'9-1 is simply far too big' - eight selections for the remainder of Royal Ascot
2.30 Ascot, Wednesday
1pt each-way at 10-1,seven places withSky Bet
3.05 Ascot, Wednesday
2pts each-way at 9-1,five places withSky Bet
3.05 Ascot, Wednesday
1pt each-way at 14-1, five places withWilliam Hill
4.20 Ascot, Wednesday
1pt win at100-30
Go Bears Go
2.30 Ascot, Thursday
1pt each-way at 11-1, four places with William Hill
3.05 Ascot, Thursday
1pt each-wayat 14-1, four places with Sky Bet
3.40 Ascot, Thursday
1pt each-way at 25-1, five places with Sky Bet
4.20 Ascot, Friday
2pts each-way at 14-1
What better time for me to put on my tipping hat than at Royal Ascot? Strap yourselves in as I’m going to run through some of my big-priced fancies for the bestfestival of Flat racing in the world.
You'll be reading this on Wednesday, sothat is the logical place to start– let’s hope we’ve all already backed some winners by then!
The Queen Mary is first up and, although Coolmore filly Yet received a favourable mention in this space a few weeks ago, I’m going to stay loyal to Quick Suzy, who I put up in The Punting Club on Friday.
The 20-1 has long disappeared but she is still something of a dark horse and can play a big part based on the speed she has shown in her three starts to date.
She had the whole field smoked two furlongs out in a Group 3 over six furlongs at Naas last time, only to be mowed down late by Hermana Estrella. This drop back tothe minimum trip should play perfectly to her strengths, as should the quick ground.
The Queen’s Vase is one of my favourite races to bet on at the meeting and Ithink it's worth taking on those at the top of the market this year.
My main selection is Mark Johnston’s ultra-progressive handicapper Dancing King, who did well to win a competitive 1m6½f handicap at Doncaster last time as he had to come from second last off a slow pace.
He is proven on fast ground and over this trip– I suspect he'd stay four miles if you asked him to– so expect him to keep rolling in the closing stages.
Johnston targets this race, having notched seven winners already, and Dancing King is his first string on jockey bookings, with Silvestre de Sousa set to ride.
He boasts a Racing Post Rating of 106, the best any horse in this field has achieved, yet can still be backed at9-1 – it's simply far too big.
The other to consider is the Joseph O’Brien-trained Benaud, who has recently been purchased by JP McManus, indicating a jumps campaign could be on the horizon.
If that is the case they must think he is capable of staying this trip, despite the fact he has only raced over as far as ten furlongs. While he is not guaranteed to relish 1m6f, two of his sire's best horses, Galileo Chrome and Sir Ron Priestley, have thrived over it.
Similarly to Dancing King, Benaud caught the eye when picking up smoothly from the rear to win at Naas last time, leaving the impression there was much more to come. An RPR of 100 puts him right in the mix and I'd expect him to improve considerably on that.
Also on Wednesday,a sound case can be made thatArmory should be favourite for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes.
His two-length third to Magical and Ghaiyyath in last season’s Irish Champion Stakes– with subsequent Arc winner Sottsass behind– is the best form on offer here and he backed it up with a belting effort in the Cox Plate.
Love hasn’t achieved anything like that standard of form, while Lord North won this race last year but was subsequently trounced in the Juddmonte International and worryingly bled after winning in Dubai when last seen.
Unlike the two fillies in the race, Armory is fit after a serene return in the Huxley Stakes and1m2f on fast ground arehis ideal conditions.
I don't think we have seen anything like his best yet and the possible lack of pace in this race would be of little concern considering his brilliant turn of foot.
On to Thursday and a horse I have had on my radar for months.Go Bears Go was earmarked for the Coventry, for which I was among his supporters at 20-1, but connections have plumped for the Norfolk instead.
Putting my frustration aside,I think they've made a wise choice as this race looks much weaker in terms of the domestic challengers and Lucci and Nakatomihaven't been amongWesley Ward's best-supported juveniles.
Go Bears Go won on his debut over this course and distance on soft ground and, while the form has not worked out brilliantly, I think if he was trained by anyone else he would be several points shorter.
His sire Kodi Bear produced his best run on a good surface and we can expect similar improvement from this colt.
Starspangledbanner is a sire on fire at the moment and I think he has a colt lurking under the radar in the Hampton Court Stakes.
The Rosstafarianshowed good form as a juvenile, including when aclose third in the Listed Silver Tankard at Pontefract (subsequent Oaks second Mystery Angel only marginally ahead) and this year he has performed creditably in the Craven and Irish 2,000 Guineas.
He was momentarily short of room at Newmarket before staying on for fifth behind Master Of The Seas and put in another eyecatching run at the Curragh, passing four horseslate on.
He looks to have been crying out for the step up to 1m2f and with Oisin Murphy booked I would be surprisedif he didn't put in a career best.He may have won only a novice but the quality of his form entitles him tobemore towards the top of the market.
The fact Johnny Murtagh has declaredAnnerville for the Ribblesdale indicates she must have come forward a lot, as initially he thought she might need more time before taking up some of her big entries.
Very unlucky on her debut at Leopardstown in April, she made amends last time when beating Call Me Sweetheart with ease, and that filly has won since.
Onthat form she has a lot to find but her trainer doesn't often tiltat windmills and I'm confident she will prove up to this level – if not now, in the future.
I haven't been blown away by this season's three-year-old fillies over a mile and thereforeI pricked my ears when Peter Schiergenchose to supplement his German 1,000 Guineas winner Novemba for Friday's Coronation Stakes at a cost of £30,000.
Admittedly her form has a slightly muddling look to it, but she put it all together at Dusseldorf last time and put in a dazzling performance to win by seven and a half lengths.
On ground described as good to soft, she stopped the clock in 1min 35.41sec, a second quicker than both the 2018 and 2019 winners MainEdition and Nyaleti, despite the fact those were run on a surface officially described as good.
As a daughter of Gleneagles and a winner on good ground, this filly can be expected to be suited byAscot's fast surface.
There aren't any confirmed front-runners in this race and she tends to make all, so don't be surprised if the other jockeys make the mistake of giving her too much rope.
Backing her comes with risks attached, but the British handicapperhas seenenough to give Novemba a rating of 115 (supported by a 110 RPR), which is the best in this race by 3lb, yet she is as big as 14-1 in the market. On balance it's a chance I'm only too happy to take.
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