Watch Ascot — Ladbrokes Mobile Handicap Live Stream — 07-09-2013

27 Янв 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »
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Ascot Race Course

Ascot Racecourse Guide

Right-handed, triangular circuit of 1m6f, spur provides straight 1m.

Most people when asked to name a famous English racecourse would say Ascot and not just in the UK either as the Berkshire venue is world renowned for its quality horse racing and royal connection. This dates back to 1711 when Queen Anne whilst riding on Ascot Heath deemed it an excellent venue for horse racing and within a few months the first race, ‘Her Majesty’s Plate’, was run. Her descendants have been coming back since and the present monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, is no exception with the ‘Royal Procession’, which takes place up the centre of the course prior to racing at the five-day Royal meeting in June, one of the great British traditions. Republicans may frown at that and even some racing fans disapprove of the accompanying fashion stakes, but few would dispute that the racing here is top notch and there is no better place to be than at Ascot during the third week of June.

Course Characteristics:

Three different courses are utilised for flat racing: the Long (Swinley) Course, Round Mile and Straight Mile, all of which were underlayed with new drainage during the redevelopment work that took place here between 2004-2006, meaning the going these days rarely gets testing. The Straight Mile is used for all races up to 7f and is perfectly flat from running rail to running rail but noticeably uphill from start to finish, thus placing an emphasis on stamina. Races of a mile take place on the Round Mile with the notable exception of the 1m Royal Hunt Cup, which starts at the far end of the Straight Mile. The Queen Alexandra Stakes, which at 2m5f is the longest race in the calendar and is traditionally the last race of Royal Ascot, also starts from here.

All other races take place on the undulating Long Course, which is downhill after the turn out of the home straight and continues this way until it reaches Swinley Bottom, which is the lowest point of the track. It then starts to climb until the 3f pole, where it joins the straight course, and it’s uphill again all the way to the finishing line. Stamina, stamina and more stamina is required and relentless gallopers tend to prevail at the finish.

Track / Draw Bias:

Following the redevelopment work, there have been some exaggerated draw biases with one side of the track providing a big advantage over the other. That said, the middle of the track can also ride best and the general consensus is that biases are hard to predict from meeting to meeting with selective watering often playing a part. This of course creates a minefield for the serious punter.

Principal Races:

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As befitting of Britain’s premier flat racing venue (arguably), Ascot stages a whole host of Group races, the majority of which take place at the Royal Meeting. The opening day gets off to a flyer with three consecutive Group 1s: the Queen Anne Stakes (7f), King’s Stand Stakes (6f) and St James’s Palace Stakes (1m), which usually features horses that ran in the 2000 Guineas and was won by Frankel in 2011. The other Group 1s at the meeting are the Golden Jubilee Stakes (6f), Prince of Wales’s Stakes (1m2f), Gold Cup (2m4f) and Coronation Stakes (1m2f). All the great races but it’s the handicaps that punters really like to have a crack at with the draw for both the Royal Hunt Cup and Wokingham Handicap over 6f the subject of much debate.

The King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes takes place every July over a distance of 1m4f and only the very best line up for what is Britain’s second richest race (£1m in 2011) behind the Epsom Derby. It’s open to three-year-olds and upwards and the roll call of winners is like a who’s who of flat racing with equine greats like Nijinsky, Mill Reef, Shergar, Montjeu and Dancing Brave amongst them. It used to be a good race for three-year-olds but they tend to be not so well represented these days and older horses have had the upper hand this century. The winner gets an automatic invite to the Breeders’ Cup and a lucrative career at stud beckons when their racing days are up.

The decision to switch October’s ‘Champions Day’ from Newmarket to Ascot after the 2010 renewal split the racing community, but most would agree it was a huge success largely thanks to unseasonably good weather and a certain three-year-old colt named Frankel, who drew huge crowds to watch him take his unbeaten run to nine in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. The meeting also brought to a head the controversy over the new whip rules after Christophe Soumillon, the rider of the Champion Stakes winner Cirrus Des Aigles, was banned for five days and fined his percentage of the £1.3m prize money (around £50k). They’ve since been rewritten, much to the relief of most racing fans, and Champions Day is set to retain its October slot in 2012 with Qatar-based Qipco again sponsoring generously.

Top Trainers:

For a northern-based trainer, Mark Johnston has a phenomenal record at the Royal Meeting and his runners at any time of the year are always worthy of close consideration. In the last five seasons, he’s sent out more winners (22) than any other trainer, although a selective approach is required as these have come at a poor strike rate of just 9%. Similarly, Richard Hannon’s 20 winners have come by virtue of having plenty of runners. Aidan O’Brien and William Haggas have trained less winners but can boast higher strike rates of 19% and 15% respectively, with the latter’s level stakes profit particularly impressive. John Gosden was the trainer to follow in 2011 with his 8 winners yielding a level stakes profit of over £30.

The racing here is highly competitive and the winners tend to get shared out amongst the top riders. That said, it’s always worth giving anything ridden by Ryan Moore and Richard Hughes a closer look as the pair have ridden more winners here than anyone else. Other jockeys worthy of a mention are Jamie Spencer, Johnny Murtagh and Frankie Dettori, who famously rode all seven winners at a meeting here in September 1996, costing bookmakers up and down the country an absolute fortune in the process.

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