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Royal Ascot: Day 4

I didn’t have time to do any sort of write-up yesterday, but I didn’t have a bet so nothing missed out on.

It was a ‘fab four’ for Frankie Dettori after he claimed the first quartet of races on the card, including the Gold Cup aboard Stradivarius for the second year running.

Can he continue to lead the jockey’s title or can Ryan Moore make a comeback?


2:30 Albany Stakes

Two-year-old races are hard to weigh up on the little form next to their names, plus you don’t know how they’ll handle the occasion.

Straight to the point here with Jm Jackson (14/1) looking worthy of consideration. This daughter of No Nay Never is yet to shed the maiden tag but has shaped with plenty of promise on two starts so far.

On debut at Thirsk, she was just denied by Ventura Rebel, who finished 2nd in yesterday’s Norfolk Stakes. Then she was upped in grade to the Listed National Stakes at Sandown and once again finished second, this time to Flippa The Strippa.

Both runs have hinted that an extra furlong would play to her strengths, especially with her closing efforts, so now stepping up to 6F for the trainer who won this race last year, then she’s very interesting.

Add the draw into the mix – the last eight renewals have been won by horses drawn from stalls 12-20, so a mid-to-high draw could be beneficial and Mark Johnston’s charge is in box 20.

I can see why the favourite Daahyeh is fancied. She was a winning debutant at Newmarket in taking fashion when running on nicely in the final furlong. She beat Raffle Prize that day and the second has complimented that form when winning the Queen Mary on Wednesday.


3:05 King Edward VII Stakes

Ryan Moore and Aidan O’Brien have been quieter than many thought, but change that with Derby third Japan. That’s easily the best form in the race and that followed his fourth in the Dante at York. He’s hard to look away from, but I am looking elsewhere at his price.

Private Secretary (9/2) was given a peach of a ride by Frankie Dettori when winning the Listed Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood. Everything about that effort showed this son of Kingman had some class about him and is expected to be given another patient ride from Dettori. There was just something about that the way he won that day hinted he’d cope in a better grade, so with an extra furlong likely to suit, he’s one that could lower the colours of Moore and O’Brien.

He may be in the race as a pacemaker for Japan, but Jack Yeats can’t be ignored. Chalked up as the outsider of the field at the time of writing, he’s another son of Galileo who O’Brien tends to dominate with. He got off the mark when upped in trip to 1m2f, and these extra two furlongs should be right up his street. If he improved once more it wouldn’t be a surprise and could run into a place.

3:40 Commonwealth Cup

It’s a shame Calyx misses this race due a setback, but his colours were lowered at Haydock by Hello Youmzain. Kevin Ryan’s charge may need to find more once again against two quality colts here, but he will handle conditions and a strongly run race.

I think it’s hard to separate the top two in the betting with the preference being for Ten Sovereigns (11/8) to confirm the Middle Park form over Jash from last season.

That race saw Aidan O’Brien’s inmate win by ½ a length to make it 3-3 over this trip. He ran with credit in the 2,000 Guineas despite not being a proper miler, so this looks a very wise decision in bringing him back to sprint trips.

Jash has only tasted defeat in that Middle Park contest and he does have plenty of quality about him. He’s a nice athletic type and won over 7F on his return in the Listed King Charles II Stakes at Newbury, so with that stamina proven, if this turns into a tear-up (however unlikely) it could potentially suit him more.


4:20 Coronation Stakes

A sit back and watch race with Hermosa having already claimed the English and Irish 1,000 Guineas this season in terrific style. She very much sets a high standard to try and beat, so if replicating those two runs here will be tough to beat.

We didn’t see Jubiloso as a juvenile, but she’s 2-2 since making her debut in April. She remains an unknown quantity, who could be open to plenty of further improvement, as some of Sir Michael Stoute’s fillies tend to do. The form of her Newbury win hasn’t started to take shape, but the 3rd has won since. There should be no problem with the trip being a daughter of Shamardal, so it’s if her untapped potential can match, or better, that of what Hermosa has shown.

Castle Lady is unbeaten in her native France of just holding on in the French 1,000 Guineas on heavy ground. She may want more rain to suit her, but the way she won that didn’t look as good on the eye as Hermosa yet the ground could have played a part in that too.

Those three look the ones to focus on but with O’Brien also running Happen and Just Wonderful then it wouldn’t be a surprise to see one of those spoiling the favourite-backers’ party.

5:00 Sandringham Handicap

Yesterday’s Britannia Stakes saw stalls 29, 22 and 18 fill 1-2-3, while Wednesday’s Royal Hunt Cup saw stalls 21, 18, 32 and 25 fill the top four. That means that high draw down the stand side rail is the way to go here.

Coral Beach is noted after winning the Group 3 Killavullan Stakes in October. She was only beaten by 4 lengths in the French 1,000 Guineas, while beaten further in the Irish equivalent on quick ground. Back in a handicap and with juice in the ground then that could well suit.

If you want the jockey angle then Jamie Spencer has won this race in the last two years. He’s on-board Hotsy Totsy who has won her last two starts by a combined 11 lengths. She steps up to a mile for the first time on handicap debut and mark of 90 may be generous, she’s drawn in 18.

Desirious won nicely at Goodwood and has gone up 6lb for that to 88, but she’s a fine looking type, who could go on to better things. She won nicely that day and twice last season she bumped into good types in Qabala and Dandhu. Harry Bentley had a winner in these colours yesterday and she’s drawn in 25, so plenty to like if ahead of her mark.

There looks a lack of pace on here but Maamora has tended to go from the front. She finally got her head in front at Ripon when shedding the maiden tag in emphatic fashion. She was returning to a mile after two efforts over 1m2f yielded two 2nds. If the ground continues to dry out then that’ll be in her favour, but any more rain would be a concern.

In stall 16 is Lady Madison (12/1). She made a winning return at Windsor in very impressive style. Quick out of the stalls, she found herself in front and did throw her head around a little, but did eventually allow Trust Me to go to the front, which saw Shane Kelly get this daughter of No Nay Never back on the bridle. When she did, she travelled powerfully before showing a devastating turn of foot to put the race to bed despite hanging left. A mark of 91 may not be beyond her, so can’t be ignored in a race where she should hopefully settle better.

5:35 Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes

Kasperenko is interesting on his first start for Clive Cox having won the Listed Floodlit Stakes on the all-weather at Kempton in November. If able to replicate that level of form could be one at a price that goes well.

As could Byron Flyer. He put in a much better effort at Epsom when second 20-days ago and Ian Williams is already on the scoreboard this week after winning with The Grand Visir. First-time headgear is interesting considering he won three on the spin last year, but he does have a wide draw here to contend with.

The front three in the betting all have similar levels of form. Turn the clock back 12 months and we saw Baghdad beat Corgi (7/1) by a neck in the King George V Stakes with First Eleven third and Cross Counter fourth.

Cross Counter has since stepped up to 2m to win a Melbourne Cup and Dubai Gold Cup, while First Eleven won the Lavazza Stakes here at Ascot before beating Fujaira Prince at York last month when Corgi was third.

You may think it strange that I’m plumping for Corgi here, but that was the four year old’s return to action, so is likely to come on quite a bit for that, as Hughie Morrison’s tend to do. Plus, this is his second run after a wind op, which tends to see runners having a better strike-rate than when they return from having it done.

Baghdad did show a willing attitude to win at the meeting last year and this son of Frankel has continued to improve, as shown at Newmarket. It’s just the fact that he is now giving Corgi 5lb here and when winning by just a neck he was giving away 2lb. So, he’s technically giving 3lb further away here and that could see a reverse in form.

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