Saturday Selections

1pt win Vale Of Kent in the 2.40 at Newmarket at 5/1

1pt win Smart Champion in the 3.35 at Newcastle at 15/2

1pt win Sherpa in the 7.15 at Curragh at 9/1

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VALE OF KENT has already run two fine races over a mile this month and he may be able to make his fitness count back over 7f tomorrow.

Mark Johnston’s tough-as-teak five-year-old landed the Banbury Cup at HQ last July, and five of his seven career victories have come over 7f.

Fourth in the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot 10 days ago, Vale Of Kent looks well worth trying in this grade and will enjoy ideal ground conditions. Therefore, with a fitness advantage over favourite Limato, he could go very close indeed.

Those who read my Royal Ascot blogs may remember that I suggested backing SMART CHAMPION in the Ascot Stakes, where he ran a fine race to place fourth at 22/1.

Anchored in last place upon turning for home, they simply didn’t go quick enough to put a real emphasis on stamina, and it was too his credit that he managed to run on and hit the frame in such circumstances.

David Simcock’s charge will run off a 2lbs higher mark tomorrow. However, he will return to the scene of his course and distance win in a competitive handicap during February, where he had the re-opposing Carnwennan back in second.

Relatively lightly raced with just 10 starts to his name, I remain convinced that there is more improvement to come and, should they go a good gallop tomorrow, I am confident that he will be finishing well.

SHERPA ran a fine race to place third behind Crossfirehurricane in the Group 3 Gallinule Stakes at the Curragh two weeks ago, and he should prove even better over this further trip.

The chestnut son of Zoffany stayed on well in the closing stages and may even have snatched second but for some minor interference in the final furlong.

That effort suggested that there is further improvement to come and he is obviously entitled to strip fitter for the outing. Therefore he could easily get involved if granted a clear passage.

ROYAL ASCOT 2020: RESULTS

As always, I would like to thank everybody who supported the Royal Ascot blogs this week with likes, retweets and feedback. It genuinely means a great deal to me, especially given my unproven status on the flat!

Thankfully those who put their trust in the blogs were adequately rewarded, as 17 (Swindler would have made it 18 if not withdrawn) selections yielded 6 winners and 7 places. All bets were advised as win bets, but the places came to the fore as many followers, and I myself, combined the selections in each-way multiples.

There were two days in particular when this method of staking proved fruitful, as all selections on Day 1 and Day 4 either won or placed. The opening day provided a greater return as Motakhayyel (12/1 – 14/1 BOG) and Smart Champion (12/1 – 22/1 BOG) ensured a healthy payout (£139.94 for a £1 each-way stake with BOG).

The bets advised resulted in a profit of +36pts, or +38pts for those who obtained Best Odds Guranteed.

It was fantastic to see so many screenshots of winning bets and it’s great to know that the blogs enhanced your enjoyment throughout the week. That’s always the aim and it’s satisfying to hit the bullseye!

It is also satisfying to prove that I am no one trick pony on the racing front, and there will be more to come on the flat. However, I’m yet to decide which route to go down (weekend selections or solely big meetings ect). But there will definitely be more blogs on flat at some stage this summer.

I would also like to thank everybody for the numerous name suggestions! However, I can’t reveal anything until the market has been formed and my money is down!

All jokes aside, thank you very much for your continued support and I hope you had a really enjoyable, and indeed profitable, week.

Stay safe and see you soon.

Jimbo Jumps/Flat/Dual Purpose Man!

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THE WINNERS:

MOTAKHAYYEL (12/1 or 14/1 BOG)

KHALOOSY (8/1)

THE LIR JET (10/1)

GOLDEN HORDE (5/1)

CAMPANELLE (15/2)

HELLO YOUMZAIN (9/2)

ROYAL ASCOT: DAY 5

Alan King has already saddled two winners from just three runners this week and he could improve that strike-rate with Who Dares Wins in the concluding content of the meeting.

1pt win Swindler in the 12.40 at Royal Ascot at 13/2

1pt win Campanelle in the 1.15 at Royal Ascot at 15/2

1pt win Hello Youmzain in the 3.35 at Royal Ascot at 9/2

* Antepost: Creative Force in the 1.50 at Royal Ascot at 10/1

Unfortunately I do not have time to produce write-up’s today due to work commitments both last night and today. However, I would like to thank everybody who has followed the selections this week and win, lose or draw today, we are guaranteed a profit of at least 21pts.

We’ve had some nice winners along the way with Motakhayyel (12/1 or 14/1 with BOG), Khaloosy (8/1), The Lir Jet (10/1) and Golden Horde (5/1) all returning successful. While all four selections have hit the frame on two of the four previous days, which has added further profit for those placing each-way multiple bets.

Hopefully we can snare one or two again this afternoon!

Thanks again, and best of luck today!

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Image supplied by JTW Equine Images (JTWEquineImag).

All Images Copyright ©JTW Equine Images. All Rights Reserved, please ask them if you wish to use the images. http://tomwilliams275.wixsite.com/jtwequineimages

ROYAL ASCOT: DAY 4

1pt win Setarhe in the 1.50 at Royal Ascot at 7/1

1pt win Golden Horde in the 3.35 at Royal Ascot at 5/1

1pt win Deja in the 4.40 at Royal Ascot at 10/1

* Antepost: The Lir Jet in the 2.25 at Royal Ascot at 10/1

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SETARHE made a successful racecourse debut at Newmarket two weeks ago and is undoubtedly a leading contender in the Albany Stakes today.

The smart daughter of Footstepsinthesand settled in rear before scything her way through the field to win a shade cosily. The manner of that success suggested that she could be a very smart filly indeed, and her trainer Roger Varian, who is already enjoying a fine week at Ascot, has plundered this prize twice since 2014.

Very few horses managed to succeed from such as position at Newmarket that weekend and Setarhe is naturally entitled to come on for that experience. Therefore, she is well worth chancing in a competitive race.

The Commonwealth Cup is another fiercely competitive affair, but I am hopeful that GOLDEN HORDE can build upon a fine campaign last year.

Clive Cox’s three-year-old landed the Group 2 Qatar Richmond Stakes at Goodwood in August before twice taking on the hugely exciting, unbeaten French sprinter Earthlight in Group 1 company.

Third in a heavy ground Prix Morny at Deauville, the speedy son of Lethal Force got within a neck of Earthlight in the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket, and he could prove very hard to beat if reproducing that form.

It’s fair to say that Golden Horde has taken his form to a whole new level since placing fifth over this course and distance in the Coventry Stakes 12 months ago. Therfore, I have high hopes for him today.

My final selection is DEJA, a lightly raced five-year-old who could still have more to come.

The progressive son of Youmzain won first time out in both 2018 and 2019, and he has already proven his ability to handle soft ground. He has also been gelded since disappointing at Newcastle last November, which may help him to concentrate and eke out further improvement.

Peter Chapple-Hyam has sent out 2 winners from just 4 runners in the last two weeks, and he saddled Bharani Star to place fourth in the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at 100/1 on Tuesday, which is a clear indication of the form of the yard.

Andrea Atzeni will return to the saddle (Paul Mulrennan was on board at Newcastle) having been aboard for his victories at Pontefract and Kempton.

It would not surprise me if Deja was one of the first to come off the bridle as he can take some rousting before hitting top gear. However, when he does find the right gear, I could see him finishing very well indeed.

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* Extract from the Antepost piece regarding The Lir Jet;

I, like many, was deeply impressed by the turn of foot that THE LIR JET displayed when breaking the all-age track record at Yarmouth last Wednesday, and he could easily follow his father’s footsteps by landing this Group 2 prize (Prince Of Lir won the Norfolk Stakes in 2016).

Sheikh Fahad Al Thani was also suitably impressed and wasted little time in dusting off his chequebook and adding the exciting youngster to his string, which already boasts Saturday’s 2000 Guineas winner Kameko.

A tall and powerful colt with a high cruising speed and potent turn of foot, The Lir Jet breezed into contention at Yarmouth and soon kicked clear when asked for his effort. The blistering pace in the Norfolk Stakes should therefore prove ideal, and his appearance would suggest that he may be more forward than many of his rivals, which is a distinct advantage in any year, let alone in a year such as this.

Michael Bell proved his pedigree for training big race winners at the Royal Meeting when saddling popular stayer Big Orange to land the Ascot Gold Cup in 2017.

With all due respect, I can’t help but feel that The Lir Jet would be half of his current price if hailing from a more fashionable stable, and I am confident that he will be much shorter than 10/1 on the day. Therefore it makes sense to get involved now, especially as Racing Manager David Redvers has already confirmed their intention to run.

ROYAL ASCOT: DAY 3

1pt win Final Song in the 2.25 at Royal Ascot at 8/1

1pt win Khaloosy in 4.10 at Royal Ascot at 8/1

Final Song – Course form, soft ground form, ran a screamer to be fourth in the 1000 Guineas and drops back in class today.

Khaloosy – Good pedigree. Comfortably beat a subsequent scorer when getting off the mark at Wolverhampton. Trainer/jockey in good form. Huge potential.

ROYAL ASCOT: DAY 2

1pt win Berlin Tango in the 1.50 at Royal Ascot at 11/2

1pt win Bright Melody in the 2.25 at Royal Ascot at 6/1

1pt win Afaak in the 3.35 at Royal Ascot at 14/1

1pt win Mighty Gurkha in the 4.10 at Royal Ascot at 8/1

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We got off to a fantastic start yesterday as Motakhayyel struck at 14/1 (advised at 12/1) and all 4 selections hit the frame, with a £1 each-way ‘Best Odds Guaranteed’ four-fold returning £139.94.

It was great to see many screenshots of each-way Yankee’s and Lucky 15’s, and hopefully you will join me in reinvesting some of those returns on four selections today.

My first hope is BERLIN TANGO, who defeated yesterday’s Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes winner Pyledriver in the Group 3 Unibet Classic Trial Stakes at Kempton two weeks ago.

Andrew Balding’s three-year-old also achieved a good level of form last summer, including a brace of solid third placed efforts at Salisbury and Doncaster respectively, firstly behind Mohican Heights, who himself placed third behind the aforementioned Pyledriver yesterday, and latterly when beaten a shade over a length by the smart Molatham, with 2000 Guineas runner-up Wichita slitting the pair in second.

Berlin Tango excelled over this trip at Kempton, winning a shade cosily in the hands of David Probert. That victory suggested that the Dansili colt has plenty more to come, and he may well be able to concede 4lbs to his rivals with his yard still in good form.

Should Berlin Tango win or indeed go close, it will be a firm form boost for BRIGHT MELODY, who was last seen placing third behind Andrew Balding’s charge in the aforementioned Group 3 Unibet Classic Trial Stakes at Kempton.

The Godolphin owned gelding ran green around the home turn and made up good ground when the penny began to drop. That was clearly a very good race and the form of his debut debut success at Chelmsford also reads very well, with the third placed To Nathaniel and fifth placed Papa Power both successful on their next two visits to the racetrack.

The son of Dubawi is open to plenty of improvement and he should be well suited by this step-up in trip. While Charlie Appleby is currently operating at a 26% strike rate having sent out 10 winners from his last 38 runners. Therefore everything looks set for a very big run.

I will look to satisfy my handicap thirst in the ultra-competitive King George V Stakes, where I hopeful that last year’s hero AFAAK can improve his form-figures in this race to 211.

The Hamdan Al Maktoum owned gelding bumped into a very well handicapped Settle For Bay in 2018 before landing the spoils 12 months ago under a power packed Jim Crowley.

Charles Hills’ six-year-old will line-up off a 3lbs higher mark today. However, that is negated by the presence of talented 3lbs claimer Cieren Fallon in the saddle, which effectively means that he is running off exactly the same mark as last year.

Afaak is versatile in terms of ground and is clearly seen to best effect over this course and distance. While it should also be noted that he took this prize in his seasonal reappearance last year, which allays any concerns over his fitness.

My fourth and final selection of the day is MIGHTY GURKHA in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes.

This strapping son of Sepoy made a striking first impression when routing his field at Lingfield 12 days ago. The runner-up did little to advertise that form when soundly beaten at Wolverhampton last week. However, he was barley in the same postcode as Mighty Gurkha crossed the line, therefore I am not put off by that factor.

Hollie Doyle was clearly keen to race prominently at Lingfield, but I’m not sure that even she was expecting the gear change that saw Archie Watson’s charge surge clear of his nine rivals upon rounding the bend for home, and she was quick to declare him a ‘Royal Ascot horse’ in her post race interview.

Clearly this represents a much sterner test of the two-year-old’s credentials, and he certainly won’t be allowed to dictate matters as he did on debut. However, he could easily be finishing very quickly if Hollie Doyle can get him settled early on and bring him through with a strong challenge at the business end of the race.

ROYAL ASCOT: DAY 1

1pt win Motakhayyel in the 1.15 at Royal Ascot at 12/1

1pt win Passion in the 2.45 at Royal Ascot at 6/1

1pt win Queen Power in the 4.10 at Royal Ascot at 6/1

1pt win Smart Champion in the 4.40 at Royal Ascot at 12/1

Royal Ascot handicaps tend to be a bookmakers benefit. However, we all love a challenge and I’m going to side with MOTAKHAYYEL in the Buckingham Palace Handicap.

Richard Hannon’s four-year-old hasn’t been sighted since disappointing at Ascot last July. However, his subsequent absence may be an indication that something was amiss, and his impressive success in the Bet365 Mile at Newmarket – from a 6lbs lower mark – on his penultimate outing suggested that he could have plenty more to offer in handicaps.

The quick ground and 7f trip rate ideal conditions, and the Heeraat colt is the choice of Jim Crowley, who could have ridden the five-timer seeking Mutamaasik instead. Therefore Motakhayyel is worth taking a chance on at the fair price of 12/1.

My next selection is PASSION in the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes.

This promising daughter of Galileo was a beaten favourite at Navan 6 days ago, and she has only tasted success once in 4 career starts. However, she is yet to race beyond 10f and is bred to improve over further.

You could bet your last pound that Passion has been trained with this day in mind for quite some time, and her master trainer has won this race three times in the last 6 years. Two of those winners, namely Even Song and Bracelet, boasted very similar profiles heading into this contest, while the same could be said of last year’s runner-up Fleeting.

Ryan Moore will be in the saddle and a career best performance seems likely.

The Group 2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes looks a hot affair on paper and I am going to pin my hopes on QUEEN POWER, who bumped into Queen Anne fancy Terebellum when placing second in the Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket 10 days ago.

That was a fine return to action that promised plenty going forwards, and it is interesting that connections have elected to drop back to a mile for the first time since May last year, when narrowly defeated over this course and distance.

Queen Power also ran well when placing fourth in the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at this meeting 12 months ago and, having already triumphed over 7f, she clearly isn’t devoid of pace either. Therefore, I would love to see her bounce out of the gates and travel prominently in order to bring her increased stamina into play.

My final selection is SMART CHAMPION, who may be able to overturn the form of last season’s Cesarewitch Trial with Land Of Oz.

David Simcock’s gelding was a staying on second that day and will enjoy a massive 13lbs pull at the weights tomorrow. The progressive son of Teofilo was successful over 2 miles at Newcastle in February, and he could easily find further improvement over this marathon trip.

Indeed, Smart Champion continued to perform respectably on the All Weather during the winter. However, I have a suspicion that he is a better horse on turf, and therefore feel that he could have much more to offer this summer.

The five-year-old boasts form figures of 142 (only 3 efforts on turf) on good to firm ground and I can see him staying on powerfully when others start to paddle.

ANTEPOST PUNTING: The Norfolk Stakes & The Coventry Stakes

1pt win The Lir Jet in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot at 10/1

1pt Creative Force in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot at 10/1

Blink and you’ll miss it. So match sticks at the ready and strap yourself in, as it will only take a minute – or perhaps slightly less – to win it.

It comes as no surprise that renowned American trained Wesley Ward has landed the this 5 furlong speed test twice since 2013. This year he will be represented by Golden Pal, who failed to justify odds-on favouritism at Gulfstream in April, but will undoubtedly have been trained with this race in mind.

Aidan O’Brien’s Chief Little Hawk made all at Navan yesterday and could aim to give the Ballydoyle supremo a third success in the race since 2015. While Mark Johnston’s Eye Of Heaven top’s the antepost market following a smart debut success at Newmarket last week.

The winning-most trainer has already sent out 16 winners since the resumption of racing and his Godolphin bred speedster is clearly a big player. However, I, like many, was deeply impressed by the turn of foot that THE LIR JET displayed when breaking the all-age track record at Yarmouth last Wednesday, and he could easily follow his father’s footsteps by landing this Group 2 prize (Prince Of Lir won the Norfolk Stakes in 2016).

Sheikh Fahad Al Thani was also suitably impressed and wasted little time in dusting off his chequebook and adding the exciting youngster to his string, which already boasts Saturday’s 2000 Guineas winner Kameko.

A tall and powerful colt with a high cruising speed and potent turn of foot, The Lir Jet breezed into contention at Yarmouth and soon kicked clear when asked for his effort. The blistering pace in the Norfolk Stakes should therefore prove ideal, and his appearance would suggest that he may be more forward than many of his rivals, which is a distinct advantage in any year, let alone in a year such as this.

Michael Bell proved his pedigree for training big race winners at the Royal Meeting when saddling popular stayer Big Orange to land the Ascot Gold Cup in 2017.

With all due respect, I can’t help but feel that The Lir Jet would be half of his current price if hailing from a more fashionable stable, and I am confident that he will be much shorter than 10/1 on the day. Therefore it makes sense to get involved now, especially as Racing Manager David Redvers has already confirmed their intention to run.

I also recommend supporting CREATIVE FORCE in the Coventry Stakes three days later.

Charlie Appleby and William Buick may have failed to land the first classic of the 2020 season when star two-year-old Pinatubo found two too good in last weekend’s 2000 Guineas, however, they do appear to have unearthed a potentially top class sprinter in the form of Creative Force, who landed a warm looking maiden at Newmarket under a confident hands and heels ride.

The chestnut son of Dubawi broke well and grabbed the rail from an early stage, after-which, he travelled powerfully at head of affairs and had more than enough in the tank to see off his 10 rivals with authority.

William Buick was quick to remark that his mount picked up nicely on the climb to the line, before nominating the Coventry Stakes as a likely next target.

As is the case with many maiden contests at present, that race was littered with potential-packed prospects, with Andrew Balding, John Gosden, Roger Varian and Richard Hannon trained representatives filling the places from second to fifth, which only adds further substance to the taking visual impression.

Creative Force will have had 16 days to recover from his Newmarket exertions, which will likely be much more than some, and he is naturally entitled to come on for that run both from a fitness and experience perspective.

William Buick landed the corresponding contest in 2015 on the tough-as-teak Buratino. I am hopeful that he can double up in the race this year.

Thank you and stay safe

Monsieur Lecoq landed the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las.

Today Horse Racing Ireland have officially announced that the National Hunt season is over, meaning that the 2019/20 season has officially reached it’s premature conclusion. As always, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to those who have followed and indeed supported this blog over the last 6 months. And, thankfully, those who have will be in profit once more.

We end the season with a overall profit of +195.7pts, with ‘antepost punts’ accounting for +59.88pts and day-to-day selections (mainly Saturday selections) adding a further +135.82pts. These numbers would read even better but for a torrid time in February. However, you have to take the rough with the smooth in this game and the majority of followers understand that.

Thankfully we bounced back with a profitable Cheltenham Festival, where the daily previews brought in a profit of +20.78pts, while the ‘antepost punts’ added a further +67.5pts, generating an overall 2020 Cheltenham Festival profit of +88.28pts.

There were many memorable moments including the success of Monsieur Lecoq (10/3) in the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las in October (image above). While the impressive victory of Vinndication (4/1) in the Sodexo Gold Cup at Ascot, and the facile success of The Last Day (11/4) at Aintree in November, also spring to mind as highlights. (The first and last named also featured in the handicappers to follow blog last autumn)

The Conditional (20/1) kick-started a superb day at Cheltenham in October, with Saint Calvados (6/1), Ramses De Teille (9/4) and Slate House (10/1) three further winners on the card. While Golan Fortune (33/1) easily landed a small gamble back at Cheltenham in November.

Epatante (6/1), Top Ville Ben (10/3) and Aspire Tower (7/2) paid for the festive season when landing the Christmas Hurdle, Rowland Meyrick Chase and Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle respectively on Boxing Day. While Classic Chase day in January was another hugely profitable day as Erick Le Rouge (12/1), Burrows Edge (13/2) and Two For Gold (9/2) landed the Unibet Download The App Handicap Chase, Unibet Lanzarote Hurdle and Hampton Novices’ Chase respectively. (One follower won over £3000 that day!)

Many nice looking antepost bets went astray at Cheltenham. However, our old friend The Conditional (20/1) and the exciting Ferny Hollow (33/1) landed the Ultima Handicap Chase and the Champion Bumper respectively, which ensured a healthy profit. I was extremely disappointed that we didn’t taste further antepost success with Galvin (9/1), Minella Indo (12/1) and Dynamite Dollars (40/1) all finishing second, while A Plus Tard (20/1), Allmankind (20/1) and Lostintranslation (14/1) all placed third.

The Bossses Oscar (20/1) also hit the woodwork when placing fifth in the concluding Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle. Thankfully they were all advised each-way.

Those successes, and indeed narrow misses, were accompanied by the victories of Epatante (10/3), Honeysuckle (11/4), Envoi Allen (1/1), Simply The Betts (4/1), Concertista (5/1), Saint Roi (8/1) and Chosen Mate (7/1), many of whom ran out extremely impressive winners. While Third Wind (12/1), Ronald Pump (10/1 w/o fav), Plan Of Attack (10/1) and Shantou Flyer (15/2) all rewarded each-way support.

Indeed, I was surprised when a follower informed me that 23 of the 28 horses advised across the four daily previews had either won or hit the frame. Naturally, it is always nice to feel that you have had a run for your money, and I think that we can safely say that we did given that rather interesting statistic.

The last two season’s have generated an overall profit of +382.04pts, which is obviously a very pleasing figure. However, I feel that quality content is equally as important as profit and it’s nice to receive feedback concerning how informative, interesting and useful followers have found this blog.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my good friend Mike O’Toole for chauffeuring me to race meetings following my knee surgery in October. And also to Tom and Jack at JTW Equine Images (@JTWEquineImag), who have continued to supply me with fantastic images throughout the season.

Thank you again for your fantastic support and please stay safe in these uncertain times.

All the best

Stu

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Image supplied by JTW Equine Images (JTWEquineImag).

All Images Copyright ©JTW Equine Images. All Rights Reserved, please ask them if you wish to use the images. http://tomwilliams275.wixsite.com/jtwequineimages