The Racing UK presenter is in the Timeform Radio studio today for the first day of Royal Ascot 2012 - here are her selections
"Bated Breath's form sets the standard for the King’s Stand Stakes (Ascot 15:05)."
Back Bated Breath win and place in the 15:05 at Ascot
Unusually, Royal Ascot 2012 opens with not one but two processions. I favour Frankel in the match bet on comparative winning distances with The Queen. Anything longer than 1.21/5 is maximum-bet material and much better value than the Frankel v. Black Caviar market.
I doff my cap to you if you can find any other angle to the Queen Anne Stakes (Ascot 14:30) - at least, I would, were a fascinator not stapled to my head in fear of falling foul of the new dress code enforced by the 50-strong force of fashion police. With Strong Suit not a proven stayer, third is up for grabs but playing in the place market for one slot is not a good idea.
With doubts about his participation due to the going this week, Bated Breath has drifted to a good price (7.87/1 at the time of writing). Chris Stickels, Ascot's clerk of the course, is calling the ground good-to-soft. However, the straight track is so free-draining that I'm basing my betting on there being little cut in evidence anywhere except on the round course.
That will suit Bated Breath and his form sets the standard for the King's Stand Stakes (Ascot 15:05). In the ante-post markets, I had favoured the in-form and unlucky Wizz Kid at the prices, but the French filly is shorter than Roger Charlton's charge currently. That's plain wrong. You can read the Al Quoz Sprint to favour either Ortensia or Joy And Fun, so the latter's price is too long. Spirit Quartz and Stepper Point are lively outsiders.
Power looks beatable in an open St James's Palace Stakes (Ascot 15:45). The desire to settle Born To Sea in the Irish 2,000 Guineas consigned him to being badly positioned, but he's channelling his ability better with every run this year. Of the more unexposed horses, The Nile is greatly progressive, better drawn and the choice of William Buick from three John Gosden-trained horses. He is unproven with cut in the ground. Make him the main bet and save on John Oxx's representative.
Sir Prancelot is a good favourite in a competitive renewal of the Coventry Stakes (Ascot 16:25) and, combined with a strong pair each from Aidan O'Brien and Charles Hills, that makes the price of Dawn Approach distinctly unappealing. Funk Soul Brother, in particular, looks too long at 26.025/1 given the form of his York success has worked out so well.
The Ascot Stakes (Ascot 17:00) is, typically, a great race. Four well-drawn horses appear over-priced: Western Pearl, Fiulin, Spice Fair and Twin Soul. Fiulin ran well over hurdles for David Pipe last time out and is well-handicapped on his best Flat form, which showed progression at two miles. You only have to forgive Spice Fair's last run on fast ground to be saving on an otherwise improving horse.
The closing Windsor Castle (Ascot 17:35) features a number of progressive juveniles but, on the basis that the ground will be the soundest yet encountered by Smoothtalkinrascal, he's the selection to improve again.
2pts win, 2 pts place Bated Breath (Ascot 15:05)
1pt win 1pt place The Nile (Ascot 15:45)
1pt win Born To Sea (Ascot 15:45)
Half point win, half point place Funk Soul Brother (Ascot 16:25)
1pt win 1pt place Fiulin (Ascot 17:00)
1pt win Spice Fair (Ascot 17:00)
Half pt win, half point place Smoothtalkinrascal (Ascot 17:35)