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Tanya Stevenson

Tanya's Blog - Saturday 27th July 2013

Blaze Can Scorch HQ

Congratulations to Jamie Spencer, Silvestre De Sousa and Luke Morris, who all rode trebles on Thursday but commiserations to Hayley Turner who broke her ankle at Yarmouth on the same day. Ouch!  Painful and frustrating as it will be a fair while recuperating from that; best wishes and fingers crossed for a speedy return to the racecourse.

As for trying to find the winners, much will depend on the weather this weekend as if significant rain does fall on watered ground the change will have significant ramifications. 

It might be advisable sacrificing morning value, for the peace of mind you are in the knowledge of the unpredictable weather and that applies to the whole country.

Both the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the SkyBet York Stakes have so many imponderables that makes it difficult to make any selection with any conviction. 


I’m already on Universal at 33-1 each-way in the hope he would run and then hang on to a place.  He is thriving on his racing at present and deserves his chance in a Group One.

He is taking on a superstar in Cirrus Des Aigles, but can the French challenger be forgiven his fifth at Saint-Cloud.  A seven-year-old has never won the race and normally winners take in Royal Ascot en route. Such is his status, however, he can be forgiven a couple of statistics that count against him. Novellist, his conqueror at Saint-Cloud, comes to Ascot bidding to repeat that effort. He wouldn’t shy away from rain; in fact he’d appreciate it. 

Hillstar has been supplemented at a huge cost and five-time winner Sir Michael Stoute is hoping the investment means he claims a record sixth.

I wouldn’t put it past Red Cadeaux running a big race. Ignore his last two ten furlong efforts and a strongly run mile and a half courtesy of Universal and Ektihaam could see him becoming a force a furlong from home.

I think Cirrus Des Aigles should win it, but I feel it is a race best left alone.


Also I’m not confident of Mukhadram at odds-on at York. Two tough Group Ones, the latter the Coral-Eclipse where he was badly hampered close home by Al Kazeem and he should have got second.  But those opposing him are not mugs.  The Apache is a Group One regular having run in seven, so this represents a drop in class.  Tough old Sri Putra won the race twelve months ago.  Wigmore Hall won the John Smith’s Cup over course and distance.  Grandeur could give Universal’s Newmarket form a real boost and Jeremy Noseda, his trainer, has a 44% strike rate at present.  Although Mukhadram should win on his current form I’ll take a watching brief, hopefully on the Ascot big screen. 

In the SkyBet Dash at the Knavesmire I like Farlow and Moirdore to give the Northumberland Plate form a big boost in the 4.40 York.  While at Newmarket Burning Blaze finished with a flourish at Sandown and may have been considered unlucky.  He runs at 3.55.

As for the Betfair International I have spent ages pondering over which one to choose between Queensberry Rules, Redvers and Don’t Call Me.  At least I can mix them up in a forecast, wishful thinking!

Next week is Glorious Goodwood, five days and with all races live on . I’ll be in the betting ring for the first four races on Channel 4 and it’s compulsive viewing. The best bet of the week is to keep an umbrella handy. That way hopefully it will stave off any potential rainfall. Roll on Dawn Approach v Toronado on Wednesday in the Qipco Sussex Stakes!

After Newbury last week I was pleasantly surprised to bump into Surrey cricketers Jade Dernbach, Jason Roy and Gareth Batty trying find the winners at Lingfield’s evening meeting.  I returned to Lingfield again on Wednesday to bask in the sunshine and take in some live action. 

Then on Thursday I treated myself to a trip to Doncaster; Kate Hills of William Hill was a real star and trooper as I accompanied her on a very congested journey.  It was worth it though to catch up with so many friendly faces and enjoy the racing plus Joe Root, who has carried all before him including his bat in the Ashes. 

All roads for him now lead to Old Trafford next week, while for me it’s Ascot and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes


Saturday’s tips:

3.55 Newmarket: Burning Blaze at 12-1 with bet365

4.40 York Moidore


Tanya’s pointers:

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes:

The last horse aged five or older to win the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes was Daylami in 1999. Since then 41 horses aged five or older have run in the race (that’s 36% of the  114 contenders) and all have been beaten

Four of the last seven Irish Derby winners to run in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes as three-year-olds have won. Generous in 1991, St Jovite in 1992, Galileo in 2001 and Alamshar in 2003

Sir Michael Stoute will attempt a sixth win with Hillstar

Seventeen of the last 20 winners have won at least one Group One

Eighteen of the last 20 winners finished in the first three on their most recent start

Seventeen of the last 20 winners came from the first four in the betting

Seventeen of the last 20 winners had run between two and four races that season prior to Ascot

Nine of the last 20 favourites have won

Nine of the last ten winners had won at least once in the current campaign

Six of the last nine winners took in Royal Ascot en route

Johnny Murtagh has had five winners from his last nine rides

Johnny Murtagh has a 36% strike rate at Ascot this year (four from 11)

Betfair International

Seven of the last ten winners of the International were drawn eleven or higher

The best placing in the last ten years for the favourite in the International is third

Nine of the last ten winners of Betfair’s International had run at the same season’s Royal Ascot.

Nine of the last ten winners of 2.05 Ascot came from the first three in the betting

SkyBet Dash

The last ten winners of the SkyBet Dash came from the first five in the betting

Eight of the last ten winners of the SkyBet Dash came from a single figure stall



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