Monday, March 4, 2024

Runners & Riders – Day 2, Royal Ascot 2021

Matthew Steeples analyses the top tipsters’ selections for Day 2 of Royal Ascot 2021 after scoring a 33/1 winner yesterday

Yesterday, our racing followers romped home up +177% courtesy of amongst other successes a 33/1 first for Hollie Doyle on Amtiyaz in the Copper Horse Stakes (£2.50 each way returned £108.13) and a 12/1 first for Oisin Murphy on Berkshire Shadow (£2.50 each way returned £41) in the Coventry Stakes.

Whilst today things get more challenging with some very crowded fields, for Day 2, Royal Ascot 2021, I suggest EACH WAY BETS on:

2.30pm Queen Mary Stakes, Royal Ascot (21 runners, 4 places with Ladbrokes ’The Grid’)

John Velazquez – Wesley Ward combo Twilight Gleaming at 23/10 from 9/4 earlier (Radio 4, At The Races ’Top Tip’, The Sun,, Daily Mail Sam Hardy ‘Danger’, Sporting Life, NEWMARKET, The Times, Daily Telegraph, Daily Express, Daily Record)

Sam Turner for Daily Mail comments: “Twilight Gleaming bids to give her handler a fifth win in this race in 13 runnings and she was mightily impressive at Belmont last time.”


Ben Linfoot for Sporting Life observes: “Wesley Ward has a terrific record in the Queen Mary having won it three times in the last six years and that helps sway thinking towards his TWILIGHT GLEAMING this time around. The daughter of National Defense looked awesome when blasting to a seven and a half length success at Belmont Park on May 9 and with her stands’ rail draw in 20 giving John Velazquez the nod to keep things simple it will take a brave man to bet against her bouncing out and making all.”


Racing Post remarks: “US raider, impressive winner at Belmont; represents trainer with fine record in this race.”


At The Races offers: “TWILIGHT GLEAMING learnt plenty from her debut at Keeneland when running out an impressive winner at Belmont and the daughter of National Defense bids to give Wesley Ward his fourth winner in this contest since 2015.”


The Sun finishes: “Easy win in America last time and has too much speed.”


Twilight Gleaming Day 2, Royal Ascot 2021
Will Twilight Gleaming give trainer Wesley Ward a fifth victory in the Queen Mary Stakes?

Also in the same race on Day 2 of Royal Ascot 2021, Aidan O’Brien trained Yet at 19/2 from 10/1 earlier (Daily Mail ‘Robin Goodfellow’ and Sam Hardy ‘Best Bet’, Racing Post, SPOTLIGHT, POSTDATA, Mirror)

Racing Post remarks: “Aidan O’Brien has yet to train a Queen Mary winner, but in the very promising YET he has an opportunity to put that right… Made striking impression when winning at Dundalk; imposing type; strong candidate.”

At The Races muses: ” Yet got the better of Orinoco River in a Dundalk maiden last month and the pair both warrant a fair amount of respect with the likelihood of improvement to come.”

Sam Hardy for Daily Mail adds: “Connections equip the beautifully-bred Yet with a first-time tongue tie and she looks the type to relish a stiff 5f given the way she rallied when challenged at Dundalk.”

Also in the same race, Oisin Murphy on Desert Dreamer at 13/1 from 9/1 earlier (The Star)

Racing Post remarks: “2-2 at Newmarket; dropping back to 5f should be fine; one for the shortlist.”

3.05pm Queen’s Vase, Royal Ascot (14 runners, 4 places with Ladbrokes ’The Grid)

Silvestre De Sousa – Mark Johnston combo Dancing King at 7/1 from 13/2 earlier (The Sun ‘Each Way Thief’, Racing Post ‘Ace Tipster’, Daily Mail ’Northerner’ NAP, RP Ratings, The Star)

The Sun suggests: “He isn’t the flashiest but just keeps on winning, making it four in a row with another gutsy display at Doncaster last time.He is a proven stayer who likes the ground so should be right there again.”

Paul Kealy for Racing Post muses: “Aidan O’Brien and Mark Johnston have won 14 of the last 21 Queen’s Vases between them, and while the market favours O’Brien, Dancing King is just the tough sort of stayer Johnston excels with. He’s 4-4 in handicaps this season and did well to get up off a slow gallop last time.”

Keith Melrose for Racing Post comments: “This three-year-old keeps improving and can better his effort in a warm handicap last time granted a greater test.”

Racing Post adds: “4-4 in handicaps as 3yo, over 14.5f latest; form is up there with the best in this field.”

At The Races concludes: “Dancing King has kept on improving since being stepped up in trip and his recent handicap success at Doncaster entitles him to his place in this.”

Also in the same race, Oisin Murphy on Ruling at 13/1

Racing Post says: “Big improvement over 1m4f, latterly when staying on well for close third in Listed race.”

3.40pm Duke of Cambridge Stakes, Royal Ascot (12 runners, 3 places)

Silvestre De Sousa – Sir Michael Stoute combo Queen Power at 17/4 (Guardian, The Sun ‘Each Way Thief’, At The Races ‘Watch Out For’)

The Sun says: “She was third in this race 12 months ago and held her own in Group 1 company at Glorious Goodwood. This season started with an easy success at York last time and she can figure again.”

At The Races observes: “Queen Power won’t be far behind if their May Newmarket form is upheld when there was just a head between them, and the pair can fight out the finish again here. Sir Michael Stoute’s mare strolled home by eight lengths on her only start since at York in this grade and seems to be improving, making her a very serious challenger to the likely favourite.”

Racing Post adds: “Third in this last year and bolted up in 1m2f Group 2 at York last month; this is hotter.”

Also in the same race, Jim Crowley on Lavender’s Blue at 13/1 (Racing Post ‘Dark Horse’)

Jake Aldrich for Racing Post observes: “Form of her Dahlia Stakes third has worked out well and she is better off at the weights with the first and second. Her best form has come on fast ground and the drop back to a mile should suit.”

Racing Post less enthusiastic: “Form of Newmarket 3rd has worked out well but she seemingly has limitations at this level.”

Also in the same race, Hollie Doyle on Parent’s Prayer at 11/1 (POSTDATA, TOPSPEED, LAMBOURN)

Racing Post remarks: “Capitalised on easy lead at Epsom; possible she’ll again have run of race but not definite.”

5pm Royal Hunt Handicap, Royal Ascot (30 runners, 6 places with Ladbrokes ’The Grid)

Oisin Murphy on Matthew Flinders at 8/1 from 15/2 earlier (The Sun ‘Longshot’, Racing Post NAP, LAMBOURN, SPOTLIGHT)

The Sun states: “He has shown promise in big fields and started this season with a good third at Newbury. He was forced out wide at York last time and has the champion jockey back on board today.”

Racing Post concludes: “The vote goes to MATTHEW FLINDERS (nap), who remains the type to win a race of this nature… It remains to be seen how the draw will pan out but Matthew Flinders gets the verdict and Oisin Murphy has options from stall 15. The selection should settle better than last time and remains the type to win a race of this nature.”

Also in the same race, Hollie Doyle – Richard Hannon combo Beat Le Bon at 33/1 from 18/1 earlier (Mirror)

Racing Post observes: “Strong finisher at Doncaster 12 days ago; due to go up 2lb in future; not ruled out.”

Also in the same race, Frankie Dettori – John and Thady Gosden combo Magical Morning at 6/1 (Racing Post ‘Eyecatcher’)

Mark Brown for Racing Post muses: “Absent since last year but there’s almost certainly more to come from him after being gelded and these conditions will suit.”

Racing Post adds: “Second to Matthew Flinders at Doncaster when last seen; open to further improvement.”

Also in the same race is our longshot for Day 2 of Royal Ascot 2021, Pat Hobbs – Richard Hughes combo Bugle Major at 160/1 from 100/1 earlier (Sporting Life)

Ben Linfoot for Sporting Life suggests; “Cases can be made for plenty in the Royal Hunt Cup, as always, with Magical Morning, Grove Ferry and Matthew Flinders forming just part of the shortlist. However, at a huge price BUGLE MAJOR makes each-way appeal for Richard Hughes.”

“The ex-Juddmonte horse had some good form in France for Pascal Bary, particularly on the all-weather tracks at Deauville and Chantilly, with his second to Magny Cours at the latter course in March well advertised by the winner who was third in the Dubai World Cup 25 days later. Bugle Major struggled on his British debut, but that was in a small field over 10 furlongs on soft ground and he should be much better suited by this test. His all-weather form is encouraging at sand-based Ascot and his sire, Mizzen Mast, has had a couple of Ascot winners in Silver Lime and Sea Defence from just 20 goes.”

Racing Post far from enthusiastic: “Ex-French gelding; only fifth of six at Newmarket on British debut.”

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Happy racing.


Pictured top: Hollie Doyle and Amtiyaz after their win yesterday.


Matthew Steeples
Matthew Steeples
A graduate of the London School of Economics, Matthew Steeples is a writer and marketing consultant. He conceived The Steeple Times as a media arena to fill the void between the Mail Online, The Huffington Post and such organs as the New York Social Diary in 2012.


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