Royal Ascot Preview

The market for the race is dominated by the incredibly exciting Palace Pier, but is there value elsewhere in the field? Here is my win, each way and outsider selection for the one-mile sprint.

 

Win – Palace Pier (4/7)

As a single, he is untouchable at such a short price. However, I couldn’t put you off doubling Palace Pier with Stradivarius in the Gold Cup for a 2.5/1 double, or, if you’re feeling brave, adding in Baataash in the King’s Stand Stakes for a 10/1 treble.

Palace Pier landed the Lockinge Stakes in good style a few weeks ago in preparation for this race, sweeping past the field with relative ease to win by a length. The four-year-old is a great traveller and stays on very well, with his turn of foot in the final few furlongs quickly putting races to bed.

Although his only career loss came in this race last year, John and Thady Gosden’s colt did have excuses, the ground was far too soft that day and he did lose a shoe early on as well. But this year he looks better than ever and it will be incredibly disappointing if he doesn’t land the spoils, especially for jockey Frankie Dettori as it will make him the most successful jockey in the history of the race (he is currently joint-top with Sir Gordon Richards on six wins).

 

Each way – Tilsit (25/1)

A drop back to a straight mile puts Tilsit in with a real chance of finishing in the frame here, and I’m shocked he is as big as 25/1 in the market. Charles Hills’ colt has shown plenty in his six career starts to date, and his most disappointing performance came over too long a trip in the Neom Turf Cup in Saudi Arabia, so you can put a line through that.

His most run came in the Prix D’ispahan at Longchamp over 1m1f where he finished second after being collared late on by the talented Skaletti. However, Tilsit’s performance can be upgraded as Skalleti’s jockey, Gerald Moss, was handed a 16-day ban for overusing his whip. So, if the race panned out lawfully then Tilsit would have won and consequently been shorter in this market.

Palace Pier will be very hard to beat but I can see this four-year-old chasing him home, especially on quick ground. With improvement on the cards and trainer Hills keen to drop him back to this trip, Tilsit looks a solid each way bet. This is Tilsit’s only entry at Royal Ascot and if he is declared then it wouldn’t be a shock to see his price shorten.

 

Outsider – Lord Glitters (50/1)

Eight-year-old Lord Glitters is coming into the closing stages of his career and connections know that any race could potentially be his last. However, his age shouldn’t deter punters from what could be a very neat each way bet.

The globetrotting gelding has won millions in prize money all over the world having been victorious in England, France and Dubai over the course of his career. His greatest victory in England came in this race two years ago, beating Andrew Balding’s Beat The Bank by just a neck.

On his most recent outing, Lord Glitters came fourth in the Lockinge, finishing almost 12 lengths behind Palace Pier. However, being a horse that runs on from off the pace, the gaps never really opened up for him that day and he was left with far too much to do anyway.

In a bigger field, as there usually is in the Queen Anne Stakes, David O’Meara’s superstar has a good chance of outrunning his odds. Of course, Lord Glitters isn’t in his prime anymore, but he stays on very well and jockey Danny Tudhope always manages to get a good tune out of him. If his run is timed to perfection, Lord Glitters could finish a lot closer to Palace Pier.