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2010 Royal Ascot: Day 2

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ASCOT, ENGLAND - JUNE 15:  Queen Elizabeth II arrives on the 1st day of Royal Ascot at Ascot racecourse on June 15, 2010 in Ascot, England  (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/ Getty Images)
ASCOT, ENGLAND - JUNE 15: Queen Elizabeth II arrives on the 1st day of Royal Ascot at Ascot racecourse on June 15, 2010 in Ascot, England (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/ Getty Images)
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Post

Race

Condition

Dist.

 Purse

2:30

Group 3 Jersey Stakes

3yo

7.0

 £ 80,000

3:05

Group 2 Windsor Forest Stakes

4up, Fillies

8.0

 £ 125,000

3:50

Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes

4up

10.0

 £ 450,000

4:25

Royal Hunt Cup

3up

8.0

 £ 100,000

5:00

Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes

2yo, Fillies

5.0

 £ 90,000

5:35

Sandringham Stakes

3yo, Fillies

8.0

 £ 50,000

 

You can find a a complete list of the races and runners for the second day of Royal Ascot at Timeform.  Brisnet.com and TwinSpires.com also have free basic past performances, although they do not contain any Timeform or Racing Post Ratings.


Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes

Only one Group 1 race on the card for day 2, but it's a big one: the Prince of Wales's Stakes at a mile and a quarter.

Twice Over (GB) ran a strong third to Zenyatta in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita but did little to inspire much confidence with a disappointing 10th of 14 in the Dubai World Cup.  He's been a solid runner on grass his entire career so it's not a stretch to think that he's going to enjoy making the switch from running over an all-weather surface. 

Byword (GB) finished only a ½ length behind Goldikova (IRE) in the Group 1 Prix d'Ispahan at Longchamp last time out; the next closest horse was 10 lengths behind.  That result certainly proves his class and puts him as a legitimate horse for top honors in this race.  Perhaps the only chink in the armor is the fact that he's seems to be at his best at a mile and an eighth rather than a mile and a quarter.  It's not a huge difference in ground, and it's possible his class will overcome the extra furlong, but it is something to consider as his only win at this distance was in a listed stake at Compiegne against only three other horses.

Shalanaya (IRE) came up a bit short in the Group 1 Prix Ganay at Longchamp in early May, but she's a solid filly that is tried and true at this distance.  For the most part, she's run well over yielding, good, and soft ground, but performed at her worst on the firm turf in Kyoto, Japan. Betfair's betting forecast lists her as the probable fourth choice in the field while Timeform rates her as third best behind Byword and Twice Over.  She could be the value play in the field.

4:25 Royal Hunt Cup

There are 30 horses going a mile...good luck trying to figure this one out.  And we think handicapping the Kentucky Derby is hard!

Timeform likes Mull Of Killough (IRE) in this race.  That's good enough for me.

If anybody has some insights as to how you handicap a race with 30 horses, I'd love to hear about it.  From what I understand, these are pretty popular betting races in Europe for the simple fact that the huge field creates an opportunity to cash huge tickets.  If you're really lucky you can win a s*^t load of money!


5:00 Group 2 Queen Mary

While it's not quite the mess that the Royal Hunt Club is, the Queen Mary is another tough race to decipher.  Eighteen two year old fillies will spring five furlongs in search of Royal Ascot glory. 

Dress Up is coming off a couple of nice performances at Chester and Royal Windsor but will be facing a stern class test in this spot.

Meow (IRE) blew the doors off of her seven competitors in her maiden breaking win at Tipperary on May 20th and is tabbed by Timeform as the top runner in this field.  I love the pedigree on this filly - sired by Storm Cat out of an Air Express mare. 

Any James Bond fans out there will probably like Ladies Are Forever (GB), a filly sired by Monsieur Bond out of the dam Forever Bond.  You can never have too much Bond.


5:35 Sandringham Handicap

Handicaps in Europe are a completely different breed than those in North America for the simple fact that they actually assign weight in Europe, as opposed to the U.S. where we simply pretend to assign weight.  How else can you explain the fact that Rachel Alexandra was asked to "carry" 124 pounds in the Fleur de Lis last Saturday.  124 for Rachel? It's ridiculous to think that assigning Rachel to carry two pounds less than what horses in the Triple Crown carry is some kind of handicap.  The 129 for Zenyatta was a little bit better but if we are talking about a real handicap then both horses should have been at 130+.

For a quick snap-shot at the type of weight regularly assigned in Europe, check out the weight to be carried by the field in tomorrow's Sandringham at Royal Ascot:

Lolly For Dolly - 133 lbs.
Blue Maiden - 131
Timepiece - 131
Pollenator - 131
Marie De Medici - 128
Song Of My Heart - 128
Siyaadah - 128
Berg Bahn - 126
Sweet Sonnet - 126
Kinky Afro - 125
Mudaaraah - 125
Za Za Zoom - 122
Safina - 122
Miss Zooter - 119
Clairvoyance - 119
Miss Mittagong - 119
Dubai Media - 119

Well over half the field will carry more than Rachel carried in the Fluer de Lis and the top 4 will all carry at least two pounds more than Zenyatta carried in the Vanity.  The separation from the top and low weight horses in the Sandringham is 14 pounds, with the low weight horses in this race carrying six more pounds than the low weight in the Fleur de Lis and seven more than the low weight in the Vanity.