Royal Ascot 2017 – Day Three (Thursday)

2.30 Royal Ascot – Norfolk Stakes

Hopefully HAVANA GREY can get day three of Royal Ascot off to a flyer. Karl Burke’s speedy juvenile has been impressive in all three runs this season, improving with each start and now unbeaten in his last two.

His win in the National Stakes at Sandown last time out confirmed he is getting better and indeed, quicker. He’s a horse that jumps smartly, travels well and has a touch of class. His trainer thinks he has improved again, and if that’s the case, he’ll run well.


2pts each-way Havana Grey @8/1 (general – use 1,2,3,4 firms)

3.05 Royal Ascot – Hampton Court Stakes

Yet again yesterday, with Le Brivido winning the Jersey Stakes in great fashion, the French colts Classic form is increasingly looking top-class. With that the case, I’m hoping ORDEROFTHEGARTER can overcome his wide draw for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore.

The son of Galileo had first-time cheek-pieces applied last time out, and they worked well, as he travelled through the race kindly before having his path blocked in the straight, looking unlucky.

With a better run through today, he will go close.


1pt each-way Orderofthegarter @5/1 (Betfair, BetFred, Paddy Power 1,2,3,4)

3.40 Royal Ascot – Ribblesdale Stakes

I’m not sure this looks the best renewal of the Ribblesdale Stakes, albeit we are dealing with young, well-bred and lightly-raced fillies. ALLURINGLY sets a decent standard on what we’ve seen, I’m not sure anything, even with significant improvement, will improve enough to beat her if she runs her race.

I was slightly disappointed with her in the Oaks when a well-beaten third, but she was behind two classy fillies and to her credit, she beat everything off easily. Today’s less stamina-demanding test should suit her strong-travelling abilities.

I’m hoping she can back up relatively quickly after her Epsom effort, but she has had three weeks to recover and is obviously in the best of care with Aidan O’Brien.


1pt win Alluringly @4/1 (general)

4.20 Royal Ascot – Gold Cup

I’ll keep this short and simple, ORDER OF ST GEORGE is the best horse in this race and he should win. He was a good winner of this race last year and he appears to be coming here in better order. If he runs his race, he’ll win.


2.5pts win Order Of St George @1/1 (StanJames), 10/11 (general)

5.00 Royal Ascot – Britannia Stakes

Another huge-field handicap to contend with here, 29 runners look set to do battle. Those drawn low could struggle again today, in this race the better early speed, crucial for towing horses into the race kindly, looks to be drawn high.

With that being the case, my two against the field are the huge-priced LESHLAA and the improving COLIBRI. The former comes here on the back of a disappointing effort, but that came on soft ground and that simply isn’t his bag. He is best judged on his Newmarket win beforehand where he and a stablemate pulled 8 lengths clear of the third, showing a closing kick to get competitive.

Colibri ran a cracker in a warm Sandown maiden on his only start this season. Travelling kindly out wide for most the race, he then swung wide coming into the straight, making a decent move to get competitive before his run just flattened out close home. He should improve for that and can hopefully go close.


1pt each-way Colibri @12/1 (Paddy Power & Sky Bet 1,2,3,4,5,6)

1pt each-way Leshlaa @40/1 (Sky Bet 1,2,3,4,5,6)

5.35 Royal Ascot – King George V Stakes

A tough closing handicap, but I’m hoping the step back up in trip will bring out further improvement in TARTINI, who does plenty right in his races, but just looks a touched one-paced at times. I feel he is on a workable mark, and a strong-run 12 furlongs on this stiff track could prove ideal.


1pt each-way Tartini @14/1 (Sky Bet 1,2,3,4,5) @16/1 (bet365, Bet Victor, Coral, Ladbrokes)

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