Alan Thomson’s Tips: O’Brien off to a flier at Royal Ascot

Ascot2

AIDAN O’BRIEN has been top trainer at the royal fixture for the past three seasons and what better way to kick-off his formidable 2018 challenge than by winning the opening race of the week with RHODODENDRON (2.30).

Rhododendron scraped home from Lightning Spear in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury when finding herself isolated in the middle of the track and a stiff mile seems her best trip. She was tried over a variety of distances last season and after chasing home stablemate Winter in the Qipco 1000 Guineas, Rhododendron was no match for Enable in the Investec Oaks. She should go very close on her first visit to Ascot.

Wesley Ward’s filly LADY AURELIA (3.40) is back to defend her unbeaten record at Royal Ascot, having mopped up the King’s Stand Stakes last year on the back of a seven lengths romp in the Queen Mary Stakes as a juvenile.

Lady Aurelia was particularly strong at the finish 12 months ago and her showdown with home hero Battaash promises to be one of the highlights of the week. Battaash scraped home on his return at Haydock when uneasy in the market but he brought the curtain down on a sensational 2017 by thumping Nunthorpe heroine Marsha four lengths in the Prix de l’Abbaye.

ROMANISED (4.20) fulfilled his juvenile promise with a surprise, but fully merited, triumph in the Irish 2000 Guineas. He had more than two lengths in hand of U S Navy Flag and clearly appreciated the good to firm ground at the Curragh.

Romanised was noted running on into seventh spot in last year’s Coventry Stakes and his subsequent second to Masar in the Solario Stakes at Sandown on a slower surface is looking better than ever. The St James’s Palace Stakes is one crackerjack of a contest with John Gosden’s unbeaten Without Parole and Qipco 2000 Guineas runner-up Tip Two Win adding plenty of lustre to the line-up.

The Irish have won five of the last six renewals of the 2m 4f Ascot Stakes, with Willie Mullins saddling three of them (Simenon, Clondaw Warrior and Thomas Hobson). He has a fistful of runners to deliver a bunch of fives on the bookies this year and market vibes will be incredibly important.

The one to attract significant early support was STRATUM (5.00), the mount of Robert Winston.

Formerly with John Gosden, the five-year-old hasn’t had much racing for Mullins, mopping up a maiden hurdle at Galway last September. Significantly, Stratum is own by Tony Bloom, the pro-gambler who landed a mighty touch in last autumn’s Cesarewitch with Withhold. Stall 11 away from the rail should prove ideal as there is often carnage on the inside when the pacesetters hit the wall and stop suddenly before the home turn.

Having backed MIRAGE DANCER (5.35) last week for the Wolferton Handicap, I’m less than happy with his rails draw but will need to bite the bullet.

Sir Michael Stoute’s colt, a son of Frankel, brings some rock-solid form to the meeting having run third to Benbatl in last year’s Hampton Court Stakes. He thumped Euginio at Goodwood and ran very smart Barsanti close here over the longer 1m 4f trip.  Mirage Dancer will love the ground and hopefully his rider will be positive from the gate, especially with no stamina issues.

Big danger Laraaib is lightly raced and progressive, while I’ll be having a few quid each-way on outsider Scarlet Dragon, sixth last year when posted wide up the straight.

The big two-year-old sprint is the Coventry Stakes and if high numbers are favoured then BURJ (3.05) could outrun his odds for Saeed bin Suroor. The colt gave weight and a six lengths thrashing to subsequent winner Aussie View at Wolverhampton 13 days ago and John Gosden’s fancied Calyx is berthed alongside. Favourite Sergei Prokofiev is drawn on the other side in stall four and this juvenile event can be something of a lottery.

Recommended bets

  • Ascot 2.30 – Rhododendron (3-1, McBookie, William Hill)
  • Ascot 3.05 – Burj ew (20-1, bet365)
  • Ascot 3.40 – Lady Aurelia (2-1, bet365)
  • Ascot 4.20 – Romanised (6-1, bet365)
  • Ascot 5.00 – Stratum (6-1, William Hill)
  • Ascot 5.35 – Mirage Dancer (7-1, Black Type)

Johnb’s Tuesday Tips

  • Thirsk 1:40 – War Tigress 7-2 paddy powerNB
  • Thirsk 3:55 – Madrinho 7-2 skybet NAP
  • Beverley 6:30 – Pesci 4-1 bet365

Johnb’s Royal Ascot Tips

  • 2:30 – YOSHIDA 14-1 paddy power eachway 1/5 odds 4 places
  • 3:05 – INDIGO BALANCE 14-1 boylesports eachway 1/5 odds 4 places
  • 3:05 – NINETYTHREETWENTY 33-1 eachway 1/5 odds 4 places
  • 3:40 – BATTAASH 11-4 paddy power
  • 4:20 – WITHOUT PAROLE 11-4 paddy power
  • 5:00 – LAGOSTOVEGAS 11-1 william hill eachway 1/5 odds 5 places
  • 5:35 – BIG COUNTRY 18-1 paddy power eachway 1/5 odds 4 places
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21 Comments
  1. Profile photo of Johnb
    Johnb 4 weeks ago

    Tuesdays Royal Ascot Racing Tips

    2:30
    YOSHIDA 14/1 paddy power eachway 1/5 odds 4 places

    3:05
    INDIGO BALANCE 14/1 boylesports eachway 1/5 odds 4 places

    NINETYTHREETWENTY 33/1 eachway 1/5 odds 4 places

    3:40
    BATTAASH 11/4 paddy power

    4:20
    WITHOUT PAROLE 11/4 paddy power

    5:00
    LAGOSTOVEGAS 11/1 william hill eachway 1/5 odds 5 places

    5:35
    BIG COUNTRY 18/1 paddy power eachway 1/5 odds 4 places

  2. Profile photo of Johnb
    Johnb 4 weeks ago

    Tuesdays Main Racing Tips

    Thirsk
    1:40 – War Tigress 7/2 paddy power NB

    Thirsk
    3:55 – Madrinho 7/2 skybet NAP

    Beverley
    6:30 – Pesci 4/1 bet365

  3. Profile photo of theplug
    theplug 4 weeks ago

    Lady Aurelia 2/1 nap/nb Ascot

  4. Profile photo of double carpet
    double carpet 4 weeks ago

    2.30 Recoletos 5/1
    3.05 Indigo Balance 14/1 ew
    3.40 Battash 11/4
    4.20 Wootton 7/1 ew
    5.00 Chelkar 7/1 NAP
    5.35 Yucatan 8/1 ew

    BOL

  5. Profile photo of clg
    clg 4 weeks ago

    Ew double for me today:

    Yoshida (12-1 bet365 each way extra, 1/4 odds for 4 places) and Lady Aurelia 2-1 (1/4 odds for 3 places).

    5pts pays 112.5pts. Only 1.8pts profit if both place so hoping for a lady Aurelia win.

    • Profile photo of clg
      clg 4 weeks ago

      Apologies, changed Lady Aurelia to 4 places EW at slightly lower odds of 15/8 for a bit more buffer.

  6. Profile photo of ew thief
    ew thief 4 weeks ago

    Morning all
    Deauville 2.30 14/1
    Blown by wind 3.05 33/1
    Mabs cross 3.40 18/1
    Gustav Klimt 4.20 12/1
    Sam missile 5.00 40/1
    Muntahaa 5.35 28/1
    Ew singles & ew lucky63☘️Gl all

  7. Profile photo of azzthewigan
    azzthewigan 4 weeks ago

    lightening spear 2.30 the Irish rover 3.05 lady aurelia 3.40 wooton 4.20 merie devie 5.00 chain of daisies 5.35 …singles well done all winners yesterday

  8. Profile photo of philip66
    philip66 4 weeks ago

    IBERICA ROAD. 9’00 Bev, was gping very easy at this trip at donny last time. The form of the race is very good with the winner and third winning next time, the second was beaten in a photo. Dropped two pound and two furlongs I expect it running a massive race!

  9. Profile photo of
    4 weeks ago

    Morning All . Been no jump meetings since Saturday when I had a great day with 4 winners from 4 so no bets since .

    Today just 2 for me but no big stakes keeping the profit for a better day.

    STRATFORD

    16.45. .MICK MAESTRO

    17.20. .CENTREOFEXCELLENCE.

    gl all

  10. Profile photo of Johnb
    Johnb 4 weeks ago

    Tennis – ATP London

    Tim Smyczek v Jeremy Chardy (2pm)

    TIM SMYCZEK to win 9/4 boylesports

  11. Profile photo of jimba
    jimba 4 weeks ago

    One I like already put up by Johnb 5.35 Ascot Big Country 14/1 @corals. GL 🍀

  12. Profile photo of heartstopper22
    heartstopper22 4 weeks ago

    Follow your horses every day john, but can you please tell me how War progress made it to a tip of NB for you today?

  13. Profile photo of theplug
    theplug 4 weeks ago

    Sergei Prokofiev 3-05 ascot

  14. Profile photo of theplug
    theplug 4 weeks ago

    Ryan Moore shit ride

  15. Profile photo of tommytenbellies
    tommytenbellies 4 weeks ago

    Backed blue point there at 8s thanks John b as I remember you holding him in high regard last year. Just wondering why you didn’t tip him today versus battash? I stuck with him anyways and the 8s I have to say was beautiful

  16. Profile photo of heartstopper22
    heartstopper22 4 weeks ago

    Great stuff johnb

  17. Profile photo of database
    database 4 weeks ago

    Levey and hannon can be deadly, had a nice win off them last night and a 20/1 hannon winner just now, so HANNON looks to be on the up and he is with Levey at 1910, Mr Tyrell 2/1.

    I also really like Shirley Birkett, Limerivk Lord is 8/1 in thr 2010.

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