The Victoria Cup Raceday at Ascot (Saturday 11 May) includes four races which are being shown live on ITV. The highlight is the Tote Victoria Cup, whilst the supporting races are the Les Ambassadeurs Casino Handicap, the Carey Group Buckhound Stakes, and the St. James’s Wealth Management British EBF Premier Fillies’ Handicap. Check out our analysis and free tips for Victoria Cup Raceday at Ascot 2019.
Les Ambassadeurs Casino Handicap (2.15)
Horses aged four and five have dominated the previous eight editions of this race, in which time all the winners have been rated between 83 and 91 and have carried between 8-11 and 9-5. There haven’t been any major shocks, with the biggest-priced winner returned at odds of 8/1 and six of the winners returned at 5/1 or lower.
Those stats suggest that the Now Children, Island Brave, and Setting Sail may struggle off marks of 96 and 97, whilst Eddystone Rock and Boite are older than previous winners.
Sextant could be an obvious improver after just three runs but, as he’s not proven with cut in the ground, it could be worth chancing Blue Laureate who ran one of his best races at Ascot last season. His trainer Ian Williams also won the 2013 edition with a similarly rated and relatively exposed handicapper.
Carey Ground Buckhound Stakes (2.50)
Salouen is rated 6lb higher than his main market rival Barsanti but is probably flattered by the run that saw him finish a close second to Cracksman at Epson last season, which earned him that kind of rating.
He’s probably better judged on his third behind Barsanti in this race last year and, off identical weights this time, he could struggle to turn the form around with the Roger Varian-trained runner.
Barsanti also has a better strike rate, having won over 20% of his races, whilst Salouen has won just two of his 22 starts. What About Carlo is inferior to those two rivals, but his chances could improve if the ground turns really soft.
St. James’s Wealth Management British EBF Premier Fillies’ Handicap (3.25)
Four-year-olds have won seven of the last eight editions of this race, whilst nine of the last 10 winners were rated between 82 and 92. Last year’s winner Urban Fox did raise the bar by winning off a mark of 97, carrying 9-10, but it does suggest that Adorable and Red Starlight will do well to win off 101 and 100, whilst even the 96-rated Bella Ragazza is higher than most winners.
Several horses have won this on their seasonal debut but plenty of this year’s field have plenty to prove. However, one filly that has already suggested she has improved from three to four is Daddy’ Girl, who looked to win with a bit in hand with cut in the ground 11 days ago. She may be able to defy a 4lb rise for that win.
Tote Victoria Cup (4.00)
The last five winners of the Victoria Cup have all had a prep race between 11 and 35 days earlier, whilst the last six winners were drawn between stalls 13 and 29. The last four winners were all aged four, but ratings have been very varied with winners being anywhere between 83 and 104. Shocks are also frequent in this race, with the last six winners returned at odds of 5/1, 10/1, 12/1, 20/1, 20/1, and 25/1.
George Of Hearts looks an interesting big-priced selection from near the foot of the weights from a high-draw. He ran an excellent race to be second at this meeting last year over course and distance, when he was unlucky at the start, and he could be primed for a return to form on his second start after wind surgery with first-time cheekpieces on.