2.30 Royal Ascot – Queen Anne Stakes
I’ve already backed Deauville ante-post and I’m happy with that position. I still feel he’s a fair price at 16/1 especially with the books going four places. As for today, at the prices, I still feel RHODODENDRON is a fair bet in what is an extremely open race.
I didn’t think she’d have the pace to win the Lockinge at Newbury, but she showed great adaptability and heart to get the job done. Now she’s got proper miling conditioning and competition on her back, on this stiffer course, she can go close for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore.
1pt win Rhododendron @7/2 (bet365, Sky Bet)
3.05 Royal Ascot – Coventry Stakes
It’s always tricky knowing what side of the track to be drawn on when they compete on the straight course. There looks a useful spread of speed across the line, but very high or very low look best and the former just comes out on top.
With that being the case, at the prices, the two I want on my side against the field are COSMIC LAW and THE IRISH ROVER. I’m a big believer in experience for juveniles, it’s often the difference in winning and losing at all levels they race at.
This pair have run three times and that could prove telling on what will prove to be a totally new experience for these young horses. Both travel well, should enjoy the quick ground and have a touch of class.
1pt each-way Cosmic Law @10/1 (Sky Bet 1,2,3,4,5)
1pt each-way The Irish Rover @12/1 (Sky Bet 1,2,3,4,5)
3.40 Royal Ascot – King’s Stand Stakes
Make no mistake about it, on their best form Battaash and Lady Aurelia are comfortably the best horses in this year’s renewal. Of the two, Lady Aurelia is probably the safer bet given she saves her best for this track. Battaash is the better horse of the two, but he can be frail mentally pre-race and boil over. There is so much pace on in this race it could set-up for a late closer.
With that in mind, MABS CROSS is worth a bet each-way to run into the frame. Michael Dods’s filly has a progressive profile, she’s getting better and better with racing. She often shapes like a stiff five furlongs would suit and she gets that here.
1pt each-way Mabs Cross @16/1 (Sky Bet 1,2,3,4) or 18/1 (general)
4.20 Royal Ascot – St James’s Palace Stakes
Another competitive race to get stuck into here with most of the field in with a realistic chance of winning. The Guineas, Irish Guineas and French Guineas form all clash and I’m siding with the Newmarket version.
TIP TWO WIN did incredibly well to run second behind Saxon Warrior, while finishing in front of the Derby winner Masar and the Dante victor Roaring Lion in the 2000 Guineas. He may be a touch flattered by the bare form in that he looked a miler against middle-distance horses, but he deserves credit given he came from a poor enough early position on a track he didn’t look in love with.
I also can’t resist a small bet on Gabr at 18/1. He finished just behind the race-favourite on his seasonal debut, but, is a much bigger price. I think he’ll love getting on this firmer surface given his strong travelling ability. I have a small doubt about his will to win, but that price is too big.
1pt win Tip Two Win @6/1 (general)
0.5pt win Gabr @18/1 (Betfair Sportsbook, Bet Victor, bet365, Paddy Power)
5.00 Royal Ascot – Ascot Stakes
COEUR DE LION looked an unlucky loser when second at Chester on his last run. He went through the race in great fashion, travelling well throughout. In that run he was quite wide at various stages and in the latter part of the race got shuffled back towards the rear of the field when trying to make his challenge.
He stayed on nicely late and in the end, was an unlucky loser. Hopefully he settles a bit better today and gets a cleaner run through.
1pt each-way Coeur De Lion @7/1 (Paddy Power, Sky Bet – 1,2,3,4,5)
5.35 Royal Ascot – Wolferton Stakes
A rating of 106 probably underestimates the progressive SHARJA BRIDGE who really impressed me when just being beaten at Newmarket’s Guineas meeting in a high-quality handicap. Him and the winner came four lengths clear of the field, looking graded animals.
On just his sixth career start with a quality pedigree, there should be more to come, especially if he strips fitter for his seasonal debut run 45 days ago. I have a small doubt about him over today’s step-up in trip on a stiff track, but his ability to travel and quicken will be suited by the fast ground.
1pt win Sharja Bridge @13/2 (general)