Excellent chance in the finale
Ben Linfoot seeks out the value on day four of Royal Ascot, featuring the Coronation Stakes.
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Richard Hughes and Sole Power looked a match made in heaven on the opening day of Royal Ascot and his tender handling could be just what LUCKY KRISTALE needs in the Coronation Stakes on Friday.
With all the Guineas winners missing for one reason or another this Group One is wide open and though My Titania, who I have a soft spot for could be the one, she's a very short price considering the setback that ruled her out of the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.
- 1pt win Lucky Kristale in 4.25 Ascot at 20/1 Stan James, Ladbrokes, Hills) - big price on juvenile form and now has Richard Hughes up.
- 1pt e.w Excellent Guest in 5.35 Ascot at 25/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5,6 Paddy Power) - course-and-distance specialist who looks handily treated.
- 1pt e.w Louis The Pious in 5.35 Ascot at 40/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4 BetVictor) - good form already this season and plenty in his favour.
Lucky Kristale ran in that race and blew her chance by racing far too freely in the hands of Tom Queally, finishing way down the field. However, at 20/1 she's a huge price on her juvenile form when she blew many a decent rival away with a telling turn of foot.
Queen Catrine's unlucky second in the Sandringham was another reminder of Lucky Kristale's class as a juvenile, as George Margarson's charge blew her out of the way in the Lowther Stakes at York last August.
And while she may not be a miler and may end up dropping back in trip, Margarson has given her every chance to prove herself here by employing the services of Hughes. There is simply no better man at handling fillies or settling a horse.
With no standout candidate in the race, Lucky Kristale is worth chancing at 20s considering we've seen electric speed from her in the past and on Friday she has a fine chance to show off her pace.
Margarson could be in for a dream day as his EXCELLENT GUEST also has strong claims in the Buckingham Palace Stakes.
The seven-year-old loves nothing more than a seven-furlong handicap at Ascot on fast ground and it was only last year that he won the Victoria Cup when such conditions prevailed off just a 1lb lower mark.
Crucially, he's only had those conditions once since, when beaten five lengths off a 4lb higher mark in last July's Betfair International and the good-to-soft ground in this year's Victoria Cup last time was probably against him.
Back on faster ground and back on a competitive mark - with Willy Twiston-Davies taking off an extra 3lb, he appeals at 25/1.
Russian Realm and Horsted Keynes are two exciting horses in the race and they could both have plenty in hand of the assessor, but neither have been missed by the layers and they are disputing favouritism.
Instead of backing one of those two I'm going to give one last chance to LOUIS THE PIOUS who has already been flagged up twice in this column this season when second at Haydock and when down the field in the aforementioned Victoria Cup.
The slower ground was against him the last day as he does have slight stamina doubts at seven furlongs, but at 33/1 I'm prepared to chance him again on fast ground.
A slow six or a fast seven is probably ideal for him and the hood seemed to settle him well when employed for the first time at Haydock (second to Glen Moss - excellent form).
At the same track he won on fast ground last July and from a handicapping point of view he was second off a 1lb lower mark in the Ayr Gold Cup last September.
That's further proof that he's suited to a big field handicap and though Daniel Tudhope jumps ship to ride stablemate Watchable, Silvestre de Sousa could be a good fit for the selection.
The icing on the cake is his stands' rail draw in 29 and with so many positive factors coming together for him, another chance - his last chance - is taken at 33s despite remaining doubts over his stamina.
Ben Linfoot's Value Bet Aim: The Value Bet is designed to generate long-term profit by searching for overpriced horses in the feature weekend races and at the big Festivals in the UK. Running total: +233.81pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).