Andy Stephens tipped Royal Ascot winners Berkshire Shadow (advised 18-1), Create Belief (available at 14-1 overnight) and Kemari (8-1) last week plus selected such as Dubai Honour and Vadream - both placed at 28-1 - each-way.
Royal Ascot provided its usual mix of punting highs and lows.
I managed to keep my head above water after Berkshire Shadow got the ball rolling early on with his Coventry success but my quest to back the Britannia winner for the first time ended in frustration when 28-1 chance Dubai Honour “won” on the far side of the track, only for the first three home to be on the stands’ rail.
Dubai Honour remains one to keep in mind for more big handicaps this summer, but he won’t be missed in the betting next time.
It’s back to much smaller pickings on Monday, with the card at Windsor also needing to pass an 8am inspection. I’ve got four selections to consider.
3.30 Chepstow: Eagle Eyed Freddie at 6-1 with BetVictor
This race is restricted to horses who have not managed to win more than once. As it is, the dozen runners have accumulated 68 runs without managing a victory and four of them will be sporting first-time headgear.
It’s a contest plenty will swerve but Eagle Eyed Freddie has been in my tracker since he threatened to win at Ripon last summer. You can make excuses for his two subsequent defeats last season and he ran better than the bare form suggests at Windsor when he ended up on the wrong part of the track and might have needed the run.
He’s quickly dropped to a mark 10lb below he ran at Ripon, which looks generous. And first-time cheekpieces may also help keep his mind on the job.
4.30 Chepstow: Rhubarb at a general 8-1
I’m partial to a bit of rhubarb crumble, provided it’s drowned in custard/cream and half a bag of sugar.
The equine Rhubarb is not sharp enough for 5f, but she’s run twice over that trip at Chepstow this year – running creditably each time but looking in need of an extra furlong or so.
She gets the extra distance here and is 1lb lower than when beaten a couple of lengths last time, when stuck on a wing. Her draw in 1 means she will again start on a flank but she’s generally covered up and I imagine Callum Hutchinson will switch inside and try and produce her late.
Course specialist Tawaafoq is the obvious danger, but that is reflected by the betting.
5.30 Chepstow: Our Man In Havana at a general 6-1
The Tony Carroll-trained gelding seems to reserve his best for this track and is awarded the nap on Monday.
He won off a mark of 55 at Chepstow last summer and also went close off 58 at the Welsh course later in the year. You can make excuses for his next two runs on turf (ground and fitness) but he was right back in the groove here this month when rather mugged close home by Ghepardo, who pounced up the rail.
Our Man In Havana has been nudged up 2lb, but he’s still 3lb below his last winning mark and 7lb claimer Mollie Phillips, who impressed on him last time, resumes the partnership. Phillips is one to keep an eye on, having won on four of her past 15 rides for Carroll at 25-1, 22-1, 8-1 and 11-4.
Ghepardo heads the betting but Our Man In Havana can turn the tables and get back to winning ways.
7.00 Windsor: Ishvara at a general 10-1
It’s been a year since Ishvara last got her head in front and her record in that time illustrates she’s the ultimate “two ways of running” horse.
On four occasions, she’s been a good second, but on five others she’s trailed home last – and on her latest start she beat only one home in Listed company at Haydock.
The majority of those below-par efforts have been on fast ground, though, and, as befits a daughter of Dutch Art, she’s much more effective when the mud is flying. She will get her ground on Monday evening – provided the meeting passes an inspection – and at double-figure odds she is worth risking.
Her penultimate effort, when chasing home stablemate Arecibo off a 1lb higher mark at Newmarket, was given a massive boost when the winner subsequently finished second in the King’s Stand Stakes.Start your free one month trial of Racing TV now and enjoy all the action from Britain and Ireland!
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