Seasoned fantasy racing fan and renowned Pinsticker, Matt Steer, has already picked his Telegraph Fantasy Royal Ascot stable. Here are his three jockeys and three trainers - will any of them make it into your fantasy stable?
Looking at the Jockey list, 44% of entries have already picked top ranked Ryan Moore. Unsurprisingly he’s as short as 1/4 to retain his Top Jockey title at the Berkshire course. I like to go against the grain though; looking at the list I feel picking Moore leaves precious few decent options to fill the second and third spots whilst keeping under the rating cap.
So swerving Moore means my first pick in the jockeys category has to be FRANKIE DETTORI. He can be backed at 4/5 to be Top Jockey in the “without Ryan Moore” market ahead of William Buick at 3/1. Whilst Frankie doesn’t have any standout rides in the antepost markets he loves Royal Ascot and it always seems to get the best out of him.
Joining Frankie in my stable is ANDREA ATZENI. I think he’ll get a couple of great rides on Ulysses in the Prince of Wales and Crystal Ocean in the Edward VII and I just fancy him to snatch a few places here and there too.
My final jockey is JIM CROWLEY. His last big win may have been back in October 2014 when he piloted Madame Chiang to glory in the Fillies & Mares Stakes on Champions Day at Ascot, but he was onboard last time out for Khairaat which currently heads the betting for the Wolferton Handicap, and as a big plus helps me keep within the rating cap. He should pick some other half decent bookings, maybe on Tasleet in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes and Muthmir in the King's Stand Stakes.
For me and nearly half of the current entries the first name on the trainers’ team sheet is AIDAN O'BRIEN. The master of Ballydoyle was leading trainer last year with seven victories, albeit with only one from eight QIPCO British Champions Series races at the meeting – Order Of St George preventing a blank. It will be a massive shock if he is not more prolific this time, with Churchill, Order Of St George, Caravaggio and Winter all short-priced favourites for their respective races. None are bigger than 11/8 in the betting.
By contrast SAEED BIN SUROOR is playing down expectations. His stable star Thunder Snow has already been beaten by the aforementioned Churchill, but with Dream Castle heading the betting for the Jersey Stakes and Beautiful Romance, last seen finishing second in the Dubai Gold Cup likely to feature, then I can see quite a few fantasy racing points picking picked up by the team in bright blue.
Lastly, but by no means least I’m going for an outsider in the American WESLEY WARD. Currently less than 7% of stable owners side with me, but what he might lack in quantity I feel he more than makes up for in quality. Ward’s Lady Aurelia is unbeaten when racing over shorter than 6f and she’s at the top of the market for this year’s King’s Stand Stakes. If she is joined by McErin in the Norfolk Stakes and Happy Like A Fool for this year’s Queen Mary Stakes then this trio could certainly bag a few points from the bottom of the rating list.
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