RACING fan Gaurav Chaddah (@GauravChaddah) shares his NAP, his best each-way bet and the market leader he suspects is most vulnerable on Day 1 of Royal Ascot on Tuesday.
The NAP, the lay and the each-way on Day 1 at Aintree
A mouthwatering week of action at Royal Ascot kicks-off on Tuesday, with no shorter than three Group 1s, with the highlight being the St James' Palace Stakes at 4:20.
Here I'll be looking at my NAP for the opening day, as well as a horse at an each-way price to support, as well as a well-fancied horse to oppose.
NAP: 5:35 – Magic Wand (5/1 Bet365)
Magic Wand takes a massive drop down in class here, having been plying her trade in Group 1s for the last year and has some smart pieces of form to her name.
She was beaten in the Oaks last year but did win the Ribblesdale here impressively. That was her last win but since then she has been running exclusively in Group 1s and hasn’t been beaten by far. She lost a head by Kitesurf at Longchamp in September when slowly away and perhaps found the 12 furlongs at Meydan last time a little too much.
She returns to a more suitable distance here, last having run over it in the Pegasus Invitational Stakes, which is certainly here most impressive piece of form. That day she was beaten by Bricks And Mortar, who since has won three races, including two Grade 1s and finished ahead of Delta Prince, who also has won a Grade 1.
Magic Wand steps into Listed company here and I am very confident on her chances.
Latrobe (9/1 Ladbrokes) will be her most likely challenger, having won the Irish Derby last year and a repeat of that run would see him go close but he’s been disappointing since, whilst Elarqam (4/1 Bet365) returned to winning ways last time and could also go well but the pair have to give weight away to the selection.
LAY: 3:40 – Battassh (2/1 Betfair)
Battaash on his day may be one of the best, if not the best FIVE furlong sprinter in the world but I'm happy to oppose him at the prices.
Battaash is often known to be freaked out on big occasions or sometimes can be guilty of using up his energy before the race even starts. He has never won at Ascot before and it's difficult to know what horse is going to turn up.
If all goes well and he goes down to the start in sound shape, it could be difficult to peg him back like at Haydock last month but with the buzz and noise of the Royal Meeting, it may distract him and he has plenty of high quality opposition to be ware of.
Each-Way: 3:40 – Mabs Cross (9/1 Bet365)
He was beaten by the slightest margin in the Nunthorpe at York, two-and-a-half lengths clear of both Battaash and Blue Point, the former then fourth to him when he won the Abbaye on Arc Day.
He was impressive on his reappearance, beating the re-opposing Equilateral (20/1 Bet365) by a neck, giving him four pounds whilst he also takes on Sergei Prokofiev (8/1 Betfair) again, who that day was fourth, in receipt of 10 pounds.
Blue Point won this last year and loves Ascot but I think it’s always risky backing horses who haven’t run since a Meydan campaign and am happy to oppose him here.