Royal Ascot Day 1 Tips: Five bets for the opening day

We have five tips from our top tipster Chris Baker on day 1 of Royal Ascot.
We have five tips from our top tipster Chris Baker on day 1 of Royal Ascot.

I have picked out five bets for the first day of Royal Ascot 2020. Good luck if you decide to follow.

13:50 – 1m Queen Anne Stakes (Group 1)

Seven of the last ten winners of this race had already scored at Group 1 level and nine of the last ten were aged four or five. Those statistics point you straight towards Circus Maximus, who won last year’s St James’s Palace Stakes, and BILLESDON BROOK (NAP – 0.5 point each way bet at 20/1). The admirable Richard Hannon-trained mare won the 1000 Guineas in 2018 and added a second Group 1 when landing the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket towards the end of last season. She made a very pleasing seasonal reappearance at Kempton recently, finishing second under a 7lb penalty. It bodes well that she was reported to be in need of the run that day, and she has the advantage of a 3 lb mares’ allowance here. I’m also a big fan of Sir Michael Stoute’s MUSTASHRY (0.5 point each way bet at 12/1), who won the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes last season. Although he is now seven years old, he remains lightly raced, goes well fresh and ended last season with an impressive Group 2 win at Newmarket.

Tip

13:50 Ascot
Billesdon Brook silk

Billesdon Brook (EW)

lost

Tip

13:50 Ascot
Mustashry silk

Mustashry (EW)

lost

14:25 – 1m4f Ribblesdale Stakes (Group 2)

John Gosden and Frankie Dettori teamed up to win this race last year with Star Catcher, and they look to have another good chance with the likely favourite - Frankly Darling. This daughter of Frankel was really impressive at Newcastle last time out and pulled five lengths clear of her rivals after travelling three wide for much of the race. However, slight preference is for Gosden’s other representative MISS YODA (1 point win bet at 6/1), who won the Listed Lingfield Oaks trial 11 days ago despite doing plenty wrong. After giving away ground at the start, she looked beaten approaching the final furlong but stayed on really well to score by over a length. That performance confirmed this daughter of Sea The Stars as a strong stayer, and her proven stamina over the trip could be a big advantage.

Tip

14:25 Ascot
Miss Yoda silk

Miss Yoda

lost
Chris Baker P&L

15:35 – 5f King’s Stand Stakes (Group 1)

Despite the fact that Battaash is a dual Group 1 and multiple Group 2 winner, including a scintillating success in the Nunthorpe Stakes last season, he clearly has his quirks. There is also a niggling doubt about his ability on stiff tracks such as Ascot, although he has finished second in this race in each of the last two years. Add in that there has not been a winning favourite in this race since 2009 and you have plenty of reasons to look for alternatives. My selection is the rapidly improving LIBERTY BEACH (1 point win bet at 8/1), who will receive allowances for both age and gender. John Quinn’s sprinter had an outstanding 2019 campaign, finishing fourth in the Queen Mary Stakes here before landing the Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood. She ended the season by finishing second in the Group 2 Lowther Stakes at York and then made a winning seasonal reappearance at Haydock nine days ago. That came in Listed company over six furlongs and prompted connections to state that the drop back to the minimum trip would see her at her best. Glass Slippers, the Prix de l’Abbaye winner, completes the shortlist.

Tip

15:35 Ascot
Liberty Beach silk

Liberty Beach

placed

16:10 – 1m Duke Of Cambridge Stakes (Group 2)

Jubiloso comes into this race with a good chance and has reportedly been pleasing connections in recent weeks. The unbeaten Miss O’Connor should also go well and Nazeef deservedly steps up in class after landing a four timer recently. In a wide open contest, the consistent Agincourt could also outrun her huge price. However, MAGIC LILY (0.5 point each way bet at 14/1) appears to have been overlooked in the market and seems a solid each way bet. Charlie Appleby’s mare finished third to Laurens in the 2017 Group 1 Fillies’ Mile but missed the 2018 season and most of 2019. She retains plenty of ability and won a couple of Group 2s in Meydan earlier this year before a second place finish in a Group 1 race there. Her return to European action came in the Dahlia Stakes last time out and she finished a respectable third. She should have come on for that run, drops back to a mile and is yet to finish out of the first three places on turf.

Tip

16:10 Ascot
Magic Lily silk

Magic Lily (EW)

lost
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