Royal Ascot Day One Preview - 5.00pm Ascot Stakes

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The Ascot stakes is a long distance 2m4f race for 4yo+ horses, netting a prize fund of £56,025 to the winner.

Once again Tom Wilson and GIVEMEBET bring you an insight to the race and horses we have an eye on.

5:00 Ascot 2m4f (2m3f210y) Ascot Stakes (A Handicap) (Class 2) (4yo+ 0-100)

PREVIOUS RACE

While there is no history of specific races acting as a marker in the build-up to Ascot, form is still key. 9 of the last 11 winners were placed in the top 4 in their previous race.

With a particularly tricky field of 20 horses to navigate this could be helpful as it automatically cuts down over half the field. Only nine horses fill this criteria, three of which are amongst the top six in the betting and are Coeur De Lion, Kerosin and Mancini.

KEY TRAINER

Willie Mullins is 4 of 14 with 7 places in this race. He was victorious last year winning with LagostoVegas (2018), and his multiple victories have all come in the last seven years, with Thomas Hobson (2017), Clondaw Warrior (2015), Simenon (2012). He really is the trainer to look for in this race and he runs the favorite this time around with Buildmeupbuttercup, who is currently 9/2 with GIVEMEBET

OFFICIAL RATINGS

There is no surprise that lower-rated horses are not overly successful in this race, as no winner has had a rating of 84 and below. The real story comes when you look closely at the higher ranked runners, as horses rated 96 and above are equally disappointing, returning only one win out of 27, which suggests you avoid them also.

This is a negative trend for The Grand Visir, Snow Falcon, Arctic Fire, Mengli Khan and Time to Study, leaving the optimal rating range to win the race to be between 85-95 with Ulster and Fun Mac as potential outsiders to be involved.

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WEIGHTS

Being a handicap race, let’s take a look at how horses do in relation to their position in the weights. The chart below highlights the ranking within the weights and their performance in this race.

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I would focus on the two peaks in the chart and horses that top the weight charts, such as Mengli Khan, or horses between 8th and 10th in the weights where you will find Coeur de Lion, who is an interesting ride.

BETTING MARKET

The handicap nature of the race makes the starting prices of winning horses quite evenly spread, witnessing winners from 5/1 to 50/1 and it could pay to look for some value away from the front end of the market.

Whilst there is the traditional winners around the 5/1 - to 8/1 range there is always the threat of a bigger price horse coming through, such as Jukebox Jive and Yabass, who are big price horses that fit the above billing.

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OVERALL PROFILE

To Win: Back Batts Rock @ 11/1

Batts Rock is a past winner on the flat for Gordon Elliott and gets in here off a rating of 91 having won off 90 in the past, albeit with a claiming jockey taking off 3lbs. What I find particularly interesting is the jockey booking for Frankie Dettori riding for Gordon Elliott. His first ride ever for the trainer.

Each Way Chance: Back Gunnery @ 16/1 

Gunnery is a horse that we’ve only seen once since July 2016. He was 2nd on his re-appearance in a Maiden Hurdle at Bangor 13 days ago. Once a 98 rated horse on the flat in 2016, he races here off 92. Notably, Nicky Henderson has gone out of his way to book his previous flat jockey, Jamie Spencer, to ride here. He could spring a surprise and run a big race.

All odds accurate at the time of publishing and are subject to fluctuation. T&C’s apply. 18+. www.begambleaware.org

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