One of the golden rules when punting at Ascot is to try and focus on horses who’ve got proven track form regardless of where they are in the betting. Accidental Agent was a classic case in point when he lined up an unconsidered 50-1 outsider in the Queen Anne Stakes at the Royal meeting this season only to defy his position in the market.
The mere fact that he’d got previous experience over many of his rivals (Rhododendron and Recoletos the two main examples) meant that he was likely to outrun his odds, and so it proved as he came with a late run to land the spoils close home.
Time and time again, horses like Ripp Orf and Raising Sands this season have come back to this track and have been able to run to a much higher level than anywhere else simply because the surface and the layoff of the track play into their strengths, and that’s why quite a few of Saturday’s field must be considered poor propositions against others based on that theory.
Both Laurens and Roaring Lion, for instance, have yet to step foot on the hallowed Berkshire turf, so despite the pair arriving here off the back of brilliant seasons, the logical stance is to avoid them at all cost even if they end up running. Recoltetos may have had an excuse of sorts regarding the quick ground in the Queen Anne, but he was still disappointing not matter which way you strip it down and he also makes little or no appeal at the current prices.
Expert Eye has won over the track, capturing the Jersey Stakes at the Royal meeting, but that was on rattling quick ground over seven-furlongs and whether he can be as effective on softer ground over further has to be open to question.
The one horse who seemingly has everything in his favour and simply loves it at Ascot is LORD GLITTERS (best price $8*) and he rates the standout bet at the current prices. A big eye-catcher on his first visit to the Berkshire slopes in a handicap over seven furlongs last season, David O’Meara’s gelding duly went one place better when upped in trip in The Balmoral Handicap over the QEII C&D at this corresponding meeting.
Once again runner-up to his old rival Accidental Agent in the Queen Anne on his second start of this campaign, the five-year-old proved that day he’s capable of mixing it in the highest grade and giving pretty much anything a race over the long, straight and undulating course. Although beaten on his latest outing in Canada, the firm ground that day wouldn’t have been ideal, but now back on a surface where his career form figures read 2211212122, it’s clear he’s likely to be a totally different proposition providing the ground stays in a similar state to what it is at time of writing.
Addeybb, who claimed the scalp of Lord Glitters in the Lincoln in receipt of 8lbs earlier in the season, failed to come up to scratch when encountering fast ground in the Lockinge when last seen, but as he also has a C&D victory against his name and will enjoy any give underfoot, William Haggas’ Pivotal gelding has to come into the equation.