HOW THE WEEK'S BEST BET WAS ADVISED...

USHERETTE is my only bet on day two of this Royal Ascot feast. Whereas no horse in any of the other races on the card makes any appeal for betting purposes, this French trained filly certainly does – and she looks one of the best bets of the week. 9-4 with quite a few bookmakers early doors, she could well become a bit of a gamble, and let's take that price (with 'best odds guarantee' of course).


Trained by Andre Fabre, this big, strong daughter of Shamardal should have been unbeaten after her six runs to date. She played up before the start and ran no sort of a race when finishing second last in the Prix Rotschild at Deauville last summer (a race won my Amazing Maria). But for that blip Usherette has been faultless.


She has been a gradual improver and she is just the sort to progress further as she matures this season. The Godolphin owner runner broke little sweat when winning the 9-furlong Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket in May, when she was chased home by Arabian Queen, with Amazing Maria 5 ½ lengths behind her in third spot. Usherette had already had a run this spring, winning over 7 furlongs at Chantilly in April, but she did not look super-fit to my eye and I suspect there is better to come.


That she has yet to race on soft ground is a worry but show won on good to soft at Chantilly last year and she has also won over artificial tracks. Fabre is a man to trust when it comes top making these decisions, whether to run or not when it rains. Also, horses trained in France seem to handle give underfoot better than their rivals in England and Ireland.

Usherette's sire, Shamardal, handled soft ground brilliantly when winning both the Dewhurst Stakes and the Poule d'Essai des Poulains. Her dam, the Maria's Mon daughter Monday Show, won on good to soft and very soft for trainer H-A Pantall in France. She was also Listed placed on good to soft. 


Usherette is her first foal. She comes from the same family as Prix Jean Prat and Grand Prix de Paris winner Vespone and Purple Moon, who won the Ebor Hcap in England and was runner-up in the Melbourne Cup. Vespone won a Group 3 on soft ground early on in his career and the ground was good to soft when he won the GP de Paris.


As you might agree, it is hard to find a reason not to back Usherette. Also when going through the form of the opposition.

The next five in the betting

ALWAYS SMILE (8-1). Won a York Listed handicap off 105 in May, beating Convey by a neck over a mile. This is big step up in class. If you do fancy her chances you might also consider a double with Convey in the Royal Hunt Cup (11-1 with Paddy Power, offefring 6 places ew).


JAZZI TOP (8-1). Classy performer who won a G2 of good to soft at Deauville last summer and went down by just a head to Covert Love in the Prix de l'Opera on 'Arc' day in the autumn. Below par when seventh as the favourite in the Dahlia. Sure to be much sharper now but is at her best over further than today's distance.


LUCIDA (8-1). Somewhat overrated throughout her career but did manage third behind Ervedya in last year's Coronation Stakes and is built a bit like soft-ground runner (though her best form is on good to firm). Beaten 4 ½ lengths behind Devonshire on her seasonal bow.


MISS TEMPLE CITY (10-1). Coming off a G1 win against the boys at Keeneland (a race where she was greatly favoured by the weights) and is up against it under her 5lb penalty. All of her form has been on good or firm.


DEVONSHIRE (12-1). Prepped for this task with a 2-length win in the Lanwades Stud Stakes over a mile at The Curragh, where she was chased home by Irish Rookie, who had finished 6 lengths behind Usherette in the Dahlia at Newmarket.

RECOMMENDED BET

£300 WIN: USHERETTE 9-4


TOTAL STAKES WEDNESDAY: £300


Geir Stabell

Don't miss

GLOBEFORM'S

BREEDERS' CUP SPECIAL

The Breeders' Cup returns to Santa Anita, on Friday / Saturday Nov 4 & 5


Globeform's

Breeders' Cup Special opens Oct 10


Four weeks of excellent

in-depth countdown service


Key horses in focus


Best early value bets


Race by race previews


ABC selections & betting plans


Exclusive Globeform ratings

GLOBEFORM'S

ROYAL ASCOT

PREVIEWS & BETS

GLOBEFORM BETS FIRST FOUR DAYS

Starting bank: £260 - balance Friday evening: £1,126

DAY 5- SATURDAY JUNE 18

WOLFERTON HANDICAP:

16-1 SHOT FROM BALLYDOYLE

This handicap is a race I normally don't get involved in, but one horse absolutely sticks out and must be backed in the Wolferton on Saturday (3.05), the Aidan O'Brien trained SIR ISAAC NEWTON, who has slipped in here on handicap 102 after an excellent run in Listed company last time out. The four-year-old son of Galileo ran third, beaten a little over three lengths, when meeting Portage at level weights in the Silver Stakes over 1 ¼ miles at The Curragh on June 4.

Portage won the Royal Hunt Cup readily on Wednesday, while racing off 105, and we simply have to back Sir Isaac Newton, who seems a massive price at 16-1. He gets Ryan Moore in the saddle this time, another big plus. That he was dropped by the handicapper after his last run was an absolute mistake. Easy to say now of course, after seeing Portage win, but it was a swift move by the assessor. Unusually swift, given that it was Sir Isaac Newton's second run of the year. This is quite a classy performer. He ran at Royal Ascot also last year, and finished sixth to Dutch Connection after a terribly troubled run in the 7-furlong Jersey Stakes. Sir Isaac Newton went off at 8-1 that day, and he was just 3-1 when running fourth to Custom Cut in a Group 2 next time out (admittedly in a five-runner field, when he tried to make all). His best handicap mark last year was 109. Enough said, the overall profile of this contender says that he should not be 16-1 for the Wolferton.


EDUCATE, an older horse with who seems to be coming back into form, ran well in Decorated Knight's race at Goodwood (see Kings Fete / Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes on Friday), and is also reasonably handicapped.


UPDATE SATURDAY MORNING: Kings Fete probably would have won had he not been interfered yesterday, and the Goodwood race he and EDUCATE ran in is looking better all the time. I am adding a small EW bet on EDUCATE at 10-1.

RECOMMENDED BETS

£50 EW SIR ISAAC NEWTON 16-1 (RECOMMENDED FRIDAY, SP 7-1) WON £1,100

£25 EW EDUCATE 16-1

£10 REV EXACTA: Sir Isaac Newton & Educate

£25 EW DOUBLE

SIR ISAAC NEWTON 16-1 Wolferton Handicap

EXPOSPHERE 5-2 Hardwicke Stakes

HARDWICKE STAKES: EXOSPHERE ON THE UPGRADE

I was impressed by Sir Michael Stoute's contender, EXOSPHERE as he won the Jockey Club Stakes over this distance at Newmarket on his seasonal debut. Exosphere, who had been off since running third in a 10-furlong Listed contest at Ayr last September, absolutely outclassed St. Leger winner SIMPLE VERSE to win the race by 4 lengths. It was not an easy race to assess in terms of ratings but my guess is that he ran to around Globeform 120. In which case he is on his way to Group One action soon – perhaps in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at this course next month. First though, he needs to win the Hardwicke, a race that should be just perfect for the son of Beat Hollow. The ground might suit him also, it was undoubtedly on the soft side when he won at Newmarket.


This contender may be another of those late developing top class horses coached to perfection by Sir Michael. A son of the Group One placed middle distance / staying mare Bright And Clear, the four-year-old has won 4 of his 7 races to date. His Newmarket form was lengths better than his best runs in 2015 and he is clearly progressive. Having been entered for the Eclipse Stakes, King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Irish Champion Stakes, he will be popular with many tipsters – so we should get on as soon as possible, as his price is likely to drop.


UPDATE SATURDAY MORNING: Conditions have come right for Godolphin's filly BEAUTIFUL ROMANCE, who beat two subsequent big race winners when landing the Middleton Stakes at York in May. This big, scopey daughter of New Approach went into my notebook as a potential improver when running third to SIMPLE VERSE in the Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes over today's course and distance last year. I suspect that the soft ground was against her that day, and at 10-1 she looks an interesting each-way bet here. Also adding exactas with her and Exosphere.

RECOMMENDED BETS

£100 WIN: EXPOSPHERE 5-2

£10 EW: BEAUTIFUL ROMANCE 10-1

£10 REV EXACTA: EXOSPHERE & BEAUTIFUL ROMANCE


TOTAL STAKES SATURDAY: £360

DAY 4 - FRIDAY JUNE 17

COMMONWEALTH CUP:

QUIET REFLECTION SEEMS WISE

QUIET REFLECTION is the logical selection in the Commonwealth Cup. If she runs like she did in the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock Park last time out she will be hard to beat. Coming with an impressively strong run from off the pace, she absolutely powered home to win by 3 ¾ lengths from DONJUAN TRIUMPHANT that day.

Both these sprinters come here in top form, they are both well suited by the Commonwealth distance, and they are both proven on soft ground. Quiet Reflection, who took the Cornwallis Stakes (one of the better juvenile sprints in England) last year, raced on heavy ground when winning a Group 3 at Chantilly on her first outing this term.

It is not impossible that the Sandy Lane exacta will be repeated, as Donjuan Triumphant is likely to move forward – having made his seasonal debut in the Haydock race. Winner of a Listed event at York and Group 2 event at Maisons-Laffitte (by 5 ½ lengths on soft ground) and fourth to Johannes Vermeer in the Group 1 Criterium International last year, he could well be the main danger. He has almost four lengths to make up on the filly though, and that is not going to be easy.

RECOMMENDED BETS

£50 WIN: QUIET REFLECTION 2-1 / WON £150

£10 REV EXACTA: Quiet Reflection & Donjuan Triumphant

TOTAL: £70

CORONATION STAKES: NEMORALIA VS. JET SETTING

This is not a very strong renewal of the Coronation Stakes, a contest that has been won by such stars as Marling, Ridgewood Pearl, Banks Hill, Sky Lantern and Rizeena over the years, and two names stand out; Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Jet Setting and Nemoralia, who was visually most impressive on her reappearance.


NEMORALIA does not want it too soft and she meets a strong filly in Jet Setting but the ground seems better now, something yesterday's times indicate – and she must have a good chance under OLIVIER PESLIER in this mile race.


This daughter of More Than Ready shaped very much like a Group winner in the making last year, when she progressed from running second in a hot maiden at Newmarket (behind Ballydoyle, and with two other subsequent winners right behind her passing the post), to winning a Kempton maiden and a Doncaster nursery handicap, and two solid performances in the US. She was unlucky to come across a sloppy track when trying dirt in the Frizette Stakes at Belmont Park, and ran a game race to take second, 3 ½ lengths behind Nickname. Jeremy Noseda's initial plan was to go for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Keeneland four weeks later, but he made a switch to the Juvenile Fillies Turf. I suspect he had found out that running against Songbird would be a pointless exercise.


Nemoralia ran third at Keeneland, despite the soft / loose ground not suiting her. She ran on to be nearest at the finish and was beaten only a length behind Catch a Glimpse, who has won all of her four races since and is a serious runner. ALICE SPRINGS was second in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, just a head in front of Nemoralia – who looks sure to turn that form around today.


Noseda's filly improved to Globeform 115p when storming home by 6 lengths in a Listed event at York last month, and she comes here fresh. Jet Setting has better form but she has also had some hard races already this season and could be vulnerable. 7-1 is too big a price about Nemoralia and she must be backed each-way.


JET SETTING, who was sold for £1.3 million early in the week, has been quite a dream horse for her 'rookie' trainer and previous owners, who picked her up for just 12,000 guineas at the sales last autumn. She produced a high class performance when beating Minding by a head to capture the Irish 1,000 Guineas, run on soft ground – conditions she absolutely loves. Jet Setting had been ninth behind Minding in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket (when getting a bit edgy in the preliminaries) but prior to that she slammed Now Or Never by 3 lengths in the Leopardstown 1,000 Guineas Trial (with ALICE SPRINGS third), a race staged on heavy ground. Now Or Never went on to a comfortable win in the Derrinstown Stud 1,000 Guineas Trial and she filled third spot in the Irish 1,000 Guineas, beaten 10 lengths by Jet Setting. Alice Springs ran third to Minding at Newmarket on her next start.


Minding may have been unlucky in the Guineas at The Curragh, as she got a cut from knocking her head against the stalls, but nobody knows whether that did affect her in the race and even if Jet Setting had been second to her the Adrian Keatley trained filly would come to the Coronation with much the best form in the book. She has tumbled right down in the betting market this week, and will start favourite.


Imagine if Minding – who won the Oaks so impressively two weeks after losing to Jet Setting – had been in this field. She would probably go off at around 4/6, if not shorter.


So backing Jet Setting makes a lot of sense. Her best form to date has come over a straight course but she is a neat, handy filly and the round course might suit her really well. Her prominent running style is ideal for Ascot.

RECOMMENDED BETS

£50 EW: NEMORALIA 7-1 / PLACED, PAID £137.50

£50 WIN: JET SETTING @ 9-4

£25 REV. EXACTA ON THE TWO

£10 EW DOUBLE

NEMORALIA 7-1 Coronation Stakes / PLACED

KINGS FETE 9-1 Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes / PLACED. DOUBLE PAID £90

TOTAL: £220

DUKE OF EDINBURGH STAKES: KINGS FETE 9-1

Sir Michael Stoute will saddle the one that sticks out in this race, KINGS FETE, who is set to be ridden by Ryan Moore. Kings Fete was shaping like a Group horse as a three-year-old in 2014, but sidelined after finishing unplaced in the St. Leger, where he was beaten 11 ½ lengths behind Kingston Hill. Not unfancied, the son of 2,000 Guineas winner King's Best went off at 9-1 for the classic. He was very edgy and coltish that season, when he won a decent handicap at York, then ran second in a better handicap at Goodwood and was a close third to Forever Now in a Listed contest at the same venue. Forever Now was sixth in the Leger.


Kings Fete has been gelded, and he made most encouraging come-back to finish fifth, 3 lengths behind Decorated Knight in a Listed event at Goodwood four weeks ago. Decorated Knight was beaten only a nose in the Diomed Stakes at Epsom next time out and Black Cherry, who was third at Goodwood, ran a fine race to finish seventh, beaten less than five lengths behind the mighty Usherette, in the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes on Wednesday. We can safely say that the Goodwood form is working out.


Kings Fete, a really attractive, strong sort, is favourably handicapped on 104. He could well be capable of almost ten pounds better than that, and he is an obvious bet here.

RECOMMENDED BET

£25 EW KINGS FETE 9-1 PLACED PAID £81


TOTAL BETS FRIDAY: £340 TOTAL RETURNS £458

DAY 4 - THURSDAY JUNE 16

RIBBLESDALE STAKES

CLASSY ARCHITECTURE

Posted / emailed first time Tuesday morning;

ARCHITECTURE has been given the green light to run in the Ribblesdale Stakes, and she can be backed at a massive 6-1 with Betfair Sportsbook. She is 5-1 with a number of other firms. This Hugo Palmer trained filly, who has reportedly been purchased by Lael Stables (Barbaro etc.) ran a smashing race in the Oaks, 

where she was second, 1 ½ lengths behind Minding (who would have won the Derby in my opinion) and finished 8 lengths clear of the third placed Harlequeen, who in turn came home 14 lengths in front of Cheshire Oaks winner Somehow in fourth. The ground affected these margins of course, but still, Architecture ran some race.

History shows that it is tough to come from the Oaks to the Ribblesdale but it can be done and Architecture has so much in her favour here. I don't think her Oaks run was a fluke, it was a solid, high class performance by a progressive filly. She stays the trip well, she clearly enjoys soft ground, and Architecture ought to be clear favourite for the Ribblesdale. The betting market points at Even Song as her main rival. Even Song, a Mastercraftsman daughter who is half-sister to Simple Verse, ran third behind the smart filly Swiss Range and Chicadoo (who was extremely fit on the day) in the Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket in May but bypassed the Oaks. Perhaps she is another Ballydoyle star in the making but her form to date is nowhere near what Architecture did at Epsom.

RECOMMENDED BET

£200 EW: ARCHITECTURE / RIBBLESDALE STAKES 6-1

>>> Recommended Tuesday morning <<<


NEW SUBSCRIBERS: £100 WIN: ARCHITECTURE @ 11-4

£10 EACH-WAY TREBLE

ARCHITECTURE 11-4 RIBBLESDALE

ORDER OF ST GEORGE EVS GOLD CUP

HARRISON 14-1 KING GEORGE V HCAP

GOLD CUP: ORDER OF ST GEORGE TOO GOOD

He is a very short price, but ORDER OF ST GEORGE is in a class of his own in this year's Gold Cup field, and we might as well back him. Trained by Aidan O'Brien, who has such a good record in this event, the son of Galileo has been impressive in winning his four most recents races. Last year, he beat Sea Moon by 7 ½ lengths when taking the Irish St Leger Trial on soft ground and followed up by trouncing Agent Murphy to the tune of 11 lengths in the Irish St Leger (run on good ground). Agent Murphy was coming off a win in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury but had no chance whatsoever when Joseph O'Brien pressed the button on Order Of St George. His brother Donnacha O'Brien was on board when Order Of St George made his first start this year, and he enjoyed an armchair ride in the Saval Beg Stakes at Leopardstown two weeks ago. The four-year-old colt went off at 2-7 so his comfortable win was no more than what was expected – but he looked particularly strong at the finish and there can be no doubt that he has trained on.


Ryan Moore gets on board this time and the top jockey is probably in for another win here. The only question mark is the step up to 2 ½ miles, but that goes for several of his rivals too, and Order Of St George can win this race without producing his very best.


Those looking for a couple of horses to use in exactas, could probably do worse than using the two longshots SHEIKHZAYEDROAD and CURBYOURENTHUSIASM, both trained by David Simcock, a handler who is showing a solid 24% strike rate in turf races this year. Sheikhzayedroad is not too far off proper Group One class over 1 ½ miles, having won the Northern Dancer at Woodbine in 2014 and finished third to Cannock Chase in the Canadian International at the same venue last year. He seems to act on any ground and the soft going may work to his advantage, as none of the jockeys are likely to dare setting off at a strong pace under these conditions. Sheikhzayedroad won the Nad Al Sheba Trophy at Meydan, before running unplaced behind Postponed in the Sheema Classic, back in March. He ran fifth in the 'Sheema' last year.


His stable companion Curbyourenthusiasm was staying on really well at the finish when second, half a length behind CLEVER COOKIE in the 14-furlong Yorkshire Cup last month. Although he ran well on soft early on in his career, I am not so sure that it suits him ideally – but Curbyourenthusiasm is an interesting new recruit to the staying ranks and he is also a big price here.

RECOMMENDED BETS

£50 WIN ORDER OF ST GEORGE @ Evens WON

2 x £5 EXACTAS:

Order of St George to beat Curbyourenthusiasm (NON-RUNNER), Sheikhzayedroad (THIRD AT 40-1)

Total: £55

KING GEORGE V HANDICAP

HARRISON (14-1) WELL WEIGHTED

I saw this colt in the flesh once last autumn, when he broke his maiden over 9 furlongs on soft ground at Goodwood on his second start. An attractive, well made and strong individual, HARRISON was the clear pick of the paddock that day, and he won readily by 1 ½ lengths from the favourite Cameraman (who had run a game second to Good Run over course and distance on debut 18 days earlier). Last Tango In Paris (Newbury maiden winner next time out) was third and this year's Sandown Classic Trial winner Algometer came home in fourth place. It might not have looked it at the time, I must admit, but it was a pretty good maiden.


Harrison did not race again at two. He returned to action when running off handicap mark 90 over 10 furlongs at Sandown Park in April. Going off at 5-1, he ran respectably with a wide trip to check in third, 2 ¾ lengths behind Stargazer. LOVELL, who also runs here, was second and is now 5lb worse off with Harrison. Harrison's mark was raised to 93 by the handicapper, which seemed fair enough, but surprisingly his trainer threw him into the deep end in the Dante Stakes at York. Harrison beat just three of his twelve rivals in this Derby prep, though he did not run badly at all, passing the winning post 9 ½ lengths behind Wings Of Desire, who ran fourth in the Derby some three weeks later. Harrison ran close to his mark at York but his handicap was left unchanged. Which is fair enough. My gut feeling is that this is a 100 plus performer and he is interesting in this wide open handicap.


I do have one concern (in addition to the 17 rivals...) and that is the distance, as he may have seemed to run out of stamina at York. That said, it needs mentioning that he could have finished a bit closer had his rider wanted to and also that his sire, Sixties Icon, won the St. Leger. His dam, Excellent Day (Invincible Spirit), was a 7-furlong winner but she has some stamina in her family.


Harrison went off at 16-1 in the Dante, where ratings said he had no chance, and we can now get roughly the same odds about this horse winning a handicap where ratings say he has as good a chance as any.


He is open to further improvement, he comes from a stable in form, top jockey Silvestre de Sousa sticks with him and he is proven on soft ground. Interestingly, Harrison was also entered for the King Edward VII Stakes this week. He is well worth an each-way flutter (make sure to bet with a bookmaker offering at least 4 places).


LOVELL, who was 2 ¼ lengths in front of him at Sandown, might be going off favourite – another indication that Harrison's price is too big. Let's use their Sandown race as our excuse for making a somewhat brave bet on the King George V Handicap, and play these two rivals in exactas. If one of them is well handicapped, then so is probably the other.

RECOMMENDED BETS

£25 EW HARRISON 14-1 PLACED PAID £112.50

£15 EW LOVELL 5-1

£10 REVERSED EXACTA: Harrison & Lovell

TOTAL: £100

ROYAL ASCOT ODDS

DAY TWO - WEDNESDAY JUNE 15

DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE STAKES

USHERETTE TO WIN 9-4

USHERETTE is my only bet on day two of this Royal Ascot feast. Whereas no horse in any of the other races on the card makes any appeal for betting purposes, this French trained filly certainly does – and she looks one of the best bets of the week. 9-4 with quite a few bookmakers early doors, she could well become a bit of a gamble, and let's take that price (with 'best odds guarantee' of course).

Trained by Andre Fabre, this big, strong daughter of Shamardal should have been unbeaten after her six runs to date. She played up before the start and ran no sort of a race when finishing second last in the Prix Rotschild at Deauville last summer (a race won my Amazing Maria). But for that blip Usherette has been faultless.


She has been a gradual improver and she is just the sort to progress further as she matures this season. The Godolphin owner runner broke little sweat when winning the 9-furlong Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket in May, when she was chased home by Arabian Queen, with Amazing Maria 5 ½ lengths behind her in third spot. Usherette had already had a run this spring, winning over 7 furlongs at Chantilly in April, but she did not look super-fit to my eye and I suspect there is better to come.


That she has yet to race on soft ground is a worry but show won on good to soft at Chantilly last year and she has also won over artificial tracks. Fabre is a man to trust when it comes top making these decisions, whether to run or not when it rains. Also, horses trained in France seem to handle give underfoot better than their rivals in England and Ireland.


Usherette's sire, Shamardal, handled soft ground brilliantly when winning both the Dewhurst Stakes and the Poule d'Essai des Poulains. Her dam, the Maria's Mon daughter Monday Show, won on good to soft and very soft for trainer H-A Pantall in France. She was also Listed placed on good to soft. Usherette is her first foal. She comes from the same family as Prix Jean Prat and Grand Prix de Paris winner Vespone and Purple Moon, who won the Ebor Hcap in England and was runner-up in the Melbourne Cup. Vespone won a Group 3 on soft ground early on in his career and the ground was good to soft when he won the GP de Paris.


As you might agree, it is hard to find a reason not to back Usherette.

Also when going through the form of the opposition.


The next five in the betting


ALWAYS SMILE (8-1). Won a York Listed handicap off 105 in May, beating Convey by a neck over a mile. This is big step up in class. If you do fancy her chances you might also consider a double with Convey in the Royal Hunt Cup (11-1 with Paddy Power, offefring 6 places ew).


JAZZI TOP (8-1). Classy performer who won a G2 of good to soft at Deauville last summer and went down by just a head to Covert Love in the Prix de l'Opera on 'Arc' day in the autumn. Below par when seventh as the favourite in the Dahlia. Sure to be much sharper now but is at her best over further than today's distance.


LUCIDA (8-1). Somewhat overrated throughout her career but did manage third behind Ervedya in last year's Coronation Stakes and is built a bit like soft-ground runner (though her best form is on good to firm). Beaten 4 ½ lengths behind Devonshire on her seasonal bow.


MISS TEMPLE CITY (10-1). Coming off a G1 win against the boys at Keeneland (a race where she was greatly favoured by the weights) and is up against it under her 5lb penalty. All of her form has been on good or firm.


DEVONSHIRE (12-1). Prepped for this task with a 2-length win in the Lanwades Stud Stakes over a mile at The Curragh, where she was chased home by Irish Rookie, who had finished 6 lengths behind Usherette in the Dahlia at Newmarket.

RECOMMENDED BET

£300 WIN: USHERETTE 9-4 / WON PAID £975


TOTAL STAKES WEDNESDAY: £300

DAY 1 - TUESDAY JUNE 14

QUEEN ANNE STAKES: BACK TEPIN

TEPIN is much the best in the field. Yes, she is a long way from home and yes, she will be trying a straight course for the first time, but she is a vastly experienced – and above all a very game and consistent – performer who will prove hard to beat. She has performed to Globeform 123 this spring, meaning that – if she reproduces that level – any male looking to match strides with her will have to run to GF 126. None of the males in this bunch are capable of that. The only possible improver is ENDLESS DRAMA, who will like soft ground.


I don't understand comments heard about Tepin and soft ground, by the way. How any rain might work against her is beyond me. The ground was very soft, both loose and testing, when she won the Breeders' Cup Mile at Keeneland last year. It may be given as “good” in official results but that is quite misleading. The turf course was in a bad state that day, no doubt about that. Which was also why Found got the better of Golden Horn in the BC Turf (run just over an hour later). Tepin acts on any ground, and Ascot's lawn will not be a problem. She is by far the best turf miler in the US these days and the form of her two most recent wins, at Keeneland and Churchill Downs, has been well advertised since. Wekeela and Illuminant, who were second and third well behind Tepin in the Jenny Wiley, went on to be first and second in the Gamely Stakes at Santa Anita next time out (Illuminant winning) and last Saturday Cash Control, beaten 4 ¼ lentgths + 5lb when third to Tepin in the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile, landed the Mint Julep Stakes in Louisville. Zipessa, who ran fourth in the Distaff Turf Mile, filled third in the Mint Julep, where the hot favourite Sweet Acclaim had to settle for second. I think we can safely say that Tepin's recent form is working out well.


Tepin is likely to race quite prominently. She has been drawn in stall 12 (of 14), which looks just fine. Not only should she avoid any traffic, she is also drawn close mainly to horses that will not be sent forward early on. Toormore (14) is a prominent runner but Ervedya (9), Endless Drama (10), A Shin Erwin (11) and Lightning Spear (13) are all likely to be held up – the two last named are hardly good enough to make an impact in any case.


Backing Tepin is taking a chance on her taking to Ascot but she has a lot going for her in the Queen Anne. On pure form she should be under 2-1 to win this race, if the race was run in the US she would be evens at best, and at 9-2 odds she must be backed each way.


ENDLESS DRAMA, a big and late developing 4yo colt who gave odds-on favourite Gleneages a fright in the Irish 2,000 Guineas last year, may pose the biggest threat. He ran a highly promising race to finish third to the race-fit BELARDO in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury. That was Endless Drama's first start back after almost a year off, and he is likely to move forward here. I expect him to turn the tables on Belardo. Both these colts like soft ground.


ERVEDYA raced on good to firm ground when winning the Coronation Stakes here a year ago, but she also took the Prix du Moulin on very soft ground at Longchamp on her last start in 2015, and could well make her presence felt. Her seasonal debut was a bit dull, however. Going down by 3 ½ lengths to Vadamos – who was slammed by over twelve lengths when fourth in the Ganay three weeks later – was not a perfect start to her new campaign.


ESOTERIQUE probably has every bit as good a chance. This Andre Fabre trainee acts on any ground and she is ideally suited by a straight mile. Esoterique ran second to Solow in the Queen Anne last year, before going on to win the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville (very soft) and Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket (good to firm). She was asked tough questions at the end of the season though, running seventh to Tepin at the Breeders' Cup (where the course did not suit her at all) and fourth to Japan's best horse Maurice in Hong Kong. Like Ervedya, Esoterique was a beaten favourite on her seasonal debut this term.


CONCLUSION: Tepin is the obvious selection, and she looks a value bet. It is hard to take just one name out of the next-best group, but Endless Drama is the most likely improver and he seems the most likely exacta candidate.

RECOMMENDED BETS

£100 EW TEPIN @ 5-1 WON SP 11-2 / PAID £840

£20 EW ENDLESS DRAMA @ 7-1

£10 REVERSED EXACTA ON THE TWO


TOTAL: £260

COVENTRY STAKES

Two Irish contenders stand out in this, the first important juvenile contest of the season; the Aidan O'Brien trained favourite CARAVAGGIO (drawn in stall 13) and PSYCHEDELIC FUNK (8), representing Ger Lyons. Both come to Ascot unbeaten after two outings at home and it would not surprise me to see them dominate this contest.


There are some nice sorts amongst the English trained contenders but so far the juvenile division has not looked particularly strong on these shores. We will never get value when backing the O'Brien / Moore combination but we may get a bit of value by dipping into the exacta market. Although there is quite a difference in their odds, it is not that easy to choose between these two colts.


Caravaggio has been long odds-on in his two races, both over 5 furlongs; a maiden at Dundalk and a Listed event at The Curragh, where he was given an educational ride and overcame the test to beat Mister Trader by 2 ¼ lengths. Mister Trader was coming off a comfortable 4 1/4-length win in a decent maiden over the same course and distance, while the third-placed Ambiguity had been second, beaten 6 lengths, behind Psychedelic Funk on his previous start (over 6 furlongs).


These formlines tie the two colts in and they look quite strong. Taking the stand that the Irish juvenile form – at least so far this year – is the strongest, a reversed exacta bet on Carvaggio and Psychedelic Funk is the way to go.


Looking for a third horse to add to the plan it makes sense to take Frankie Dettori's mount MEHMAS, who has run two solid races against the sharp Norfolk contender Global Applause. Mehmas beat him over 6 furlongs at Newbury and was staying on really well when taking second to him over 5 furlongs at Sandown. Mehmas, who will start from stall one, will appreciate stepping back up to six and he does have a chance.

RECOMMENDED BETS


6 EXACTAS:

£25 REV EXACTA: Caarvaggio / Psychedelic Funk (boxed)

£15 REV EXACTA: Caravaggio / Mehmas WON PAID £208.50

£10 REV EXACTA: Psycedelic Funk / Mehmas


TOTAL: £100

ST. JAMES'S PALACE STAKES

AWTAAD definitely looks the one to side with as three Guineas winners are set to clash over a mile on the round course. The son of Cape Cross produced the best mile performance seen so far this year in Europe (regardless of age) when slamming English 2,000 Guineas winner GALILEO GOLD by 2 ½ lengths in the Irish 2,000 Guineas. The ground was soft that day and I have heard comments putting that up as an excuse for Galileo Gold. Nothing could be further from the truth. That Galileo Gold loves soft ground was quite evident when he worked at the Craven meeting, and again when he won the Guineas. He lost to Awtaad for one reason and one reason alone, that Awtaad is a markedly better horse. Awtaad was third on his debut last October but he has won all of his four races since. Prior to the Guineas, he beat Blue De Vega easily by 2 lengths in the 7-furlong Tetrarch Stakes. Blue De Vega was third in the Guineas, but this time 6 ¾ lengths behind Awtaad – who clearly appreciated the step up to a mile and is fast improving runner.


He ran to Globeform 122p in the Guineas, putting him clear of THE GURKHA (GF 118p in the / Poule d'Essai des Poulains / French Guineas) and Galileo Gold (GF 117 when winning at Newmarket). There is no reason to believe that Galileo Gold can reverse the placings with Awtaad, and The Gurkha appears to be a bigger threat. He was visually impressive when quickening right away to win the Poulains with ease at Deauville, where he beat FIRST SELECTION by 5 ½ lengths. That was a sub-standard edition of the French classic, however, and he may have been flattered by the margin. On the other hand, there is no way of knowing how good this colt actually is – and he is the one to combine in an exacta with Awtaad. It won't pay much but it probably will pay.

RECOMMENDED BETS

£200 WIN: AWTAAD @ 2-1

£50 REVERSED EXACTA: AWTAAD & THE GURKHA


TOTAL: £300

TOTAL STAKED TUESDAY: £660

All material Copyright G W Stabell / globeform