AOBFS Day 5 Selections/tips



Priceys Royal Ascot Day Five Saturday Ballydoyle Previews
Chesham Stakes Listed 
September   Ryan 
Deep Impact filly who was an impressive maiden winner on debut 16 days ago, the trainers only successful two year debutant so far this season. Should have much more to give again today and holds every chance to emulate what stablemate Churchill did in this contest last year.

Hardwicke Stakes Group 2 
Idaho  Heff 
Smart form last term finishing placed in the English and Irish Derby. Unlucky in the St Leger, clipping heels and unseating rider when looking to make his challenge. Below par on reappearance in the Coronation Stakes last time but will come on for that run and can play a part today, for all that Moore prefers Dartmouth.

Queen Alexandra Stakes Conditions
US Army Ranger  Ryan 

Been largely disappointing since his second in last seasons Derby. Somewhere close to that form when narrowly touched off at Chester last month, just headed there but that was over a mile shorter than todays trip. Huge stamina doubt but is the clear pick on ratings so could run well should he stay.



Down Royal

3.45 Magners Ulster Derby Handicap - 1m 4f 150y

Finn McCool - A O'Brien (3)

Been kept up to his work this season with four starts in just four weeks, placed at Group 3 and Listed level amongst those efforts and a mark of 99 doesn't appear to over burden him. This trip is fine and everything could finally click into place here, but isn't the most trustworthy at a short price.




Reeler Bids for Rare Double 

Highland Reel

19.06
Highland Reel attempts a rare double when he bids to follow-up his Coronation Cup success in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot on Wednesday.

O'Brien's five-year-old won the Secretariat Stakes over a mile and quarter in 2015 and took the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth II Stakes over 12 furlongs at Ascot last summer.

He will be tackling 10 furlongs again this time with O'Brien also fielding Johannes Vermeer in the nine-runner field.

French interests rest on the Jean-Claude Rouget-trained Mekhtaal, winner of the Prix d'Ispahan.

The home team is led by Jack Hobbs from John Gosden's stable.

The five-year-old has had little racing since his Classic campaign when he lifted the Irish Derby, but showed he was as good as ever when winning the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan in March.

Godolphin, who are major shareholders in Jack Hobbs, also have Scottish from Charlie Appleby's stable. He has not raced since finishing second in the Caulfield Cup in Australia last October.

Sir Michael Stoute is double-handed with Ulysses and Queen's Trust, while Roger Charlton has Decorated Knight, who took the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh last month.

The list being completed by Roger Varian's filly Nezwaah.




Aidan 28/1 to break Royal Ascot record of 7 winners
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17.06
Champion trainer requires eight winners or more this year to stretch clear of all rivals
Aidan O’Brien: Could saddle odds-on favourites in half of Royal Ascot’s eight Group One prizes

Aidan O’Brien could saddle odds-on favourites in half of Royal Ascot’s eight Group One prizes and is 28/1 to have a record number of winners at the world’s most famous flat festival next week.

The champion trainer equalled the record of the legendary Henry Cecil with seven winners at Royal Ascot 2016 and the RaceBets firm are 28/1 about the Irish man having eight or more this year.

The dual Guineas winners Churchill and Winter are overwhelming favourites for the St James’s Palace and Coronation Stakes next week while Order Of St George is also odds-on to defend his Gold Cup title after 18 were left in the marathon highlight on Friday.

Caravaggio is a general evens favourite for the Commonwealth Cup on Friday but could tighten in betting after the next forfeit stage.



Acapulco Ascot finale in doubt after setback 

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16.06
Acapulco, as short as 4/1 for the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot on Tuesday, will not run after a small setback yesterday.

The hugely talented speedster, which won the Queen Mary as a two-year-old at the Royal meeting when trained by Wesley Ward, did not appear at yesterday's forfeit stage for the King's Stand.

Given that she is in foal and with time running out, there is now the chance that she will never race again, but Aidan O'Brien is hoping that she may yet take her chance in Berkshire - rather in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes on Saturday week.

"She had a small hiccup today and we knew she wouldn't make Tuesday but there's a chance she might make Saturday," he told the Irish Independent.

In foal to Galileo, Acapulco was a workmanlike winner of a Curragh Listed event in May on her sole start for O'Brien.




Priceys Royal Ascot Day Four Friday Ballydoyle Previews 
Albany Stakes Group 3 
Actress   Wayne 
Three creditable runs to date and never outside the top two, the ground seemed to go against her on her latest start and is the type to do better on todays surface. Should go well at an each-way price.

Clemmie   Ryan  
Sister to dual classic winner Churchill, like that one she arrives here after a promising debut 3rd at the Curragh. Capable of a big say today with a step forward likely.

Snowflakes  Heff
Another that is impeccably bred, being a full sister to Winter. Failed to shine on debut but should put that effort behind her with todays conditions to suit.

King Edward VII Stakes Group 2
Sir John lavery  Ryan 
Very high on the ante-post lists for the Epsom Derby after a taking maiden win last autumn. Things to not go to plan at Lingfield last month when well beaten in sixth. Needs to put that behind him but has the potential to take a race like this.

Commonwealth Cup Group 1 
Caravaggio  Ryan 
Unbeaten and supremely talented Scat Daddy colt with five wins from five starts, including in the Coventry Stakes here last year. Pleasing reappearance at Naas last month is the one to beat in an extremely hot race.

Intelligence Cross  Heff 
Just two wins from nine starts and been beaten at listed level the past twice. The ground should suit but extremely difficult to see him troubling the principles today with a big step forward required.

Coronation Stakes Group 1
Hydrangea  Padraig 
Finished in front of stablemate Winter on reappearance this year however no match for that one in the two classic runs since. Hard to fancy her turning the tables here.

Roly Poly  Heff 
Put behind her lacklustre reappearance in the Nell Gwyn Stakes with a much better effort last time behind stablemate Winter in the Irish 1000 Guineas. Still finished the best part of five lengths down and needs more today. The ground will suit and holds fair place claims at an attractive price.

Winter   Ryan
Significant improvement by this one so far this term, winning both the English and Irish 1000 Guineas. Looks clear on ratings and it would be a shock if she wasn't to add a third group 1 today.

Queen's Vase Group 2 
Wisconsin   Heff 
Just two runs in his career so far, a pleasing introduction at Leopardstown before winning a modest maiden over thirteen furlongs at Navan. Completely unexposed and capable of having his say here with this test to suit, even though Moore prefers his stablemate.
 
Belgravia   Ryan
Leopardstown maiden winner last month and a fair run in listed company last time,  did not enjoy the clearest of runs there  having been hampered and better expected today. First time blinkers tried here and one to note with Moore on board.


AOBFS ROYAL ASCOT DAY 4 SELECTIONS/TIPS 





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Pricey's Royal Ascot Day Three Thursday Previews Leopardstown included
Norfolk Stakes Group 2 
Sioux Nation  Ryan 
Off the mark at the third time of asking at Cork last month over six furlongs but not so good on his latest start at the Curragh when well beaten at Listed level. Winner of that race went close here on Tuesday and todays fast ground should suit this son of Scat Daddy, needs improvment but not ruled out at an each-way price.

Hampton Court Stakes Group 3
Orderofthegarter  Ryan 
Won three of his first four and respectable efforts in France on his last two efforts. Sixth last time our over this trip in the Prix du Jockey Club where he was slightly impeded late on. Has been kept to much softer surfaces than this so far but no reason to suggest it should inconvenience him, should run well.

Taj Mahal     Heff  
Just one win in eleven starts to date but has shown ability, just ahead of stablemate Orderofthegarter in France last time when fourth but is much more exposed than many of todays rivals and may struggle to uphold that form. Should run his race ands has place claims on first time blinkers.

Ribblesdale Stakes Group 2
Alluringly   Ryan 
Won her maiden this spring before smart performance behind the classy Enable in the Chester Oaks and Epsom Oaks. Latest third in that Epsom race gives her strong form claims in this and must go well here.

Gold Cup Group 1
Order Of St George   Ryan 
Brings the strongest form to the table after his breathtakingly good win in this race twelve months ago. Has been beaten four times since then including against some of todays rivals here on Champions day, however reproduction of his best would make him the one to beat.

King George V Stakes Handicap
Homesman  Ryan 
Two wins so far this season from this War Front colt, won last time out in the group 3 Gallinule Stakes at the Curragh over ten furlongs and tries this trip for the first time today. Will be tough off top weight but is progressing well and not without a chance.

Utah  Heff 
Fair efforts as a juvenile last term but cut little ice on reappearance at the Curragh last month behind stablemate Homesman. That trip would be on the sharp side and breeding suggest this step up to twelve furlongs will be a positive. On a handy and no surprise to see him run a strong race.




AOBFS Royal Ascot Day 2 Selections/tips 



Priceys Royal Ascot Day Two Ballydoyle Previews

Jersey Stakes Group 3 
Whitcliffsofdover  Ryan 
Placed twice at group level at the end of last season and started off this term with a pleasing performance when winning the Free handicap at Newmarket. Disappointing last time at listed level when only third and needs to resume progress here. Blinkers reached for and should run well.

Spirit of Valor  Don
Just one win in six starts and was well beaten in the English and Irish 2000 Guineas on his last two starts. Has a fair amount to find on ratings and a big step forward is required today if he's to challenge the principles.

Prince of Wales's Stakes Group 1 
Highland Reel  Ryan 
Five Group 1 wins from this globetrotting superstar and was as good as ever when winning the Coronation Stakes over twelve furlongs last time out. Drops back in trip today so has a little to prove (beaten last five starts at this trip), However this does not look an overly strong renewal and should be bang there at the finish.

Johannes Vermeer  Don
Had his fair share of problems and only one appearance in eighteen months before two substandard efforts at the Curragh and Naas this term. Form of his latest run when only fifth in the Tattersalls Gold cup leaves him with plenty to find and firmly the second string today.

Sandringham Stakes Handicap
Rain Goddess   Ryan 
Two satisfactory runs at Group level the last twice, including when staying on fifth in the French 1000 Guineas and should appreciate the return to faster ground. Top weight makes things harder but these are much calmer waters and should have more to offer.

Asking   Ana
One win in eight starts and highly tried but she has shown ability, second in the Leopardstown Guineas trial last month before being well beaten at group 1 level the past twice. A Mark of 96 could be workable but appears the second string on jockey bookings.





Priceys Royal Ascot Day One Previews Tuesday 20th June
Queen Anne Stakes Group 1 
Deauville   Ryan 
Group 1 winner last season in the Belmont Derby over ten furlongs and has produced a string of solid efforts since when placed in the Arlington Million and  in the Tattersalls Gold Cup last time out. Does not look short of pace so this drop back to a mile should not inconvenience him. Has a fair shout in a wide open race.

Cougar Mountain   Don
Has been frustrating to follow over the years but has some fair form on offer including when third in this race two seasons ago. Won the Group 2 Joel Stakes at Newmarket last year but has not won since. For all that it isn't the strongest renewal he needs a career best today.

Coventry Stakes Group 2 
Murillo  Ryan 
Tailed off on debut at the Curragh but put that effort firmly behind him when winning impressively at Tipperary next time. Did that with a touch of class and has every chance of adding to connections great record in this race.

US Navy Flag  Heff
Three runs to date and still a maiden, third at listed level on his latest start was a creditable effort but looks firmly the stable second string today and needs a significant step forward here.

King's Stand Stakes Group 1 
Washington DC  Ryan 
Has become a smart yardstick over the past two seasons with plenty of smart efforts at the top level, including when third in the Commonwealth Cup at this meeting twelve months ago. Has the form to go close but perhaps needs the principles to underperform. Should run well and has solid place chances at an each-way price.

St James's Palace Stakes Group 1 
Churchill   Ryan 
Confirmed his potential as a superstar two year old when winning the English and Irish Guineas this spring and now has won seven in a row, starting here last year in the Chesham Stakes. Holds the best form and every chance of confirming the English 2000 Guineas form with Barney Roy in what looks an exciting rematch.

Lancaster Bomber  Don 
Needs fast ground so has that in his favour but no match for Churchill so far. Likely to be the pace angle once again but could sneak a place if allowed his own way up front.

Peace Envoy  Heff
Group 3 winner as a juvenile last term but has been a shade disappointing in two starts this year. Well beaten at Deauville last time out over this trip. Hood and Blinkers tried today in the hope of sparking a revival but likely to have place claims at best.

Ascot Stakes Handicap 
No Runner 

Windsor Castle Stakes Listed
Declarationofpeace   Ryan 

Promising debut at Navan in April, then built on that effort with a comfortable win at Dundalk last month. Looks another precocious War Front two year old and has plenty of speed. Must have every chance today with conditions to suit.


Naas 7.20 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Handicap - 7f

Old Time Waltz - A O'Brien (3)

War Front filly with four starts to date and now tries handicap company having failed to get off the mark. Shown glimpses of talent to date including when fifth at Leopardstown last time. Drop back to seven furlongs should suit and a mark of 73 is not too severe.






Ballydoyle Juvenile Team for Royal Ascot includes exciting filly September


Healy Racing photos


14.06
Aidan O'Brien has narrowed down his huge army of regally-bred juveniles into a relatively small but select team for Royal Ascot.

Aidan O'Brien has narrowed down his huge army of regally-bred juveniles into a relatively small but select team for Royal Ascot.

The Ballydoyle handler has won the Coventry Stakes eight times already, more than any other trainer in the history of the game, and is looking at running the Scat Daddy colt Murillo and easy Dundalk scorer Declarationofpeace in the race next Tuesday.

Clemmie, a sister to dual Guineas winner Churchill, and September, a filly out of the brilliant Peeping Fawn and Japanese sensation Deep Impact, are also bound for Berkshire.

Aidan said "We are looking at Murillo and Declarationofpeace going in the Coventry Stakes.

"We may have Sioux Nation in the Windsor Castle or Norfolk and the ground got very soft at the Curragh last time.

"It's not certain we will have a runner in the Queen Mary. Clemmie and September are possibles for the Albany and Chesham."



Winter Warmer at Royal Ascot according to Wayne 

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13.06
Wayne Lordan "Winter is a top-class filly who has a bit of everything. Dermot O'Regan rides her out in the mornings but I ride her in all her work. She is getting stronger and stronger all the time. 

She has been tipping away since the Curragh and is doing great.

We knew even before she went to Naas that she would have enough pace to win over six. It is not too often you have a Galileo who can win over six, but we thought she would. We thought she was very smart.

She grew a lot over the winter and got bigger and stronger," said Lordan. "I knew that was always going to be the case. She was a big two-year-old but she was still weak and needed to develop. She did that developing over the winter.

I had no idea I would be on Winter at Newmarket but when I got the call from Aidan, needless to say I was quite pleased as I knew she would run a very big race.

It was very straightforward. She jumped and travelled. She has a very high cruising speed and, when I asked her to go forward, away she went. I got a brilliant day out of her."
I will still get a great kick out of it if she wins. When you ride a horse in their work at home and they go out and prove themselves on the track it is a great feeling. Ryan will be on her but she has already given me a brilliant day, so I certainly cannot complain."


George will be a tough nut to crack at Ascot

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12.06

Aidan O'Brien has won the Ascot Gold Cup on no fewer than seven occasions.

Yeats (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009), Fame and Glory (2011), Leading Light (2014) and Order of St George (last year) have been victorious for him.

O'Brien seems to train the winners almost specifically for a race that means a great deal to John Magnier and his Coolmore partners. A statue of Yeats stands at Royal Ascot, paying tribute to a horse that was really popular in England and Ireland.

Order Of St George may be better again. He has the stamina to win the Gold Cup, as he did in hugely impressive style last year, but he has the class also to finish placed in an Arc, as he did then too.

He was beaten in the Irish Leger when Ryan Moore probably rode with excessive confidence, though it was hard to blame him too much in that regard. His Leopardstown performance last time suggested he is as good as ever, and given the genius that is O'Brien, it is hard to see how the horse can go off odds-against at Ascot and he will be very tough to beat. 


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Ward Team Assemble for Royal Ascot

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Commonwealth Cup Contender Bound For Nowhere Pictured Above 

Lady Aurelia delighted trainer Wesley Ward in her final workout in America before heading to Britain for her Royal Ascot date.

Winner of the Queen Mary Stakes at the meeting last year, Lady Aurelia is set to tackle the King's Stand Stakes on June 20 after making a successful reappearance at Keeneland in April.

The three-year-old was back in action at that track on Monday, working over five furlongs in company with Bound For Nowhere, who is due to run in the Commonwealth Cup at the Royal meeting on June 23.

Ward said: "I was going to go into the work a little easy, but when we got that little bit of rain with the give in the ground I thought it would be a good time - two weeks out - to let her skip along, so I changed my plan a little bit.

"She worked tremendous."

Ward was also enthusiastic about the chances of Bound For Nowhere, a three-year-old son of the The Factor who is owned by the trainer and often works with Lady Aurelia.

He said: "(He) is getting better by the day. He's a formidable foe for (Lady Aurelia). She's still an inch or two better there at the wire than him - which she should be - (and Monday's work is) very promising for him.

"He's got a big, long stride and he's going to want to go another eighth of a mile. She kind of scampers."

The trainer is hoping to give both horses a gallop at Ascot, adding: "(Lady Aurelia) will work in company (with Bound For Nowhere) a week from tomorrow at Ascot and get a feel for the course again."

Ward worked a total of 11 horses in five sets on the Keeneland turf course with other Ascot possibles including Con Te Partiro, who is due to contest the Sandringham Handicap, Norfolk Stakes contender McErin, Arawak, who could run in the Coventry Stakes, and Merriebelle Stable's Happy Like A Fool, who is in contention for the Queen Mary.

Princess Peggy and Fairyland are both in the frame for the Albany Stakes and they enjoyed a spin along with Windsor Castle hopeful Elizabeth Darcy.

The Ward team are due to fly to Britain on Tuesday and will be stabled in Newmarket with the handler making the trip on Sunday.


Ward Contingent Set for Royal Ascot Invasion


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A rainy Monday morning in June isn't something most people look forward to, but for trainer Wesley Ward and his large contingent of turf workers June 5 at Keeneland, it couldn't have been more perfect. 

Just as the rain subsided, Ward sent out 11 workers in five separate groups starting minutes before 10 a.m. Monday on the Keeneland turf, which was softened slightly from the earlier showers but still rated firm. In the first group was 2016 European champion Lady Aurelia and her regular workmate Bound for Nowhere.

"I was going (to have her) go into the work easy but then we got a little bit of rain and had a little bit of give to the ground, so I thought it would be a good time to let her skip along, so I changed my plan," said Ward, who was surrounded by a large contingent of connections in the Keeneland grandstand Monday.

In a steady breeze under regular exercise rider Julio Garcia, the daughter of Scat Daddy moved comfortably on the inside of her workmate, getting a slight advantage on the 3-year-old colt at the wire. Both were credited with 1:00 4/5 for the five-furlong move. 

"She worked tremendous," the trainer said. "She's still just an inch or two better at the wire than he was, but she should be. It's very promising for him. He's got a big, long stride and he's going to want to go another eighth of a mile, (while) she kind of scampers. For both of them, it was a great work."

Owned by Stonestreet Stables, George Bolton, and Peter Leidel, Lady Aurelia suffered only one defeat in her five-race career. Last year's Cartier champion 2-year-old filly opened this season with a 2 1/2-length score in the Giant's Causeway Stakes April 15 at Keeneland. She looks to build upon her 2016 success at Royal Ascot, where she won the Queen Mary Stakes (G2), when the 3-year-old filly faces older rivals and males in the five-furlong King's Stand Stakes (G1) June 20. 

Bound for Nowhere, owned by Ward, is being pointed to the six-furlong Commonwealth Cup (G1) for 3-year-olds June 23. The son of The Factor   is two for two in his short career, most recently winning a 5 1/2-furlong allowance race by 4 1/2 lengths April 20 at Keeneland. 

As soon as the first two completed their move, Ward's second pair—multiple graded stakes winner Undrafted and stakes-winning 3-year-old filly Con Te Partiro—took aim. The 3-year-old filly finished up ahead of her workmate by a slim margin, clocking five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 while Undrafted was credited with 1:00 3/5. 

Wes Welker and Elizabeth Kumin's 7-year-old Purim gelding Undrafted will make his next start in the six-furlong $300,000 Jaipur Invitational Stakes (G3T) June 10 at Belmont Park. He was also a last out winner at Keeneland, picking up an April 21 turf sprint allowance. Hat Creek Racing's Con Te Partiro (Scat Daddy), will contest the one-mile Sandringham Stakes at Ascot June 21.

"Con Te Partio had a fantastic work... she showed today that she likes a little give in the ground, which we're more than likely to have there," the conditioner said. 

In the next set, 2-year-old colts McErin and Nuclear Option worked four furlongs. Waterford Stable homebred McErin was credited with :48 1/5, while Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Nuclear Option got :48 2/5. 

"McErin had a beautiful work again. He kind of validated what I've thought—that he's better on the grass than the dirt," he said of the stakes-placed son of Trappe Shot  , who will contest the June 22 Norfolk Stakes (G2) at Royal Ascot. 

"Unfortunately for Mr. Ramsey, I was looking for a bigger work from Nuclear Option, but it didn't happen. So we're going to forego taking him over there for the Windsor Castle (Stakes at Ascot)."

A few seconds after, another duo of juveniles took center stage as Ward's homebred Happy Like a Fool and Arawak both worked an even four furlongs in :48. 

"Arawak was really good against Happy Like a Fool," he said of the Uncle Mo   colt owned by Michael Tabor, Susan Magnier, and Derrick Smith. 

"Happy Like a Fool is pointed for the Queen Mary (Stakes, G2, June 21). I think she's going to have an unbelievable chance; her last few works have been monstrous. Arawak has a bigger longer stride, kind of like Bound for Nowhere, and he's going to be in the Coventry (Stakes, G2 June 20). He had a nice work, keeping up with a fast, fast filly like her."

In the last group, Fairyland traveled behind two other 2-year-olds, Princess Peggy and Irish-bred Elizabeth Darcy, all going four furlongs. Keeneland clockers caught Fairyland in :47 2/5, and had Princess Peggy and Elizabeth Darcy in :47 3/5. All three fillies are likely to head to Royal Ascot.

Hat Creek Racing's Elizabeth Darcy will contest the Windsor Castle on opening day, Coolmore partners' Fairyland will go to the Albany Stakes (G3) June 23, and Ward thinks Stonestreet Stable's Princess Peggy earned a trip after her work Monday but will confirm with connections.

The trainer said the group will ship to Indianapolis in the early morning of June 6 to fly out at 4:30 a.m. and will arrive at London Stansted Airport. Lady Aurelia will likely work once more at Ascot June 13, while the others will breeze at the Rowley Mile at Newmarket. 




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