It’s the penultimate day at Royal Ascot but, with plenty of top draw racing still to come, we put Syndicate Captain Reakesy to work to try and unravel the mysteries of the £20,000 Place 6 pool. He’s got his eye on Hermosa as his pick of the day, who runs in the Coronation Stakes at 16:20. If you agree with his Royal Ascot tips, then you can get involved with his Syndicate.
14:30 – The Albany Stakes
After three tough days of betting, the Albany hardly offers any respite as the opener on the penultimate day of Royal Ascot.
This Group 3 sprint for 2-year-old fillies has returned just four winning favourites from the last 16 renewals, with double figure prices aplenty. Our favourite, the Wesley Ward-trained Nayibeth, was a very impressive winner over 4 1/2 furlongs at Keeneland and is one I’m more than happy to take on.
She has just one race under her belt, is untested over this 6f trip and, with the added question marks that come with a two-year-old being brought across the Atlantic and thrown into the commotion and unfamiliarity of Ascot, I’m leaving her well alone.
She is also drawn in stall one and the 13 most recent winners in this have come from double figure stalls. With that in mind, the Roger Varian trained Daahyeh makes greater appeal. She won her sole start in a Newmarket Novice, beating Wednesday’s Queen Mary winner Raffle prize.
Silent Wave made a smart start to her career, winning easily at Goodwood under Oisin Murphy, and she makes the shortlist with an impressive pedigree.
Precious Moments makes some appeal with Ryan Moore taking a ride. At a big price she could come on significantly for her third in Maiden company at the Curragh and represents a big price from stall seven.
Selections: Daahyeh, Silent Wave and Precious Moments.
15:05 – The King Edward VII Stakes
Next up is the 12-furlong King Edward VII Stakes for the boys with just eight runners lining up.
Japan is very much the one to beat after his 3rd in the Epsom Derby. He is favourite on merit and is my first selection here.
I was disappointed after backing Bangkok that day and, though I’m not giving up on him yet, he’s unraced on anything south of Good to Firm so I’ll save him for a (less) rainy day.
Private Secretary completed a hat-trick at Goodwood when stepped up to Listed company and he should prove the main threat ahead of Pondus who steps up significantly in grade, though makes appeal on the basis of winning on soft.
Selections: Japan, Private Secretary, Pondus.
15:40 – The Commonwealth Cup
Another small field and, once again, it’s an Aiden O’Brien-trained runner at the head of the market.
After a dazzling season as a two-year-old, Ten Sovereigns failed to see out the mile in the 2000 Guineas, finishing a far from disgraceful fifth behind stablemate Magna Grecia. Back at 6f there is no reason he cannot return to winning ways.
Calyx was a 2/13 favourite when Hello Youmzain returned the spoils in the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock, that was the Colt’s second Group 2 victory after success in France for Kevin Ryan, notably on soft ground.
Jash was half a length behind Ten Sovereigns when second in the Middle Park last year and that form puts him in the mix, though the ground is a question mark.
Crowley appears to favour Jash over Khaadem who shouldn’t be far away but, at bigger prices, there is nothing else of great appeal to me.
Selections: Ten Sovereigns, Hello Youmzain.
16:20 – The Coronation Stakes
The second Group 1 on Friday, this fillies race for three-year-olds was taken by one of the stars of the season, Alpha Centauri, in 2018 and a glance down the roll of honour reveals that the winner usually comes from the top of the market, with only one winner in the last 17 years coming at a double figure price.
Once again it’s only fair to start with the O’Brien-trained Hermosa. A dual 1000 Guineas winner, she sets a blistering standard for the rest of the field to live up to with form on soft ground to boot and, come raceday, the writer may even be heard as saying that the evens about this filly (at the time of writing) was a huge price.
Such is my confidence that I’m willing to just go with the two selections in this leg and, at a bigger price, I’ve arrived at Pretty Pollyanna. I can’t see her reversing the form on her second to the favourite in the 1000 Guineas but that was an impressive run on return and she’s the second highest-rated filly in the race for a reason. I’m surprised by her price and she should be competitive for a place here.
Selections: Hermosa, Pretty Pollyanna.
17:00 – The Sandringham Stakes
Fitting with the theme of the week, Frankie has won this listed handicap seven times but he doesn’t have a ride this time around, a relief for bookmakers.
Perhaps surprisingly 15/17 of the last winners have returned an SP of 12/1 or shorter in the betting so we’ll begin at the top of the market.
Ralph Beckett’s Desirious won nicely at Goodwood on his return and, although up 6lbs, should give another bold showing.
Magnetic Charm carries the Queen’s silks. She began the season winning a Listed fillies race at York and steps down into handicap company for the first time but will have to do it off top weight, giving 5lbs to the field. I’m not confident in such a competitive 28 runner field.
Hotsy Totsy is ridden by Jamie Spencer who has won four of the last 17 renewals and the filly enters handicap company for the first time seeking a hat-trick, she is included.
Nonchalance is the final selection after two impressive wins in novice company. Coral Beach is thrown in for the O’Brien and Ryan Moore duo.
Selections: Desirious, Hotsy Totsy, Nonchalance, Coral Beach.
17:35 – The Duke of Edinburgh Stakes
Last up is the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes. Fujaira Prince had Corgi and Collide in behind when second in a competitive handicap at York last time out. He’s up 3lbs for that effort which has him on level weights with his competitors, that alone shouldn’t be enough to overturn the 2 ¼ lengths his rivals need to find, though Collide should be better suited by the soft underfoot conditions.
Corgi’s neck second in the King George V Stakes at last year’s Royal meeting is hard to ignore. He has a 3lb swing in his favour and can reverse that form with a bit of luck in-running.
If we’re still alive at this stage these three should be in amongst it coming into the straight.
Selections: Fujaira Prince, Corgi, Collide.