Trends – courtesy of http://www.thestatsdontlie.com
Age – 8 of the last 12 winners have been aged 4
Price – 5 of the last 12 winners have been favourites, 11/12 winners have been in the top 3 in the betting
Last Run – 6/12 winners won on their previous run before the Queen Anne Stakes, 10/12 winners ran within the last 31 days
Previous Course Form – 5/12 winners had at least 1 previous run at Ascot, 5 of the 5 had a previous win at Ascot
Previous Distance Form – 11/12 winners had at least 4 previous runs over 1 mile, 11/12 winners had at least 1 previous win over 1 mile
Previous Flat Form – 10/12 winners had at least 9 previous flat runs, 9/12 had at least 5 previous flat wins
Rating – 9/12 winners had a rating of 112 or higher
Group 1 Wins – 10/12 winners had at least 1 previous win in a group 1 race
Group 2 Wins – 8/12 winners had at least 1 previous win in a group 2 race
Season Form – 11/12 winners had at least 1 run that season, 8/12 winners had at least 1 win that season
The first Group One of this year’s Royal Ascot festival is a wide open looking Queen Anne Stakes over the straight mile. The key piece of form seems to be the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes run at Newbury in May. MUSTASHARY 9/2 ran out a comfortable winner by 2 1/4 lengths over the reappearing Laurens.
He was very strong at the finish and in my opinion, will be seen to better effect over slightly further but still rates a solid second favourite here and on all known form should be the market leader. Despite being six it’s unlikely the lightly raced Mustashary is done improving and this stiffer mile at Ascot has already seen him run out a winner three years ago and with his form lines stacking up nicely, he looks the ideal progressive type for a race of this nature. The hint must be taken if his trainer Sir Michael Stoute runs his six-year-old here considering he has not had a runner in the race since Zacinto in 2010 and has won it 3 times since 2000. Sir Michael Stoute is a trainer you want to keep on side at this meeting and despite the age stat being the only concern, there are very few negatives against his runner and unless the money continues to pour in for Le Brivido it’s likely he will go off favourite.
Despite how much I fancy Mustashary for this race I do think there are a few prices that are simply just wild! and considering this is a windy Group 1, I think ROMANISED 40/1 (365) could be seriously underestimated. The former Irish 2,00 Guineas winner shaped very well in the Lockinge Stakes last month to finish 3 1/4 lengths behind Mustashary despite not having the clearest of runs and being bumped inside the final furlong. Plenty of eyes were drawn to Le Brivido finishing well after a tricky passage but it’s fair to say Romanised suffered the same fate and the price discrepancy of 4/1 and 40/1 makes no sense at all. His previous runs at Ascot (0-3) are likely to have been taken into consideration by the odds compilers and if that’s the case, then they simply haven’t looked close enough. He ran in the Group 1 QE 2 stakes at Ascot on soft ground in October which would not have suited given all of his form has come on lightning-quick ground but to his credit, he shaped extremely well before receiving slight interference and fading inside the final furlong finishing 9th behind Roaring Lion and 1 length behind Laurens. His run at this meeting last year in the St James Palace Stakes saw him slowly away from the gates, 12 lengths off the leader (US Navy Flag) after 3 furlongs when they set a blistering pace and he had to charter a wide course around the final bend into the home straight circling the field. He was essentially given far too much to do but stayed on encouragingly. So despite the bare form of his Ascot runs the track should not inconvenience him any more than the other runners, in fact, it may help.
This stiffer mile will definitely suit him and considering he fits plenty of the trends including only being a 4yo with lots of scope for improvement 40/1 looks huge, he certainly won’t be that on the day. Connections have said that this is the next target for him before trying a step up in trip so it wouldn’t be mad to think that they may decide to ride him handier this time around and given there is no lack of pace on the front end connections may just use his staying power over this stiff finish and he has solid credentials for a each way bet.
Queen Anne Stakes Group 1 – Royal Ascot
Mustashary 9/2 – 1pt win
Romanised 40/1 – 1pt e/w