The Punt Daily: Tom Collins' free horse racing tips on day one of Royal Ascot
Patrick Sarsfield(5.35 Royal Ascot)
No Irish-trained runner has won the Wolferton Stakes since In Time's Eye passed the post in front in 2003, but that drought can end courtesy of Patrick Sarsfield. The Joseph O'Brien-trained five-year-old improved dramatically for a gelding operation after his maiden success at the end of 2019 and won the Group 3 Meld Stakes on his third run last campaign. Placed in efforts in Group 1 company in Germany and in the Group 2 Prix Dollar followed. He travelled like the best horse in the race on his reappearance at the Curragh but took a blow half a furlong out and was run down. He will have progressed plenty since then and is fancied to provide Tom Marquand with another big-race winner.
Battleground (4.20 Royal Ascot)
The three-year-old colts division is wide open this season and although 2,000 Guineas winner Poetic Flare probably boasts the best piece of recent form in this year's St James's Palace, I'm extremely keen to oppose him after a string of hard races. I much prefer Battleground, who bolted up in the Chesham at this meeting 12 months ago before backing up in the Group 2 Vintage Stakes at Glorious Goodwood and producing a career-best when second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. He lost his action when unsuited by the undulating Rowley Mile in the Guineas and should bounce back. The fitting of a tongue-tie could also bring about further improvement.
Masseto (3.05 Royal Ascot)
Fillies don't win the Coventry and although Kaufymaker showed a high level of ability on debut at Keeneland, I have to oppose her at the prices. Those drawn low could have an advantage if they split into multiple groups (Kaufymaker will lead from stall three), but hopefully they come down the centre as I was taken by Masseto's effort when a luckless second in the Group 3 Marble Hill Stakes last month. The Donnacha O'Brien-trained juvenile was repeatedly stopped in his run but finished his race off nicely, only to be denied by Castle Star, who was ante-post favourite for this race before bypassing the meeting.
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