The eyes of the racing world are beginning to lean towards the iconic Royal Ascot meeting next week and with crowds starting to return that should be the showcase occasion it usually is in the heart of spring as we head into summer.
Before we get to Tuesday though there are meetings going on in the UK and Ireland on Saturday and it would be wrong of us not to attempt to swell the Royal Ascot betting fund with a couple of picks, one in the UK and the other in Ireland.
15 runners go to post for this competitive handicap over a trip just shy of a mile and a half. Snowy Owl holds favouritism at around 9/2 for Donnacha O’Brien & he’s been running well without winning. Down 1lb after finishing 3rd last time out but he was over 6 lengths behind from the winner so perhaps needs a little more leniency from the handicapper. Golden Valour has yet to win on turf but continues to run well & his chances rest on whether he improves for the step up in trip. Blue Shadow continues to go up in the handicap, raised the last twice despite failing to get into the winners enclosure.
At a bigger price, I like the chances of Blackpoint. He has an inside draw which suits & looks well handicapped off a mark of 74. A winner of just 1 of his 10 career starts, he won a maiden over this course & distance last year & since then he’s struggled on really soft ground & on the all weather. An opening handicap mark of 84 is stiff but he looks ready to win now given he’s 10lbs lower & has shown some form on his last 2 starts. 2 starts ago, he was a good 4th of 11, again over course & distance off 4lbs higher than today’s mark. A shorter trip & softer ground didn’t suit last time but he was still a decent 4th there too. His record over this track is solid, he will love the faster ground, has a nice draw and, with 5 places available, he’s sure to be involved at an each way price.
Back Blackpoint (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 9.50 Skybet BOG (⅕ odds 1-5)
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Again we have 15 runners, this time for a Class 4 handicap over the turning 9 furlongs on the Knavesmire. La Trinidad has been well backed having run ok last time out & now dropped in class & grade but he’s short in the betting for what he’s achieved. Lion Tower has won his last 2 but this is much tougher whilst Easterby & Allan are bidding for a hat trick in this race but their horse, Delgrey Boy, has a wide draw for a front runner & is up in grade,
Global Spirit looks a big price here. He has a nice low draw & looks to be approaching a winnable mark given he last won at this track off 3lbs lower. He’s only been here twice, winning & finishing 3rd so the track clearly suits whilst his record with firm in the going description reads 4-3-2-2-1-4-3-6 with the 6th coming 2 starts ago in a really hot Thirsk Hunt Cup at odds of 50/1. He was just 2 lengths behind the winner there in a Class 2 & is 2 grades & 2lbs lower here. A repeat of that run would give him a great chance here & his poor run last time out can be forgiven as he stumbled leaving the stalls. With conditions to suit & 5 places available, he’s the best each way bet of the race.
Back Global Spirit (e/w) for a 0.75/10 stake at 15.00 Skybet BOG (⅕ odds 1-5)