We finished off the day with a 7-1 winner yesterday to keep our great Royal Ascot form up. Our tipster James Stevens is feeling good as we enter the penultimate day of the meeting
2:30 Albany Stakes – Natural, Clemmie ew
“She is a filly with plenty of speed and the six furlongs should suit her well. She won impressively on debut and I think she is a filly with a lot of ability. She should run a very big race.” – Richard Hannon. Click here to hear his thoughts on his week ahead.
A horse well-regarded by Richard Hannon is Natural. She won very easily on her debut at Doncaster looking like a very classy filly in the making. This is a big step up in class from what was a weak maiden, but she goes into it with a good chance and should be in the mix.
Clemmie is an exciting full-sister to dual classic winning Churchill, who made an encouraging debut and deserves her place in this contest. She has only been seen once but wasn’t beaten far when third, and should benefit from the experience. She could be special, and I think she will be.
3:05 King Edward VII Stakes – Sir John Lavery, Best Of Days ew
A horse I really fancied in the Derby is Sir John Lavery, but he disappointed on in his trial and missed out on the classic. He is the worst rated in the field, but is held in high regard and should be up to winning at this level. To come back from that very poor effort at Lingfield is a big ask, but I rate him a lot on his maiden victory and think he can run a big race.
“He’s the one I’m most looking forward to running again. He won the Royal Lodge last year, and we just ran out of time to get him ready for the Derby because he had a bit of a setback in the spring. We are well on target to have him ready for the King Edward VII (Ascot Derby) at Royal Ascot, and that’s where he will start his season. He’s got a whole load of smart entries, whether that’s the Irish Derby, Great Voltigeur or St Leger we are really excited by him.” – Hugo Palmer on Best Of Days, talking to HTF about his Five To Follow. Read it here!
Hugo Palmer spoke very highly of this horse to us a few weeks ago, and frankly we see why! Best Of Days was a very good two-year-old winning the Royal Lodge when last seen. He makes his first start of the season which is never an easy ask, however he goes well fresh and certainly has the quality to compete in this race.
3:40 Commonwealth Cup – Caravaggio, Bound For Nowhere (without FAV)
I really like Caravaggio, and I am really excited to see him! He’s been so impressive when winning, looking like an absolute superstar sprinter in the process. This race is competitive and he will need to run well, but he is so speedy and talented he is the one to beat by some margin. If he runs his race, he will win.
Away from the favourite Bound For Nowhere could trump some of the leading British runners. He’s unbeaten in two starts, and there have been some positive vibes from connections. He may not be good enough to beat the favourite, but may be good enough to surprise Blue Point and Harry Angel.
4:20 Coronation Stakes – Winter
Winter is another who goes into this as the one to beat. Representing Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore, she’s a dual winning filly who has shown both class and attitude to see of classic fields in very good style. A repeat of those last two runs would be more than enough to win this.
5:00 Queen’s Vase – Stradivarius, Count Octave ew
“He stayed on to finish fifth in the Chester Vase, and we were really pleased with that. He was a little bit uncomfortable on the track until the closing stages. He stayed on really well, I’d like to think he could progress to be a St Leger candidate. He’ll probably go to the Queens Vase at Royal Ascot next.” – Andrew Balding, talking exclusively to HTF. Read his Five To Follow here.
Andrew Balding is thinking big with Count Octave, and on ratings he has got the best horse in the race. He shaped well when last seen in the Chester Vase, running on well at the end and should be better over the extended trip.
Stradivarius is a progressive colt for John Gosden, who should give a good account of himself in this competitive running of the Queen’s Vase. He won very well on his seasonal reappearance at Beverley, before going well at Chester. This is his toughest assignment yet, but he should go there with a good chance.
5:35 Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes – Mainstream, Appeared ew
I do think we could be in from a big royal run at Ascot with Mainstream. Sir Michael Stoute’s four-year-old is on a handy mark, and has enjoyed some good efforts without winning. He was last seen not too far off Frontiersman at Newmarket, who has since gone on to finish second in a Group One contest. He should like the conditions, and I’m expecting a good performance.
Appeared is a horse who won impressively when last seen at this track, and despite a 10lb hike from the handicapper can run a big race for Roger Varian. He will like the conditions, and looks to have enough about him to contest higher graded races in the future.