Royal Ascot Day One

I start the blog today with news that the horse I have a tiny share in won on his second race course start yesterday. SAKHEE'S RETURN won at a massive 20-1! Lets hope there is a lot more of those for the boy, this time next year he could be at Ascot!!!
Right, time to doff the hat, get the champers out and regail in our land – the royal meeting has arrived. A cracking spectacle of quality horses! I cant wait to watch this week and seeing what stories are made. Below are my day one selections – good luck to all.

Toronado will be all the rage and rightly so with his form from last year, but 300 days off could leave him wanting and odds-on won't do it for me. I'm opting for SOFT FALLING RAIN (nb) who has always looked a class horse, the ground continuing to dry out will help his chances further and I think he'll run a huge race.

A Paul Hanagan/Al Maktoum double for me. ADAAY was very impressive when winning both starts at Newbury and Yarmouth. There will be more to come from this one and I think he can take this. Mr O'Brien has a decent record in this and War Envoy will be primed for a better run this time.

SHEA SHEA (treble) deserves to win a race like this. He so nearly did last year before SOLE POWER wore him down on the line. I hope my boy will hold on this time with Soumillon in the saddle. HOT STREAK could run a cracker but will probably get Spencer'd and I'm fascinated to see how ES QUE LOVE runs over five!

I backed KINGMAN in the Guineas and he just failed, he won the Irish equivalent easy and I think he will put NIGHT OF THUNDER in his place in this race. Nothing else to say – go champ!

I'm not a big fan of these staying races other than the Gold Cup. Nicky Henderson always has to be feared in these, but I really don't fancy any of his. SIZZLER ran a few crackers last year and could be there at the end but I'm opting for VILLA ROYALE who ran so well last time at York and with the stable in form, could run a big race.

This is a cracking end to the day. I really fancy MIDTERM BREAK (NAP) I watched him run at Ripon first time out and he looked a smart horse. He has since improved further and is proving to be a decent prospect. This is another big step up but one I think he can take. MERDON CASTLE could be the danger with form through KOOL KOMPANY.

Royal Ascot Day One

It's here at the last. The second greatest horse racing festival in my opinion, as nothing compares to Cheltenham! However, this week will prove to be simply awesome and I can't wait. I am hoping to preview every race and will hopefully chuck up a winner or two!

This race revolves around one horse for me, ANIMAL KINGDOM. He has by far and away the best form and was ultra impressive when cruising to Dubai World Cup success at Meydan. The only doubt that I'm sure the layers are targetting is him dropping back in trip, however this stiff mile will suit and I can't see him losing. He's not a betting interest so am going to go for an each way selection in ALJAMAAHEER who has steadilyi mproved and ran well in the Lockinge last time. I think he could stay on for a place at the end.
Selection – ALJAMAAHEER e/w (2nd – 8-1)


This is one hell of a race! SHEA SHEA is worthy favourite on what he accomplished in Meydan and I can't see SOLE POWER reversing the placings with him. However, he is far too short for me in this race. KINGSGATE NATIVE ran a cracker for me when I tipped him up in the Temple Stakes, and he looks back to his best this year, however, the good ground is against him here and a place is probably the best he can manage. RECKLESS ABANDON had a phenomenal juvenile year, including success at this meeting last year in the Norfolk Stakes. His return was really pleasing on ground he had not encountered. His performance on the far side that day caught my eye and the form has been franked with SPIRIT QUARTZ and MORAWIJ winning since. The key here is the ground and with it being more sound he should have more than KINGSGATE NATIVE and will be a winner again. A real danger at a big price is PEARL SECRET who did nothing wrong last year except in the Nunthorpe, when clearly something was amiss. He could run a huge race.
Selection – RECKLESS ABANDON (nb) (unplaced)


According to the book this race revolves around DAWN APPROACH and MAGICIAN. The former looked every bit a class horse when winning the 2000 Guineas easily, then Shiekh Mohammed went on his personal Derby crusade – lets all be honest he was never going to stay, pulling or not! Dropped back in trip he could easily reproduce his old form, however, sometimes a track and experiece like Epsom can damage a horse and he certainly hated every minute. MAGICIAN has done nothing wrong but I just don't fancy him in this top company. My money is going on TORONADO, who was touted as their best ever by both Hughes and Hannon prior to the Guineas and he just never ran well enough. The undulations could have affected him and I reckon this more level track will suit a late burst from the supreme judge of pace Hughes. Bring it on!
Selection – TORONADO (treble) (2nd – 5-1)


This is a very trappy affair will almost all 16 runners having a decent chance. It's usually insighful to place your money on or around the first few in the market. STUBBS is the favourite but was defeated first time out which puts me off him, and I reckon SIR JOHN HAWKINS is O'Brien's best chance in the race. He is impeccably bred through HENRYTHENAVIGATOR and PEEPING FAWN and won well on his debut. RIVERBOAT SPRINGS is another who caught the eye when flying home at Epsom. He clearly hated the adverse camber going down the hill and flew over the final furlong. However, I just cannot ignore the huge potential in SIR JOHN HAWKINGS and he has my money with RIVERBOAT coming second.
Selection – SIR JOHN HAWKINS (nap) (3rd – 6-1)


With this marathon distance to tacke it is no suprise that the last three winners (SIMENON, VEILED and JUNIOR) heralded from jumps yards. Out of that discipline this year WELL SHARP catches the eye after romping home last time. He was also not far behind BROWN PANTHER here a few years ago. TIGER CLIFF has gone from strength to strength and it would bring the house down if Lady Cecil had a winner on the first day, and he is sure to be in the mix up. I really fancied INVESTISSEMENT for the Chester Cup but he ran poorly, he still has a race like this in him. However, I'm opting for a progressive horse in MYSTERIOUS MAN he was just touched off at Salisbury earlier in the year and showed promise last year in the Melrose handicap at York. This is a big step up in trip but Andrew Balding is a shrewd judge and he is also on fire at the moment, and I think he could run a big race.
Selection – MYSTERIOUS MAN (unplaced)


Quite possibly the hardest race to pick the winner of in the opening day. The American raider, OGERMEISTER has gone the same route as the trainers other winner of this STRIKE THE TIGER. However, I think this is between three British ones who are all closely matched on form. ANTICIPATED will be popular and he defeated JUSTICE DAY by 3/4 of a length. The latter then went down by a head to SLEEPER KING last time at Musselburgh. Out of the three I think this one is most unexposed and progressive and I fancy him to go on again and take this. Not many of my pounds will be on in this race though!
Selection – SLEEPER KING (unplaced)

So a great first day to look forward to and I hope I have found a few winners here! Enjoy the first day, remember to bet within your means and if you have liked what you have read please give this a RT on twitter. Good luck!

Naps 39/178 = 21.9%
Wins 161/900 = 17.9%
Placed 239/900 = 26.6%

Win and Placed = 44.4%

@Tweet_Naps overall record. Click the link. All Time Profit/Loss currently +£61.33