Royal Ascot Day 1 Picks & Analysis for June 15

As the Royal Meeting opens this Tuesday, John Gosden headlines the Queen Anne with accomplished miler, Palace Pier (pictured above). See all of J.N. Campbell's picks and analysis, below ...
As the Royal Meeting opens this Tuesday, John Gosden headlines the Queen Anne with accomplished miler, Palace Pier (pictured above). See all of J.N. Campbell's picks and analysis, below ...
  • Royal Ascot Day 1 Picks

Royal Ascot Day 1 Picks

  • Race 1: 6-4-3-1
  • Race 2: 8-17-6-11
  • Race 3: 8-3-6-16
  • Race 4: 4-6-11-1
  • Race 5: 8-19-1-6
  • Race 6: 13-4-2-7
  • Race 7: 10-1-12-14
  • Best Bet: Palace Pier, Queen Anne
  • Best Value: Gisburn, Coventry
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ROYAL ASCOT DAY 1: Tuesday 15 June

Over 5 days of racing at Ascot, on full display will be the very best that turf racing on the flat has to offer. As Her Majesty the Queen presides over what is known as the Royal Meeting, we at HorseRacing.net/us have you covered when it comes to signature “tips.”

Below, you will find select analysis of some of the biggest contests to be determined during this highly-specialized event. Be sure to check the weather reports as the week progresses, as it will have a major impact on the “footing.”

If you're looking for picks elsewhere around the country on Tuesday, be sure to check out our Free Horse Racing Picks via the gold button below.

Horse Racing Picks

Race 1: Queen Anne Stakes (G1), 1 Mile, 4+

The kickoff to “Royal A” is always this race, the Group 1 Queen Anne. Named for the monarch who was on the throne when it all began, this 1 Mile straight shot is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” race. All expenses paid to Del Mar for the Fan Duel Mile (G1) …

Drawn in for this year’s race, the headliner and presumptive favorite will be John and Thady Gosden’s able-bodied miler, Palace Pier #6(11). The Godolphin runner out of Kingman (GB) is one of the best in the business right now, and the 4-yr-old is as professional as they come. Last out in the A Shaqab Lockinge Stakes (G1), the 4-yr-old mastered the field with Frankie Dettori at the controls. That was a solid field of 10 others, mind you, but this one flew better. Coming into Ascot, he should have command, if his jockey can get him in the clear. This is Dettori we are talking about—probably the greatest rider of this age.

Others to consider are all long shots … as far as I am concerned. Many are former BC alums like O’Brien’s pair, Lope Y Fernandez #3(8) and Order of Australia #5(7), or O’Meara’s Lord Glitters #4(4) (2019 Champ). They are good on the grass, but will have a tough time keeping pace late with Godsen’s ace.

One other note … I cannot help but mention the presence of Eve Houghton’s Accidental Agent #1/5 (2018 Champ), who in the space of a year won this race at high odds, then summarily walked out of the gate when he attempted to defend his title the next time around. It was just another example in horse racing of “you never know.” The gelding is back for another “go.” Can he outrun his odds? We shall see.

Wagering Opportunity: $100 Win, #6

 

Race 2: Coventry Stakes (G2), 6F, 2

On deck is a speed test for freshman runners that will be one of those races where an expansive field will invariably split into a pair of groups (one stand-side, the other towards the middle of the course). This race set-up will look very odd to American Thoroughbred enthusiasts who are used to 1-turn sprints on the grass. Historically, you can get some serious prices in these types of races because almost no one has consistently run in Group 1 Co.

Of course, backing Wesley Ward’s entry makes a ton of sense, especially since John Velazquez makes the trip across the Atlantic to vie for Ascot greatness. This time around he sends Kaufymaker #17(3), a filly who will be facing males for the first time, into a very difficult spot. She broke her maiden on debut at Keeneland in one of the 4½F “Baby Races,” that Ward and Keeneland have become so famous for winning and hosting. If she can elevate her speeds figs, and Johnny V can figure out a suitable trip, then she could be dangerous breaking from that extreme rail-side post. It will not be a cinch by any means.

I like Ward’s chances to finally break through in this race (he has never won the Coventry), but I also have another idea about who might win. For a number of years, I have continually backed Richard Hannon’s entries because invariably he will send one to the Breeders’ Cup. Americans do not follow his progress closely enough, and that could be why they end up being so high on the tote. This time around, Hannon (the son of a trainer) has a couple of entries, but I especially like Gisburn #8(7). An Irish bred, this colt is out of Ribchester, enjoyed his own Royal Ascot glory a few years back. In a recent “go” at Newbury, this sprinter of Hannon’s was excellent up against 12 others. The pedigree, his fitness, and his speed are assets.

Others to use are Ebro River #6(1), Masseto #10(10), Secret Strength #11(14), Tolstoy #15(5), and Vintage Clarets #16(16). Let’s use both of my 2 top selections, with some others rolled under, and get these going with a couple of wagers that should excite.

Wagering Opportunity: $25 WP, #8 and/or $2 Trifecta 8 w 17 w 6/10/11/15/16

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Race 3: King’s Stand Stakes (G1), 5F, 3+

The more experienced turf burners will be out in force in the King’s Stand, and I for one, am pleased to see them show. This should be a very good contest, and one to wager on if you are so inclined. Who will end up at the top of the tote? That is difficult to discern at this point.

Most would think that Charlie Hills’ Battaash #2(9) should warrant consideration, based on his 2020 campaign. But lest we forget, coming off-the-shelf, and showing your mug at Royal Ascot for a win is not that easy to do. I might look to Brendan Walsh’s Extravagant Kid #3(5), who was impressive back in March in the Al Quoz Sprint (G1) on Dubai World Cup Night. Getting Frankie Dettori is a major coup, as he replaces Ryan Moore. A sprinter with deep experience, Walsh has him sharp coming into this one.

Add to the mix runners like Wesley Ward’s Maven #6(6), whose 2021 debut at Keeneland looked excellent, and we are going to have ourselves quite a hustle. Don’t leave out the Queen’s entry, King’s Lynn #5(16), and Tim Easterby’s Winter Power #16(7), because either of them could build on their current form.

While I am certainly partial to both Walsh and Ward’s entries, I prefer the power and speed of a gelding like Oxted #8(14) from the barn of Roger Teal. The son of Mayson (GB) was pretty competitive in both Newmarket and York over his last 2 runs. That came after a try in Riyadh during the Saudi Cup undercard. He should be ready after a month’s rest, and I like returning to Cieren Fallon as pilot. That speaks to stability.

Let’s see if we can put together a ticket that is worthy of cashing.  

Wagering Opportunity: $2 Trifecta, 8 w 2/3/6 w 2/3/5/6/16

 

Race 4: St. James Palace Stakes (G1), 7F213y, 3

A group of hearty milers are set to go in this annual renewal of the St. James Palace, which was a center for centuries of power. In this struggle on the turf track, you could support an entry like Jessica Harrington’s Lucky Vega #6(11). This Irish bred has superb class, and will be handled by her “house” jock, the able-bodied Shane Foley. Add in the Bolger outfit’s router, Poetic Flare #11(7), who was 2nd at The Curragh in Irish 2,000 Guineas (G1), and we have the makings of a war.

I want to use these runners in several wagers, but I also like Aidan O’Brien’s Battleground #1(2). The colt came to America last year for the Juvenile Turf (G1), and finished 2nd to Fire At Will. Hopefully he is ready for Ascot because his 2021 debut was a miserable effort. O’Brien knows how to make adjustments.

Along with this pair, I also like the Charlie Appleby runners who are both owned by Godolphin. Highland Avenue #4(12) and La Barrosa #5(5) are able to make this jump, and with the way that these connections are going lately, I would not be surprised to see them in the winner’s enclosure at the end of this race.

With such a wide-open affair, it will not be a foregone conclusion that favorites will not succeed. Here is the play …

Wagering Opportunity: $2 Superfecta Box, 1/4/5/6/11

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Enjoy the very best that the 5-day event at Royal Ascot has to offer! Best of Luck!

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