Come rain or shine, the crowds turn up for Royal Ascot. Regardless of the weather outside, I’m inside, studying form on behalf of my lovely and loyal subscribers to my VG Tips selections service.
Those members have been in contact with their plaudits for my racing tips last week. It did go rather well.
Charles e-mailed me:- “Thank you for your diligence and tipping information for Ascot which enabled me to have the best Ascot ever. Afaak was the inspired selection which set up the week. Yours is the best service by far.”
Royal Ascot began wet and got wetter. The ground got softer on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Here is part of the detailed analysis members received prior to the Class 2 Royal Hunt Cup on Wednesday:- “On much firmer ground, Settle for Bay won this race last year and Afaak was two and a quarter lengths behind in second. Afaak is six pounds better off as the pair meet again here. A two time winner over 1 mile, and a winner on soft going, Afaak has raced fourteen times and only finished outside of the first seven twice. It’s worth noting that in 2017 Afaak got within half a length of our winner of the last race on Tuesday, a Class 1 Listed affair, Addeybb.”
AFAAK (pictured above) was a favourite winner for members at odds of 20/1. Below you can watch him going one better than in the same race in 2018.
That race of 28 eventual runners provided profit on three fronts, and members were very happy as 33/1 each way tip Vale of Kent and 8/1 each way tip Raising Arizona were also placed in the first seven, so delivering further returns.
I followed up with my winning NAP in the Class 1 Listed Windsor Castle Stakes, the Aidan O’Brien trained SOUTHERN HILLS (photographed below). 10/1 was available when members received my tips the night before racing. 10/1 about a horse trained by the brains of Ballydoyle, and ridden by Ryan Moore, was too good to miss.
Here’s how I ended my write up for that race and Wednesday’s racing;- “I am pleasantly surprised by the price on offer for my selection, a son of the great Gleneagles, and I’m all over this O’Brien/Moore second time out selection.”
After Ascot, Brian signed up for another year:- “Superb tipping this week Vern.”
The first winner of Royal Ascot 2019 had come in the final race on day one, Tuesday. The day before the Class 1 Listed Wolfreton Stakes took place I wrote to members as follows:- “The Willie Haggas trained gelding called Addeybb loves turf with cut in it and was winning a Group 2 on Good to Soft ground at Sandown last year. The runner up that day has been placed and won Group class races since. The third horse that day has also won a Group 3.”
A 7/1 tip to members of VG Tips, ADDEYBB won by two and a half lengths and with plenty to spare.
Thursday was Frankie Dettori day at a slowly drying out Ascot. He rode the winner of the first four races. An incredible achievement that set Royal Ascot alight.
We were on his second ride of the day, SANGARIUS. This was one horse I remained loyal to, telling members:- “Sangarius has proved a little costly for me so far. A horse that has flattered to deceive since winning twice for us in 2018… last time out Sangarius was third behind King of Comedy in a Class 1 Listed contest at Sandown. On Tuesday at Ascot we saw the fast finishing King of Comedy, an each way tip from me, denied victory in the closing stages of Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes.
“The father of Sangarius, Kingman, has seen his progeny winning lots of races of late. Ryan Moore is replaced in the saddle of Sangarius by Frankie Dettori. A very good substitute. After giving up on past winning tips Lord Glitters and Circus Maximus on day one (I’ll get over it eventually), I am reluctant to turn my back on Sangarius on the back of two defeats.”
Sangarius was a 9/1 winning tip, coming home first by two and three quarter lengths in the Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes.
Member Phil said:- “Nice one Vernon. I appreciate your time and research.”
For the second year running, Stradivarius won the Ascot Gold Cup for members of VG Tips. I have remained faithful to the beautiful looking John Gosden trained 5 year old horse. Here’s what members read from me the day before racing:- “People have been cribbing how Stradivarius wins his races almost since the first of the six consecutive victories notched up since May of last year. Agreed, he never wins by big margins and always appears to do just enough. But he does it. Stradivarius is a looker. One of the finest looking thoroughbreds of recent times. He’ll be beaten eventually one day. But will that be today?
“He’s unbeaten in three outings at Ascot, including this very race 12 months ago. He faces better opponents this time around. At odds against currently, I’d back him to win again.”
Watch that race below.
By the time my 16/1 each way tip Turgenev went to post for the subsequent race, on course punters had backed him into 5/2. A ridiculously short price. But that was due to the Frankie Factor. Bookies were running scared as punters piled in to back Frankie to make it a fifth consecutive winner. Could he?
It certainly looked like he would one furlong from home. Turgenev went off fast, too fast as it turned out. Perhaps Frankie got carried away in the excitement of the moment. He said he had never heard the Ascot crowd cheer as loud as they did on ‘Frankie Thursday.’
Turgenev did too much too soon and was caught by the late running 28/1 shot, Biometric. Afterwards Dettori joked: “I would have won that twenty years ago.” Even though that second place finish cost me some big returns, I wasn’t about to waste time criticising a man riding as well as he ever has and who was on the crest of a wave that day. I’ve never ridden a racehorse. Frankie has forgotten more about that skill than I will ever know. Dettori does more good for the image of flat racing than any Public Relations Executive ever could.
Bookies claim Turgenev winning would have cost them hundreds of millions of pounds. They breathed a huge sign of relief when Biometric ran on late to win the Britannia Stakes. Shame!
Come Friday, the sun shone down on Royal Ascot. The racecourse was drying out fast. But winners rained down from the off for members of VG Tips members of VG Tips.
48 hours earlier I had given them the nod about DAAHYEH, which was set to race in the first race on Friday, the Group 3 Albany Stakes. Late afternoon on Wednesday I said this to my grateful subscribers:- “Before Raffle Prize won the first race on Wednesday, you could get a double figure prize about Daahyeh winning the Albany on Friday. But I’ve just been able to snatch 7/1 and some bookies have cut the price about Daahyeh to 4/1. That’s because Daahyeh beat Raffle Prize by a length and three quarters last time out. On Wednesday, Raffle Prize won a Group 2 race. On Friday, Daahyeh races in the lesser Group 3 Albany Stakes.”
24 hours later, on Thursday, I reiterated my confidence behind Daahyeh adding:- “Based on the past three years, Daahyeh appears to have a good draw in stall 14. The last three winners have emerged from 13, 15 and 16. Needless to say, the Roger Varian trained filly has been well backed by punters in the past 24 hours and the once available double figure price is now but a distant memory.”
Member Louis tweeted: “Big bets, big wins. Congrats!”
One of the most impressive winners at Royal Ascot was my next tip. JAPAN was excellent value at SP odds of 6/4. The Aidan O’Brien trained colt was a class above the opposition in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes. He won by four and a half lengths and members knew they were on a winner some distance from the winning post. He now has Group 1 entries in July for both Sandown and Ascot.
Watch that race in full here.
Ryan Moore rode Japan to victory and later on the same day also won for us aboard BAGHDAD, my 7/1 winner in the last race on Friday, the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes. Watch that race at the foot of this post.
One of my personal favourite successes came on Saturday, the final day of the meeting, with the 7/2 win by PINATUBO.
I was determined to take on on the well backed favourite in the Class 1 Listed Chesham Stakes, Lope Y Fernandez, which I didn’t fancy.
Here’s what members read 24 hours before the first race on Saturday:- “A single figure draw has been advantageous in the past three years. That can only boost confidence behind the Godolphin owned colt called Pinatubo. Drawn in stall 7, Pinatubo has won both outings so far, one on the all weather at Wolverhampton and the more recent win on turf at Epsom. It’s the subsequent form of those he beat that attracts. Last time out he beat Platinum Star by three and a quarter lengths. Earlier this week it was Platinum Star that got the closest to my 10/1 winner, Southern Hills in a Listed race at Ascot. On debut he beat an opponent called Misty Grey, which finished five lengths behind the winner of a Group 2 race earlier this week.
“James Doyle rides Pinatubo. Overall he has a good record at Ascot but this week has so far ridden just the one winner from 16 rides. I could only find fault with one of those defeated rides and Doyle looks to be on the best of the 17 declared to run.”
Member Giles tweeted:- “Great Ascot Vern. Thanks for your efforts.”
I confess I was so impressed by the manner of the victory you can watch below that I immediately backed Pinatubo to win the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in May of 2020. Odds of 12/1 are currently available. Only small stakes as anything could happen between now and then. Betting ante-post is high risk and backing a horse eleven months in advance are the actions of an optimist…or a crazy man! But, as I say, it’s only a small bet. Pinatubo impressed me hugely. He didn’t beat great opponents and will face much better horses next May, but he won easily at Royal Ascot.
Watch that race below.
Godolphin announced Monday the least surprising post Royal Ascot news. Their BLUE POINT has been retired to stud after becoming the first horse to win two Group 1 races in the same week at the royal meeting.
Having first beaten Battaash in the King’s Stand Stakes on Tuesday, the owners entered the 5 year old entire horse into the Diamond Jubilee Stakes on Saturday. This was a deliberate policy by Godolphin to maximise the worth of the horse at stud. I was on and I told members to back him to win his second race in the space of five days. 9/4 was widely available in the betting market 24 hours before the race. Blue Point won at an SP price of 6/4.
It was a good week of profitable punting at Royal Ascot. In addition to the winners, there were each way tips which were placed and returned profit. As ever, I am berating myself over a couple that got away at big prices. Horses I have tipped in the past but which I declined to tip last week as I did not think they were capable of winning Group 1 races. They did so on day one and I was annoyed with myself.
But that’s life as a punter. Good could always have been great. No matter. My members of VG TIPS are happy with their returns. Ultimately, that’s all that matters to me. It makes all the intense form study and hours upon hours of hard work worthwhile.
Member Peter contacted me to say: “If you played level stakes all week, and did a double bet for the NAPS, it returned 102% profit on your betting bank. Impressive work to keep that rate up over 5 days.”
In summary, I tipped 10 winners at Royal Ascot 2019, along with other each way tips that returned placed profit. A very good return.
A more detailed review, including the names of those I believe are horses to watch out for in the future, has been mailed to members.
If you want to join VG Tips on a monthly or annual basis, click on this link to become a member.