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Seconds Out: Oli Bell's Monthly Blog

Wednesday 14 June 2023
Seconds Out: Oli Bell's Monthly Blog

Welcome to the latest instalment of my RaceShare monthly blog where unsurprisingly this time, I’ll be looking ahead to all the pomp and pageantry of Royal Ascot.

Before we get into that though, a big congratulations to RaceShare owners of La Pulga who were winners last week and then backed it up with another great run on Monday, just getting touched off on the line. Two great runs in quick succession! Top work everyone.

Right, back to Ascot and what we can expect from the 5 days….well this year I think the build up to each race day will feel a bit weird if I’m totally honest. This will be the first Royal meeting since Her Majesty the Queen sadly passed away, and her love and enthusiasm for the event really was felt by all. Whilst I know first hand that HM The Queen Consort loves her racing I think it is fair to say that the late Queen’s interest and passion was unmatched and irreplaceable. I will be interested to see how the Royal Procession unfolds each afternoon and who is in the carriages alongside HM The King and HM The Queen Consort.

Of course we will have full coverage of this on ITV before the racing gets underway and it goes without saying that the real stars of the show, the horses, are of the highest calibre. If you are an owner, please also join the RaceShare team and I at 8pm for the virtual Royal Ascot Preview on Monday night (June 19), it will be good fun.

Personally, day one is always my favourite day in terms of the racing and this year, I’m very keen on George Boughey’s horse Asadna in the Coventry following on from his hugely impressive debut win that looked as good on the eye as it did on the clock. Obviously this is a much tougher assignment but he looked like he was more than capable of dining at the top table after that first up win.

Other horses I’ll be looking to help me win a few quid during the week will be Tahiyra to reverse the 1000 Guineas form with Mawj, the rumour mill suggest Mawj hasn’t had an ideal preparation coming into Ascot and in any case I think Tahirya would get the better of the argument second time round, if delivered a little later so she is one I expect to win at a short price in the Coronation on the Friday.

We had a really informative chat with American racing expert and broadcaster Christina Blacker on the Sunday Series show a few days ago and she went through a few of the American two year olds and was very sweet on Cynane in the Queen Mary for expat trainer Tom Morley. I know Tom would love to win a Royal Ascot race in his home country and he really believes this is the filly to deliver him that. Christina did also talk about the hot pot son of Lady Aurelia, American Rascal who bolted up on debut on the dirt – she was keen to stress this horse’s physicality and temperament might actually be a negative for Royal Ascot so we will keep a close eye on that on the morning of the race on The Opening Show where we will have the likes of Christina joining us for the internationals views each day.

Outside of the racing it is of course a huge social event as well. For us on ITV they are long days with my day starting in the makeup chair (yes, it takes a lot of makeup!) at 6am and we aren’t off air until 6pm because we show every race of the Royal meeting unlike say a Cheltenham Festival. Then it’s back to the hotel about 20 minutes away from the track before a production meeting ahead of the next days shows and then scoff a meal down before bed. So actually, for us, it’s a pretty antisocial week, but I do like hearing and seeing everyone's stories about their adventures the day/night before and seeing the hungover eyes on the brave souls who back it up each day.

Fashion is of course a huge part of the week and I'm very lucky to be dressed by Favourbrook for the week, as is my father because we had to do a photo shoot together ahead of this year's Ascot. I’m going to be honest here but that was one of the most uncomfortable day’s work I've ever had as my Dad took Embarrassing Dad levels up to a place I never thought possible, going around telling everyone he was a male model. I’ve seen the photos back subsequently and I can confirm, he isn’t and nor am I, but it is nice to put on some nice clobber for the week and get involved in the sense of occasion that Ascot provides.

If you’re coming to Ascot make sure you come over and say hello. I'll be in the social stable with Chris Hughes in the afternoon so come over and say hi and let us know any feedback you have about your RaceShare experience to date. We are always wanting your thoughts and whether it’s myself at the races or Lucy, Ash or the rest of the team who you speak to I assure you we listen to it all so as I say, come over and have a chat if you are there. If you’re watching from home then I hope you enjoy the coverage over the course of the 5 days and if you’re stuck at work then may I recommend the new ITVX app, it's very good and discreet so I'm sure you can watch the racing for a few minutes each day!!

Be lucky everyone and we will see you soon.

Oli.

Oli’s Royal Ascot selections mentioned:
Asadna in the Coventry Stakes (Group 2) at 3.05pm on Tuesday, June 20
Cynane in the Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2) at 2.30pm on Wednesday June 21
Tahiyra in the Ascot Coronation Stakes (Group 1) at 5pm on Friday June 23

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Upcoming and past events

Date Event Summary
18 November 2022
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The RaceShare team will be at Ascot on 18 and 19 November at the Shared Ownership Days. This is a great chance for us to meet racegoers and explain...
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19 November 2022
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RaceShare will be sponsoring the opening Novices' Hurdle at Ascot on 19 November. Alongside this, we will have a stand at Ascot's Shared Ownership ...
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