Both horses were tipped as win bets to members of my selections service.
Why? Simple. Because based on all previous known form, they were the best horses in their respective races.
And yet you could get odds of 5-1 for Gale Force Ten to win the opening race of the day, and 7-2 or 10-3 against Duntle just before the start of the second race. Great odds.
The Ballydoyle yard in Ireland had two winners on day 1 of the meeting and trainer Aiden O’Brien saw his son Joseph ride Gale Force Ten to victory in the Group 3 Jersey Stakes. It has been a great meeting for the Irish trained and owned horses and Gale Force Ten was my Nap bet of the day for members.In the second race, the Duke of Cambridge Stakes, I was confident Duntle would beat the likes of Dank and Chigun. Simply because of her previous form. And because she won a Group 1 race but had the win taken away from her in the stewards room that day. Duntle looked the winner from early on. Racing comfortably, well positioned and won with a bit in hand. Duntle will win again, though likely not at such a good price.
The big race of the day, the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, saw the odds on the front two in the market change on the day. Al Kazeem, trained by Roger Charlton, had beaten Ballydoyle’s Camelot when they met in Ireland. Al Kazeem began the day as the favourite but suddenly the money came for Camelot, and came big. One punter at the course bet £40.000 at 11-4. The price on Camelot shrunk and the price on Al Kazeem drifted out to 11-4.
The hope of many, myself included, was that former Derby winner Camelot would bounce back to winning form. But it was not to be. Camelot finished fourth. The race was won by Al Kazeem who ran superbly and it was the first of three winners on the day for jockey James Doyle.
It was an amazing turnaround in fortunes for the likeable and talented jockey.
Soon after finishing a disappointing last on Thistle Bird in the 3.05 race he was interviewed by Mick Fitzgerald. Doyle was despondent and told Fitzgerald how he’d love to get just one winner at Royal Ascot but that: “this place can tame lions.”
Within the hour James Doyle was roaring. And by the end of the day the lad who comes from a family steeped in racing was smiling from ear to ear.
As well as the first two winners of the day, there was also some each way profit to be had for members who backed Fig Roll at 33-1 with Bet365 (who paid out on the first four home) and on The Fugue which came third at 13-2 in the big race of the day.
I thought the most impressive winners of the day were Al Kazeem, Duntle, Gale Force Ten and in the penultimate race, the Queen Mary Stakes, Rizeena.