Thursday, June 18, 2015

Royal Ascot Day 4 Analysis and Plays

Race 1: Group 3 Albany Stakes
Team America is back in this six furlong dash in a race in which Wesley Ward finished second last year with Sunset Glow. This year, he fields two with Back at the Ranch and our choice Laxfield Road. A mighty impressive debut winner, Laxfield Road will have to be able to transfer her speed to six furlongs on turf, but half sister To Be Determined was an easy maiden winner over six furlongs on the dirt and accounted well for herself over seven furlongs on the turf in a juvenile stakes at Kentucky Downs, so there are signs that both distance and surface can be well within her scope.

Play: Laxfield Road to win


Race 2: Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes
Ryan Moore has been on a tear this meeting, but Ol' Man River has done nothing to back up his strong juvenile form (as in not even 20 lengths of a winner this season) and has to be opposed at a short price. Festive Fair intrigues as a lightly raced type who has stacks of potential after having won its first two starts before finishing fourth behind eventual Derby winner Golden Horn in a listed event. The form of that event (the Feilden Stakes) in particular has turned out incredibly well with second place finisher Peacock winning a listed event straight after in addition to the second, third, and fourth place finishers in the Group 3 Tercentenary Stakes all coming from that listed affair.

Play: Festive Fair to win


Race 3: Group 1 Commonwealth Cup 
The Commonwealth Cup looks as wide-open a race as any with several budding stars on hand for this three-year-old restricted affair. Hootenanny offers leading claims for America having been proven overseas and entering here off about as perfect a prep as one could hope for. He's no lock, however, with plenty of speed in the field and particularly on his side of the draw: Jungle Cat, Kool Kompany, and talented filly Tiggy Wiggy should all go forward and whether Hootenanny can avoid being pushed too hard in the early stages will be key to his success. While we'll use Hootenanny in this spot, top choice claims go to Tendu, a progressive looking filly who should be able to take advantage should the early speed horses go too hard out front. She's come on a ton in her two most recent starts when second to Limato after being steadied at the start and Limato was given an easy go of things out front and then just missing last time out after blowing the start over five furlongs. The step up in trip and added pace in front of her could give her the conditions in which she can show her very best. Whether that's good enough remains to be seen, but her likely price justifies the risk. Improving filly Anthem Alexander also appeals after winning the Group 3 Lacken Stakes on seasonal debut.

Play: Tendu e/w, exacta: Tendu / Hootenanny, Limato, Anthem Alexander


Race 4: Group 1 Coronation Stakes
The class of this field is undoubtedly Ervedya, but whether or not she can replicate her top class French form over firm going is a legitimate concern. Of the favorites, Lucida appeals more over this going after having an extremely tough trip when second to Legatissimo in the 1000 Guineas. We'll instead take an each-way flyer on an improving type in Sperry. She's looked a progressive type when beating Touchline, who returned to run a strong third behind Osaila in the Sandringham, and Yasmeen who also runs here. She's sharp, should love the ground, and is improving with every race -- a similar step forward would see her in with a chance to hit the board here.

Play: Sperry e/w, exacta box: Sperry, Lucida



Race 5: Duke of Edinburgh Stakes (Class 2 Handicap)
NO WAGER


Race 6: Listed Queen's Vase
Aloft was a well regarded two-year-old who beat the likes of eventual Derby third place finisher Storm the Stars, but in what will be his first start of the season, having both cheekpieces and a tongue tie put on for the first time over a staying distance brings some doubt into how straight-forward of a type he is -- a big negative in a race where the ability to settle is paramount. At a likely very short price, he's worth taking a stand against. This is a race where several of the runners look suspect at the distance, but Fabricate offers one of the better chances to stay the trip with the Sadler's Wells influence via his dam Flight of Fancy, who was second in the 2001 Oaks. Fabricate's form has also turned out well with Yarrow, whom he beat soundly, returning to oppose him here after winning at Leicester.

Play: Fabricate to win






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