Royal Ascot Day 1 Tips – Niall Cronin
King's Stand Stakes
Dust down the top hat and get ready for a fabulous week of top class action at Royal Ascot and if the Irish invasion in France for Euro 2016 was impressive, the fact that there was 22 Irish-trained runners on the opening day of Royal Ascot was notable itself.
One of those has already been deemed a non runner with Sole Power missing the King’s Stand Stakes due to the ground and the going conditions will prove to be a major factor at the Royal meeting this week.
Joseph O’Brien will saddle his first ever runners at Royal Ascot tomorrow when Lundy takes his chance in the Coventry Stakes and at 20/1 I think he is overpriced although having been second in the race two years ago with Capella Sansevero, Ger Lyons may have the colt that will go one better in Psychedelic Funk.
Lundy has been beaten twice and won in between but looks like a colt that would have came on bounds from his most recent run at Naas and just the price makes him something of an each-way play.
Although, two-time Naas winner Psychedelic Funk looks the real deal.
It may well prove to be a good year for Irish juveniles and the 15/8 market leader is Caravaggio is another that supplements that opinion but at 5/1 Psychedelic Funk is the pick.
Ger Lyons continues to improve his stock and his position as one of Ireland’s leading trainers but you just feel that if Caravaggio and Psychedelic Funk were both trained by Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore hadn’t his mind made up there’d be a lot less between them in the betting.
Psychedelic Funk won with a bit up his sleeve the last day and has form on easier ground over six-furlongs and the step up in trip on this ground might be enough to see the favourite turned over.
Crowning Of The Colts
More often than not the English 2,000 Guineas would be deemed the strongest when compared to the Irish or French equivalent and to have the winners of those three races meeting in the St James’s Palace Stakes sets quite a tone for the week.
In this instance the English 2,000 Guineas winner, Galileo Gold, is the biggest price of the three as Aidan O’Brien’s, The Gurkha, heads the market at 5/4 from 7/4 shot Awtaad who earned a marvellous reception when being well backed to win the Irish Guineas and Galileo Gold is back out on 11/2.
The ground is as much the reason for that as anything we’ve seen so far as it would be too harsh to say that Galileo Gold is the third best of these on good ground because we simply haven’t seen Awtaad on it for a start.
The Gurkha was so impressive in France and he really put the race to bed in a matter of strides and prior to that he looked the part when winning on softer ground albeit in lesser company. He’s clearly a very talented colt but Awtaad has had Kevin Prendergast purring for some time and he’s seen some good horses over the years.
The manner of his Curragh win was impressive even though Chris Hayes had to commit him earlier than would have been ideal and the vibes are that he may well have even improved since then and he gets the nod to prevail.
*Prices correct at time of publication
Psychedelic Funk (5/1) – 3:05 Royal Ascot
Awtaad (15/8) – 4:20 Royal Ascot