Royal Ascot Day Three
2:30 - Norfolk Stakes a group two race for 2 year olds over 5 furlongs. In this race there’s a lot of horses who have only ran once or twice which can make it hard to judge them. The one I’ll be siding with has actually ran no less than 5 times already, and has shown some excellent form. Navello was only 8th on debut but has come on for the run very impressively. Winning his next three straight including the Lily Agnes by 6 lengths at Chester. His last run you’d feel they may be disappointed with when only managing third in listed company in the National Stakes. But the winner that day Ebro River confirmed his talent by running a cracker for us on Tuesday. The 6th was no less than Chipotle, a 22/1 winner for us yesterday with the 5th Bond Chairman just behind her in 4th! I the 7th and 4th haven’t run yet but I’ve added them to my tracker as this is clearly and above average race! Saying that the 2nd that day was Little Earl who reopposes, I think Navello wasn’t given too hard a time once the bird had flown with Ebro River and he should turn the tables with Little Earl today, however I wouldn’t put anyone off him at 40/1.
Navello 28/1 0.5pts EW
3:05 - The second race on day three is the Hampton Court, a 1 mile 2 furlong group three for the 3 year olds. We have Mohaafeth as a drifting favourite due to the weather, having been withdrawn from the derby when a single figure price due to the ground. Movin Time has been well supported after his last run where he beat Queens Vase winner Kemari impressively, however that was over an inadequate trip for Kemari and was much better over the longer trip yesterday, so I’m treating that form as such. Derby and Guineas sixth One Ruler is an interesting contender at 6/1 but has to carry a penalty here today. There’s a few further down that are interesting ignoring the last run against Mohaafeth, Secret Protector is too big of a price on previous form. The Rosstafarian may well be more suited by this extra trip compared to the mile of the Craven and Irish Guineas where he ran respectably staying on each time. However I’ll be siding with Roman Empire for Aidan O’Brien who finished an very good fourth in the Dante when you suspect they rode as a pacemaker for at the time Derby favourite, High Definition. The horses that caught him that day are top class, Hurricane Lane finished third in the derby, Megallan ran in the French derby but wasn’t suited by the way that panned out, and High Definition hasn’t run since but was one time favourite for the derby for a reason. This trip could be perfect for him and should see it out better now not being used as pacemaker for a stablemate. Moore takes over and at 10/1 with some bookies offering 4 places is worth a punt.
Roman Empire 10/1 0.5pts EW
3:40- The Ribblesdale is a group two for 3 year old fillies over the oaks trip, 1 mile 4 furlongs. Bookies are generally four places with sky offering a fifth place. There’s two I like here, Oaks thirds Divinely stayed on well that day and was supplemented late for this, at 13/2 should be thereabouts, and is a muggy but back able each way price. Further down the other who I think has been massively overlooked is Nicest for Donnacha O’Brien. A winner on debut last year she only ran once after that finishing fifth in a group three over the mile. Stepped up on reappearance she seemed to need the run but ran a good race in third in the Cheshire Oaks. She then interestingly ran in a 1 mile 2 listed race back in Ireland running against the older horses. That ended in a bunch finish and her fourth can be upgraded as she was just a length behind the winner. Just in front of her that day was Patrick Sarsfield a very good 5 year old who was favourite for the Wolferton on Tuesday and ran a good second. The way she finished that day I think the return to 1 mile 4 will suit her and could outrun her massive 40/1 odds.
Divinely 13/2 1pt EW
Nicest 40/1 0.5pts EW
4:15- The Gold Cup over 2 and a half miles, a group one which has been dominated by Stradivarius in recent years. I originally looked at this as a no bet race with Stradivarius rightfully very short price favourite. And I do expect him to win again here, however with the rain forecast, I think Princess Zoe will be better than a 20/1 shot with 4 places available. She won over the trip last year in a french group one, and has been running over shorter trips this year which haven’t suited. I think Subjectivist will be the one who gives Stradivarius the biggest scare having shown his win in France wasn’t a fluke, with a taking success in the Dubai Gold Cup. Though he’s short enough and I’m happy to sit back and watch the best stayer I’ve ever seen with just a token bet on Princess Zoe to outrun her odds.
Princess Zoe 20/1 0.5pts EW
5:00- Here we have the Britannia Stakes, a mile long handicap for three year olds. I’ll be placing my bets on this race with Boylesports as they have 6 places and surprisingly all the other bookies are only offering 4 despite the big field. Not an advert for them, but make the most of the extra places where you can as it makes a difference. This is an open looking race and I won’t be going mad on this one, there’s one who I like at 40/1 with Boylesports and is around that price or 33/1 with others, that is Big Narstie. An interesting profile, he actually made his debut in France finishing fourth in a pretty big sized field. He then showed good battling qualities to get his head in front in a maiden at Lingfield. Having been headed he stuck on to retake the lead close home. He then was upped to listed company finishing midfield but not too far away, winner Apollo One has since ran in some very good group and listed races over 6 furlongs without being disgraced. Megallan won a listed next time out before finishing a very good second in the Dante and contesting the French Derby. Third places El Drama has since also won a listed race and ran in the French Derby too. It’s perhaps harsh he has been put up 3lbs for finishing a good second on handicap debut, considering the winner was clear, although the winner, Aldaary, is favourite for the final race today! However, I think the mile will suit him and could outrun 40/1 odds, especially with 6 places.
Big Narstie 40/1 0.5pts EW
5:35- The King George V Stakes is a handicap for three year olds over the derby trip, 1 mile 4. It’s is often a tricky one as some of these may be group horses in waiting. The one who I’ll be taking a chance on with 6 places on offer is Sir William Bruce who is Aidan O’Brien’s second string ridden by Seamie Heffernan. I think Heffernan is a very good jockey and always seems to do well. He’s taken a bit of a walk in the market to 33/1 but I think haven only gone up 5lbs for his handicap win at the trip last time out, he can continue improving on only his second attempt at this far. As I say it’s a tricky race so not going too mad in it.
Sir William Bruce 33/1 0.5pts each way
6:10- The final race on day three is the Bucking Palace Stakes over 7furlongs. A huge field of 29 means 6 and 7 places on offer depending on your bookie. A minefield of a race, I’ll be picking 3 here and just need one of them to place to turn a profit. Firstly I like Volatile Analyst one I backed last time out winning at 33/1, that always helps, but his first run of the year was given a tentative ride after missing the break and never being able to get into it. He made all last time and has only gone up 6lbs and I think he can go on improving at this trip. The second I like is Bielsa who has come back to form this year and is desperately unlucky not to have won, with 2 seconds and a fifth in big field handicaps, running well each time. Upped to 7 furlongs I think he will be suited as he often stays on late and hopefully that’ll be enough to get his head in front today. Finally at a bigger price I like is On The Warpath who is fairly lightly raced for a 6 year old. He’s ran well enough first time out previously that it doesn’t put me off here, he runs off the same mark as his latest start a win in a 6 furlongs conditions stakes in December. He has won at 7 furlongs before as well as being effective at a mile so the trip seems ideal. He was listed placed last year and runs off of 105 today. Under Will Buick I think 40/1 is massive.
Volatile Analyst 22/1 0.5pts EW
Bielsa 16/1 0.5pts EW
On The Warpath 40/1 0.5pts EW