Five bets for the final day of Royal Ascot for Chris Day including a 25/1 fancy in the Wokingham.
1pt Tactical in 3.05 at Royal Ascot at 12/1 (Bet365)
1pt Highest Ground in 3.40 Royal Ascot at 16/1 (Bet365)
2pts Starman in 4.20 Royal Ascot at 11/4 (General)
1pt e.w Hey Jonesy in 4.50 Royal Ascot at 25/1 (Bet365 - 1/4 1,2,3,4)
1pt Seasett in 5.30 Royal Ascot at 20/1 (Betfair & Paddy Power)
The great thing about betting at Royal Ascot is that there aren’t many races where you don’t have a fancy with the best form from the first half of the season all pulled into five fantastic days.
The start of the meeting looks like being run on fast ground but it’s a little unclear what we can expect from there.
The Jersey Stakes at 3.05 traditionally attracts horses who didn’t quite make it in the Guineas along with unexposed types and even fast-improving top class handicappers and it’s one from the former category I expect to emerge victorious here.
QIPCO 2000 Guineas fourth is Naval Crown set to reoppose TACTICAL, who appeared to beat him snugly in the Free Handicap before finding Haydock’s six furlongs an insufficient test last time.
On Newmarket form it’s hard to see why Tactical is over twice the price of the Godolphin inmate and he looks a big price at 12/1.
No trainer has a better record than Sir Michael Stoute in the Hardwicke Stakes at 3.40 and in the Niarchos-owned four-year-old HIGHEST GROUND, he has a horse to give him his eight winner.
This horse was at one stage considered for last year’s Derby and went off favourite in the Dante but was reeled-in by Thunderous who it’s fair to say hasn’t resoundingly upheld the form since. However the selection's last run in a Leicester conditions race should have teed him up to show his best and nobody does improving older horses quite like his trainer.
As long as the ground doesn’t turn soft I expect him to have too many gears for the likeable Sir Ron Priestley, who already has a verdict over Coronation Cup winner, Pyledriver on his CV.
At 4.20, the last Group One of an unbelievable week, the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, sees the first two home in the Duke of York Stakes renew rivalry and it’s hard to see Naharr being able to turn the form around with the winner STARMAN.
He was making his seasonal reappearance on the Knavesmire but very much picked up where he’d left off in 2020 and there should be even better to come on this faster ground.
The biggest danger could be dual runner up, Dream of Dreams but I have a feeling Starman will be gone for home before that one really hits his stride and expect Ed Walker’s four-year-old to take all the beating.
The Wokingham Stakes at 5.00 is one of the biggest betting races of the week with a field of 24 of the best sprint handicappers in training charging up the straight six furlongs. It’s possible to make a case for any number of these but I thought Kevin Ryan’s 2020 hero of this race, HEY JONESY, ran a blinder over seven furlongs the last time behind the current ante-post favourite Boardman, and Ertilaab, who went on to win a six furlong handicap at the Derby meeting.
Boardman is the right favourite no doubt but I think he’s best with give and, whilst I’m pretty sure he’s some way ahead of his mark, this task may not see him in his best light and the Ayr Gold Cup could be his race.
The Golden Gates Handicap at 5.35 is a recent addition to the meeting and has attracted the cream of the three-year-old handicappers and the horse who really catches my eye is the Richard Fahey-trained SEASETT, who ran close to Raadobarg, the impressive winner of Haydock’s Silver Bowl last time with a host of unexposed horses floundering in his wake.
He’d earlier come from way off the pace to win by over four lengths over a mile at Nottingham and I fancy there’s plenty to come now he steps up in trip. It’s true that his improvement has come on softer ground but I’m not sure that has helped him and his sire, Wootton Bassett, was a Group One winner who went on all types of ground.
Published at 1045 BST on 15/06/21
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