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King's Stand Stakes Tips - Two each-way selections in Group 1 sprint

  • The King's Stand Stakes takes place on day one of Royal Ascot
  • Battaash is the favourite to retain his crown
  • Oxted and Arecibo appeal at each-way odds
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Oxted (Getty)
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The feature Group One race on day one of Royal Ascot is the King's Stand Stakes and two each-way runners offer value.

This famous five-furlong sprint was first staged at Ascot in 1860, and Battaash will attempt to become the ninth back-to-back winner of this Group One when he returns to Ascot next week.

We've taken a look through the market for this year's King's Stand and picked out our best betting tips.

2021 King's Stand Stakes Runners


Battaash made it third-time lucky at Ascot last year. Having twice finished second to Blue Point, Charlie Hills' stable star powered to an impressive maiden Royal Ascot victory, beating Equilateral and Liberty Beach quite comfortably.

Jim Crowley's mount went on to win a fourth King George at Goodwood, before edging out Que Amoro to retain his Nunthorpe crown. While he remains the best sprinter in the business, question marks linger over Battaash's fitness, after he suffered a small fracture during the winter.

Sitting second in the betting we find Winter Power, who blitzed her rivals when winning the Westow Stakes on her reappearance. Tim Easterby's filly clearly has bundles of speed and she'll be getting nine pounds due to sex and age allowances. Yet, this is by far the toughest race she's ever been thrown into, and it'll be run on a testing track which she's never experienced before.

July Cup winner Oxted will drop down to the minimum distance for the first time in his career at Royal Ascot. Roger Teal made the decision after watching his star suffer four straight defeats following that famous triumph at Newmarket, but Oxted still can't be ruled out.

Liberty Beach could only finish third here last year, despite having a three-year-old allowance on her side. John Quinn's filly claimed a narrow win on her reappearance at Haydock. I just worry whether the ground might come up a bit quick for her next week.

Extravagant Kid comes into this on the back of a shock Group One triumph out in Meydan, and he'll now be ridden by Frankie Dettori. Brendan Walsh's eight-year-old has shown his best form over further trips than this, and the form of that Al Quoz Sprint win hasn't worked out very well during the early months of the season.

Wesley Ward has thrown Maven into the mix, while Michael Dods' Nunthorpe runner-up, Que Amoro could make her reappearance here. Ubettabelieveit, Keep Busy and Acklam Express all flopped on their reappearances, but could still jump up into Group One company.

2021 King's Stand Stakes Tips


There's going to be plenty of pace on here. Winter Power and Liberty Beach are proven front-runners, while Que Amoro and Maven have also shown good early speed in the past.

This will suit Battaash, who likes to cruise into his races before putting them to bed in the final furlong. However, after suffering that set-back during the winter, I feel the favourite may be in need of a run and I don't fancy backing him at 15/8.

The first runner I am going to side with is OXTED, who looked a future star sprinter when winning the July Cup. Things haven't quite gone to plan for Roger Teal's star since then, but Oxted hasn't run badly in defeat on his two starts this season, and the way he travels suggests he could take well to this drop down in distance.

I'm also going to take an each-way punt on ARECIBO, who's taken his game to a whole new level since joining the sprint king himself, Robert Cowel. A frustrating handicapper during his time with David O'Meara, Arecibo has won two of his three starts this term, and only failed to mount a challenge in the Palace House Stakes due to meeting interference at a crucial stage.

This is a big leap in quality, but Arecibo loves a fast pace to aim at and, despite being a six-year-old, he still seems to have progression left in his locker. Last time out, Frankie Dettori gave Arecibo an excellent ride to carry 10-00 to victory in a handicap at Newmarket. Jamie Spencer now takes the ride, after Dettori jumped onto Extravagant Kid, but Spencer boasts a strong record here at Ascot and there are few jockeys more adept at executing fast finishes.
US

Verdict

With question marks over his fitness, I'm going to side against Battaash and back both Oxted and Arecibo at each-way prices in this year's King's Stand Stakes.

King's Stand Stakes Tip: Oxted Each-Way @750.00 at Bookmaker - 5 Units
King's Stand Stakes Tip: Arecibo Each-Way @3300.0 at Sportsbet - 3 Units

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2021 King's Stand Stakes