Royal Ascot 2015: Candy Sweet On Limato In Commonwealth

Trainer Henry Candy is sweet on his flying machine Limato in the inaugural Commonwealth Cup

Henry Candy is confident of a big run for Limato in the inaugural running of the Group One Commonwealth Cup. The flying machine will relish the firm conditions and has form at the course. Only beaten when the conditions didn’t suit, Limato will have the pace to live with the likes of Tiggy Wiggy and the US raider Hootenanny. In what is a great race and a brilliant new initiative, punters would also be foolish to overlook Kool Kompany who has the class to be a contender too.


Eye-catching entry from a horse who will be making his seasonal debut in race that is a mile more than he has raced before. Excellent form last year including a second in the Racing Post points to enough Moore and O’Brien winner.


Dettori teams up with the brilliant Wesley Ward on this US challenger. Ward has a real knack in these contests, expect another bold show.


Archer would have noticed the exceptional form of O’Brien and Moore. Given that purple patch he would have wanted to be on this talented filly.


In what is a fascinating race, this Lucky Chancer seems to have been overlooked. With plenty of talent and speed, the Craven Stakes winner is worth a gamble at around 40/1.

Crockford’s Royal Ascot Gambles on Day Three:

Laxfield Road e/w and Back At The Ranch (Albany 2.30), Balios (King Edward VII 3.05), Hootenanny, Limato e/w and Kool Kompany e/w (Commonwealth Cup 3.40), Found (Coronation 4.20),  Azurite e/w (Duke Of Edinburgh 5.00) and Aloft (Queen’s Vase 5.35)


(Featured Photograph – Henry Candy at Glorious Goodwood by Stuart Rice)

Royal Ascot 2015: Golden Forgotten Rules Of Royal Ascot

Punters golden Forgotten Rules of Royal Ascot is to back a Dermot Weld horse for the feature race

With the master trainer having landed the gamble yesterday with the brilliant Free Eagle in the Prince Of Wales Stakes, punters should look no further than him repeating the feat with Forgotten Rules in the Gold Cup today.  Weld’s stayer may well want the ground softer but so will many of his rivals including the notably over-priced Tac De Boistron (who has the pick of the form). In what looks a weak renewal of the great race, Weld’s horse stands out. Expect him to be ready and for him to add to his previous Ascot success last autumn.


Good winner of the London Gold Cup at Newbury and has excellent form lines from last season. The horse he beat last time is the warm favourite for the last race on the card. Expect a win.


This whisper has the pick of the form in the book and always travels impressively. He has attractive each way odds that make a gamble worthwhile even on a surface faster than preferred.


Archer would have fought to be on this speedster. Highly regarded and an impressive winner of the National Stakes at Sandown where he beat the Coventry winner Buratino.


With some excellent form in the book, this Lucky Chancer is well over-priced at around 25/1. He chased the Derby second home in his last race and has a good form-line with yesterday’s Jersey winner Dutch Connection.

Crockford’s Royal Ascot Gambles on Day Three:

Pamona e/w and Gretchen e/w (Ribblesdale 3.40), Forgotten Rules (Gold Cup 4.20), Dissolution and Scottish e/w (King George V 5.35)

(Featured Photograph – Dermot Weld by Stuart Rice)

Royal Ascot 2015: Free Eagle To Soar For Weld

Free Eagle to soar for Dermot Weld in the Group One Prince Of Wales’s Stakes on Day Two of Royal Ascot 2015

The Irish trained Free Eagle will head a stella cast for the Group One feature on day two of Royal Ascot 2015. Third last year in the Champion Stakes on soft ground, the Weld trained four-year-old will return to the course with conditions now in his favour. Always highly regarded by connections Free Eagle will face stiff competition from foreign raiders that include the talented Japanese horse Spielberg and home based talent such as the Grey Gatsby. If the talk is true though he should soar above his rivals and confirm the reasons for his favouritism.

The Royal Hunt Cup looks to be a strong renewal where GM Hopkins catches the eye alongside last year’s victor Field Of Dream.


Dermot Weld’s highly regarded horse looks well placed to take this Group One contest. Third last year in an excellent renewal of the Champion Stakes on ground that didn’t suit, expect an even bolder show now the conditions are in his favour. The trainer is a master planner.


Looked unlucky last time out in what was a hot race. The winner of last season’s Silver Cambridgeshire can make the step up in grade to figure strongly in this.


Archer would have noticed her two wins at the Royal meeting and her natural ability. This filly would have been his chosen ride.


This Lucky Chancer has been aimed at the race by connections after winning it last season. Priced at around 20/1 he has to be worth an each way gamble.

Crockford’s Royal Ascot Gambles on Day Two:

Ivawood (Jersey 2.30), Acapulco and Bruised Orange e/w (3.05), Rizeena (Duke Of Cambridge 3.40), Free Eagle and Spielberg e/w (Prince Of Wales’s 4.20), GM Hopkins e/w and Field Of Dream e/w (Royal Hunt Cup 5.00) and Osaila e/w (Sandringham 5.35)


(Featured photograph – Dermot Weld by Stuart Rice)

Royal Ascot 2015: Ward To Land Juvenile Double

US trainer Wesley Ward to land a juvenile double on the first day of Royal Ascot 2015

US trainer Wes Ward knows what it takes to win at Royal Ascot and has brought a strong team of ten over to this year’s Royal meeting. On day one he runs Finnegan (Coventry 3.05) and Ruby Notion (Windsor Castle 5.35), both with excellent chances in their respective contests. The trainer is sweet on the chances of his Coventry entry and it would not be a surprise if his filly could land the last on today’s card.

In the opening Group One of the meeting, the Queen Anne, the Hong Kong superstar Able Friend will take on the French Meydan winner Solow. Able Friend may be up against it facing the strong field that includes the 2014 Guineas victor Night Of Thunder and the useful Toormore.

Gleneagles will be a strong favourite for another Group One victory when he runs in the St James’s Palace, but may be given more to think about by the French challenger Make Believe.

Sole Power would be a popular winner if he can lift a third Kings’ Stand, in his way will be the talented Muthmir who is well fancied.


US trainer Wesley Ward is confident in a bold show from this two-year-old. The handler knows what it takes to win at the Royal meeting and expect this to add to his already impressive tally of winners.


Talk is that this US filly is roughly on par with Ward’s previous winners. If that is the case the whispers surrounding the horse should be listened to.


Archer would have noted that the trainer doesn’t believe they have got to the bottom of this talented sprinter yet. With a good win in France latest and bundles of talent Archer would have been on board.


This group two winner has plenty of ability and was not far behind Muthmir on his last outing.  This Lucky Chancer has run into places in big races before and looks worth a gamble at odds of 50/1.

Crockford’s Royal Ascot gambles on day one:

Toormore e/w (Queen Anne 2.30), Finnegan (Coventry 3.05), Muthmir and Spirit Quartz e/w (Kings’s Stand 3.40), Gleneagles (St James’s Palace 4.20), Clondaw Warrior e/w (Ascot Stakes 5.00) and Ruby Notion e/w (Windsor Castle 5.35)

(Featured Photograph – Ascot by Stuart Rice)

Royal Ascot 2014: Due Diligence in Diamond Jubilee

Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore will take Due Diligence in the Group One Diamond Jubilee Stakes on the final day of Royal Ascot

US import Due Diligence will look to make it a third win in the row this season when he lines up in the Group One Diamond Jubilee Stakes. The successful partnership of jockey Ryan Moore and trainer Aidan O’Brien will team up in the six furlong sprint, hoping to defeat the fourteen rivals made up of a number of quality horses coming down in trip.

Aljamaaheer was third at Newmarket when being tried over a shorter distance and was doing his best work at the finish. If he gets it right today he will be a very strong danger to Due Diligence. Another threat to the Moore ride will be his stablemate Darwin (again another ex-American contender) who has always been well respected. The globe-trotting Gordon Lord Byron and Slade Power will set the standard in this. Montiridge if regaining his form should not be discounted. But Due Diligence of the entries suggests that Moore and O’Brien will pick up the prize.

US trainer Ashley Ward will look to continue his rich vein of form at the meeting with Crown The Kitten in the opener and Ninjago is well placed for a bold attempt in the Wokingham.


Always highly regarded by connections this one time Derby favourite has had a brace of decent efforts this season.  Both at Sandown and Chester he was beaten by the in-form Noble Mission who certainly provides a strong franking to Telescope’s form.


Earlier this week Hootenanny continued US trainer Ashley Ward’s excellent form at the Royal meeting. Expect this another bold show from another of his American raiders.

Crockford’s Royal Ascot Gambles on Day Five:

Duke of Edinburgh (3.05) – Aussie Reigns e/w and Havana Cooler e/w

Diamond Jubilee (4.25) – Due Diligence e/w

Wokingham (5.00) – Ninjago e/w and Sirius Prospect e/w

Queen Alexandra (5.35) – Whiplash Willie

Crockford’s other gambles around the courses:

Ayr – Pretzel (2.20), Norse Blues e/w (2.55), Bear Behind (4.15) and Valonia e/w (4.50)

Newmarket – Soul Brother (4.40) and Dutch Art Dealer e/w (5.50)

Redcar – Heavy Metal e/w (3.15)


(Featured Photograph – Ascot on Champions Day 2012 by Stuart Rice)

Royal Ascot 2014: Rizeena To Be Crowned In Coronation Stakes

Clive Brittain’s filly Rizeena looks set to be crowned as a leading miler in the Coronation Stakes on day four of Royal Ascot 2014

The veteran trainer has always had high hopes for Rizeena and was many punters idea of this year’s 1000 Guineas winner. Those plans didn’t work out at Newmarket but she now looks well placed to get back to Group One winning ways. In what is a strong and competitive renewal of the Coronation Stakes, Clive Brittain’s filly will have to get the better of the highly regarded Lucky Kristale and Sandiva.

Both Sandiva and Lucky Kristale could not challenge in the Guineas and will hope for better form in this contest. Two other threats to Rizeena will come from the well respected Kiyoshi and My Titania who both will be making their seasonal debuts. However, given Rizeena’s form against her male counterparts last year she should have the class and ability to take this race.

Richard Hannon’s one-time Derby fancy Bunker makes an interesting runner in the King Edward VII and Mark Jonston’s hardy Hartnell should take the Queen’s Vase.


Always highly regarded and the talk of the gallops, Rizeena will repay her trainers faith in her and get Clive dancing in the Winners Enclosure again. Last year’s form is solid and she was by no means disgraced on her seasonal reappearance in the 1000 Guineas last month.


Talk of the tracks last season and considered a potential Derby horse in the closed season. If he puts his disappointment in the Dante behind him he looks big each way odds to land this prize.

Crockford’s Royal Ascot Gambles on Day Four:

Albany (2.30) – Bitter Lake e/w

Wolfreton (3.05) – Wigmore Hall e/w

Coronation Stakes (4.25) – Sandiva e/w and Lucky Kristale e/w

Queen’s Vase (5.00) – Hartnell

Buckingham Palace (5.35) – Excellent Guest e/w


(Featured Photograph – Ascot on Champions Day 2012 by Stuart Rice)

Royal Ascot 2014: Brown Panther To Deny Another Royal Win

Brown Panther to deny another win for Her Majesty The Queen’s Estimate in the Gold Cup on Day Three of Royal Ascot

Michael Owen’s Brown Panther looks set to deny a second Gold Cup win for Her Majesty’s Estimate in what is the best renewal for years. Estimate was a battling winner twelve months ago but this year faces stronger opposition in the form of Brown Panther (the impressive Chester and Sandown winner) and 2013 St Leger victor Leading Light.

Leading Light has all of the hallmarks of an outstanding stayer and adds classic quality to the Gold Cup field. O’Brien has dominated the Gold Cup in the past with the likes of Yeats and Fame And Glory, and could do again with this year’s favourite.  However, the value in the race would appear to be Brown Panther who is proven at longer trips and is in the form of his life.

Not to be overlooked is Murtagh’s Royal Diamond and the stylish Botti horse Tac De Boistron who both have strong place claims.


The unbeaten Ballydoyle juvenile looks set to continue his winning ways in the Norfolk Stakes with Joseph O’Brien booked. Impressive last month at the Curragh, this race does not look the strongest renewal with a smaller than usual field and should be within this promising two-year-old’s grasp.


Great preparation for the race with two ready wins in the Ormonde and Henry II Stakes. Michael Owen’s Brown Panther was very impressive when taking the Goodwood Cup last season. Expect another bold show when he pounces on his rivals in the home straight.

Crockford’s Royal Ascot Gambles on Gold Cup Day:

Tercentenary (3.05) – Barley Mow e/w

Ribblesdale (3.45) – Vazira

Britannia (5.00) – Chatez e/w

King George V (5.35) – Windshear e/w


(Featured Photograph – Brown Panther at Glorious Goodwood by Stuart Rice)

Royal Ascot 2014: Classic Fillies To Shine

Last year’s Classic fillies Treve and Sky Lantern are set to shine on day two of Royal Ascot 2014

The four-year-old fillies Treve and Sky Lantern are set to shine on day two of the Royal meeting. Treve will take on her rivals in the Group One Prince of Wales’s Stakes where the super-filly is set to meet the globe-trotting Dank, Magician and The Fugue. The Arc winner lost her unbeaten title last time out when losing to Cirrus Des Aigles in France but she should bounce back to her winning ways against lesser opposition.

Sky Lantern was so impressive when taking the Coronation Stakes at the meeting last year, has her first outing of the season in the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes. The Hannon trained filly if retaining her ability should dispose of this field and may be given the most to think about by the rejuvenated Purr Along. The French filly Esoterique and the one time Guineas favourite Certify have to be respected.

John Ryan’s Ocean Tempest will carry top weight in a classy renewal of the Royal Hunt Cup. Winner of the Lincoln and with strong form in the course, it would not be a surprise if he is a big priced winner of the valuable handicap. Group horses such Trumpet Major, Farraaj and Steeler will provide a real test to their fellow runners.

Crockford’s Dead Cert – Treve (Prince Of Wales’s 3.45)

Last year’s super-filly Treve may have lost her unbeaten record but the Arc winner should have no problem in returning to the Winners Enclosure.  Cirrus Des Aigles has gone on to frank the superb form of this filly at Epsom. Expect another brilliant season.

Crockford’s Whisper – Giovanni Boldini (Jersey 2.30)

O’Brien’s horse had excellent form last season as a two-year-old and has so far under-performed this season. This whisper if bouncing back anywhere near his best holds very strong each way claims in this seven furlong contest.

Crockford’s Royal Ascot Gambles on Day Two:

Jersey (2.30) – Giovanni Boldini e/w 

Queen Mary (3.05) – Dangerous Moonlite e/w

Prince of Wales’s (3.45) – Treve

Duke Of Cambridge (4.25) – Sky Lantern and Purr Along e/w

Royal Hunt Cup (5.00) – Ocean Tempest e/w

Sandringham (5.35) – Majeyda e/w


(Featured Photograph – Sky Lantern at Glorious Goodwood by Stuart Rice)

Royal Ascot: Society To Rock The Bookmakers On Final Day

The Diamond Jubilee favourite Society Rock can rock the bookmakers with a win on the final day of Royal Ascot 2013

Many bookies will still be liking their wounds after Estimate’s victory in the Gold Cup for Her Majesty on Thursday. Crockford is certain that the favourite for the Diamond Jubilee will not provide them with any respite either. Society Rock looked as good as ever on his return at York and according to connections has come on since then. The leading sprinter relishes his races at Ascot and is sure to come with a finishing burst down the straight today. If the progressive filly Mince can recapture her form from last season she may be a threat along with the globe-trotting Gordon Lord Byron and the interesting three year old filly Rosdhu Queen. No punter will forget last year’s race where Black Caviar took all the headlines, the Aussie challenger today Sea Siren is certainly not in her league. Come 4pm the bookies would have suffered another satchel emptying loss with Society Rock.

Favourites may dominate proceedings on the final day with; Richard Hughes sweet on the chances of Bunker in the first, Mount Athos appearing to be head and shoulders above the rest in the Hardwicke and with Duke of Firenze and Rye House having outstanding claims for Sir Michael Stoute in the Wokingham and Duke of Edinburgh. Shahwardi is the favourite in the Queen Alexandra but may be vulnerable to the useful dual performers Mad Moose and Courtesy Call.

Duke Of Firenze
Will Duke Of Firenze follow up on his win in the Epsom Dash?

Crockford’s Dead Cert – Society Rock (Diamond Jubilee 3.45)

Brilliant winner on his reappearance at York back in May. This horse likes Ascot and has taken this race before in  2011. As long as he does not linger for too long in the stalls he is a certainty to deliver in the Diamond Jubilee and to establish himself as the 2013 top sprinter.

Crockford’s Whisper – Mad Moose e/w (Queen Alexandra 5.35)

This talented mercurial horse has outstanding claims if he is on a going day. Priced at about 20/1 he is massive odds if he decides to take part. Last time he raced he finished second in a Group Three behind today’s Hardwicke favourite Mount Athos and the time before that he beat Elidor who has won already at this year’s Royal meeting. This form is solid.

Archer’s Selection – Bunker (Chesham 2.30)

It would not have been missed on Archer that the master jockey Richard Hughes had declared that this is by far his best ride of the meeting – the meeting banker. Archer would have wanted the ride with that touting.

Crockford’s gambles on the final day of Royal Ascot 2013: 

Chesham (2.30) – Bunker

Hardwicke (3.05) – Mount Athos

Diamond Jubilee (3.45) – Society Rock, Mince e/w and Rosdhu Queen e/w

Wokingham (4.25) – Duke Of Firenze e/w and Shropshire e/w

Duke Of Edinburgh (5.00) – Rye House and Blue Surf e/w

Queen Alexandra (5.35) – Shahwardi, Mad Moose e/w and Courtesy Call e/w

Newmarket – Rainbow Rock e/w (2.15), Normal Equilibrium e/w (4.05) and Trojan Rocket (5.15)

Ayr – Tax Free e/w (2.25), Ponty Acclaim e/w (3.00), Luhaif e/w (3.35), Beacon Lodge e/w and Extraterrestrial e/w (4.15) and Sand Boy (5.25)

Down Royal – Exhortation e/w (3.30), Scatter Dice and Maggie Dalton e/w (4.00), Salhooda (4.35), Nabal Ali (5.10) and Manhattan Swing (5.45)

Redcar – Galician (3.15)


(Featured Photograph – Society Rock at Ascot by Stuart Rice)

(Photograph – Duke Of Firenze & Ryan Moore at Epsom by Stuart Rice)





Royal Ascot: Coronation of Just The Judge

Day four of Royal Ascot will see the Coronation of Just The Judge as the leading three year old filly in the feature race

The Irish 1000 Guineas winner was just denied of a victory at Newmarket in the Guineas by Sky Lantern. When they meet in the Coronation Stakes it will decide who is the leading three year old filly over a mile. Punters would be wrong to think that this a two horse race between the Hills and Hannon fillies, with the likes of the useful Viztoria and Purr Along in the field. Viztoria has put in a number of impressive performances in Ireland and Purr Along is held in very high regard by her connections. Sky Lantern may have been successful at Newmarket under an excellent ride by Hughes but Just The Judge may well have needed the run and now looks the stronger of the two.

Day three of the meeting was such a special and poignant day for many reasons, with Her Majesty the Queen’s Estimate winning the Gold Cup and No Nay Never setting a new course record, but surely above them all was the success of Riposte for Lady Cecil in the Ribblesdale. Sir Henry had such an affinity with the meeting where he saddled seventy five winners over his unrivalled training career. For Warren Place to send out another was a fitting tribute to the master trainer who so loved Royal Ascot. Day four could see two more winners for Lady Cecil, with the unbeaten sister of Frankel Joyeuse looking set to win the Albany Stakes and Disclaimer have strong claims in the Queen’s Vase, the race that has been dedicated to the memory of Sir Henry.

Successful with War Command and Declaration Of War the Ballydoyle team will continue their campaign at the meeting with Battle Of Marengo in the King Edward VII.  Battle Of Marengo was far from disgraced in the Derby and on form alone should take the race. However, if Fantastic Moon can regain some of his two year old form and promise he would pose a significant danger to the Derby fourth.

Sheikfayedroad won nicely at Epsom and could add a Royal Ascot win to his tally in the Wolfreton, where the main opposition will come from Richard Hughes and Bana Wu. The booking of Joseph O’Brien on Mont Ras in the Buckingham Palace has caught Crockford’s eye in what looks an open affair.

Crockford’s Dead Cert – Just The Judge (Coronation 3.45)

Good winner of the Irish Guineas and second on her seasonal debut in the English equivalent. The news from the gallops before the season started was that she is a flying machine and her racing has proved that. Just The Judge will stamp her authority on this excellent field.

Crockford’s Whisper – Fantastic Moon e/w (King Edward VII 3.05)

Impressive winner at Sandown last season and if he can regain that form he is sure to run Battle Of Marengo close in a what could be a weak field. This horse has always been held in high regard and is too long a price at 16/1.

Crockford’s gambles on day four of Royal Ascot 2013:

Albany (2.30) – Joyeuse, Wonderfully e/w and Race Hunter e/w

King Edward VII (3.05) – Battle Of Marengo and Fantastic Moon e/w

Coronation (3.45) – Just The Judge, Purr Along e/w and Viztoria e/w

Wolfreton (4.25) – Sheikhzayedroad and Bana Wu e/w

Queen’s Vase – In Memory of Sir Henry Cecil (5.00) – Disclaimer

Buckingham Palace (5.35) – Mont Ras e/w


(Featured Photograph – Newmarket gallops by Stuart Rice)