We’ve teamed up with BetVictor to preview the day’s racing.
The Group 3 Jersey Stakes is the opening race of day two at Royal Ascot and French Guineas’ runner up Le Brivado heads the market at 7/2 with BetVictor. That is top class form and I am not convinced that soft ground is needed for Andre Fabre’s colt who has only had three career starts and is open to further improvement, writes Charlie McCann.
I am a big fan, however, of Dream Castle (2.30) and am delighted to see Godolphin give Josephine Gordon a chance in the plate. Connections fitted the colt with a hood when he was beaten just over three lengths in the Guineas’ last time and it will be interesting to see whether he is given his head stepping back in trip this afternoon. At 4/1 with BetVictor he gets the each way vote for Saeed Bin Suroor.
In the Queen Mary, I know that Wesley Ward is very sweet on the chances of Happy Like A Fool (3.05) and it is perhaps significant that Aidan O’Brien does not have a runner in the race thus enabling Ryan Moore to take the ride. Coolmore are reported to have bought into the filly and the gallop reports from Newmarket, where she has been housed in recent weeks, are very favourable.
The filly won by 4L on debut at Keeneland on dirt and her trainer is looking for a hat-trick in the race following the successes of Lady Aurelia twelve months ago and Acapulco in 2015. The filly is 6/4 at BetVictor and will be hard to beat.
It would be fair to say that Frankie Dettori did not give French-raider Qemah (3.40) the best of rides at Lingfield over 7f last time but I expect to see a different filly this afternoon stepped back up in trip. The selection won the Group 1 Prix Rothschild at Deauville last season and regular pilot Gregory Benoist is back in the saddle. The selection is 3/1 with BetVictor and she would be a confident selection for Jean-Claude Rouget.
The Prince Of Wales’s Stakes looks a fascinating but, arguably, slightly below par renewal with just eight going to post. I know Ulysses has been working the house down in Newmarket but despite the reservations about his draw in stall eight the vote goes to Jack Hobbs (4.20) who is 3/1 with BetVictor.
The persistent rain that fell in Meydan was a positive for the five-year-old in the Sheema Classic back in March but he acts equally well on fast ground. Decorated Knight won a modest Group 1 in Ireland last time and favourite Highland Reel was very impressive in the 12f Coronation Cup at Epsom last time – but will he be as effective dropping back a quarter of a mile?
The Royal Hunt Cup is one of my favourite betting races of the year and El Vip and Banksea have been well supported in recent days but I am a big admirer of Fastnet Tempest (5.00) who had to win at Chester last time in order to get into the race. The selection was slowly away on the Roodeye and had to come around the whole field, in the hands of Franny Norton, before getting up in the shadows of the post. A 5lbs rise is fair in the circumstances and he would not have got into the race had he not won. At 10/1 with BetVictor (each way five places), he is the each way recommendation.
Six of the last seven winners of the race have been a double-figure price and at 22/1 I will also be throwing a few bob on Godolphin’s Blair House (22/1 with BetVictor). The four-year-old is making a belated season reappearance this afternoon but has run very well first time out in the past and, after six career starts, he is open to significant improvement.
In the finale Gymnaste is the market leader for John Gosden but the each way recommendation is On Her Toes (5.35) who improved for the step up to a mile when runner up on soft ground at Newmarket last time. The filly has won three of her six career starts and at 10/1 with BetVictor she can run into a place for William Haggas.
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