Queen Anne Stakes Betting Tips: Benbatl the bet in Royal Ascot opener

Queen Anne Stakes betting tips from Horsebetting.com say Benbatl is the bet for Godolphin in the 2018 Royal Ascot opener. This is a Group 1 contest over the straight mile and part of the British Champions Series. The Queen Anne Stakes Royal Ascot entries also include Rhododendron from the yard of Aidan O’Brien and Lightning Spear, who are both dangers, and here’s why.  

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Odds
11/2
Selection
Benbatl
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Odds
11/4
Danger
Rhododendron
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Odds
8/1
E/W
Lightning Spear
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Benbatl a bet to enhance owners’ great Queen Anne record

Godolphin have seen their famous all-blue silks carried to victory in the Royal Ascot opener, the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes, a record eight times, and Benbatl looks worth a wager to further enhance that this year (14:30).

This top-class contest over the straight mile was plundered by connections 12 months ago with Ribchester, but Saeed bin Suroor’s four-year-old Benbatl is 3lb clear of the field on official BHA ratings in the 2018 renewal. Last year’s Epsom Derby fifth enjoyed Royal Ascot success over 1m 2f in the Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes when always doing enough to beat Orderofthegarter by half-a-length.

Benbatl was then stepped back up to a mile-and-a-half, but found wonder filly Enable far too good when trailing in 11 1/2 lengths behind her in the King George down in fifth. Heavy ground at Haydock didn’t suit him on his last British start either, but Benbatl has enjoyed a fruitful winter out in Dubai winning three of four outings over 1m 1f at Meydan.

Those victories include an easy deserved Group 1 success by 3 1/4 lengths on Dubai World Cup night, and show his form at the end of last season can be ignored. The Queen Anne is much better suited to Benbatl, who has won five of his 11 starts and is bred to stay just over a mile, than previous British assignments.

Benbatl is the bet that looks best value in a Royal Ascot race that means so much to connections, as handler Bin Suroor is also the most successful trainer in its history saddling seven previous winners.

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Rhododendron the obvious danger

The Coolmore operation are no strangers to success in the Queen Anne either, so Aidan O’Brien trained filly Rhododendron commands respect.

This four-year-old sneaks 2lb well-in to the race on top rated Benbatl based on her official mark and already has three victories at the highest level. In the most recent of those, the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury, Rhododendron time her run to perfection under Ryan Moore to nab victory in the final stride from Lightning Spear.

You couldn’t help but be impressed by the strong challenge she laid down over the straight mile. Rhododendron has also won Group 1s as a juvenile, in her Classic year albeit the Prix de l’Opera, and now as a four-year-old. She is a clear danger to Benbatl, but the only chink in her armour is her record when taking on the boys.

While she just got the better of the colts last time out, Rhododendron was less impressive when previously in action at Longchamp when a 5 1/2 lengths fourth to Cracksman.

Lightning Spear each-way is solid punt

The aforementioned Lightning Spear was unlucky to get collared close home by the O’Brien filly in the Lockinge so, meeting off the same terms, David Simcock’s seven-year-old could reverse the form. Lightning Spear has won or placed in 10 of his 20 Flat turf starts, including when third in the Queen Anne two years ago.

Connections have again booked regular rider Oisin Murphy to do the steering, and that’s a plus because he’s partnered the horse to consecutive Celebration Mile victories around Goodwood.  The agonising nature of Lightning Spear’s defeat last time out suggests he can still cut it at the highest level and, on another day, he may have just held on.

Lancaster Bomber, who chased him and Rhododendron home in third, has advertised the Lockinge form superbly by coming out and winning the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup in game fashion at The Curragh since. This all adds up to Lightning Spear having solid claims of being competitive and making the frame again, so he’s an each-way consideration among Queen Anne Stakes betting tips.

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