Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Runners & Riders – Day 5, Royal Ascot 2021

Matthew Steeples analyses the top tipsters’ selections for Day 5 at Royal Ascot 2021 after landing 1st places at 22/1 and 19/4 yesterday

Today, after a day where the rain actually helped with a 2nd for Oisin Murphy on Dragon Symbol (that paid out as a 1st before a steward’s inquiry) at 11/2, a 1st for David Probert on Sandrine at 22/1, a 1st for Oisin Murphy on Quickthorn at 19/4, a 5th for Mo Celita at 6/1, a 2nd for Snow Lantern at 14/1 and a 4th for She Do at 28/1 yesterday giving a +83% return, on Day 5 of Royal Ascot 2021, I am looking at EACH WAY BETS on:

2.30pm Chesham Stakes, Royal Ascot (10 runners, 3 places)

Oisin Murphy – Andrew Balding combo Masekela at 17/4 from 5/1 earlier (Racing Post, The Sun, Daily Mail ’Sam Turner’ DANGER, Sporting Life, Guardian)

Graeme Rodway for Racing Post muses: “Andrew Balding is already on the scoresheet with a juvenile this week having saddled Berkshire Shadow to win the Coventry and Masekela looked an equally exciting prospect when winning on soft ground on his debut at Goodwood. A bold bid is on the cards.”

Greg Wood for Guardian observes: “Aidan O’Brien has not been firing in the winners at his usual rate this week and in-form Andrew Balding’s Masekela is an interesting alternative to likely favourite Point Lonsdale. He belied a pedigree that hints more at stamina than speed to win a six-furlong maiden first time up, recording a respectable time in the process, and could improve abruptly for this step up to seven.”

Ben Linfoot for Sporting Life shares: “Aidan O’Brien said Point Lonsdale had ‘all the right stuff’ after his five-and-a-half length victory on debut at the Curragh on June 2 and the son of Australia looks a likely short-priced favourite here. However, he’s worth taking on with Andrew Balding’s MASEKELA who was impressive himself when winning on debut at Goodwood on May 21. That was on soft ground so the deluge of rain looks of little concern to him and serious improvement can be expected from first to second start, as we saw with the same stable’s Berkshire Shadow earlier in the week.”

Racing Post adds: “Pushed out to win 6f race at Goodwood on soft; interesting contender.”

The Sun finishes: “Good winner at Goodwood and has a lot more to offer.”

Also in the same race, Hollie Doyle – Archie Watson combo Sweeping at 12/1 (LAMBOURN)

Racing Post remarks: “Solid effort at Leicester with the winner boosting the form in the Coventry; considered.”

3.05pm Jersey Stakes, Royal Ascot (19 runners, 4 places with Ladbrokes ’The Grid’)

Richard Kingscote – Jane Chapple-Hyam combo Bellosa at 15/1 from 12/1 earlier (Radio 4, Mirror, At The Races ’Top Tip’)

Racing Post remarks: “2-2 at Newmarket, including Listed race last time; deserves serious consideration.”

At The Races enthuses: “Preference is for the unbeaten filly BELLOSA. Pitched into Listed company for only her second start, she made all to see off Fundamental in the manner of a top-class operator and there should be plenty more to come from the Awtaad filly as she progresses through the ranks.”

Also in the same race, Tom Marquand – William Haggas combo Light Refrain at 13/1 (The Sun ‘Each Way Thief’, NEWMARKET, Daily Mail ‘Robin Goodfellow’ and ’Sam Turner’)

The Sun suggests: “This Frankel filly loves soft ground and went close in a Haydock Group 2 last time. She has more to offer.”

Sam Turner for Daily Mail comments; “Conditions were pretty attritional yesterday but that shouldn’t bother LIGHT REFRAIN who saw the form of her effort behind Rohaan at Haydock take a sizeable boost when runner-up Dragon Symbol was first past the post in the Commonwealth Cup. She has improved a stone on deep ground this term in winning at Nottingham before her honourable fourth in Group Two company last month and, as a daughter of Frankel, should appreciate this step back up in trip.

Racing Post adds: “Has improved on soft/heavy ground this year; returning to 7f will probably be fine.”

Also in the same race, Oisin Murphy – Andrew Balding combo Tactical at 15/1 from 11/1 earlier

Racing Post says: “Drop back to 6f seemed against him last time but could get back on track here; respected.”

3.40pm Hardwicke Stakes, Royal Ascot (11 runners, 3 places)

Jim Crowley on Hukum at 7/1 (Racing Post ‘Ace Tipster’, Racing Post, Daily Mail ‘Robin Goodfellow’ and ’Sam Turner’, At The Races ‘Watch Out For’, SPOTLIGHT, LAMBOURN)

Keith Melrose for Racing Post offers: “Won the King George V here last year and failed only for stamina in the St Leger. Handles soft ground and he rates as the likeliest winner of a Hardwicke that, while competitive, contains nothing as exciting as he is.”

Sam Turner for Daily Mail suggests: A highly competitive renewal, but HUKUM looks to have been brought along steadily this term with this race in mind and should be involved if building on a promising win at Goodwood last time. The selection won the 3-y-o handicap at this meeting 12 months ago and travelled like a dream on his latest start before being nudged to a cosy win.”

Racing Post adds: “There should be more to come from HUKUM and he gets the vote over Ilaraab, with Highest Ground third choice… Won at this meeting last year; looks the type to rate higher yet; respected back here.”

At The Races concludes: “Hukum won last year’s King George V Stakes here and arrives following a comfortable Listed success at Goodwood. He shouldn’t be far away, while the upped-in-class Ilaraab is a fascinating player having won his last six appearances.”

Also in the same race, Japan at 15/1 (Racing Post ‘Dark Horse’, POSTDATA, RP Ratings)

Sam Hardy for Racing Post comments: “Won the King Edward VII Stakes here two years ago. Disappointing campaign last season, but back in the winner’s enclosure at Chester’s May meeting and should go well with conditions to suit.”

Racing Post adds: “Below-par third in Coronation Cup; very good chance if able to show his 3yo form.”

Also in the same race, Oisin Murphy – Sir Michael Stoute combo Highest Ground at 15/1 (Daily Mail ‘Gimcrack’, Daily Express)

Racing Post says: “Won at Leicester last week; still unexposed at 1m4f; trainer has superb Hardwicke record.”

5pm Wokingham Stakes, Royal Ascot (21 runners, 6 places with Ladbrokes ’The Grid’)

Kieran Shoemark – James Fanshawe combo Fresh at 15/2 from 10/1 earlier (Guardian, Racing Post ’Spotlight’ and ’Speed Figures’, Racing Post, SPOTLIGHT, TOPSPEED, NEWMARKET, Guardian, Sporting Life)

Greg Wood for Guardian observes: “Fresh (5.00) could be the pick of them. He has twice run well over Saturday’s track and trip with cut in the ground, most recently when flying at the finish to pip Pendleton last month. He is 5lb better off with that rival here and is open to improvement with just nine races in the book.”

Dave Edwards for Racing Post states: “Recorded a personal best on the clock over course and distance last time, which is invariably a positive pointer.”

Ben Linfoot for Sporting Life adds: “King’s Lynn looks very well handicapped off a mark of 100 following his unlucky in-running seventh in the King’s Stand on Tuesday but this is a very different test following a four-day turnaround. He’ll make the market and is probably worth taking on with James Fanshawe’s FRESH the one to be on now the ground has turned. He loves Ascot having finished a nose second here to Stone Circle on soft ground last October before winning over the course and distance last time out when seeing off subsequent York winner Pendleton.”

“He’s lightly raced and has more to offer off a strong gallop while his sire, Bated Breath, has won three Royal Ascot races with his progeny in recent years thanks to Biometric, Daahyeh and Space Traveller.”

Racing Post enthuses: “King’s Lynn looked good in the King’s Stand on Tuesday and stablemate Chil Chil is a rapid improver, but the latter may need fast ground and preference is for Fresh, a powerful finisher who is going the right way. Pendleton can also go well on ground that has come right for him… King’s Lynn is fascinating back up to 6f but FRESH (nap) promises to be suited by a really strong test over C&D and he is preferred… Highly respected on two C&D runs; can improve further with an even more strongly run race.”

Also in the same race, Paul Hanagan – Richard Fahey combo Mr Lupton at 15/1 (The Sun ‘Each Way Thief’, Daily Mail ‘Robin Goodfellow’ and ’Sam Turner’)

The Sun says: “This game veteran ran right up to his best when winning at York last time. He goes on any ground and hasn’t been clobbered by the handicapper.”

Racing Post adds: “Well suited by strongly run 6f handicaps but held off similar marks here in 2018 and 2020.”

Sam Turner for Daily Mail concludes: “Although beaten in this race in 2018 and 2020, MR LUPTON appeals as a sporting bet to make it third time lucky. Richard Fahey’s grand sprinter was far from disgraced on either of the previous occasions he has tackled this event and showcased his well-being with a cosy York success. Hopefully, the easy ground will stop the frontrunners getting too far from him and he can arrive late on the scene.”

Also in the same race, Callum Rodriguez – Michael Dods combo Pendleton at 15/2 (Daily Mail ‘Gimcrack’, ’Northerner NAP’, At The Races ’Top Tip’, Daily Record, POSTDATA)

Racing Post remarks: “Suited by soft/heavy; progressive sprinter with C&D form; sound chance.”

At The Races concludes: “The vote, therefore, goes to PENDLETON, who was just denied on his penultimate start over C&D before going one better at York over 5f. Soft ground is no issue for Michael Dods’ gelding who also won here over 5f last autumn.”

5.35pm Golden Gates Stakes, Royal Ascot (16 runners, 4 places)

Oisin Murphy – Andrew Balding combo Foxes Tales at 17/2 from 8/1 earlier (Guardian)

Greg Wood for Guardian observes: “Highly competitive, but Foxes Tales is worth a second look with Oisin Murphy taking the reins for the first time. He was ill at ease on the track in a Derby trial at Chester last time but showed enough in his Newbury maiden to suggest that an opening mark of 93 could be generous.”

Racing Post adds: “Soon struggling at Chester latest; capable of better at 1m2f on a more conventional course.”

Also in the same race, Paul Hanagan – Richard Fahey combo Pythagoras at 13/1 from 14/1 earlier (Racing Post, Daily Mail ‘Marcus Townend Captain Heath’)

Paul Kealy for Racing Post suggests: “Shaped much better than the bare result in the Dante (sixth) and would have run against Mohaafeth on Thursday if the rain had come in time. Instead he goes for this handicap off a mark of 101, which must be lenient if connections still believe he’s a Group horse.”

Racing Post adds: “Unplaced in Listed and Group 2 races this term but back on testing ground today.”

Also in the same race, Frankie Dettori – Mark Johnston combo King Frankel at 7/2 from 10/3 earlier (Racing Post, SPOTLIGHT, RP Ratings, Daily Mail ‘Robin Goodfellow’ and ’Sam Turner’, The Star, Daily Record, At The Races ‘Watch Out For’)

Sam Turner for Daily Mail shares: KING FRANKEL made life difficult for himself at Epsom on Derby day when rearing at the start and racing lazily throughout. It was a measure of his ability that he arrived on the scene late on with a chance of overhauling winner Solent Gateaway and a switch to a more conventional track may see him travel a little sweeter in the hands of Frankie Dettori.”

Racing Post remarks: “Mark Johnston’s KING FRANKEL can be described as setting the standard and looks capable of better… Notable 2nd in 1m2f handicaps on last two starts and looked capable of better last time.”

At The Races finishes: “King Frankel has been hard to keep out of the frame on his four appearances this year and demands serious respect with Frankie Dettori in the saddle.”

6.10pm Queen Alexandra Stakes, Royal Ascot (17 runners, 4 places with Ladbrokes ’The Grid’)

Richard Kingscote – Ian Williams combo The Grand Visir at 7/1 (The Sun ‘Longshot’, Daily Express)

The Sun states: “He is as game as they come and ran another cracker in a French Group 2 last time out. He is certain to run his race and has a big each-way chance.”


Racing Post adds: “Good record here; strong stayer and after all the rain he rates a major player.”


Also in the same race, Ryan Moore – WP Mullins combo Stratum at 9/2 (Racing Post ‘Handicappers’ NAP, RP Ratings, The Times, Daily Mail ‘Robin Goodfellow’ NB,, At The Races ‘Watch Out For’)

Paul Curtis for Racing Post offers: “Pick of the weights on his win in the 2019 Cesarewitch and a career-best effort when runner-up in last year’s Lonsdale Cup. Won’t mind conditions and rates as the one to beat.”


Sam Turner for Daily Mail adds: STRATUM has twice acquitted himself over trips short of his best this term, winning at Gowran before being outpaced in a slowly-run affair at Navan.  Those runs should have put him straight for today’s test and it’s worth recalling he possessed the quality to finish runner-up to Enbihaar in a Group Two at York last summer, while he has already won a Cesarewitch and been placed here in the 2018 Ascot Stakes.”


At The Races remarks: “If Stratum gets home over the two and three-quarter miles he faces here then he will prove hard to beat for trainer Willie Mullins and jockey Ryan Moore, who rides this course as well as anyone. Stratum has placed here in the Ascot Stakes over two furlongs shorter but this does look a fraction tougher.”


Racing Post concludes: “Knows what these staying races are all about and has a massive chance at the weights.”


Also in the same race, Tom Marquand – Alan King combo Who Dares Wins at 16/1

Racing Post remarks: “Won this last year; got no luck in the Chester Cup last time; entitled to be in the mix.”


And finally, a longshot is given on Oisin Murphy – Saaed bin Suroor combo Global Heat at 25/1 from 20/1 earlier

Racing Post not especially keen: “Classy at best but there are serious doubts about him staying this extreme distance.”


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Happy racing.


Oisin Murphy
Can Oisin Murphy break records on the final day of Royal Ascot 2021?
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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