Tim Lawson’s ITV Horse Racing Tips, Royal Ascot Day 1 2018

Tim Lawsons Royal AScot Day 1 horse racing tips

Royal Ascot Day 1 is upon us. We have lots of fantastic racing to look forward to. The World Cup is taking a lot of the attention away from the flat season’s highlight event but for true racing fans, football will always only be a complementary interest. Royal Ascot is the flat equivalent of the Cheltenham Festival, so let’s get stuck in!

Here is the ITV racing schedule for Day 1 of Royal Ascot.

Tue 19 – Royal Ascot – ITV/ITV4
14:30 The Queen Anne Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series)
15:05 The Coventry Stakes (Group 2)
15:40 The King Stand Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series)
16:20 The St James’s Palace Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series)
17:00 The Ascot Stakes (A Handicap) (0-100)
17:35 The Wolferton Stakes (Listed Race)

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Now back to our professional tips.

14:30 The Queen Anne Stakes (Group 1)

Benbatl looks good on paper with its Group 1 wins in Meydan but you need to consider its record in the UK and racing at Ascot is a lot different to racing in the home of racing in Dubai. This race looks poised for a renewal of the first two home in the Lockinge Stakes, Rhododendron & Lightning Spear. They both posted career best times (almost identical). O’Briens horse is 3/1 while Simcock’s horse is 8/1. Does O’Brien Group 1 record justify 5 points less in price? We think so and therefore give the nod to O’Brien. We will not complain if you take 8/1 each way on Lightning Spear.

Rhododendron – 3/1

15:05  The Coventry Stakes (Group 2)

Sergei Prokofiev and Calyx both look like class horses so we can see easily why they are joint top of the market. However, we prefer to take an outside punt in this race in the hope that Aidan O’Briens second string The Irish Rover has improved again on top of its impressive win at Newbury last time out. Remember that this horse finished less than 2l behind Sergei Prokofiev on its debut and we also know that O’Brien’s horses always need a second run before you start to see them at full fitness. The more interesting thing is this horses second race can be discounted as a bad start ruined it.

The Irish Rover – 14/1 Each Way

15:40 The King Stand Stakes (Group 1)

I tried to find an alternative to the favourite in this race but always came up short. Its one of these races where the favourite, Lady Aurelia will either win easy or come nowhere. Either way, it will be a great spectacle. While it seems like her prep race didn’t go to form, it wasn’t terrible either (2nd by 1.75l).

Lady Aurelia – 2/1 

16:20 The St James’s Palace Stakes

This looks like a battle between Without Parole and US Navy Flag. Without Parole is unbeaten in three starts but now takes a big jump in class into the top grade. US Navy Flag, while not a superstar strike rate, does have group 1 winning form and can’t be ignored. I prefer proven class over potential class any day.

US Navy Flag – 5/1 

17:00 The Ascot Stakes (A Handicap) (0-100)

This stayers handicap is nearly impossible to decipher. Seeing as Willie Mullins has won this 3 times out of 6, let’s try and pick out the one most suited for today’s race.

Chelkar: Looks like it was bought with this race in mind. Has potential and is ridden by Ryan Moore who has ridden ALL his previous winners in this race.

Meri Devie: This is a listed, top handicap grade performer. Ran well on the flat in France before converting to national hunt.

Whiskey Sour: Grade 1 at Leopardstown winner and also stayers flat race winner in Galway premium handicap.

At 9/1 we have to side with Whiskey Sour as all three have question marks over the going but Whiskey Sour has at least shown before that it likes to win in the Summer months.

Whiskey Sour – 9/1 Each Way

17:35 The Wolferton Stakes (Listed Race)

If this was 1m4f then of course we would side with Mirage Dancer but unfortunately it is not and that is why we are opposing him. We are going with Spark Plug as a value each way bet. It has been running well of late but this horse loves good to firm and todays trip. If it can repeat the speed figure it posted exactly one year ago, it will win this race with ease.

Spark Plug 20/1 Each Way Bet

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