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Suited and booted for Ascot? Here are Matt Chapman’s exclusive tips for day one of the festival

MC Yeeehaaa has put on his best shirt for the royal meeting, and has gone through the racecard exclusively for the Paddy Power Blog

by Matt Chapman | June 16, 2014

So finally it has arrived, Royal Ascot 2014, the meeting which mixes glamour and top class action both on and off the track. I like that! Yeeehaaa!

However, glamour is not something I like when it comes to Paddy. I wan’t him left with only a string vest by the end of the week. You hear me Paddy? On this blog we will look at every race, every day in a quest for winners.

2.30pm: Queen Anne Stakes
Far from a vintage renewal. On ratings Toronado (10/11) is a good thing, and he’ll probably score. That said, I can’t tip a short price horse here who was tailed off on its last run. So start with a few quid each-way on Anodin (14/1), who chased home Cirrus des Aigles in testing conditions last time. He’s not a bad horse, and the better Ascot surface may bring out further improvement. It will need to if Toronado is at his best.

Richard-Hannon-Ascot

3.05pm: Coventry Stakes
All eyes on War Envoy (7/2) here, but again the price is wrong considering he was beaten by Kool Kompany (9/1) last time. I like the look of Adaay (4/1) here for the excellent William Haggas stable. He came up against a useful sort at Yarmouth last time – that track can be tricky but he did everything right. In a race where there is a lot of guessing involved with lightly raced horses I hope he will run well.

3.45pm: King’s Stand Stakes
I am going to take on Hot Streak (4/1) here with Shea Shea (4/1), who has European form of 2-4-2 in Group 1 sprints. He was unlucky 12 months ago when drawn away from the winner and has been back to his best in Dubai this year. He probably needs things to fall absolutely right to win, but he’s a class act and very hard to get out of the frame.

4.25pm: St James’s Palace Stakes
He’s not got the best draw in stall 7 which means he’s widest out the boxes, but my banker on Day 1 is Kingman (Evens), who I believe would have won the Newmarket Guineas on another day and has since bolted up in Ireland in the Irish 2,000. He has a high cruising speed and a fine turn of pace and should be hard to beat. Come on James Doyle.

Kingman-Royal-Ascot

5.00pm: Ascot Stakes
Usually a tough, hardened handicapper wins this but I think that might be different this year and really expect a bold show from the lightly raced Perfect Heart (6/1who could just be a Group class stayer in the making. He’s won his last two starts – going up 12lb – in great style, and has some Ascot form when unlucky in October of last year. The worry is the ground, as his efforts so far have come with plenty of cut. So fingers crossed on that score.

5.35pm: Windsor Castle Stakes
Tricky. Merdon Castle (6/1) has top jockey Ryan Moore on board and is bred for pure speed. He came up against the useful Kool Kompany at Windsor last time and matched strides for a lot of the race before going down by 1/2l. With a little bit more improvement he might be bang in the picture.

So best of luck, and whatever the start remember this is a marathon not a sprint. We’ll be back again tomorrow! Yeeehaaa!

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