Andrew Mount provides his analysis and best bets for Day 2 of Royal Ascot...
The Queen Mary Stakes (2.30) looks even more competitive than usual but with some firms paying five places I’m going to fire off a couple of arrows at the outsiders. First up is VENTURA FLAME (stall one of 27), who was awarded a very big speed figure by Raceform (they make her co-top rated of four) when runner-up to Karl Burke’s colt Classy Moon at Carlisle her recent debut. Keith Dalgleish hit form with a five-timer on Monday and, since 2014, backing his juveniles second-time out in June would have found eight winners from 28 runners (28.6% strike-rate) for a profit of £27.75 to a £1 level stake at SP. That Carlisle run came on good to soft going and she’s better equipped to handle the soft ground than most.
The other one I like is the unbeaten LIBERTY BEACH (stall six). She impressed when scoring at 16-1 at Redcar on her debut, coming from off the pace on a track that strongly favours those ridden handily. She defied the widest draw when storming home in the Hilary Needler at Beverley next time and there’s hope in her pedigree that softer going won’t be a problem. Her yard won this race last year.
WALDGEIST tends to find trouble in big fields, recording form figures of 24245455 (0-8) in fields of nine or more runners since his juvenile season. He was described as ‘not clear run’ when fourth of 19 behind Enable in the Arc and ‘not clear run and hampered’ when fifth in Hong Kong on his penultimate start. He made an impressive winning reappearance in the Group 1 Prix Ganay at Longchamp in April, taking his record in fields of eight or fewer runners, since he turned three, to 211111 (5-6), with the defeat on his seasonal debut in 2017.
He’s Andre Fabre’s first runner in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (3.40) since Byword won in 2010 and the hint should be taken. Manduro also won this for the yard in 2007, having finished a close 12-1 third a year earlier.
The rain has come in time for RAISING SAND (stall 32) who looks solid each-way material in the Royal Hunt Cup (5.00). The son of Oasis Dream has a real affinity with Ascot, recording form figures of 1143078164 (3-10), improving to 1143164 (3-7) on good or softer going, with the defeats coming in fields of 17, 18, 20 and 26. There’s plenty of pace on his flank and a couple of firms are paying seven places.
Waldgeist is part of your Lucky 15 for Wednesday.
Ventura Flame – Ascot 2.30 (0.5pts each-way, 150-1 Coral, five places)
Liberty Beach – Ascot 2.30 (0.5pts each-way, 25-1 Paddy Power, Totesport, both paying five places)
Waldgeist – Ascot 3.40 (2pts win, 4-1 William Hill, Paddy Power)
Raising Sand – Ascot 5.00 (1.5pts each-way, 7-1 Paddy Power, seven places)
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