless you’re actually on the spot it is hard to be definitive. It might be somewhere between the two states. It is immaterial. All we really need to know is that there’s plenty of juice in the track.

The horses that like cut have got their ground. The horses that need it quick have not.

The big race on Day 2 at the Royal Ascot meeting is the G1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes – over the right-handed 10f trip.

I don’t really fancy the race as a betting heat this year. But with all the stats to hand there is no harm whatsoever in taking a look at where they point….

Where the Indicator points in the Prince of Wales….

Our Indicator tool expresses an assortment of opinions. It highlights which horses rank as ‘win’ and ‘place’ finishers on a series of scales relating to ratings, strike-rates and other measures.

Multiple horses in tomorrow’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes ‘win’ (yellow) or ‘place’ (blue) on at least one opinion scale. But some score better than others.

Taken as a whole, the data predicts the market has got it right. The Indicator says that the following horses will fill the first 2 spaces home….

  • A Shin Hikari
  • Found 

If the stats had made case for a decent-priced runner making the frame, I might have suggested a bet to recreational stakes on a Dual Forecast. As it is the stats and the odds in combination determine a No Bet situation. 

All that said if you wanted to take an enhanced price of 6s about A Shin Hikari winning, I wouldn’t put you off. The ‘regular’ price is 4/6. The enhanced price is only available with Racebets when you open a new account. There are T&Cs (aren’t there always) and you should check them out before going in. But a value price is a value price…. Qualify for the enhanced 6s here…..


Two against the field in the Royal Hunt Cup….

There’s only one race on day 2 that appeals as a betting medium….

The Royal Hunt Cup (5.00) is not the type of race that appeals to everybody. A monster field of 33 runners goes to post over the straight mile for tomorrow afternoon’s renewal. It’s an absolute cavalry charge.

Plenty of punters would consider the contest impossible to call and leave it alone. I don’t blame them. But I do question their sense of adventure.

The truth is that the bookies don’t find these races any easier than the punters and that means they frequently let really competitive horses go off at huge prices.

That’s what attracts me to these types of contests. They’re not easy – but the potential rewards are there to a degree you seldom see in ‘easier’ small-field affairs.

If you’ve ploughed through all the form of each and every runner then you’re a better man than me. In a race of this nature I’m looking to focus on a shortlist of likely types which I reach via the stats.

Having looked at last 15 renewals the percentage play is to focus on those drawn high, aged 4 or 5 and officially rated 105 or lower. I want them fit and firing. I want them with form on cut. And, of course, there are considerations based on track, yard, jockey and various other sundry factors.

First up is LIBRISA BREEZE at 20s generally.

He’s had just one run for Dean Ivory since moving from Jeremy Noseda’s yard. That was an impressive effort on the all-weather at Wolverhampton where he showed a taking turn of foot – a performance that should put him spot-on for tomorrow afternoon’s assignment.

Connections really like the 4yo son of Mount Nelson and after that Wolverhampton race Ivory intimated that much more was expected of the horse on turf. Today gives the horse an opportunity to frank his handler’s faith and produce the anticipated progress.

The horse has no form on soft but I’m not too worried about that. His sire won on heavy as a juvenile. He liked Ascot too on the one occasion he appeared there – which was also up the straight mile in the Queen Anne Stakes.

Ivory’s horse is unexposed on turf, he’s progressive and he ticks a lot of boxes. He gets further than a mile and that last performance was over the extended mile. In this race, which will be run at a rate of knots and which presents a rising finish, his stamina will be a big advantage. He should be very competitive and I like the price.

The other one I want to be with is DONNCHA with Tom Marquand onboard at the general 16s.

He showed up very nice last time out at York and would have been closer than his 5th place finish had he got a clear run.

Previous to that he’d produced cracking effort in the Spring Mile at Doncaster when runner up to Lord Of The Rock. That performance was produced on soft ground so the current state of the track at Ascot should be right up his street.

Robert Eddery’s horse is fit and firing and going very much the right way. He’s going to be very close to the rail and that’s a big advantage. His rider has a decent record up the straight and this ride gives him a really good opportunity to build on that. Plenty of boxes are ticked and the 16s is fair enough.

The Contrarian Bet Box….

To recap on where my contrarian money will be going on Day 2….

In the Royal Hunt Cup (5.00)....

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – LIBRISA BREEZE each-way (20s generally) & DONNCHA each-way (16s generally)

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 afternoon with my take on Thursday’s races.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd