Royal Ascot got off to its familiar rip-roaring start on Tuesday, albeit it was a mixed bag of results for punters with some claiming victories. Overall though, just one well-backed favourite going in means the bookmakers are on top after day one as punters struggled with the formbook having seen the thunderstorms hit before and during racing.
The meeting got underway on ground still described as ‘good’ and the times backed up the fact that the rain had not really got in. In the opening Queen Mary Stakes 14/1 shot Lord Glitters went one better than last year under jockey’s title hopeful Danny Tudhope, seeing off the constant advances of 20/1 shots Beat The Bank and One Master to ensure the vast majority of money that changed hands in the ring stayed in the bookies’ satchels.
Arizona Too Hot as Blue Point Does It Again
The money came late for the Coolmore team’s Arizona in the Coventry Stakes, and he just about lasted home at odds of 15/8 under Ascot king Ryan Moore, only just holding off big challenges from both Threat and apparent mud-lover Guildsman who has a huge future.
The King’s Stand Stakes (Group 1) was next on the card and the punters couldn’t complain too much, albeit the enigmatic Battaash remained extremely popular in the ring, going off 2/1 favourite under Jim Crowley.
While he was so much better behaved than in the past and did not blow his chance by running too freely as he did last year, Battaash took a little bump, got no lead and had to tack across from his high draw to join up with the main group using up valuable energy.
Having run a sub-10 second furlong between the three and two markers though, he was bound to struggle up the hill and was just outbattled for the second year in a row by 5/2 shot Blue Point which was no disastrous result for backers.
Circus Acts Too Darn Well
There was further brilliance from O’Brien, this time with pain for punters, as his decision to supplement Circus Maximus for the St James’s Palace Stakes and drop him back a full four furlongs brought massive rewards as he crossed the line first in the big Group 1 for three-year-olds at 10/1, though but for a bump and a wide course having to be taken by King Of Comedy he’d have been mugged on the line.
John Gosden must have been pleased with the runner-up’s performance, but less so that of third placed Too Darn Hot who has had three chances this season and been beaten every time.
Ordinarily, being placed in the Dante, Irish 2000 Guineas and at Royal Ascot would read incredibly well, but considering he started the season as the highest rated juvenile since Frankel it’s all been rather disappointing for Tuesday’s well-backed 2/1 favourite.
Soft Ground the Key for Addeybb
In the closing Wolferton Stakes, the ground was officially described as ‘soft’ after the rain had really got in and that was a great advantage to William Haggas’ Addeybb.
With Elarqam seemingly on the way back and being sent off at 5/1 and Aidan O’Brien’s Magic Wand the favourite at 9/2, it was a competitive betting heat and while the bookmakers may claim a victory, there was some strong late money for Addeybb due to the going.
Having cruised into contention he simply swept this field aside and won under a hands and heels ride from Danny Tudhope, something that bookended the card brilliantly. Not only did it mean Tudhope won the first and last races of the day, but it was also a huge nod to the 2018 Lincoln Handicap.
Addeybb won the race that day from a certain Lord Glitters, the winner of our opening race.