Royal Ascot Tips: Joe Tuffin's Nap, Lay and Big-Priced fancy

Royal Ascot Tips: Battaash could be a favourite to avoid.
Royal Ascot Tips: Battaash could be a favourite to avoid.

Joe Tuffin picks out his nap, lay and big-priced fancy for Royal Ascot, which takes place next week and features five days of fantastic racing...


Jim Bolger has received plenty of praise this season, and correctly so, for the performances from all inmates at his stable this season, but his placement of horses has likewise been lauded, his name often featuring on most major racecards. This is shown none more so than by Poetic Flare, the winner of the 2000 Guineas and contestant in both the French and Irish variations to boot.

The son of Dawn Approach has been on a mini European tour this month and ran impressively in all showings with the Poule d'Essai des Poulains sixth providing the only blip, and he is surely fancied to bag a second Group 1 of the year what looks a fairly sub par St James's Palace Stakes. He sits at the top of the market with a best price of 7/2, which could be value against the second-favourite Mostahdaf, an unbeaten Frankel colt for John & Thady Gosden who was last seen winning by half-a-length in Listed company to third favourite Highland Avenue. The form of that event is hard to get excited about with the third yet to be seen again and the fourth, Nando Parrado, showcasing pretty poor form - so it doesn’t look like either match up to the favourite. Battleground and Lucky Vega also feature near the top of the market but the latter has been beaten twice by Poetic Flare this season, and Battleground has a lot to answer for after his 2000 Guineas flop. With all these question marks around Poetic Flare’s opposition, he looks a good value bet to get Royal Ascot off to a flyer on Tuesday.

St James's Palace Stakes
Poetic Flare silk

Poetic Flare


Bet £20 On Horse Racing & Get It Back As CASH If It Loses

#Ad. New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using Cards or Apple Pay will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply. Paddy's Rewards Club: Get a £10 free bet when you place 5x bets of £10+. T&Cs apply. 18+


The sprinting division is currently suffering from it’s lack of any real quality, with the ever speedy Battaash dominating the division for the last few seasons, but I expect this year may see the start of the changing of the guard and I think staying clear of him in the King's Stand Stakes may be the play on the Tuesday at Royal Ascot.

Charlie Hills’ bullet horse has an unbeaten record first time out, went unbeaten last year and is some 5lb clear at the ratings, so why back against him? Well, as has always been the case with Battaash, you can never truly say what you’ll get from him and this year there are more questions than ever. His achilles heel was always his inability to settle, throwing away races before they had even started, but that didn’t seem to be much of a problem last year as he went three from three - has he simply matured out of this mental block, or did the lack of crowds help him out? Will their return see him blow up again? Then there’s his age, while his mental maturity seems to have come on, his physical ability will not be improving anytime soon and can you expect a seven-year-old to pick up that blistering pace on his first start since August?

Of course there are then his rivals. As previously stated he is some 5lb clear of them all on ratings, with Oxted his closest rival - though all his form comes over six-furlongs. Brendan Powell’s eight-year-old Extravagant Kid is 9lb below him, though he looks fairly exposed, but what about the three-year-old Winter Power? The King Power owned colt looked to improve with every race last season, and was a facile, made all winner of a Listed event on his reappearance, will we see him step up once again and claim a Group 1 with a weight advantage? There’s no doubt that Battaash is the form pick in the race, but at 7/4 there are far too many question marks above his head for me to be siding with him at that sort of price.

Big-Priced Selection

For my big-priced fancy I’ve looked into the Ascot Gold Cup, a race dominated by Stradivarius in recent years. Now, I almost had the super stayer as my lay of the week, but as a huge fan of his I simply couldn’t bring myself to do that - I do think he may be vulnerable however and therefore it may be worth playing Amhran Na Bhfiann at a huge price. Last year's Derby third and the woe of all English commentators/pundits has been very quiet since placing in the world’s most prestigious classic, but his season has been tailored around staying and namely this race at Ascot. After a facile 13-length win at Dundalk on his seasonal reappearance, he went to Leopardstown to contest the Listed Savel Beg Levmoss Stakes - which featured a smart field of six including two time Irish St Leger winner Search For A Song and Melbourne Cup winner Twilight Payment. 

It speaks volumes of what was expected from Amhran Na Bhfiann as a stayer that he was sent off the 5/4 favourite against these smart rivals but it just didn’t seem to click, and jockey Seamie Heffernan did say that his colt, who eventually finished fourth by 11-lengths, just wasn’t comfortable at any stage of the race. Despite being beaten turning for home, he managed to plug on pretty nicely which would suggest the 2m4f trip at Ascot will be no concern, and at a huge price of 40/1 he has to be worth a roll of the dice at the Royal meeting, with even an ounce of the form that Ballydoyle expected him to show last time out surely putting him right there. 

Ascot Gold Cup
 Amhran Na Bhfiann silk

Amhran Na Bhfiann

Royal Ascot Odds
Advert Disclaimer is a free online resource which endeavour to provide helpful and useful content and odds comparison to its visitors. Please be advised that accepts affiliate commission from the companies appearing on the site, and agreed commission levels impact the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented on the website. Any ratings that appear on this site is determined by our subjective opinion of the brand but also based on market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, commission paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page don't imply our endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our terms and conditions, all statements and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including odds, which appear on this site is subject to change at any time.

100% Up To £50 Welcome Bonus + 25 Spins

#AD 18+; New bettors get 100% of deposit up to £50; Once per household; Min deposit £15 (no Skrill/Neteller); Wager a total of 8 times deposit + bonus, with max qualifying bet stake equal to your initial bonus amount; Bonus expires after 60 days; Min odds of 4/5 on singles, or 2/5 per leg for acca; Some bet types excluded; Free spins validity: 7 days; Free spins max. winnings = £100; See full terms; Terms apply.
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets
#AD 18+. Play Safe. New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake,  min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after  settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after  the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply.
Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets (APP Only)
#AD New UK, IE & Malta customers only. 18+. Min £10/€10 first deposit using Debit Card or Trustly. Place a bet of £10 at min odds of 1.5. Free bets expire in 90 days. Full T&Cs apply.
Welcome Offer
#AD Bet £10 & Get £50 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £60 in Bonuses
#AD New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
Bet £20 & Get It Back As CASH If It Loses
#AD New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any Horse Racing market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Money Back As Cash Up To £20
#AD Max £20 refund on first bet. Bet must be placed in first 7 days of account opening. Only deposits made via Debit Card will be eligible for the promotion. T&Cs apply. 18+
Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus
#AD Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager bonus amount x40 within 14 days • Wagering req. vary by game • Withdrawal restrictions and Full T&C’s apply. 18+
Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets
#AD Offer includes a free £1 Race Index spread bet to try out our exciting 50-25-10 race markets. Place a £10 fixed odds bet at minimum odds of 1/2. Get 2 x £10 free fixed odds bets + 2 x £5 free Winning Favourites spread bets. Bet with live streaming on all racing and greyhounds! Ts&Cs Apply. 18+
Bet £10 Get £20 In Free Bets
#AD Min stake £10. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). First bet only. Free bets expire in 7 days. Cashed out bets won’t apply. Payment method restrictions. Online UK customers only. 30 days to qualify for £20 in Free Bets. 18+. T&Cs apply
£25 Free Bet + 10 Free Spins
If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day's betting, QuinnBet will refund 50% of your losses as a Free Bet up to £25 (min 3 bets) Plus 10 Free Spins on Asgard Warriors. Even if your account is up, you're guaranteed a £5 Free Bet Plus 10 Free Spins provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at the minimum odds. T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only |
Latest racing results
1stThe Game Is On
3rdLetter Of The Law
2ndLethal Touch
1stSir Rodneyredblood
3rdBlue Venture
View All Today's Results