Ben Linfoot with 10 sires whose progeny could light up Royal Ascot 2018 as he looks at their meeting and overall course strike-rates in the build-up to the five-day festival.
In order of percentage strike-rate of progeny at Royal Ascot...
- Royal Ascot record: 8 wins/15 runs @ 53.33%
- Overall Ascot record: 8/16 @ 50%
- Scat Daddy’s to watch out for: Sergei Prokofiev, Lady Aurelia, Sioux Nation
Scat Daddy has proved a breeding phenomenon all over the world, Justify’s Triple Crown the most recent example of that. The ill-fated son of Johannesburg’s final crop have been going for crazy sums on the back of his progeny’s exploits and his Royal Ascot stats are simply staggering; eight wins from 15 runs at 53.33 per cent. Lady Aurelia has been responsible for two of those wins and she’ll go for a third victory at the meeting when she bids to retain her King’s Stand title on day one. Meanwhile, an Aidan O’Brien-trained Scat Daddy juvenile, Sergei Prokofiev, is sure to be all the rage for his chosen assignment (looks likely for the Coventry, according to the betting at least).
- Royal Ascot record: 2/6 @ 33.33%
- Overall Ascot record: 2/10 @ 20%
- Siyouni’s to watch out for: City Light
A small but select number of Royal Ascot runners have marked Siyouni out as a sire to keep an eye out for. His Ervedya beat Found when landing the 2015 Coronation Stakes and Le Brivido excelled in last year’s Jersey Stakes when also edging out an Aidan O’Brien-trained horse, Spirit Of Valor, by a neck. With two wins from just six runs it’s worth keeping a tab on his entries and one horse that would be of real interest if he turns up is Stephane Wattel’s City Light. He’s three from three in 2018 and his form looks good; he beat the speedy Kachy by almost two lengths at Lingfield and was even further ahead of Muthmir last time out at ParisLongchamp. He'd have to come into consideration for an admittedly hot-looking Diamond Jubilee.
- Royal Ascot record: 3/17 @ 17.65%
- Overall Ascot record: 5/42 @ 11.90%
- Zoffany’s to watch out for: Main Edition
Zoffany has had three Royal Ascot winners from just 17 runners and when you break that down further it’s three from eight for his juveniles at 37.5 per cent. Illuminate (Albany Stakes), Washington DC (Windsor Castle Stakes) and Waterloo Bridge (Norfolk Stakes) are his victorious progeny and he could have another two-year-old winner this year thanks to Main Edition. Mark Johnston’s sizeable filly is two from two, winning against the colts under a penalty in fine style at Goodwood last time. She’s also a half-sister to Major Cadeaux, second in the Coventry, and Beachfire, who won the Wolferton Handicap at four, so there's plenty of Royal Ascot pedigree in her, er, pedigree. At 12/1 she could be a decent bet for the Albany.
- Royal Ascot record: 12/89 @ 13.48%
- Overall Ascot record: 48/260 @ 18.46%
- Dubawi’s to watch out for: Dubhe, Benbatl, Lah Ti Dar, D’bai
Dubawi is a regular winning sire at Royal Ascot with Al Kazeem, Benbatl, Time Test and Dartmouth four of his most memorable winners in recent years. His Ascot record improves significantly when you take into account all meetings and he’s sure to have plenty of fancied runners again this year. The one I can’t wait for is Dubhe, an impressive winner at Sandown at the end of April. He beat subsequent London Gold Cup winner Communique by four lengths that day and looks perfect for the King George V Handicap, a race Godolphin have won in three of the last four years.
- Royal Ascot record: 11/97 @ 11.34%
- Overall Ascot record: 43/334 @ 12.87%
- Oasis Dream’s to look out for: Afaak, Dreamfield
Brilliant sprinter Oasis Dream was beaten by Australian monster Choisir on his only visit to Royal Ascot, but his progeny have been no strangers to the winners’ enclosure at the meeting with 11 victories over the years. Unsurprisingly, he produces lots of sprinters including King’s Stand winners Prohibit and Goldream, but the best of his bunch has undoubtedly been Commonwealth Cup hero and champion sprinter Muhaarar. This year Oasis Dream has the ante-post favourites for both the Hunt Cup in Afaak and Wokingham in Dreamfield and the latter is a fascinating contender. Three from three in his career and an Ascot winner last time out, he’s bred to be much better than a handicapper and he might well be just that.
Super Sires - Sky Bet Odds
- Lady Aurelia (Scat Daddy) for the King's Stand (Non Runner No Bet) at 2/1
- Main Edition (Zoffany) for the Albany at 10/1
- City Light (Siyouni) for the Diamond Jubilee (Non Runner No Bet) at 14/1
Odds correct at 1040 BST on 14/06/2018
- Royal Ascot record: 21/193 @ 10.88%
- Overall Ascot record: 50/382 @ 13.09%
- Galileo’s to look out for: Rhododendron, Hydrangea, Clemmie, Order Of St George
Incredibly, Galileo has the worst Royal Ascot strike-rate of all the established sires in this list, a rare setback for the behemoth stallion. He has sired 21 Royal Ascot winners, though, including the greatest racehorse of all time in Frankel, so life isn’t all bad. This year his Order Of St George goes for his second Ascot Gold Cup, while his older fillies, Rhododendron and Hydrangea, are favourites for the Queen Anne and Duke of Cambridge Stakes respectively. Clemmie also holds that position in the Coronation Stakes. The Galileo dynasty rolls on.
SEA THE STARS
- Royal Ascot record: 3/30 @ 10%
- Overall Ascot record: 11/65 @ 16.92%
- Sea The Stars’ to look out for: Crystal Ocean, Stradivarius
Quiz question: can you name Sea The Stars’ three Royal Ascot winners? It took me an age. Answers at the bottom of the page*. Anyway, Sea The Stars’ overall record at Ascot is good and you would expect him to improve his Royal meeting strike-rate in the coming years with Crystal Ocean his most obvious winner-in-waiting this season. Sir Michael Stoute's patience with this horse (raced just the once at two) is paying dividends now and he looks an altogether more accomplished performer at four. Stoute has won the Hardwicke Stakes a record 10 times and Crystal Ocean deservedly heads the betting at 6/4 in a bid to take that tally to 11.
- Royal Ascot record: 1/13 @ 7.69%
- Overall Ascot record: 7/24 @ 29.17%
- Frankel’s to look out for: Cracksman, Without Parole, Goldrush, Sun Maiden
And so to the new-ish kids on the block and where better to start than the almighty Frankel, now in his third season with runners at Royal Ascot. Atty Persse got him off the mark for the meeting in the King George V Stakes last year and that win contributes to an excellent overall record at Ascot of seven wins, touching almost 30 per cent. That Royal Ascot record is going to improve significantly, you feel, and Frankel flagbearer Cracksman could give it a shot in the arm in the Prince Of Wales’s. Before that the unbeaten Without Parole goes for the St James’s Palace Stakes, a race his old man won, while 12-length Salisbury novice winner Sun Maiden is an intriguing contender in the Ribblesdale.
NO NAY NEVER
- Royal Ascot record: 0/0
- Overall Ascot record: 0/1
- No Nay Never’s to look out for: Cosmic Law, The Irish Rover
With Scat Daddy unfortunately no longer with us the search is on for a son of his to take the stallion world by storm and No Nay Never is one of the first cabs off the rank. A superb winner of the 2013 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot, it was always hoped that No Nay Never’s first crop would produce a speedy juvenile and he certainly looks to have got one in Cosmic Law, a six-length winner of the Woodcote at Epsom. He’ll go for the Coventry where he could clash with another No Nay Never in The Irish Rover, the horse responsible for the 0/1 Ascot record above after he was beaten at odds of 1/7 last month. He has redeemed himself since then, but Aidan O'Brien is likely to have a better-fancied horse in the Coventry thanks to that aforementioned Scat Daddy, Sergei Prokofiev.
- Royal Ascot record: 0/0
- Overall Ascot record: 0/0
- Kingman’s to look our for: Calyx
Kingman was an exceptional winner of the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot and went unbeaten thereafter, winning the Sussex Stakes and Prix Jacques le Marois before being retired. His eagerly-anticipated first crop are now appearing on the course and from three runners so far Calyx has been by a long way the most impressive, destroying his July Course rivals at Newmarket last Saturday in a style reminiscent of his father at the same track, in the same month, five years ago. John Gosden has him in the Coventry but not impressive Yarmouth scorer Legends Of War (Scat Daddy), meaning Calyx has been backed into 5/2 second favourite. A victory for him would be an outstanding start for Kingman’s first crop.
*Sea The Stars answer: Stradivarius (2017 Queen’s Vase), Bless Him (2017 Britannia Handicap), Across The Stars (2016 King Edward VII Stakes). Well done if you got those in under three minutes!